We are not able to share a vintage brochure with full reviews of all the wines we are recommending as we would in a normal year. Instead, the list below is a Goedhuis Bordeaux Greatest Hits - chateaux that we have offered either last year or at some point over the last few campaigns, that we know are making excellent wines, and will be worth considering on release. Our tasting notes and the major critics' notes and scores will be added here as they are published.
As wines are released onto the market they appear in the top section of the list, and their release dates and prices will be updated. You can check availability and buy online from our list of released wines, but we will also be able to source many wines on request so do get in touch.
Please note: all wines are listed below as six packs for ease of price comparison, certain of the lower-priced wines may only be available in cases of 12 bottles or equivalent.
Vigorous, fresh and expressive – just so much life! Floral aroma with a savoury edge. Smooth attack then generous fruit across the palate, the texture silky and fine. Lifted and vivacious. Tannins so fine you almost forget them. Approachable but could surprise with age. (JL) Drink 2025 – 2035
Cinnamon spice on the nose, with a patisserie edge to the fruits that gives a rich, creamy impression. As ever with the Palmer stable of wines, you can pick out the individual flavours clearly, with careful and precise delineation of cassis, bilberry, slate and tobacco notes, but overall this is an outstanding Alter Ego that puts the emphasis on pleasure. Tannins are extremely precise but feathery and pliable. An extremely low 37ppm of SO2 at this stage, in keeping with biodynamic principles and a desire to let the fruit speak. 3.62ph. 45hl/h yield, 45% of overall production in Alter Ego. Drink 2024-2038
The 2019 Angélus has a sophisticated bouquet with extraordinarily pure blackberry, raspberry, inkwell and crushed iris petals scents, like the Carillon but HD in terms of its clarity. The palate is beautifully defined on the entry, the Cabernet component steering it towards say, Figeac or Cheval Blanc stylistically. It already feels very harmonious, the satin-like texture is supported by real substance and grip on the finish, perhaps more density than some of its peers. This is an outstanding Angélus, one likely to surpass the 2016, a wine that will give 30-40 years of pleasure, maybe more. Drink 2026-2060
Composed of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Angélus was harvested from the 13th of September until the 4th of October. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sashays out of the glass with gregarious scents of Morello cherries, lilacs, chocolate box and potpourri with a core of Black Forest cake, blueberry crumble, fragrant soil and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the intensity on the palate builds from delicate, beguiling nuances with ethereal weight to a full-on fireworks display of flavor sparks, framed by fantastic freshness and very finely pixilated tannins, finishing long, layered and invigorating.
The most refined Angélus I think I’ve ever tasted. Almost streamlined but with trademark colour, depth and imprint of tannin. Pure, fresh and fragrant with dark fruit and spice aromas. Smooth and saline on the palate with real line and length. Pure and precise with no exaggeration but a firmness of structure evident. One of the best from this estate. Drink 2028-2045 (JL)
An extremely refined and sharpened Angelus with super fine tannins and sweet ripe fruit in the center palate. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and so very polished. Silky. Very subtle. Bright blue fruit, black fruit and stones. Supple and minerally. 60% merlot and 40% cabernet franc.
The 2019 Angélus is absolutely brilliant. Rich and driving in intensity, yet also light on its feet for such a big wine, Angélus has a ton to offer in 2019. Red/purplish fruit licorice, new leather, cinnamon, grilled herbs and lavender add striking layers of character nuance. The 2019 is super-elegant and precise, but with all of the textural richness readers have come to expect from Angélus. The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, with the Franc quite expressive, especially in the wine's aromatic profile. One of the recent developments has been a move towards a greater use of cask for the Franc, an approach that has so far paid off handsomely. Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal described 2019 as a year marked by an alternation of hot days and cool nights, with the most severe heat in June. PHs were lower across the board than in 2018. I was especially impressed by the No. 3 de Angélus and Le Carillon d'Angélus, which seem to benefit from the strong year and a new winemaking facility dedicated to their production. As for the Grand Vin, well it is truly Grand.
A supremely elegant Angélus full of power. Here the quality of the fruit and the depth of plum, damson, black cherry and cassis is evident, along with tension, freshness - a slow melding of flavour through the palate with concentration and depth. Liquorice root and baked earth come in from the mid palate and this has the feeling of a being a serious wine that is going to go the distance. The exuberance and confidence of Angelus comes as it opens, with the flavours and texture fattening up. The wine will be aged for one year 30hl new oak casks, and then go into barrel but without new oak for the last 10 months. The low pH means maybe a little less fleshy than usual with Angélus, certainly less so than the 2018. This gets better and better in the glass, strongly recommend giving this time. 3.6pH. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
Deep, almost opaque ruby in color, the wine loads you up with flowers, licorice, smoke, wet earth, spice, vanilla along with red with black fruits on the nose. Classically styled,( in a good way,) the wine is precise, focused, energetic and pure. Silk with structure are what you notice on the palate along with multiple layers of perfectly ripe, concentrated plums, cherries and blackberries that linger and expand. The wine was made from blending 60% Merlot with 40% Cabernet Franc reaching 14.5 Alcohol with a pH of 3.65. The wine is aging in 100% new, French oak, however, 40% of the Cabernet Franc is aged in foudres, allowing the oak to have almost finished integrating into the wine. The harvest took place September 21-October 9.
Deep opaque colour, with a glorious profusion of cassis and blackcurrant aromas. A rich bold style, with sweet juicy dark fruit flavours. A broad mouth filling wine, with a very smooth Margaux tannic core and a touch of freshness. An impressive introduction to the 2019 vintage.
The 2019 Angludet offers ripe black cherries and candied orange peel on the nose before more classic earthier scents join the fray. The aromatics are quite boisterous. The palate is sweet and fleshy, almost corpulent on the entry with a veneer of ripe kirsch and crushed strawberry. Modest depth, focused with a pleasant pure finish, this will be one of Margaux's more approachable wines and should give 15-20 years of drinking pleasure. Drink 2023 - 2038
The 2019 Angludet is dark, jammy and four-square. It will be interesting to see if there is more here than this barrel sample suggests.
Sweet damson and red cherry fruit, notable creaminess on the attack, with light grilled cedar notes. Not the most intense Margaux in 2019, but easily one of the more supple, inviting and easy to love. Clear Margaux signature with delicate violet flowers on the aromatics. Definitely one to look out for from the Sichel family. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036
A well-rounded blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This is a strong and powerful wine with exotic aromas of dried fruits, molasses and mocha. It bears that true Pauillac grip and there is a natural fullness in the palate. The persistence of flavours on the finish is long and fulfilling.
The 2019 d'Armailhac was the last vintage made in the old winery that has since been demolished to make way for a new gravity-fed facility that will be equipped with 50 smaller vats tailored to the parcels in the vineyard. It will provide greater space that will permit longer élevage if desired. It is fascinating to juxtapose again its Clerc Milon stablemate. There is more amplitude on the nose, it is more forthright with blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and a subtle leather aroma. It comes across less high-toned than previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and slightly more mid-palate depth/grip than the Clerc Milon. The crescendo here is wonderful, fanning out towards the finish with subtle black pepper, sage and mint notes. This is a delicious d'Armailhac in the making. Drink 2024 - 2048
This year the blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. The 2019 D'Armailhac sports a medium to deep garnet-purple color and notes of warm plums, stewed cherries, mulberries and blackcurrant pastilles with touches of aniseed, wild thyme and chocolate box. The medium-bodied palate has a firm frame of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness supporting the expressive black and blue fruits, finishing with a provocative herbal lift. 91-93points. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
Expressive as usual with spicy, leafy, dark-fruit notes. Tangy freshness on the palate, which highlights the juicy nature of the fruit. Firm, grainy tannins behind. Dry finish. Sappy and tonic in style. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2038
A polished, refined red with blueberries, blackberries and some dark chocolate and spice, such as cloves and black pepper. Full-bodied, round and ripe. Crisp and fresh at the end. Juicy and delicious already.
The 2019 d'Armailhac is bright, punchy and full of character. The purity of the flavors is just striking. Sweet red cherry, white pepper, mint and citrus notes lend energy. In the glass, 2019 d'Armailhac sizzles with tension. If I didn't know this was from a warm year, I would never guess it. D'Armailhac is super classy in 2019. This is the last vintage made in the old cellars. Among other things, the new facility contains 50 fermentation tanks as opposed to the 22 in the current winery. The move towards smaller tanks and the ensuing precision that can be taken in the field is one of the major quality improvements in Bordeaux over the last generation. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens here.
Thoroughly enjoyable Armailhac, with concentration immediately apparent on the nose, more so than in many vintages of this wine. There's a pleasing austerity to the tannins giving a confident but not overbearing structure with lovely juiciness on the finish. Of the three Pauillac estates in the Mouton stable, this has the youngest vines as an average age (although also some of the oldest vines in the whole of the Médoc, dating back to the 1890s) which sometimes holds it back from reaching full complexity of expression, but that is not something you'll be complaining about here. Instead you get a fresh core, silkily textured blackberry and cassis fruits with good balance. This is the last vintage made in the old facilities, as they are about to re-do the cellars. Harvest began around one week earlier than average, on September 18, spread out through to October 9. Petit Verdot 2% completes the blend. Tasted twice one week apart. Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
The nose, with its floral, cedar chest, tobacco leaf, blackberry and cassis aromatic profile is inviting. Medium-bodied, soft, round and fruity, the finish, with its soft-textured, elegantly styled blackberry endnote lets you know this needs about 5 years or so in the cellar before it starts letting loose. The wine was made from blending 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.
Compact, dense and structured but just a little austere at present. Fresh and lifted with a hint of tea and floral notes, depth of fruit and finely matted texture but everything reined in, the plentiful tannins subdued behind. But nothing in excess. Just a slow burner. Undoubted ageing potential. Drink 2030-2050 (JL)
Deep dense opaque colour. Quite an exotic nose of rich, warm black forest fruits and vanilla. A very layered plate with noticeable Pauillac breadth, structured grip and pleasing intensity. Good freshness and great control on the finish.
