April 22nd 2016
Returning to Bordeaux two weeks after the Union des Grands Cru tasting has given me a wonderful opportunity to restate the wines we have selected for our 2015 offer and one or two additional wines that warranted re-tasting.
The UGC gives a brilliant opportunity to taste an extraordinary number of wines in a short space of time, but the hustle and bustle is whilst exciting not always the most perfect of tasting conditions… This week we have tasted individually at each chateau in quiet and respectful conditions and it has been a superbly rewarding week confirming our initial impressions of the 2015 vintage.
It is unfair to make a direct comparison to any other vintage. Whilst many of the Chateaux owners say it is a cross between 2005 and 2009, the most important thing is that it is a very high class vintage. The best wines have brightness, depth and structure and wonderful aging potential.
My full report will follow shortly but we head to the airport brimming with excitement having tasted some gorgeous wines in Pomerol and St Emilion. Cheval Blanc and Figeac are beauties, in Pomerol the contrasting styles of La Conseillante, L’Evangile and Vieux Chateaux Certan are fascinating but qualitatively superb. In Pessac Haut Brion has to be one of the wines of the vintage and Domaine de Chevalier Blanc irresistible.
Whilst there is greater variation in the Médoc the appellation of Margaux has clearly excelled further north, though there were some stars in St Julien, such as Ducru and Las Cases . In Pauillac it is so exciting to see the extraordinary quality that Pichon Lalande is reaching following the development of the new winery. Similarly the new team at Calon Ségur have absolutely excelled in this vintage.
So to sign off: a great fun week, and not all hard work as we had the chance to enjoy some sensational mature wines. The highlights were a gorgeously deep golden but fine 1979 Bollinger RD anda vibrantly alive and wonderfully youthful 86 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc. In reds we were amazed to see how forward 2005 Ch Mouton Rothschild was, but utterly glorious, and what better way to finish our week than with a superb 2001 Leoville Las Cases and 1990 Ch Montrose.
A great week, now we just hope prices are correct and we can get behind what is in essence a very fine vintage.