Wine Words & Video Tape

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Posts Tagged ‘vin’

Bordeaux 2018: MW Institute St Estèphe Tasting

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

In a warm year St Estèphe is always going to do well. The percentage of clay soils really helps deal with drought and heat extremes, and the proximity of the Gironde river helps ameliorate hot temperature. There is no doubt that this appellation has produced some of the best wines of the vintage. Only four wines from the appellation were shown at the MW Institute’s 2018 Bordeaux tasting [way back at the end of 2022], but they did show two of the possible wines of the vintage. Château Cos d’Estournel is wonderful, full of finesse and poise. It’s currently quite tight and needs some more time, but this is a very refined and polished effort. Château Montrose is monumental. It is beautifully pure and close to perfection. Although the prodigious Château Calon Ségur wasn’t on show at the MW Institute’s 2018 tasting, I’ve been struck by the magical quality of that wine several times. I’ve also recently tasted Château Meyney which has lots of extract and tannin. It needs time but is very impressive.

Bordeaux 2023: Fronsac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Fronsac is usually a ‘go-to’ appellation for serious but good value Bordeaux. The finest properties here make excellent, ambitious wine, from exceptional limestone terroir. This over-achieving district doesn’t succeed as much in 2023 as it did 2022 [for me a knockout year for the wines of Fronsac] but there are still good wines to be had. I tasted nine wines blind in the Grand Cercle tastings back in late April. The picks? Château de la Dauphine has made savoury and attractive wine, alongside Château de la Rivière, Château La Huste and Château Fontenil. Château Moulin Haut Laroque also had lots of extract and texture. Château Villars and Château Dalem were good but lacked a bit of middle. They may well pick up depth during élevage. Château La Vieille Cure, usually up at the top of the pack, was not showing well on the day. That said, overall, there more consistency here amongst the wines than in the Castillon appellation in 2023.

Bordeaux 2023: Côtes de Bordeaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

The Grand Cercle always organise a very professional press tasting at Château de la Dauphine in Fronsac. It’s a great opportunity to taste the breadth of the wines made across Bordeaux, especially on the right bank. Amongst the Côtes de Bordeaux tasted with such a wide variety of terroirs [Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Francs] and approaches to winemaking, unsurprisingly there was heterogeneity. The most impressive 2023s for me at the Grand Cercle event from Castillon were Château Côte Montpezat, Château Veyry and Clos Puy Arnaud. Tasted elsewhere Château Alcée and Château d’Aiguilhe where also very good from Castillon. In Francs, Château La Prade and Château Puygueraud were excellent. Château de Haut Coulon looked good in Cadillac. Outside of these other 2023 Côtes de Bordeaux often felt lean and a little angular. These probably will flesh out during élevage, so it would be important to taste these wines again down the track once they are bottled.

Bordeaux 2023: Clos Fourtet

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

It was great catching up with Matthieu Cuvelier at Clos Fourtet back in April. It’s now been twenty years since the Cuvelier family bought this stunning Premier Grand Cru Classé St Emilion property. It sits on exceptional terroir atop St Emilion’s limestone plateau just beside the town of St Emilion itself. It has gone from strength to strength under their management and recent vintages here have widely been seen as exceptional. It’s also been just over a decade since they purchased Grand Cru Classé, Château Côte de Baleau and sixteen years since they acquired Château Poujeaux, the jewel in the crown of left bank appellation Moulis. The Cuveliers have proved diligent custodians of these properties, fine tuning the approaches and getting the absolute best from these terroirs. These improvements have also been to the benefit of consumers as prices haven’t risen sharply in relation to quality. Clos Fourtet remains more reasonably priced than some other leading St Emilion properties and Châteaux Poujeaux remains one of Bordeaux’s great fine wine values. So how have all these properties faired in 2023?

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