The 2019 Batailley, picked 16 September until 7 October, has an impressive bouquet with plenty of concentration, though it manages to remain the traditional classic style associated with this Pauillac estate. Blackberry, forest floor and freshly rolled tobacco burst from the glass, demonstrating fine purity and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. I was most impressed by the balance and poise, almost as if it has a newfound sophistication very evident on the finish. This is a superb Batailley, one of the finest that I have encountered in recent years. Drink 2026-2060
A very cabernet-driven red with currants, light cedar, vanilla and flowers. It’s full-bodied, tight and powerful. Impressive finish. Classic. 74% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
The 2019 Batailley is powerful and brooding in the glass. Dark fruit, leather, smoke, tobacco, cedar, game and grilled herbs add to an impression of virile intensity. It would be nice to see a bit more finesse.
More Pauillac character than the Lynch Moussas, this is where you get the characteristic slate, pencil lead and menthol against the beautiful rich cassis and a confident tannic frame. I've had a number of 2009 and 2010 vintages of Batailley recently that have totally sung at 10 years old and you can easily see that this vintage will deliver the same enjoyment. Drink 2028-2042
Cassis, vanilla, cigar smoke, tobacco and forest leaf scents kick off the perfume. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, concentrated and tannic. The tannins are ripe, round and refined, allowing the wine to build and expand while it lingers. If it continues to develop along these lines, it will prove to be an even better wine, deserving a higher score. The wine was made from blending 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot.
The 2019 Beaumont impresses on the nose with intense blackberry and briary aromas, sous-bois and tobacco, all whilst maintaining its delineation. The palate is supple and silky on the entry. There is well judged acidity, plenty of cedar and seaweed, tinged black fruit and a spicy finish. Now, this is a bloody great Beaumont. Drink 2023 - 2040
A firm, silky red with currant, mushroom and chocolate character and some bark. It’s full-bodied. Savory.
The 2019 Beauregard has a tightly knit bouquet that demands coaxing from the glass: brambly black fruit, truffle and a touch of smoke emerge, albeit reluctantly. The palate is promising with dusky black fruit tinged with black tea, sea salt and sage, very briny and saline towards the finish. This is an intriguing Beauregard that is full of personality and maybe more cerebral than prior vintages. Drink 2024 - 2045
Deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Beauregard has an expressive nose of baked plums, black cherry preserves and blueberry pie with hints of spice box, wilted roses, dark chocolate and aniseed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is filled with lively, vibrant black fruits, framed by finely grained tannins, finishing on a provocative mineral note.
A juicy red with walnut, chocolate and berry character. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish.
The 2019 Beauregard wraps around the palate with serious depth and density. Inky dark fruit, new leather, spice, menthol, licorice and chocolate add to the wine's dark, voluptuous personality. There is so much to admire about the 2019, starting with its impeccable balance. Tasted two times.
Dense and concentrated plum and damson on display. Some austerity right now, as you hope in a young wine. Harvest from September 12 on young vines and more than a week later for the older vines through to October 4. 3.7pH. Tasted again a few weeks later, delicious, same score. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Kicking off with licorice, plums, espresso and spice box. The wine is soft, medium-bodied, forward and plummy. Give it a few years for the fruit to better integrate. The wine is blend of 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc.
The 2019 Bélair-Monange, currently undergoing extensive renovation, was picked from 19 September to 3 October and matured in 50% new oak. It certainly leans upon red fruit on the nose with vivacious wild strawberry, cranberry and Morello scents, wonderful mineralité emerging with aeration. This really repays patience. Monitoring it over an hour it uncovers more black fruit - keeps you on your toes. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins and a sensual silky texture that belies the sheer depth of this Saint-Émilion. It fans out with abandon on the finish - just an outstanding wine that will offer drinkers many years of pleasure. Drink 2024-2055
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Belair Monange comes sashaying out of the glass with a graceful hair-toss of fragrant red roses, cinnamon stick, cardamom and cumin seed notes over a core of Morello cherries, dark chocolate, wild blueberries and blackberry pie plus a touch of pencil shavings. The medium to full-bodied palate is just scrumptious, offering layers of perfumed black fruits and bright floral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, satiny tannins and an invigorating line of freshness, finishing on a lingering aniseed note.
Reticent but lifted nose. Very much a dark-fruit aspect. Delicately fine tannins. Refined in temperament and style. Long and linear. Poised and refreshing. Clean, palate-cleansing finish. Drink 2027-2040 (JL)
Tight and minerally with tar, currant, and wet-earth aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied. Some salt and white pepper to the black fruit. Black olives, too.
The 2019 Bélair-Monange is classy, polished and elegant. In recent years Bélair-Monange has come across as a bit pushed in terms of ripeness, but the 2019 impresses with its sublime balance. Silky, racy and inviting, Bélair-Monange has so much to offer. It is wine that makes its case with finesse more than power. Christian Moueix chuckles that thirty years ago he was criticized for picking too early, but today it is the exact opposite.
Austerity is high as the limestone shines through, with controlled black and blue berry fruits rippling through the palate. There are extremely delicate redcurrant and violet floral edges that come through and cling on, just opening up after a good five minutes in the glass. A little less generous than the 2018, as is often the case in the 2019 vintage, but one with concentration and precision, and that will give pleasure for decades. Takes time to open and will take time to fully express its potential in the bottle. 50% new oak. 2027-2044
Floral in nature, you also find smoke, incense, red fruits, spice box, rocks, stones and oceanic notes in the perfume. The wine is rich, concentrated, fresh, vibrant and silky. The fruits glide across your palate leaving a trail of sweet cherries, salt and plums that hang with you.
Dark purple colour, this shows intense black forest fruits on the nose. It has the characteristic Beychevelle succulence and bold dark fruit flavours. The generous fruit then gives way to a grippy tannic core which is beautifully held together by a soft line of acidity which refreshes the palate throughout
The 2019 Beychevelle, one of the only wines that I actually tasted at the château with Philippe Blanc prior to lockdown, has a wonderful bouquet with detailed blackberry, briary, cedar and light touches of mocha unfurling from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, a discrete marine influence taking over towards the finish. There is a tang of seaweed and brine on the aftertaste. It keeps you coming back for more. This is a great 2019 from Blanc and his team though we must wait to see if it will surpass their 2018. Drink 2025 - 2060
Fragrant and floral on the nose. Plenty of zest and energy on the palate. Smooth, velvety texture. Tannins plentiful but polished. Clean and digeste with a persistent, palate-cleansing finish. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2045
Rich, layered red with lots of ripe fruit and creamy, round tannins. Yet, it’s fresh and refined at the same time. Flavorful finish. Ripe and solid. Equal to the 2018 in quality.
The 2019 Beychevelle is a rich, unctuous wine. Blackberry jam, cloves, licorice, bittersweet chocolate and torrefaction infuse the 2019 with tons of darkness that works well with the wine's flamboyant personality. Beychevelle will appeal most to readers who enjoy exotic, super-ripe wines. In 2019, Beychevelle pushes the limits, in my view.
A confident and well expressed Beychevelle, this is bristling with blackberry and cassis fruits, creamy through the mid palate as so many of the best wines are in this vintage. It's broad shouldered which takes it a little out of appellation signature, but the glamour is well balanced by a lovely crushed mint leaf finish. Harvest September 23 to October 10, 55% of production in this main estate wine, 45% in the 2nd wine. 60% new oak. 3% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Deep in color, with a floral, blackberry, cedar, cherry, cocoa and tobacco leaf nose. On the palate, the wine is soft, polished, elegant and with depth of flavor. There is freshness, a good mid-palate, length, purity and loads of sweet black and dark red fruits with silky tannins in the finish.
Abundant and generous in every way. Deep garnet colour, this has an extraordinary intensity of dark blackcurrant aromas. It is full, rich and succulent with a mass of dark rick Black Forest fruit flavours. I love the breadth and brooding depth of this wine (it has serious attitude) which is very much a character of the property, all supported by a wonderfully refreshing line of acidity flowing through the palate. This is classy, certainly not understated, but massively rewarding. I love it.
The 2019 Branaire -Ducru is one instance where I felt that the first two bottles via the UGC shipment were not quite correct, so I requested two more direct from the château. They were different. It has plenty of dark berry fruit on the nose mixed with smoke, tobacco and undergrowth scents - just classic Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied with a tangy saline entry, fresh and defined by the crisp tannins. Whereas the first samples lacked a bit of cohesion, this is more focused and detailed with a seriously impressive classically styled, graphite tinged finish. Result? Best Branaire I've tasted in barrel. Kudos to François-Xavier Maroteau and his team. Drink 2024 - 2050
Juicy, appetising and very aromatic. Almost primary in the definition of the aromas. Lithe and fresh on the palate, the tannins firm but not aggressive. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2038
Dark-berry and blue-fruit character to the firm, chewy tannins that are polished and solid. Medium to full body. Wood and walnut undertones now. Impressive.
The 2019 Branaire-Ducru dazzles from start to finish. All the Brainaire signatures - rose petal, lavender, red and purplish fruit - are present, but they are kicked up a few notches, with all of the radiance of the year on full display. Soft, plush and so alluring, the 2019 Branaire is one sexy wine. Impressive. Tasted two times.
Floral-studded nose along with cassis fruits, this is an enjoyable Branaire Ducru that is easy to recommend. Lighter-framed than some in the appellation with its characteristic fine tannins making this a medium-term drinker within the St Julien context. Plenty of juice running through the palate, enjoyable baked earth and menthol notes and a kick of salinity on the finish. A yield of 43hl/ha. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Drink 2026-2042
Tobacco, mocha, cassis, blackberry and flowers are what you initially notice. This is a sensuous, medium/full-bodied, silky, fresh and pure wine exuding sweet, ripe, black plums, juicy blackberry and cassis from start to finish. The lift in the endnote gives you ample time to enjoy all the purity in the fruit, which is just great. Produced from a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. Harvesting took place September 19 to October 9. The Grand Vin was produced from 55% of the crop.
Proprietor Henri Lurton quotes 2019 as a year where the very best terroir excelled, hence he used only his finest plots from the plateau of the estate in the finished blend. His attention to detail has most certainly paid off; this has the makings of a truly fine Brane Cantenac. The core of the blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot which gives a very free expression. It is scented on the nose with aromas of currants, rose petals, violets and lavender while in the palate there is amazing depth to the dark summer fruits flavours and a sleek tannic core. This is so alive and fresh, qualities we often associate with this fine estate, especially with age. Beautifully polished and very long. Lovely.
