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The Southwold Tasting 2018: Revisiting Bordeaux 2014

Bordeaux 2014 Revisited

The “Two Years On” tasting of Bordeaux, commonly known as the Southwold Tasting, is always a highlight of my tasting year. The event owes its origins to the journalist Clive Coates MW and the former chairman of Adnams Brewery, Simon Loftus. Simon hosted the first event at his home in Southwold in 1982.

This year it was 2014’s turn to be sniffed, swilled, dissected, complimented or not as the case may be. When we tasted these wines en primeur we considered that it was Bordeaux’s finest since 2010 and that, with the healthy exchange rate and favourable pricing from the Bordeaux Châteaux owners, this was a vintage which merited buying en primeur. Three years on, I am delighted that our initial thoughts were fully justified. Please click here for my complete report on the tasting.

In short, the tasting showed that, as advised at primeur time, many of the best wines come from the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon and in particular the vineyards in the Medoc. It is more importantly a vintage where terroir and location are crucial; the origins of the great Bordeaux hierarchy are clearly on display.

Stylistically the wines don’t have the power of vintages such as 2010 or 2005, but they have a fine degree of purity, bright direct intense fruit flavours, and a well-balanced tannic core. The other vital characteristic is their freshness – a must for all top vintages of Bordeaux. The 2014s are not heavy alcoholic beasts, they tend to be at the lower end of the alcoholic spectrum which attracts many consumers today. This style makes the wines extremely drinkable and I anticipate that many will become wonderfully approachable from the early 2020s onwards.

  1. 2014 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru St Julien

    Ch Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru St Julien
    Colour
    Red
    Producer
    Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
    Region
    St Julien, Red Bordeaux
    Grape
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
    Drinking
    2024-2036
    Case Size
    12x75cl
    Available Now
    2014 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru St Julien
    Colour
    Red
    Producer
    Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
    Region
    St Julien, Red Bordeaux
    Grape
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
    Drinking
    2024-2036
    Case Size
    12x75cl
    Available Now

      In Bond
      Case price

      £1,200.00 (Ex. VAT)

      Qty
      (6 in stock)

      Tasting Notes

      Goedhuis, February 2018

      A glorious example of St Julien and the benefits of its warmer vineyards that sit alongside the Gironde Estuary. Beautifully scented, with hints of violets and summer pudding fruits. In the palate this is generous, with rich fruit and a fine silky tannic structure. A beautifully textured wine, with subtle freshness and great length. A real joy.

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    • 2014 Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac

      Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac
      Colour
      Red
      Producer
      Château Haut-Batailley
      Region
      Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
      Grape
      Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
      Drinking
      2022-2029
      Case Size
      12x75cl
      Available Now
      2014 Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac
      Colour
      Red
      Producer
      Château Haut-Batailley
      Region
      Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
      Grape
      Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
      Drinking
      2022-2029
      Case Size
      12x75cl
      Available Now

        In Bond
        Case price

        £300.00 (Ex. VAT)

        Qty
        (10 in stock)

        Tasting Notes

        Goedhuis, February 2018

        Radiant purple colour. This has a very exuberant nose of wild bramble fruits with a touch of vanilla pod. In the palate it has a superb degree of intensity. Vibrant and fresh, with a structured Pauillac tannic core. A wine punching considerably above its classification.

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      • 2014 Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac

        Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac
        Colour
        Red
        Producer
        Château Haut-Batailley
        Region
        Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
        Grape
        Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
        Drinking
        2022-2029
        Case Size
        6x75cl
        Available Now
        2014 Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac
        Colour
        Red
        Producer
        Château Haut-Batailley
        Region
        Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
        Grape
        Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
        Drinking
        2022-2029
        Case Size
        6x75cl
        Available Now

          In Bond
          Case price

          £150.00 (Ex. VAT)

          Qty
          (10+ in stock)

          Tasting Notes

          Goedhuis, February 2018

          Radiant purple colour. This has a very exuberant nose of wild bramble fruits with a touch of vanilla pod. In the palate it has a superb degree of intensity. Vibrant and fresh, with a structured Pauillac tannic core. A wine punching considerably above its classification.

