June 1st 2016
We look forward to tasting with Francois-Xavier Borie every year for the simple reason that he makes great wine. Year in year out he makes some of the most sought after wines in Pauillac, not necessarily the grandest, but certainly the most popular with the UK market.
Ch Grand Puy Lacoste £498 IB
There are a number of outstanding 5th Growths but Ch Grand Puy Lacoste may be the finest of them all. His 2015 is exceptional. The fruit is very classy and pure, with a dark core of black fruits, notes of cassis leap out at you. On the palate the wine is harmonious, rich and velvety. This is one of our must buys from 2015.
“You could describe the 2015 as being between 2009 and 2010…” Neal Martin, 94-96
“Utterly mesmerising… undoubtedly one of the top wines of the vintage.” Matthew Jukes, 19+
In the Liv-ex Bordeaux 2015 Members’ Survey Grand Puy Lacoste topped the value for money category for the sixth year in a row, an impressive and resounding endorsement.
Ch Haut Batailley £300 IB
Ch Haut Batailley is dominated by a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is an intense expression of black fruits, showing perfect Cabernet ripeness. The palate is seductive with perfectly ripe tannins. This is an Haut Batailley of class and finesse.
“a classic Pauillac that I suspect will offer 25 or 30 years of pleasure.” Neal Martin, 92-94
“A wine to buy and treasure without breaking the bank… I adore it” Matthew Jukes, 18+
We strongly recommend this pair of outstanding and excellent value wines from one of the finest and most consistent winemakers not just in Pauillac, but the whole of Bordeaux.
Ch Grand Puy Lacoste 5ème Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2015
£498 per 12 bottles IB
£508 per 6 magnums (150cl) IB
Ask proprietor François-Xavier Borie what his formula is, and he just says he makes wine true to his vineyard that he and his friends can drink! My goodness, he gets it right every year. This is a beauty, full of subtle cassis and blackcurrant flavours, coated with hints of vanilla pod. A beautifully textured wine without being forced. The refreshing nature of fruit on the finish provides energy and excitement. Lovely. Drin k 2023-2034. Goedhuis, Score: 93-95
Now, Grand-Puy-Lacoste is often quite “aloof” at this early juncture, but that is not the case with the 2015. This is more approachable aromatically, beautifully defined, thanks to that expressive Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin and finely tuned acidity (pH 3.68). Beguilingly harmonious in the mouth, it boasts a silky smooth texture with wonderful salinity on the aftertaste that is sustained in the mouth. As usual, Xavier Borie has produced a “classic” Pauillac, but one that is a little more appeasing to those that don’t want to cellar for 20-30 years. You could describe the 2015 as being between 2009 and 2010… and that, folks, is not a bad place to be. Neal Martin, Score: 94-96
This is a stern and commanding Grand-Puy-Lacoste with a serious, firm, statesmanlike nose and a taut, chassis, rippling with muscles and brawn. There is so much to admire before you even take a sip and when you do the power and poise ratio is sublime. Like its stablemate, Haut-Batailley, this is an epically balanced wine and while there is a more decadent nose here with more obvious oak and some wilder, exotic nuances yearning to be set free, this is a benchmark Grand- Puy-Lacoste and it is built to live forever. The tannins are regal and firm and the finish is immense but at no stage does it break out of its Pauillac straightjacket nor does it lapse into excess in any department. Utterly mesmerising this estate is kicking goals year after year and this is undoubtedly one of the top wines of the vintage. Matthew Jukes, Score: 19+
Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2015
£300 per 12 bottles IB
£310 per 6 magnums (150cl) IB
An absolute gem, this Cabernet based wine is a complete winner in 2015. Brilliant shining purple colour, it has a wonderfully perfumed aroma of fresh summer fruits. A wine of purity, balance and drive, most classically Pauillac, what more could one want? Congratulations again to François-Xavier Borie and his team, this is a real highlight amongst the en primeur wines. Drink 2021-2030. Goedhuis, Score: 91-93
The 2015 Haut Batailley is a level up from the 2015 Lacoste Borie with much more fruit intensity: blackberry, boysenberry, tobacco and cedar aromas. It gathers momentum in the glass and develops a subtle mint accent. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannin, very well balanced with just a slight tinniness that will disappear by the time in bottle. I love the pencil shaving sprinkled over the aftertaste here. With very good substance and impressive length, this is a classic Pauillac that I suspect will offer 25 or 30 years of pleasure. Neal Martin, Score: 92-94
With a strong, determined Cabernet core this wine is more purposeful than some of the softer releases and it reaffirms its intentions to be considered among the top wines of the commune. While Grand-Puy-Lacoste always shows charm alongside structure and intensity, Haut-Batailley is often a more muscular creation with a less generous air in its youth. The colour is a majestic purple and the black cherry and graphite nose is spellbinding. The palate is fairly slim and long with sleek lines and no trace of graininess or traction in the tannins as they are unbelievably fit. This is a wine that will require a few years to gather itself together but I would bet my house on it unravelling stunningly in five-eight years’ time. A wine to buy and treasure without breaking the bank and as far as classic Pauillac is concerned this wine is made to an age old design and I adore it because it doesn’t get carried away with its own grandeur. Matthew Jukes, Score: 18+