The 2019 Brane-Cantenac was cropped at 50hl/ha between 18 September and 9 October. Matured entirely in new oak, it is in possession of an almost pixelated bouquet with beguiling blackberry, bilberry and crushed limestone aromas. I find this less austere than some vintages of Brane-Cantenac at this prenatal stage. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with filigree tannins, very harmonious, not a deep or powerful Margaux, yet very delineated. There is that signature touch of greenness that I often find on Brane-Cantenac on the finish, though I have learned through experience that this is assimilated with bottle age, so have a cool cellar handy. Excellent. Drink 2028 - 2060
Beautifully fresh and fragrant on both the nose and the palate. Intense but refined dark-fruit, spice and floral aromas and flavour. A touch of sweetness on attack then velvety texture and tannins. Clean, persistent finish. Great balance. The epitome of fine Margaux. Shades of the 2016? (JL) Drink 2027 – 2045
This shows exotic aromas of blackberries, wet earth, chocolate and fresh basil leaves. It’s full-bodied with round, creamy tannins and a flavorful finish. Intriguing and real on the palate.
The 2019 Brane-Cantenac was cropped at 50hl/ha between 18 September and 9 October. Matured entirely in new oak, it is in possession of an almost pixelated bouquet with beguiling blackberry, bilberry and crushed limestone aromas. I find this less austere than some vintages of Brane-Cantenac at this prenatal stage. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with filigree tannins, very harmonious, not a deep or powerful Margaux, yet very delineated. There is that signature touch of greenness that I often find on Brane-Cantenac on the finish, though I have learned through experience that this is assimilated with bottle age, so have a cool cellar handy. Excellent.
A thoroughly moreish and high-quality Brane Cantenac, this is silky and seductive with impressive extraction of the tannins giving backbone and support to brambled and cassis fruits. Plenty of crushed stone and spice to add a gourmet edge alongside the just-smoked oak. Extremely high quality and one of the best Branes I've tasted at this stage. 3% of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc complete the blend. For the first time, all of the plots for this wine come from the plateau de Brane just in front of the château, a reflection of how well this terroir withstood the heat of the summer. Drinking Window 2029 - 2046
Brane Cantenac has been on a hot streak since 2015 and 2019 clearly continues their streak. Flowers, tobacco leaf, herbs and red pit fruits with a closing hint of blackberry create the beautiful perfume. On the palate the wine is sensual, fresh, rich and vivid, with an array of dark red fruits, that really stay with you. This is a gorgeous vintage for Brane Cantenac.
The 2019 Calon Ségur was cropped at 40hl/ha between 25 September and 9 October, underwent a 20-day cuvaison and matured entirely in new oak from nine cooperages. Like the second wine, it is initially closed on the nose, yet all it needs is five minutes for the aromas to burst from the glass with raspberry, bilberry, crushed violet and freshly rolled tobacco. The palate is the smoothest that I have ever encountered at this stage, silky and refined, framing the pure black fruit infused with minerals. This 2019 is a step up from the previous vintage, a Calon Ségur with newfound elegance and wind in its sails. Bon vin. Drink 2027 - 2055
Displaying a very deep purple-black color, the 2019 Calon-Ségur strides confidently out of the glass with classic notes of warm cassis, blackberry preserves, pencil shavings and clove oil plus nuances of lilacs, cinnamon stick, chocolate box and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with tightly wound, muscular black fruits and loads of bright floral accents, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and graceful.
Deep, dark and dense with a whiff of liquorice and menthol. Takes off on the palate with real verticality (‘an autoroute’ says winemaker Vincent Millet). Perhaps a hint of chocolate added to the dark fruit. Big tannic frame but enrobed in generous fruit so practically gourmand. Huge persistence. Again, one for the cellar. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
A racy, refined red with a solid core of ripe fruit and a long, linear finish. Medium-to full-bodied and subtle, yet structured. Turns salty and spicy with some cloves. Builds on the finish.
A total knock-out, the 2019 Calon Ségur is shaping up to be truly epic. Rich, dense and explosive, the 2019 soars out of the glass with stunning intensity. Graphite, pencil shavings, crème de cassis, new leather, spice and chocolate infuse the 2019 with stunning intensity. The 2019 is looking to be a wine for the ages.
Dark in color, not quite opaque, but close to it. The wine sports Asian spices, cedar, mint, charcoal, blackberry and espresso in the nose. On the palate, the wine is opulent, bordering on decadent, silky, velvety and rich. The fruit glides over your palate displaying its purity with back notes of chocolate, black cherry, tobacco and herbs. This is a very textural wine that is clearly one of the stars of the vintage. The wine was made from blending 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.5% alcohol, which is a good thing so all my American friends can buy this beauty!
Refined, perfumed nose. Vibrant, juicy fruit with fine texture and tannins. Palate-cleansing finish. Total harmony. Another strong effort from this estate. Drink 2027-2045 (JL)
Sleek, elegant and appealing even before you get your nose near the glass. Aromatically it is deep and rich, and then it revs up and takes off. Dense, compact and intense, zingy limestone vibrancy and grip. Winemakers say they are looking for balance all the time, but here you feel it, with tiny pulses of electricity that appear from beginning to end of the palate, salinity on the finish with gunsmoke and extremely moreish blueberry and blackberry fruit, with a creamy texture as things open up. 50% new oak. Thomas Duclos consults. 2028-2050
The 2019 Canon La Gaffelière was picked from 19 September to 7 October at 51hl/ha and sees 60% new oak. It has a very focused bouquet, tight at first and benefitting from an hour's aeration. Eventually it reveals glorious red berry scents mixed with cedar, loamy soil and a pinch of cracked black pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, taut and fresh with a return of that black pepper note right on the finish. Excellent. Drink 2025 - 2050
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Canon la Gaffeliere opens with an incredibly evocative perfume of lilacs, Morello cherries, black raspberries, jasmine and Sichuan pepper over a core of ripe black plums, wild blueberries and dark chocolate with touches of iron ore and cumin seed. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals an edifying intensity of electric blue and black fruit layers, supported by a rock-solid frame of firm, finely grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long with a firework display of fruit, mineral and spicy nuances. A thrilling wine from the get-go and one that should age very well!
Juicy, fresh and balanced. Pretty, floral aromatics with a burgundian nuance. Fine, long tannins provide persistence. Harmonious, digeste and perfectly etched. On a par with the best from this estate. Drink 2026-2040 (JL)
Blackberry, chocolate and hazelnut aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with polished, juicy tannins that give a dusty texture to the intense, rich finish. A traditional, classically structured and styled red.
The 2019 Canon La Gaffelière is a nervous, tightly wound wine. Then again, we are talking about a Cabernet Franc-driven Saint-Émilion. Sweet red berries, mint, blood orange and spice pulse with tremendous energy. Aromatically expressive and deep, Canon La Gaffelière builds effortlessly over time, leading to a bright, saline and mineral-drenched finish that is a thing of beauty. The 2019 shows much better from a full bottle (as opposed to a half), with silky tannins that emerge with a touch of aeration. I won't be surprised if the 2019 is even better from bottle than this note suggests.
An absolute beauty, this wine is gracious, refined and hugely gratifying. This fine property sits on the edge of the Margaux and bears all the hallmarks of its neighbouring appellation thanks to its silky texture and generous sweet summer fruits. The 2019 is ripe and juicy, with round tannins that give fullness and depth, and culminates in a long, controlled finish. As fine a Cantemerle as I have tasted for many years and a tremendous buy.
The 2019 Cantemerle has a ripe and sensual bouquet with ample black cherry and blueberry scents that burst from the glass, flecks of dark chocolate and clove emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins that impart a fleshier mouthfeel compared to previous vintages. It works well because there is still ample structure underneath and cunningly disguised. Smooth as silk on the finish, this is simply a delicious Cantemerle. 2024-2050
Really quite graceful in a Margaux sort of way. Fresh, zesty nose with cassis and graphite notes. Juicy and long with plenty of delicately etched tannins offering refinement to the palate. Sufficient fruit weight. Clean, persistent finish with no excess. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2034
Crushed berries and walnuts with red-chili and mushroom notes. It’s medium-to full-bodied and soft. Juicy at the end. Ripe tannins and good balance.
The 2019 Cantemerle is fabulous. Deep, inky and super expressive, Cantemerle is a real standout in 2019. Dark red and purplish berry fruit, grilled herbs, rose petal, spice, sweet pipe tobacco and mint are some of the many notes that develop here with a bit of coaxing. More than anything else, it is the wine's extraordinary balance and sense of harmony that stand out here. Don't miss this!
Enticing aromatics, clear cassis fruits, astringency on the tannins which bodes well for the ageing as they also have good pliability. Not quite up with their very best vintages but we are getting close here, with tension to the core of the wine, well-judged berry fruit extraction, and clear structure overall. Great Médoc signature. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drink 2027-2042
Fresh picked flowers, oak, wet earth, cassis and blackberry aromas start off the wine. Medium-bodied, with silky, soft, elegant textures, sweet, ripe, delicate fruits and a refined, fruit-filled finish.
Winemaker José Sanfins is doing sterling work at this fast-improving Margaux estate. The 2019 Cantenac Brown represents around half the crop, picked 18 September to 9 October and then matured in 60% new oak. It has a slightly more extravagant bouquet than its peers, more expressive with vivacious blackberry, raspberry and cranberry fruit mingling with cedar and cigar humidor scents. The palate is very cohesive with sappy red fruit, beautifully judged acidity and a harmonious, fulfilling dark chocolate-tinged finish that lingers wonderfully. What an exquisite, well-crafted Margaux with oodles and oodles of charm. Drink 94-96
Here is a very pretty barrel sample with crushed berries, walnuts and hints of chocolate and smoke. It’s full-bodied and layered with lightly chewy tannins and a rich finish. Muscular for the vintage.
The 2019 Cantenac Brown is dark, rich and super-expressive. Even with all of that intensity, Cantenac Brown retains a good bit of nuance and detail. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, espresso, licorice and menthol add gravitas and pure power. I very much like the balance here, as well as what seems like a move towards more finesse.
