Once again there is a silky and Burgundian quality to the 2014 offering from pioneering bio-dynamic Pauillac producer Château Pontet-Canet. Much work here goes into not doing much work, if you get my drift. It’s not that there isn’t a lot going on or that they are not busy, but the holistic approach pursued at Pontet-Canet has that objective in mind. Vineyard balance is attained with the long view, through the use preventative preparations, horsepower and manual effort, not cajoling the vineyard with exaggerated regimes and petrochemicals, so that the vines find that gentle sweet spot of expression and harmony themselves. You can feel the philosophy in the unhurried, peaceful manner of the place when you are there [even in primeurs week, though perhaps not in the visiting merchants and critics]. And there’s no doubt the wine feels all the better for it.
Posts Tagged ‘Bordeaux 2014’
What a difference a year makes. 2014 is an opulent vintage for Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. It contrasts strongly with the [100% Cabernet Sauvignon] wine made here in the extremely tricky 2013 vintage [though itself something of a success]. The Gods definitely favoured Pauillac in 2014 with the sort of Indian summer completely tuned to the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There is freshness here, the echo of the comparatively cool August, but the wonderful richness and texture to the palate and gloss to the tannins is all September sun.
There is excitement about the 2014 vintage at Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and sibling Château Haut-Batailley. In the end the complex growing season really suited the Cabernet Sauvignon here in Pauillac and has resulted in wines of great freshness and personality, but also depth and substance. Clearly this is a vintage if not quite the equal of 2009 or 2010, then it is something not that far behind. The Borie family who own both properties have this year chosen to price accordingly. Still the wines represent good value for money versus their competitors and, for devotees of both properties, 2014 is extremely satisfying.
St Julien offers purity and clarity in 2014. The wines show beautiful blackcurrant tones and are fresh and vivid. The best have very good length and structure. Tannins are sophisticated and ripe. Some properties are comparing the vintage to 2005 and 2006, and, while the wines don’t quite have the weight and concentration of 2009 and 2010, they are nevertheless vivacious and appealing. Top of the list are Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Château Léoville Poyferré and Château Saint-Pierre. Right behind are Château Gruaud Larose, Château Branaire-Ducru, Clos du Marquis and Château Léoville Barton. Château Gloria and Château Lalande Borie are excellent and offer good value for the consumer.