Bordeaux 2015: Pichon Lalande, Latour, GPL and the UGCs

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Team-2

Today is the first day for half of the Goedhuis UGC team. I really need cheering up – Leicester are now 7 points clear of Spurs and England lost a dramatic final against the West Indies – surely 2015 Bordeaux will help me lick my wounds.
There has been a lot of excitement about the potential of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage and we can’t wait to get stuck in! Tasting the newest vintage from Bordeaux is for me one of the most exciting experiences in the wine trade, especially when there is a vintage that has the makings of being the best for several years.

Pichon-Lalande
It’s 9.30 and we’ve now arrived at our first appointment of the day, Chateau Pichon Lalande. We are presented with the 2015 Pichon Lalande. This Grand Vin is hugely concentrated, sweet, and utterly delicious. You can feel the Paulliac structure and tension on the palate – this is a chateau at the top of its game, “quickly becoming the super second of Paulliac” accordingly to David Roberts MW sitting next to me. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot – the result is spectacular. This is a very stylish wine and one I would love to have in my cellar.

Pichon-tanks

I’m in a happy place now!

Now we head to Chateau Latour, just a stones throw away from Pichon Lalande. The line up includes 2015 Chateau Latour and its sibling 2015 Les Forts De Latour. The Forts is wonderfully fresh, very poised and elegant, nothing forced here, delicious. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon 35% Merlot. The Grand Vin which is made up of a good chunk of Cabernet Sauvignon, 97% to be precise – this is a multi-layered, gorgeous wine with great concentration. Just a shame we can’t buy any!

We are given a wonderful opportunity to taste the recent release of 2000 Latour and 2009 Forts de Latour. Late releases are always vintages the chateau feels are entering their prime of drinking, but which also have an ability to age. The Les Forts is quintessentially 2009 – 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. Very complex and juicy on the palate. The 2000 is a humdinger, a ‘complete’ wine which oozes class. The finish is amazing, going on and on and on. Stylistically the wine is powerful, structured and spell-bindingly good.

Latour

We now head north to the Pauillac estate of Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste and are greeted by the charming Xavier Borie. Grand Puy Lacoste has to be a firm favourite of mine, one I try to buy every year. The 2015 is spot on, all about elegance and finesse – very pure, fresh, with a lovely sweet, velvety core of fruit. It will no doubt feature in my cellar and I will make sure it features in yours! 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc.

GPL
Next up is the Union des Grands Crus (UGC) tasting, focusing on Pauillac & Saint Estephe, and hosted by Lafon Rochet in their spectacular new chai.

On the left bank, the early buzz seems to say Pessac and Margaux lead the way, as they missed the heavy rains; the upper Medoc, around Pauillac and St Estephe show a few inconsistencies as some parts were hit by late season rains.

ST-Estephe-UGC

Highlights from the St Julien tasting: Beychevelle, Saint Pierre, Leoville Barton, Gruaud Larose, Leoville Poyferre.

Highlights from the Medoc tasting: Poujeaux, Cantemerle, Beaumont, La Lagune and La Tour de By.

Team-1

Highlights from the Margaux tasting: Brane Cantenac, Rauzan Segla and Angludet.

We were expecting great things from Margaux but St Julien is for me the most consistent appellation today. Off to La Lagune now for some sweeties!

Sauternes-bottles

What a day – 2015 Bordeaux has arrived with one helluva splash!