A ton of tightly packed black fruits are right there on the attack of this wine, along with enticing aromatic power. It's a well-muscled Cantenac Brown with a sleek, carefully controlled tannic hold alongside liquorice and black chocolate notes - good stuff. New owner at this property as of 2019, Tristan Le Lous. 60% new oak, with 51% of overall production in the first wine. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Situated on the corner of power and roundness, you find layers of juicy, ripe, lusciously textured, fresh fruits, dark chocolate, flowers, smoke and spice. The tannins are there, polished and ripe, giving you density and structure, providing the ability age and evolve for at least 2 decades.
Very deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Capbern explodes from the glass with notes of prunes, baked black cherries and fruitcake plus suggestions of mocha, Chinese five spice, tobacco leaf and cedar chest with a touch of peppercorns. Full-bodied, rich and voluptuous (15.1% alcohol!), the palate has a firm, chewy backbone and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy.
Deep colour to the rim. Powerful, even burly with added muscle this year. Dense fruit with a raisined edge to the aroma. Palate rich, broad and packed with tannin. Hope the fruit will hold. Dry, firm finish. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2034
This is a gorgeous young sample with wonderful blue fruit and spices, as well as a nice overlay of pretty wood. Medium to full body and firm, silky tannins. Hints of minerals. Better than 2018.
Capbern is bold and exuberant in 2019. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, new leather, licorice and spice are kicked up a few notches here. Exuberant and racy to the core, Capbern is a total knock-out in this vintage. At 15.1% alcohol, this is an especially unctuous, rich and ripe style, but it works well in this vintage for this cru.
Powerful and impactful, and the alcohol although well balanced by fruit does have an impact on the texture and mouthfeel of this wine, which is gourmet and full of chocolate, damson and tar. High drama in this vintage. 60% new oak. A yield of 40hl/ha. 3.9pH. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
Spicy black raspberries, cassis and blackberry fruits with just a touch of oak, wet earth and forest leaf aromas on the nose smell great. On the palate, the wine is lush, round and opulently textured, with length and purity in the fruits. Clearly, this is a new level for Capbern. The wine is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 15.1% alcohol.
Inky purple in colour colour, with peony and iris aromatics, then a whoosh of freshness that makes your mouth water before you are even halfway through. This is extremely impressive, well balanced, with fine tannins and real discretion but hidden power and depths. Clear floral character, with an austerity that makes you celebrate minerality. There are gourmet touches but the focus is rather on slate, rosemary, crushed stones with hints of chocolate shavings alongside the damson and blackberry fruit. 3.56ph, 80% in casks, 11% 20hl wood and 9% amphoras, 55% whole bunch fermentation (which brings the alcohol down to this relatively low level for the estate's location). A wine to surprise those who think Bordeaux can't deliver understatement. Tannin count of 82IPT. 2024-2044
The most reserved of the wines we tasted in the Lafite stable but there is no denying its refinement. A fragrant wine with hints of blueberries and violets. In the palate this is a very direct and traditional style of Pauillac with composed graphite and black fruit flavours. Fresh with a lasting complexity.
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite was picked right up until 7 October in order to obtain the fleshiness from the Merlots, which represent 27% of the blend, much lower than previous years. It is raised in 30% new oak. This is certainly a fuller and more complete bouquet than I have discerned in previous Carruades with ample red berry fruit, sous-bois and light sea spray aromas - more refined and detailed than expected. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that impart a creamy texture. This is a luxuriant Deuxième Vin from Lafite-Rothschild, more sensual with vivid red cherries and cranberry fruit laced with white pepper towards the finish, then a tang of graphite that lingers on the aftertaste. Best Carruades ever? Probably. Drink 2024 - 2044
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it comes skipping out of the glass with bright, fresh notions of wild blueberries, ripe plums and redcurrant jelly plus hints of cinnamon stick, cumin seed, oolong tea and violets with a waft of black olives. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers loads of rich, ripe, spicy flavors with a soft texture of nicely rounded tannins and with the freshness in the background, finishing on a lingering allspice note. In a word: Yum!
More Cabernet and less Merlot than usual, and it shows. Bright and fresh, even tangy on the palate, with very fine tannins, the fruit breezy and gourmand. Touch of mint to the dense, dark fruit. Super length. Lots of charm. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2040
The purity of fruit is so enticing here with strawberries, flowers, lavender and currants. Black earth, too. Some stone and cement. It’s full-bodied with firm, fine tannins. It shows so much cabernet sauvignon character. It’s 68% cabernet sauvignon, 27% merlot and the rest cabernet franc.
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is sexy, open knit and wonderfully inviting, with all of the seductiveness of the vintage on display. Ripe red cherry, red plum, rose petal, mint and spice are lifted by the savory intensity of the Cabernets, which at 73% are the highest ever for Carruades. Technical Director Eric Kohler describes 2019 as an easier vintage than 2018, a year that saw quite a bit of disease pressure and extremes of temperature. Kohler added that while 2019 was hot, it was consistently hot, and therefore the vines adapted to the conditions as opposed to being shocked by sudden changes. Yields were a very classic 36-40 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the property. Cuvaison was about three weeks, with gentle extractions. As always one of the signatures at Lafite is the use of a portion of press lots in the final blends.
As with the Duhart, this is very Pauillac, with pencil lead and cedar notes, and the highest amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in Carruades to date. Subdued on the nose, but it opens up with a lovely floral character. It starts off with frank, autumnal fruit on the attack, majoring on brambly plum, with tannins that build up through the palate and do their job of tugging things back, putting on the brakes. A little more straight laced than the 2018, but one that you would be more than happy to own and to share. Has the drinkability that Lafite prides itself on. Drink 2025 – 2040
Flowers, cocoa, earth, cherries and tobacco leaf on the nose. The medium-bodied wine is refined, elegant and lifted, with a focus on the sweetness and purity in the fruits. Bright, polished, and classic in nature, this is a definitive look at the stylings of Lafite Rothschild. The wine was made from blending 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2019 Certan de May, which has been under the guidance of Jean-Claude Berrouet since 2013, was picked 17 to 23 September with respect to the Merlot. The Cabernets were picked between 1 to 4 October. It has a nose that I recognize from previous years, open-knit with bright red fruit, maybe just a little green around the edges. There is a background scent of stewed black tea. The palate is fresh on the entry with a grainy texture, fresh acidity, quite sharp in fact. A slightly pinched finish needs to develop more flesh to round it out. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2023 - 2036
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Certan de May rocks up with open-knit scents of warm black cherries, baked plums and blackberry pie with hints of charcoal, crushed rocks, iron ore and menthol plus a fragrant touch of sandalwood. Medium-bodied, the palate gives a pleasantly chewy texture and lovely freshness, supporting the subtle black fruit layers, finishing on a mineral note.
Deep crimson hue. Enticing nose of ripe, dark fruit with a definite cassis tone. Sweet (perhaps oak-nuanced) attack then lots of gushing fruit. Round and gourmand but plentiful tannins behind. Saline finish again. Lots going on. Drink 2027-2040 (JL)
This is a very attractive wine with blackberry, walnut and hazelnut aromas and flavors. Full body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. Yet, it’s reserved and pretty.
Cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, menthol and anise are some of the notes that lift from the 2019 Certan de May. Medium in body, pliant and expressive, the 2019 has much to recommend it. Today, the 2019 is perhaps just a touch introspective, but there is plenty going on here.
Excellent quality, here the pull through the palate is slow, with bigger tannins than in some of the Pomerols this year, with the Cabernet Sauvignon making an impact in terms of dark yet savoury berry character but also weight and structure. Excellent wine, seriously good quality, give it at least six years before this softens out. 30% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 - 2036
The only way you can find more floral aromatics is by walking into a flower shop! This is one of the most sensuous wines produced by Certan de May. Lush, silky, long and sexy, this is bottled decadence that is made better by its length, complexity and purity.
Purple-crimson. Fragrant floral, dark-fruit and liquorice notes. Palate delicate and lithe with very fine tannins. Almost weightless but the structure is there. Long, clean, persistent finish. A bit reticent but fine. Drink 2026-2036 (JL)
The 2019 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion has a very pure but slightly introspective nose at first. This demands coaxing, gradually unfurling to reveal blackberry, cassis and iodine aromas that are nicely integrated with the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannins. It is very harmonious and lithe. Hints of espresso permeate the sweet black fruit with a corpulent, "sunny" finish. Drink 2025 - 2045
The 2019 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 50.1% Merlot, 45.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.4% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 11th of September to the 2nd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Deep garnet-purple in color, it prances out of the glass with showy notes of crushed black cherries, warm blueberries and mulberries plus suggestions of cinnamon toast, aniseed, lilacs and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with poise and sophistication, offering a gentle earthy underpinning to all that black fruit, framed by fine-grained tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and spicy.
Dark and breezy with good lift and energy. Smooth attack then attractive fruit on the mid palate. Hint of mocha. Slightly sandy tannins with a firm, dry stamp to the finish. (JL) Drink 2025 – 2032
The 2019 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion is a wine of real depth and grandeur. Time in the glass brigs out layers of textural richness and resonance in the inky dark fruit, gravel, smoke, licorice, incense and pipe tobacco flavors. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine. Tasted a day later, the 2019 was every bit as compelling. It is a superb second wine that will likely come in at or near the top of my predicted range.
Intense but subtle, with high aromatics. Loaded with flavour and sap, extremely juicy, savoury but welcoming. Fruit-forward with a creamy texture, this has the elegance that you want from La Chapelle, the sappy fruit that you want to share, and is a great 2nd stepping stone to La Mission. Last year had less Merlot but it works here, giving charm, elegance and mouthwatering appeal. Harvest finished October 4. 27% of production. Drink 2024 -2040.
Smoked black cherries, plums, licorice, herbs and earth create the nose. On the palate, the wine is supple, soft, filled with fruit and vivacity. There is length and freshness in the finish. There is a lot of LMHB character here. The wine blends 50% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc reaching 14.4% alcohol.