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        • 2014 Ch La Lagune 3ème Cru Haut-Médoc

          Ch La Lagune 3ème Cru Haut-Médoc
          Colour
          Red
          Producer
          Château La Lagune
          Region
          Haut-Médoc, Red Bordeaux
          Grape
          Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
          Drinking
          2022-2030
          Case Size
          12x75cl
          Available Now
          2014 Ch La Lagune 3ème Cru Haut-Médoc
          Colour
          Red
          Producer
          Château La Lagune
          Region
          Haut-Médoc, Red Bordeaux
          Grape
          Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
          Drinking
          2022-2030
          Case Size
          12x75cl
          Available Now

            In Bond
            Case price

            £360.00 (Ex. VAT)

            Qty
            (10+ in stock)

            Tasting Notes

            Goedhuis, February 2018

            A wine which showed the benefit of its location close to St Julien. It has an appealing fresh herbal red fruit aroma. It offers everything that Ch Lanessan does so well: true Médoc character, with a drive of fresh Cabernet energy. The tannins provide substance and length, aided by a gentle sweetness of fruit on the finish.

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          • 2014 Ch Lanessan Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc

            Ch Lanessan Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc
            Colour
            Red
            Producer
            Château Lanesssan
            Region
            Haut-Médoc, Red Bordeaux
            Grape
            Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
            Drinking
            2018-2028
            Case Size
            12x75cl
            Available Now
            2014 Ch Lanessan Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc
            Colour
            Red
            Producer
            Château Lanesssan
            Region
            Haut-Médoc, Red Bordeaux
            Grape
            Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
            Drinking
            2018-2028
            Case Size
            12x75cl
            Available Now

              In Bond
              Case price

              £125.00 (Ex. VAT)

              Qty
              (10+ in stock)

              Tasting Notes

              Goedhuis, February 2018

              A wine which showed the benefit of its location close to St Julien. It has an appealing fresh herbal red fruit aroma. It offers everything that Ch Lanessan does so well: true Médoc character, with a drive of fresh Cabernet energy. The tannins provide substance and length, aided by a gentle sweetness of fruit on the finish.

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            • 2014 Ch Montrose 2ème Cru St Estèphe

              Ch Montrose 2ème Cru St Estèphe
              Colour
              Red
              Producer
              Château Montrose
              Region
              St Estèphe, Red Bordeaux
              Grape
              Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
              Drinking
              2024-2040
              Case Size
              6x75cl
              Available Now
              2014 Ch Montrose 2ème Cru St Estèphe
              Colour
              Red
              Producer
              Château Montrose
              Region
              St Estèphe, Red Bordeaux
              Grape
              Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
              Drinking
              2024-2040
              Case Size
              6x75cl
              Available Now

                In Bond
                Case price

                £550.00 (Ex. VAT)

                Qty
                (10+ in stock)

                Tasting Notes

                Goedhuis, February 2018

                A very polished wine, with hints of cedarwood, coffee bean and spice on the nose. In the palate the initial attack is one of power and intensity, and then the richness of the fruit takes hold to reveal a wine of subtlety underneath. Beautifully integrated and very long.

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              • 2014 Ch Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Pauillac

                Ch Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Pauillac
                Colour
                Red
                Producer
                Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
                Region
                Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
                Grape
                Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
                Drinking
                2025-2037
                Case Size
                12x75cl
                Available Now
                2014 Ch Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Pauillac
                Colour
                Red
                Producer
                Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
                Region
                Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
                Grape
                Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc, Petit Verdot
                Drinking
                2025-2037
                Case Size
                12x75cl
                Available Now

                  In Bond
                  Case price

                  £925.00 (Ex. VAT)

                  Qty
                  (10+ in stock)

                  Tasting Notes

                  Goedhuis, February 2018

                  A real show stopper, with striking plum pudding aromas. A wine which balances the natural grace of Pichon Lalande with the inherent power of Pauillac. Full and mouthcoating, this will need time in bottle, but is a truly superb wine.

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