Day two on the primeurs trail covered the top properties in St Julien, St Estèphe and Pauillac. The brief but significant September rain on the eve of harvest here affected estates differently and there is variation in the wines. Amongst the top growths on the finest terroirs beautiful wines have been produced. Perhaps these are not quite at the very top like 2009 or 2010, or perhaps even 2005, [though in certain cases they are close] but nevertheless there is real magic and beauty in the best wines. There is an accessibility too that almost hides their power. Château Mouton-Rothschild in Pauillac stood out as exceptional, along with Château Montrose and Château Cos d’Estournel in St Estèphe. Château Ducru Beaucaillou, Château Léoville-Las-Cases and Château Léoville Poyferré were all very impressive in St Julien. Ducru has made exceptionally attractive wine this year. It is a beauty – a term that is constantly turning up in my tasting notes in 2015.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Mouton-Rothschild’
2014 looks to be a strong vintage in Pauillac. I’ve already reported on the outstanding wines from Château Latour, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Pichon-Lalande, Château Duhart-Milon, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Pontet-Canet. At the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux event held at Château Lynch-Moussas [pictured], Château Lynch-Bages and Château Pichon Longueville were equally impressive, while Château Batailley was extremely fine. Good wines have been made at Château d’Armailhac, Château Clerc Milon and Château Grand-Puy Ducasse.
After the last few vintages here the 2014 harvest was clearly something of a relief for Philippe Dhalluin and his team at Château Mouton-Rothschild. After scrambles to pick in 2012 and especially 2013 in the face of impending doom, 2014 proved the polar opposite. After a cool, though relatively dry August here in Pauillac, a decent vintage depended on miraculous conditions, and that is precisely what they got. The sunny, dry weather of September and October meant that after a string of vintages marred by tricky harvest weather, they finally had the time to wait and get perfect ripeness. The results speak for themselves. This is probably the strongest vintage at Mouton since 2010, with the exception of 2012 here which is no slouch. The grand vin itself is powerful, if currently backward. Fine, balanced and characterful wines have been made at Château d’Armailhac and Château Clerc Milon. 2014 is another excellent vintage for the tiny quantities of Aile d’Argent that are made on the Mouton property.
If you ignore the question of the price of 2014 Bordeaux – though the subject is the elephant in the room in every salle de degustation you visit – and just look at the wines themselves, yesterday trips to nine properties on the northern left bank shows just how impressive 2014 is at the top level. In St Estèphe Montrose and Calon Ségur have both produced breathtaking wine – both have power, scale density and freshness in their different ways. Junior siblings here – Tronquoy-Lalande and Capbern [the Gasqueton has been dropped from the name] are both irresistible. Cos continues its thoughtful progression and has produced nicely measured and precise wines in the vintage [and Cos Blanc goes from strength to strength]. At Meyney, Montrose’s close neighbour, 2014 has produced a big, strapping wine full of extract and alcohol.