The 2019 Chasse-Spleen is tight-fisted on the nose despite leaving my sample three or four hours to open. But I do appreciate the fruit profile: blackberry, wild strawberry, cedar and light tobacco scents almost reluctantly unfurling. The palate looks promising, classic in style, not reserved but not wanting to show off at this early stage. Fresh from the start, the acidity is well judged and it has an appealing grainy texture. It is detailed with touches of graphite lingering on the aftertaste. Excellent. Drink 2025 - 2050
Attractive cassis and spice nose. Lots of lift and freshness. Tannins chalky and firm but sufficient fruit to coat them and fill the mid palate. Decent length on the dry finish. (JL) Drink 2025 – 2034
A very polished red with blackberries, chocolate, walnuts and dried tobacco. Medium-bodied with a juicy finish. Pretty finesse and polish.
The 2019 Chasse-Spleen is lifted and aromatic in feel. Crushed leaves, mint, dried herbs and sweet red cherry fruit all grace this attractive light- to medium-bodied Moulis. A wine of understatement, Chasse-Spleen will drink well right out of the gate.
Herbs, tobacco, red berries and cedar in the nose bring you to a medium-bodied, fresh, bright, lifted, sweet and tart, floral red plum and cassis-packed finish.
The 2019 La Chenade in Lalande-de-Pomerol was picked between 18 and 26 September and matured in 30% new oak. Unlike Durantou's fellow Lalande-de-Pomerol, this is predominantly red fruit rather than black with exuberant raspberry and cranberry, almost pastille-like. The palate is extremely well balanced, maybe with a bit more structure and weight than Les Cruzelles. The finish is spicy thanks to a liberal dash of cracked black pepper. Wonderful, as usual. Drink 2023 - 2038
Produced by Denis Darantou and family of Château L’Eglise-Clinet, this is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 La Chenade has a little reduction to begin, soon breaking through to reveal notes of raspberry pie, baked plums and boysenberries with hints of dusty soil, charcoal and wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate is juicy and refreshing, with a light chewiness to the tannins and bags of freshness, finishing savory.
Round, forward and clearly for early drinking. Meaty, savoury edge to the fruit but aromatic freshness as well. Palate juicy with light but fine tannins. No great complexity but plenty of simple pleasure. Drink 2022-2028 (JL)
The 2019 La Chenade is plump and voluptuous in the glass, with terrific fruit presence and tons of pure character. Inky dark cherry, plum, spice, new oak and chocolate are all amped up in this racy, super-inviting Lalande de Pomerol. Denis Durantou and his team coaxed an unreal level of finesse in 2019. Harvest took place between September 18 and 26. Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive environment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
Sweet, carefully extracted and poised blackberry and brambled fruits with gentle smoked oak notes and fresh acidities that cut through the heat of the summer. Delicate overall, this is an unforced and highly enjoyable wine. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036
A mix of flowers and chocolate on the nose opens the wine. From there, the medium-bodied, soft, ripe, lush fruits and the silky finish with its sweet berries and cocoa hit the spot. You can enjoy this just about on release for its textures and fruit-forward approach.
Aromatically a little more reserved than the 2018 at this stage. But ripe, intense and flickeringly floral. Beautifully poised on the palate with a density of fruit and silky texture of finely matted tannins. Pure, seductive and persistent, the finish long and digeste. A super Cheval Blanc but 2018 may just have the edge. Drink 2027-2050 (JL)
Extremely precise floral and berry aromatics build out of the glass and this sense of construction continues through the palate. On the attack you get a whoosh of powerful blueberry and blackberry, with sage, woodsmoke and crushed stone, all cut cleanly through, exposing juicy minerality and a feel of different elements layering on top of each other. 82% 1st wine in this vintage. Harvest from September 10, picking only in the mornings for two weeks (the only three plots of Merlot that were brought in after the September rains are in Petit Cheval). Biodiversity is blooming at Cheval right now - 40 brebis goats and sheep since October 2019, alongside pigs, 200 Bresse chicken, 40 egg-laying chickens and 16 beehives. They have planted 850 fruit trees this winter among the vines, and no longer work the soils. Less Cabernet Franc in the vineyard until 2022 due to replanting. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
The 2019 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion offers more red fruit on the nose than the La Chapelle de La Mission, perhaps more vibrant and expressive at this early stage. Touches of orange sorbet come through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy and forward. A hint of dark chocolate appears towards the generous finish that develops more structure after three or four hours in the glass. Drink 2024 - 2038
The 2019 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 72.8% Merlot, 16.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 10th of September to the 3rd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 15%. With a deep garnet-purple color, it springs from the glass with vivacious notes of crushed black and red plums, redcurrant jelly and wild blueberries plus suggestions of forest floor, lilacs, black olives and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate practically quivers with energy, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing on a lingering aniseed note. Simply delicious!
The 2019 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is fabulous. All the signatures of the Grand Vin come through in a smaller-scaled, more approachable style than found in its sibling. Smoke, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice and spice are some of the many notes that enrobe the palate. Backward and yet full of intrigue, the 2019 will be easy to enjoy young, but it also clearly has the stuffing to age for years. Readers will find a wine endowed with tremendous character. Wow!
This is a pretty serious and structured Clarence, with firm tannins that give walls and form to the wine overall. Has depth and character to the black fruits, and is one where the Merlot character is almost masquerading as Cabernet Sauvignon. Great quality, with ageing potential and one that gives a real step towards the first wine. Drink 2023 – 2040.
Refined, silky, elegant and with a distinctive, smoked, floral character, with hot bricks and sweet cherries to round out the nose, the wine is medium-bodied, elegant, soft and fresh. This is a nice snapshot providing you a look at the character of Haut Brion in this vintage. The wine is a blend of 73% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15% alcohol.
There is a greater proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend in comparison to the Armailhac (72%) which gives pronounced blackcurrant and black cherry flavours, as well as a hint of cedar. In the palate there is a muscular power and some pleasing weight. Firm and rich, this is a deep brooding wine with wonderful long-term potential.
The 2019 Clerc Milon contains a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%) as more of their sélection massale comes "on line". It is quite intense on the nose, a mixture of red and black fruit, sous-bois and traces of tobacco. There is a fullness to the aromatics that I appreciate, hints of brown spice emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. This is not a bold, structured Clerc Milon. This feels elegant and refined, gently building to a lightly spiced finish with judicious cracked black pepper and clove notes. Understated and classy. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2024 - 2040
The blend this year is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Clerc Milon starts out a little closed and broody, offering notes of tar, chargrill, tapenade and Marmite toast over an emerging core of stewed plums, black cherries and kirsch with a touch of garrigue. The medium-bodied palate delivers loads of freshness with crunchy black fruits and a lively line, backed up by grainy tannins, finishing long and savory.
Dense, reserved, even broody. Broader across the palate but with real length and drive. Good fruit weight. Firm but very fine tannins. Chalky freshness through and through. Almost but not quite on the right bank. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
A very tight, precise red with super fine tannins that are tight and focused. Medium-to full-bodied with linear tannins and a bright, vivid finish. It’s leaner and refined. Precise and driven. This is a very cabernet sauvignon-driven Clerc with 76% cabernet sauvignon.
Clerc Milon is especially fine in 2019. Dark and mysterious in the glass, with superb resonance, the 2019 reveals myriad dimensions of its personality with a bit of aeration. The 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, the highest since 1986, very much comes through in the wine's flavor profile and structural feel. Sage, mint, lavender, licorice and spice add complexity to the dark fruit in a Pauillac that delivers the goods.
The wine has the highest levels of Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1980s, and even on the nose you can feel its impact in terms of the depth of tight black fruit. Extremely good quality with fine tannins that build, build, build over the palate, and grip on, forcing you to slow down and pay attention. Beautiful spice with menthol, slate, pencil lead, blackberry and blackcurrant. An exciting wine with real energy and forward motion, helped to withstand the summer heat by its position by the river, and the fact that the average age of the vines at Clerc Milon is almost 50 years. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Jean Emmanuel Danjoy's last outing doing the full vintage at Clerc Milon before he heads over to Mouton as technical director. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Flowers, chocolate, tobacco, blackberry and cassis are just some of the nuances you experience before reaching the silky, polished, refined core of fruit on the palate and in the finish. The wine blends 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and a mix of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It is interesting to note that 1986 was the last time Clerc Milon had this much Cabernet in the blend.
The 2019 Clinet is just so fragrant on the nose: black and red fruit vying for attention, iris and incense, touches of truffle in the background. The purity that Ronan Laborde and his team have achieved should be applauded. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins, perfect acidity, brilliant focus and a killer sense of tension on the finish. This is a stunning Clinet, the best that I have encountered in barrel over 20 years of tasting. That creamy texture takes your breath away. Up there with the very best - a Clinet that rivets you to the spot. Drink 2025-2060
Purple-black hue. Concentrated cassis aroma, almost like a fruit liqueur. Palate more subdued but the fruit is generous and there’s plenty of zest and drive. Tannins and oak integrated. Clean, long finish. Drink 2027-2040 (JL)
A firm, silky red with blackberry, black-olive, green-olive and stone aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with juicy fruit and a flavorful finish. The balance and texture of this wine is exceptional.
The 2019 Clinet is a dark, sensual wine. Grilled herbs and crushed flowers give the 2019 a pretty, savory dimension to play off the natural potency of the year. A virile and imposing Pomerol, Clinet has plenty to offer, especially once the tannins soften. Two thousand nineteen is an outstanding vintage for Clinet.
Seductive and appealing blend of rich coffee and chocolate alongside pulsing cassis and bilberry fruits. Great quality Clinet, extremely well expressed with controlled ripe fruits and firm tannins that provide a pretty strict frame at this point. This is a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon for a Pomerol wine, and it gives characteristic poise and balance. A yield of 38hl/ha. 75% new oak. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Dark garnet in hue, the truffle, tobacco, smoke, licorice, spice, flower, plum and chocolate aromas work here. But it is on the palate where the wine really rocks. Sultry, rich, opulent, full-bodied, deep and ostentatious, this is incredibly sexy. The layers of velvet-textured, perfectly ripe, sweet, fleshy fruit, with its mineral-driven, salty tannins and dark cocoa covered fruit in the finish lingers and expands. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc reaching 14.5% alcohol with pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 18 to September 26.
