April 6th 2016
It is a beautiful, sunny morning on the Gironde to lead us gently in to our third day of tastings, focusing on the 2015 Right Banks. Great for me as 5 of my top Bordeaux Chateaux reside on this bank. The Moueix Group are our first hosts, and as always we receive a warm welcome from our good friend Claire Burke. There is a consistent style to most of the Moueix wines which has a major appeal, but as always you have your favourites which for me are Ch Gazin, Plince, Hosanna and La Fleur-Petrus. The latter is precise, complex, packed with red fruit, has a great structure and a joyous finish.
Next up we arrive under a veil of fog at Ch Beauregard for the UGC Pomerols. We hit the first table showing Beauregard itself, who have produced a brilliantly balanced, top value (if the price is right!) wine this vintage. As you go round it is easy to see why the Right Bank is receiving a lot of praise for this vintage. Stand outs here are Clinet, La Croix de Gay and Petit-Village.
I know some major treats are coming up so I am trying to curb my excitement, but when we come over the hill and see L’Evangile, La Conseillante and Cheval Blanc on the horizon it is hard for me not to have a giant grin on my face. L’Evangile is a wine that oozes class, with brilliant freshness and purity of fruit – 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc.
La Conseillante is elegant and precise, showing a super fresh palate of pure blackcurrant fruit with balanced tannin and acidity 81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, a must buy if the price is right.
Always an amazing spectacle arriving at Cheval Blanc and what a wine! Pure class, silky, precise and a joy to drink (I mean spit). “Tres tres Cheval” are the words coming out of Pierre Lurton’s mouth. We also had the joy of tasting the 2015 Yquem, which for me is as close as it gets to amber nectar.
Figeac is just over the road, my first visit here and a delight to meet current Sales Director Frederick Fage. If there is a wine you should order in large format for a future milestone celebration, this is it – superb structure with a lot of finesse. Fresh, Cabernet blackcurrant fruit, plenty of complexity with a richness and balance to lay down for 15-20+ years.
After the lunch of foie gras followed by duck breast, then cheese, then an array of sweet treats at Ch Couspaude I am revved up for the afternoon session.
In a beautiful spot on the southern end of the St Emilion escarpment is Tertre Roteboeuf. Some Chateau visits are made by the owner and you could not wish to meet a more charming and beautifully philosophical proprietor than Francois Mitjaville. His wines in 2015 need some very careful consideration. The minimal involvement in winemaking is evident here, resulting in a very pure, fresh and fruit driven style. We all left saying we need to get behind these wines and communicate their greatness to clients.
Canon has already hit the headlines for receiving 100 points from critic James Suckling, and you can see why. We love this wine and sold a huge amount of the 2014, but they have stepped up a notch with their 2015. We first sample it in the cellar and then at temperature surrounded by Chanel (current owners) decor in a delightful tasting room.