There is no more informal, carefree primeurs tasting to be had than the one on offer in the speakeasy St Emilion cellars of Jean-Luc Thunevin. ‘JLT’s own range of properties is laid out on a bench before you, followed by those he consults for and distributes [and there’s a multitude of these]. You’re given a set of large glasses, a table between some stainless steel tanks and it’s time to help yourself. If the approach is refreshing, the wines are even more so – glass after glass of provocative, exotic, remarkable Bordeaux passes nose and lips. It’s a purists nightmare but a hedonists dream. And sat at the top of the Thunevin tree is Château Valandraud itself. The wine is as much a statement about the man and his ambitions as it is an expression of terroir, [though that is perhaps true of all great wine] and, frankly, who cares when the stuff tastes so damn good. And Valandraud 2014 is damn good in my book.
Posts Tagged ‘St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé’
Matthieu Cuvelier is very happy with the quality of his Clos Fourtet 2014, made in something of a roller-coaster vintage with a wet and grey July and August saved by the record breaking Indian summer which lasted until mid-October. This combination of a cool summer with a hot and dry autumn has produced a deliciously pure Clos Fourtet, with pronounced aromatics, supple tannins and attractive freshness. Château Côte de Baleau and Château Les Grands Murailles, also made by the Cuveliers, are both attractive and ripe St Emilions.
Château Figeac is bold and aromatic in 2014. The vintage has undoubtedly played to the strengths of the Cabernet dominant blend here [60% Cabernets] and while there is the usual finesse and poise at Figeac, there is fascinating texture too in 2014. It is undoubtedly the finest wine the property has produced since the terrific 2009 and 2010 combo. The vintage marks the second year here for consultant Michel Rolland. There has been some tinkering in the cellar but you don’t sense any undue influence from Bordeaux’s most famous and controversial figure, perhaps other than to further pronounce what is already there.
St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Canon has magnificent walled terroir atop the famous limestone plateau to the south and south-west side of St Emilion. It has produced a very pure and harmonious 2014 with a floral, perfumed quality that is very attractive. Croix Canon is plummy and fresh with layered fruit and nice delicacy. John Kolasa’s long stint at the helm here, a period which has coincided with the renaissance of the property since it was bought by Maison Chanel, comes to an end with this vintage as Kolasa has announced his retirement. It marks the end of an era.