The 2019 Clos du Marquis was picked from 21 September to 9 October and matured in 50% new oak. It has a deep and quite penetrating bouquet: blackberry, hoisin intermingling with cedar and light pencil shaving scents. It becomes noticeably richer with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins that frame the vivid blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with orange sorbet. There is a citric freshness towards the end of this accomplished Clos du Marquis. Excellent. Drink 2024 - 2048
The 2019 Clos du Marquis is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 23% Merlot, harvested between the 21st of September and 9th of October. It is aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. The alcohol is 14.1% with a pH of 3.62 and an IPT of 79. Displaying a deep purple-black color, the nose is a little reticent to begin, but with just a little coaxing, it soon opens out to show off impressively flamboyant notes of blackberry preserves, baked plums and blackcurrant pastilles with suggestions of cinnamon toast, Darjeeling tea, licorice and camphor plus a hint of wilted roses. Medium to full-bodied, the palate layers in all of these exciting mineral sparks with with the energetic, fresh black fruits, supported by rock-solid, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and earthy. This a very polished and sophisticated Clos du Marquis!
Lovely deep purple-black to the rim. Exuberant nose. Fragrant, fruit driven and very St-Julien. Rich, round and fleshy but with plenty of drive. Plenty of juice to match the firm, long tannins. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
So bright and vivid with crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and some tar. Full-bodied and focused with lots of fruit, yet the tannins are tight and polished. Sweet tobacco and fresh mushrooms. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot and 7% cabernet franc.
Inky purple colour and straight onto intense, concentrated black fruits on the attack. The terroir for Clos de Marquis is a little further back from the river than Las Cases, and a little more susceptible to water stress, but it has kept its freshness and plump character to its black cherry and blackberry fruits. Tannins are chalky and tight, cradling the fruit and giving backbone and frame to the wine. 3.6pH, pretty low which no doubt emphasises the austere edge, but by the mid palate things have softened and opened. A yield of 40hl/ha. 50% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
"With a dark color, the wine hits you with cassis, flowers, tobacco, forest floor and herbal notes in the perfume. The wine is medium/full bodied, with a big, juicy gulp of blackberry, red pit fruit, spice and herbs. The wine is long, sweet and vibrant with length and a focus on its purity in the finish. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.1% alcohol. "
The 2019 Clos Fourtet continues its strong run of form under the direction of Mathieu Cuvelier and his team. It sprints out of the blocks with intense blackberries, raspberry coulis, blood orange and crushed violet aromas, touches of iodine developing as it musters ever increasing delineation. The palate is medium-bodied but (as expected) contains more weight and girth compared to its peers. Firm grip, solid and yet graceful, there is a crescendo of flavours towards its heady, focused and very persistent finish. Wonderful salinity in the mouth, the aftertaste is one of the longest you will find on the Right Bank. Fabulous. Drink 2025 - 2055
Ripe, full and broad with curranty, berry-fruit notes. Spike of freshness but the oak sits in at present leading to a slightly drying finish. Just a phase? Drink 2027-2040 (JL)
beautiful core of ripe fruit in the center palate with deep, dark-chocolate undertones. It’s full-bodied with layers of fruit and ripe tannins. Flavorful finish.
The 2019 Clos Fourtet is exotic and beguiling in the glass. Inky dark fruit, licorice, espresso, menthol and lavender all run through this sumptuous, beautifully resonant Saint-Émilion with bright mineral underpinnings that extend the finish effortlessly. A regal, exquisite wine, the 2019 has so much to offer. I can't wait to taste it in bottle.
Restrained nose but good depth. Some dark-berry and spice complexity as it opens. Palate sinewy and firm, the limestone terroir apparent. Plenty of drive on the finish. Powerful and fresh but a bit austere. Needs time. Drink 2026-2036 (JL)
To quote winemaker Marielle Cazaux, “Never has the blending of a vintage been more straightforward”. The blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc is perfectly integrated. This wine has so much excitement and energy, and the floral nose is scented with violets and blueberry. The palate is noticeably luscious and opulent, but also composed thanks to its refined structure. There is a wonderful flow of freshness throughout and the tannins are perfectly in line with the volume of fruit. I am a sucker for this wonderful estate’s wine and the silky, poised and beautifully layered 2019 lives up to all my expectations.
The 2019 La Conseillante was picked 17-20 September for the Merlot and 30 September and 7 October for the Cabernet Franc. Yields were low at just 34hl/ha. The Grand Vin is aged in 70% new French oak, 27% one-year old barrels and 3% in clay amphora. Limpid purple in colour, this has an exquisite bouquet with pixelated blackberry and raspberry scents, laced with pressed iris and a touch of graphite. It reminds me of a less powerful version of the 2010 when I tasted that from barrel. The palate is very smooth with ebullient red and black fruit on the entry, then it tapers in a little, towards a very cohesive, satin-textured middle. This is definitely one of the purest La Conseillante wines that I have encountered from barrel. It delivers a subtle spiciness towards the finish with hints of tobacco and clove on the persistent aftertaste. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team have conjured a magnificent Pomerol here. Drink 2026-2060
The 2019 La Conseillante is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 17th of September to the 7th of October at yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It is being aged in 70% new French oak barrels, 27% second fill barrels and 3% amphora. The alcohol this year is 14.5% with a pH of 3.67. Very deep purple-black colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy of a new puppy, featuring notes of warm plums, wild blueberries and freshly crushed black cherries with hints of licorice, molten chocolate, violets, woodsmoke and tar plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with layer upon layer of black and blue fruits with loads of floral sparks and a very fine-grained, silt-like texture, finishing with incredible freshness and a provocative mineral edge. La Conseillante's signature perfume, purity and restrained power shine through with amazing clarity and style this vintage.
Deep purple-crimson hue. Plenty of depth and intensity on the nose with morello cherry and floral (violet) notes. Palate hits a perfect pitch of ripeness, the fruit ripe but juicy and refreshing. Solid but refined tannins provide a firmness and persistence on the finish. Offers gravity and charm combined. Drink 2027-2042 (JL)
A very fine, ethereal wine, offering blueberries, white truffles and violets. Full body and a wonderful texture with tannins that spread across the palate, caressing the mouth. Really polished to the finest grain. Extremely long. Shows strength with finesse.
General Manager and Winemaker Marielle Cazaux turned out one of the jewels of the vintage with the 2019 La Conseillante. Fresh, nuanced and beautifully perfumed, the 2019 is a total stunner from the very first taste. What impresses me most about the 2019 is its freshness and vivacity, both so rare in 2019 in Pomerol. Inky dark fruit, lavender, mint and spice all build effortlessly. At 16%, the Cabernet Franc is particularly expressive, especially in the wine's aromatics. The 2019 is a wine of pure and total sensuality. Don't miss it. Harvest took place from September 17 to 20 for the Merlot and September 30 to October 7 for the Cabernet Franc, picking only in the early morning to preserve freshness in the fruit. In the cellar, Cazaux opted for a reduced number of pumpovers but over longer periods of time. Malolactic fermentation was done mostly (80%) in steel. Aging is in 70% new oak, 27% once-used barrels and 3% amphora, and is projected to be 16-17 months.
Deeply coloured, high aromatics with iris and violets, extremely focused with savoury fruits - a character that I have found in the Cabernet Francs in this vintage. It has an excellent grip that takes hold from the first moment and carries you through building tannins. A lovely tactile wine and an austere finish, signs that this will age for decades. The chocolate of Pomerol comes in on the end, but you have to wait for it, the beginning is savoury blueberry and raspberry fruit. Harvest September 17 to 21, taking in all the Merlot in four days, quite unusual but they knew rain was coming and wanted it to be in; they pick only in the morning to keep freshness, then Cabernet Franc September 30 and again one day October 7 (the drought slowed ripening more of the Cab Franc). A yield of 34hl/ha. Drinking Window 2027 - 2043
Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc.
The 2019 Cos d'Estournel was picked from 23 September to 7 October at 43hl/ha and matured in a judicious 55% new oak. It marks a serious and tangible upgrade over the Les Pagodes as you would expect: far more intensity, more fruit and complexity. It delivers gorgeous, very pure scents of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone and just a hint of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, pitch perfect acidity and a satin-like texture. One of the most harmonious Cos d'Estournel that I have encountered in barrel and, though it is not quite touching the same ethereal level, it reminds me of the 2016 towards the finish. Utterly divine. Drink 2025-2060
Harvest for the grand vin began on the 23rd of September and finished on the 7th of October. Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot (with no Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc this year), yields for this wine in 2019 were 43 hectoliters per hectare, and it is aging in 55% new oak. It came in at an alcohol level of 14.02% and an IPT of 67. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cos d'Estournel soars out of the glass with vibrant black raspberries, Black Forest cake and crushed blackcurrants scents plus nuances of red roses, wild sage, dark chocolate and cast-iron pan with a waft of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate is taut, muscular and built like a skyscraper, with firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness supporting the concentrated black fruit flavors, finishing with incredible length and depth. This wine so beautifully, clearly captures the juxtaposition between the periods of dry heat and those hallelujah moments of refreshing rain - the hallmarks of this great vintage. It's a vinous masterpiece in the making.
Deep colour to the rim. Huge concentration of dark fruit with a notable Cabernet cassis aroma. Mighty tannic build but very fine tannins. Layers of fruit. Powerful but carefully constructed and precise. A lovely mellow quality to such a muscular wine. Plenty of reserve and clearly for long ageing. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
A very powerful and structured Cos. It’s full and layered, but not overpowering in terms of fruit. It’s more about the abundant, very fine tannins. It’s a classic wine with historical grip and power. Real Bordeaux. Sophisticated and provocative.
The 2019 Cos d'Estournel is exquisitely beautiful. Dark, pliant and wonderfully inviting, the 2019 has so much to offer. Readers will find a wine of notable restraint and dramatic beauty. The purity of the fruit is just striking. Time in the glass brings out the wine's textural depth and rich, driving resonance. The combination of ripeness and energy is compelling.
Powerful and enjoyable Cos. Needs to be given time in the glass to reveal the impressively velvety texture, and the sheer depth of bitter black chocolate, black truffle and coffee notes. The tannins sit back and then build slowly to full bristling impact by the close of play. Feels extremely sophisticated, with the always-present Cos glamour. This was a vintage where the heat was starting to be worrying until the September rains that began around 22nd, and helped bring the Cabernet back into a more classical line, and away from the extremes of 2018. A final yield of 40hl/ha. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
The wine opens with exotic notes of incense, 5 spice, potpourri, leather and deep red with dark black fruits. Perfectly balanced with concentration, silky tannins, lush, sensuous textures, freshness and a remarkable sense of purity, this is a flawlessly refined vintage for Cos. The finish remains with you surpassing the 60 second mark. If you're a lover of COS, this is an incredible wine not to be missed! In comparison with recent great vintages of COS, with 2019, the wine exchanges the power and concentration found in 2018 and 2016 for a greater sense of elegance and purity. The wine was made from blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot at 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 23 to October 7, with the Merlot finishing up October 2 and the Cabernet Sauvignon picking taking place October 1 to October 7. From yields of 43 Hectoliters per hectare, the Grand Vin was made from only 50% of the harvest.
The 2019 Cos Labory has one of the best noses that I have encountered on this estate's Grand Vin with ample, pure blackberry and raspberry scents and a tang of kelp in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, much more purity than the Cos Laborys of yore, cohesive and quite persistent on the finish. Bravo! Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2024 - 2044
A juicy, tannic red with blackberry, chocolate, hazelnut and coffee character. It’s full-bodied with ripe tannins and a chewy finish. Solid.
The 2019 Cos Labory is a brooding, powerful wine. Today, the elements aren't fully put together, but the 2019 certainly has a lot going on. Scorched earth, licorice, leather, spice and brawny tannins give the wine its distinctly intense, virile feel. The 2019 needs time to come together.
A Cru Classé that in recent years has clearly been striving to catch up with its 1855 neighbours. It remains far less polished than the other classified growths in the appellation, but that gives it a charm all of its own. There are plenty of firm tannins here, with cassis and bilberry fruits, along with clear austerity that is going to need a few more years to soften. A serious wine with a sense of identity, takes its time to reveal its hand and may move up when retasted in bottle. Tasted twice one week apart. Drinking Window 2026 - 2043
The 2019 La Croix Ducru Beaucaillou is endowed with a gorgeous, quite sumptuous bouquet loaded with black plum, tobacco, smoke and Earl Grey aromas that burst from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very pliant tannin, harmonious and velvety in texture, gradually building towards a detailed and mineral-driven finish. Maybe less opulent than the 2018 by comparison, yet a Deuxième Vin full of breeding. Drink 2024 - 2044
The 2019 La Croix de Beaucaillou is composed of 46% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. It has 14.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.78 with an IPT of 88. It is set to age for 12 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of crushed blackcurrants, baked blackberries and wild blueberries plus hints of woodsmoke, chargrill, black truffles and lilacs with a waft of fertile loam. Medium to full-bodied, the palate quivers with energetic black fruits, framed by bold freshness and ripe, rounded tannins, finishing on a lingering mineral note.
A young red with very pretty blackberries, blueberries and stone. Hints of currant leaf. Full with firm yet polished tannins. Slightly austere, in a good sense. Persistent at the end. Linear and bright.
The 2019 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou is a dark, sumptuous wine. Black cherry, plum, leather, spice and licorice all flesh out in a gorgeous, inviting second Saint-Julien. All of the personality of the Grand Vin comes through nicely. La Croix has plenty to offer, but like all of the 2019s from Ducru, there is an edginess in the tannins that is impossible to fully look past. According to Bruno Borie, ideal weather in September balanced the heat of the previous summer months. Readers will note a re-alignment of the range, with the two Listracs now gone and two new wines in the lineup. I tasted all of the 2019s in 100ml bottles that arrived in a very attractive package in less than 48 hours from Bordeaux. I applaud the desire to be respectful of the environment and not wasteful of wine, but I am not convinced this bottling system works yet. I found the 2019s all very hard, something that time did not help, with less of the fleshy and sumptuousness I am used to finding in these wines. I won't be surprised if the wines show better from a full bottle, but at the same time, I can only review and comment on the wines that were sent to me.
Deep damson colour and mouthfilling from the start, this expands outwards through the palate, filling up with concentrated yet plush berry fruits, notes of smoked oak, hazelnut, grilled liquorice. A real presence, approaches the 2016 but with more evident approachability. Appealing now but sure that it will close down pretty tightly for a while as this has a high tannin count of 88IPT. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
Black currants, flowers, vanilla, dried cherry and blackberry aromas come through loud and clear on the nose. Fresh, vibrant, silky, long and juicy, the currants and blackberries continue flowing in the creamy, medium/full-bodied finish. This could be the finest vintage of La Croix Ducru--Beaucaillou produced at the estate. Clearly, this is a wine of Classified Growth quality. From a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14.3% alcohol and is aging in 60% new, French oak barrels for 12 months.
The 2019 Les Cruzelles, the late Denis Durantou's Lalande-de-Pomerol estate, was picked between 18 and 28 September and matured in 30% new oak. It has a very really gorgeous bouquet with disarmingly pure blackberry and blueberry fruit. The oak is seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with dark berry fruit mixed with dried orange peel and a pinch of sea salt. This has so much character and personality, the salinity on the finish lingers wonderfully.
This wine is produced by Denis Darantou and family of Château L’Eglise-Clinet. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Les Cruzelles (a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc) opens with powerful black fruit scents of ripe blackberries, black cherries and mulberries with underlying floral notions of lilacs and wilted roses and hints of dark chocolate, fertile loam and mossy tree bark. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of expressive, crunchy black fruits, framed by chunky tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a peppery kick.
More depth and intensity than sister La Chenade. Lovely, pure, almost burgundian red-fruit aromatics with cherry, raspberry notes. Palate bright and vivacious with delicious fruit and an additional floral note. Finely honed tannins, the wine overall gently poised and balanced. Should be GV. Drink 2024-2034 (JL)
The 2019 Les Cruzelles is a big wine. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, licorice and new leather blast out of the glass. Dizzyingly intense and deep, with equally potent tannins, Les Cruzelles is fabulous in 2019. It is also going to need at least a few years in bottle to come together. Harvest took place from September 18 and 25 for the Merlot and September 28 for the Franc. Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive environment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
For me this stands out above La Chenade, in the yin and yang of these two terroirs. Has more signature of the Pomerol side of Lalande, with rich coffee-tinged blackberry fruits, still with beautiful control and lift. Silky, elegant, concentrated. This is a wine that stands as a tribute to the brilliance of Denis Durantou in these smaller appellations, and is one that you will drink with emotion. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036
Flowers, black raspberries, earthy cherries and nutty chocolate notes are in the nose. The palate, is filled with lusciously textured, sweet, ripe black plums and cocoa. The silky finish feels great. Produced from a blend of 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc, this could be the top wine produced from Les Cruzelles, a vineyard the late owner, Denis Durantou loved.
Cabernet expression particularly marked, especially on the palate. Dark fruit with a savoury edge on the nose, the palate lively and lifted with fresher flavours. Dark fruit again with a minerally edge. Firm, dry finish. GV? (JL) Drink 2024 – 2034
The Merlots were so good this year that most have gone into the first wine, giving this a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than usual and making it a serious Dame de Montrose, with clear ageing potential. Elegant and balanced, with purity and juicy black fruits. It has that savoury Cabernet quality which is very Médocain, this is absolutely one to look out for, packed with estate signature. 30% new oak. 43% of total production. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Lovely new label here also, with rose gold roses across it. Drinking Window 2025 - 2040
The 2019 Desmirail is subtle on the nose, after coaxing offering redcurrant, blackberry and briary scents, undergrowth and fern emerging with time, never powerful but more discrete. The palate is sweet and sappy on the entry, hints of dark chocolate infusing the mainly red fruit that becomes blacker towards the finish. Maybe I am seeking a bit more...ambition on the finish, but maybe it is saving something up for later. Drink 2024 - 2044
A red with red berries and currants and some chocolate and hazelnuts. It’s medium-to full-bodied with ripe, savory tannins. Serious this year.
Denis Lurton's estate is one of the lower-profile classified growths in Margaux, but one that deserves to be taken notice of, with quiet appellation signature and plenty of restrained elegance. This is a slow burn, opening carefully to show gentle grilled coffee bean notes, deepening the blackberry and bilberry fruits. Fine tannins and fresh acidities give great balance overall. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Medium-bodied, with a floral edge, the wine, with its ripe black and red fruits, coupled with their citrus accent on the palate, is soft, bright, elegant and fresh.
The 2019 Domaine des Cambes is well defined on the nose with crushed iris petal, sand and incense combining nicely with the opulent black fruit. A touch of sage develops with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a creamy textured opening belying the structure that lies underneath. Veins of dark chocolate appear towards the finish that retains impressive delineation and it certainly has length. It will need 3-5 years just to assimilate the oak. Drink 2024 - 2038
Fruit pushed to the edge of overripeness but it works. Bright, dark-fruit notes with toasted overlay. Palate sweet, silky and gourmand, bringing a freshness to the finish. Clearly surpasses its appellation status. Drink 2024-2030 (JL)
The 2019 Domaine de Cambes is stellar. Rich, ample and inviting, the 2019 possesses tremendous depth and textural resonance from the very first taste. Dried herbs, cedar, pipe tobacco, lavender, spice and menthol are all kicked up in a wonderfully expressive Domaine de Cambes that hits all the right notes. This is such a gorgeous wine.
Garnet with a touch of brick in the color, mint with a shot of smoked cherries, the wine is quite earthy in nature, in its fruit and nose and on the palate. Concentrated, round and fruity, you can drink this young or age it for more complexity.
A truly exciting Chevalier Rouge with its blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Showing dark black summer fruits on the nose, this is a very gracious wine that has volume and balanced generosity. The tannins are silky and unobtrusive, and there are pleasing hints of mocha and cocoa. Sweet dark berry fruits flow through the palate and the relatively low alcohol (13%) preserves the purity and lovely freshness on the finish. High class.
Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Domaine de Chevalier was harvested from the 23rd of September to the 13th of October. The alcohol weighed in at a modest 13%. It is aging in French oak barrels, 35% new, for around 18 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it shoots from the glass with vibrant, intense scents of warm blueberries, blackberry preserves and fresh blackcurrants plus hints of spice box, violets, crushed rocks and pencil lead with a hint of menthol. The medium-bodied palate gives an appearance of weight from its sheer energy, offering bags of fresh, crunchy berry layers and a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins, finishing long and pure.
Appetising and fresh, the fruit juicy and perfectly pitched. Dark-fruit note with a hint of vanilla oak but subtle and integrated. Finely etched tannins. Firm, long finish. Nothing forced. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
The chocolate, walnut, dark-fruit and stone character is attractive. It’s full-bodied and very tight and linear with chewy yet polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of intensity and complexity here, as always.
The 2019 Domaine de Chevalier has the potential to be one of the wines of the vintage. Regal and soaring in the glass, with tremendous intensity, the 2019 is pure magic. An exotic mélange of ripe red plum, gravel, spice, cured meats and incense develops with time in the glass. Effortless and wonderfully nuanced, the 2019 is a fabulous wine in the making. Don't miss it.
A lovely Chevalier, with rich tannins, juicy cassis and bilberry fruit, sage and pepper spice and a slate finish. Similar in style to warm but well-built years like 2000. Not the power of 2016 but this is an excellent wine, with lots to enjoy. Harvest finished October 12. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
Dark garnet in color, the wine opens with smoky notes, pure cocoa, hot stones and dark red fruits. On the palate, this is in contention for the most elegant vintage produced at the property. But do not confuse elegance with lack of depth. The wine is refined, focusing on its purity with silky tannins and a soft, sexy, harmonious finish. This should age and evolve for at least 3 decades or more, though, it will be beautiful with just 8-10 years in the cellar. The wine blends 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot reaching 13.15% alcohol. The Grand Vin was produced from 60% of the harvest.
Ducru Beaucaillou is for me one of the most nuanced and sophisticated terroirs of all the classified growths in the Médoc. Since he took over the estate, Bruno Borie has skilfully maintained its sophisticated subtleties whilst giving it a bit more freedom and exuberance and the 2019 perfectly reflects this. Deep garnet in colour, the aromas are expressive and complex thanks to layers of dark black fruits, liquorice, graphite and molasses. It is beautifully textured, balancing powerful black fruit flavours with an intense tannic core that gives depth and intensity . Extremely long and will evolve to be outstanding with age.
I tasted the 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou four times in 12-hour intervals from opening. It has a splendid bouquet centered around black fruit laced with graphite, Montecristo cigars and hints of sage and cedar. This is one of the most Pauillac-like Ducrus that I have encountered at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins, pitch perfect acidity and a sensual, satin-like texture that could seduce from miles away. There is a sense of completeness surrounding this Second Growth, charming you surfeit with nobility and outstanding in terms of persistence. Fabulous. Drink 2026-2060
This year the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The alcohol weighed in at 14.2%, while the pH is 3.8 and the IPT is 88. It will mature for 18 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Opaque purple-black in color, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and plum preserves plus hints of candied violets, dark chocolate, licorice, wild fungi, crushed rocks and tilled soil with a touch of mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly wound coil poised to spring out with layer upon layer of minerals, rich black fruits and floral notes, framed by very firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and electric freshness, finishing long and incredibly layered. WOW!
A very powerful Ducru with intense tannins and backbone, showing blue fruit, black tea and tobacco. Full-bodied with impressive structure and so much tannin. It goes on for minutes. Very traditional. Owner Bruno Borie said it is a wine to last forever and I have to agree. 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot.
The 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou is fabulous. Inky and beautifully textured to the core, the 2019 possesses tremendous density and volume. Crème de cassis, chocolate, licorice, spice, menthol and lavender all build in the glass. A wine of noble beauty and depth, the 2019 Ducru has so much to offer. The 2019 is a bit higher in Merlot than has often been the case. It will see about 18 months in new French oak. According to Bruno Borie, ideal weather in September balanced the heat of the previous summer months. Readers will note a re-alignment of the range, with the two Listracs now gone and two new wines in the lineup. I tasted all of the 2019s in 100ml bottles that arrived in a very attractive package in less than 48 hours from Bordeaux. I applaud the desire to be respectful of the environment and not wasteful of wine, but I am not convinced this bottling system works yet. I found the 2019s all very hard, something that time did not help, with less of the fleshy and sumptuousness I am used to finding in these wines. I won't be surprised if the wines show better from a full bottle, but at the same time, I can only review and comment on the wines that were sent to me.
Inky depths to the concentrated ruby colour, the Cabernet Sauvignon imposes itself strongly from the first moment. No question that we are slap-bang in St Julien here, in the heart of this appellation's signature, with its elegance, balance and hidden power. At first the wine feels taut and austere, but performs the trick of changing as it travels through the palate, and by the end of play the texture is almost creamy, with blackberry, bilberry, black chocolate, cigar box, slate and liquorice. A big accomplishment, making this an unmissable Ducru. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045
Deep, dark almost opaque in color, the wine is packed to the gills with smoke, flowers, black currants, bitter chocolate and black cherries, Full-bodied, intense, concentrated and palate coating, everything is in perfect harmony here, Long, lush, opulent and most importantly, with this gorgeous sense of purity to the fruits and chocolate overtones, the finish passes the 60-second mark with ease. The blend was made with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot and is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels. The wine reached 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. The harvest took place from September 20 to October 3. A nice tidbit for you, the Cabernet was harvested in only 3 days, October 1-3 with 180 pickers. The Grand Vin was produced from only 27% of the harvest with yields averaging 35 hectoliters per hectare.
The shift in temperatures in recent years has undoubtedly proved beneficial to the cooler positioned vineyards of Duhart Milon. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, this is flamboyant yet poised. The wonderful dark fruit flavours and herbal eucalyptus notes make this a very expressive wine, yet it remains composed and textured. There is a feeling of Pauillac breadth and understated elegance. An outstanding example of the great potential of the 2019 vintage.
The 2019 Duhart-Milon was picked from 18 September to 4 October and raised in 50% new oak. Of course, this comes from one of the coldest terroirs in Pauillac due to the orientation of the vineyard and less proportion of clay, which has become an advantage in warmer growing seasons such as this. The 70% Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the aromatics with dense black fruit, pencil shavings and tobacco aromas, traces of dark chocolate in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with spicy black fruits on the entry. This is quintessential Duhart: a bit broody, conservative in a non-pejorative use of the word, harmonious and quite sturdy towards the finish. I like this. Whilst it has no intention of being the most flamboyant Pauillac on the gravel terrace, it is imbued with nobility. Drink 2026 - 2052
The 2019 Duhart-Milon is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 4th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it springs from the glass with vivacious notes of plums preserves, black raspberries and blackcurrant pastilles with suggestions of menthol, dark chocolate, pencil lead and woodsmoke plus a touch of garrigue. Medium-bodied, the palate is spritely and refreshing, with bags of juicy, mint-laced black fruits and an approachable, plush texture, finishing long and lively.
Cabernet expression strong. Plenty of blackcurrant, graphite and liquorice notes with a pervading freshness. Precise and harmonious on the palate, the tannins ripe and rounded, the finish long and clean. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
A very balanced, refined Duhart with ever so fine tannins and currant, tobacco and cedar aromas and flavors. Medium to fine tannins. It’s extremely long and polished. Direct. You already want to drink this.
The 2019 Duhart-Milon is terrific. The benefits of a cool site in a warm year are evident. Duhart does a very nice job of balancing those contrasting elements with its blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. Grilled herbs, menthol, licorice and dried herbs all grace this super-expressive, mid-weight Pauillac. Duhart is a bit unyielding today, but that should not be an issue in another few years' time. This is very nicely done. Technical Director Eric Kohler describes 2019 as an easier vintage than 2018, a year that saw quite a bit of disease pressure and extremes of temperature. Kohler added that while 2019 was hot, it was consistently hot, and therefore the vines adapted to the conditions as opposed to being shocked by sudden changes. Yields were a very classic 36-40 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the property. Cuvaison was about three weeks, with gentle extractions. As always one of the signatures at Lafite is the use of a portion of press lots in the final blends.
This one might sneak up on you, confirming the rise of this wine in recent years. Clear depth of fruit, and above all clear Pauillac character. This feels strict and confident, with beautiful balance and restraint. Duhart is one of the later-ripening and cooler Pauillac terroirs which is why in the past it could be overly austere when young, but it is benefitting from recent hot summers in terms of its fruit ripeness. Pencil lead is prominent here, along with cassis and bilberry. Very precise, very elegant, with a creaminess to the fruit through the mid palate, and overall this is an excellent Duhart. Drink 2026 - 2042
Cedar, herbs, tobacco, flowers, cocoa dust and red fruits open the wine. On the palate the wine is fresh, crisp, earthy, spicy, soft and medium-bodied, leaving you with sweet, pure, ripe cassis notes. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 30% Merlot. What I really like here is that the wine straddles between classic and modern Pauillac.
There’s no holding back on the 2019 Echo de Lynch which shows a great sense of place. Deep opaque colour, this is an explosion of concentrated dark fruits, brambles and liquorice. The tannins are firm and provide character as well as structure. There’s plenty of Pauillac grit here and good length.
The 2019 L'Eglise-Clinet is destined to be remembered as Denis Durantou's last vintage before he passed away in May 2020. It is a fitting testament to the late winemaker. It is blessed with a bewitching bouquet laden with intense, vivid red berry fruit suffused with liquorice, black pepper and clove scents. Extremely complex. The palate is wonderfully proportioned with fine tannins that frame the layered black and red fruit, lightly spiced with hints of tobacco and cracked black pepper on the finish imparted by that seasoning of Cabernet Franc. Quintessential l'Eglise-Clinet, it will give half a century of drinking pleasure and the perfect way to remember and raise a toast to one of Pomerol's finest vignerons. Drink 2023-2065
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 L'Eglise Clinet has a powerfully fragrant nose of violets, star anise, powdered cinnamon and jasmine over a core of plum preserves, blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and camphor with wafts of crushed rocks and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise and precision, possessing remarkably well-defined, bright, energetic black fruit and minerally layers, supported by beautifully ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with a long-lingering, mesmerizing array of earth, rock and glittery fruit nuances. This is a wine that will stop you in your tracks and demand you to think, contemplate and reflect. And if all that isn’t enough, it is also fantastically delicious. The blend this year is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Purple hue. Pure and engaging on the nose with a perfumed, burgundian nuance to the fruit. Plenty of zest and freshness. Palate suave and refined, the tannins plentiful but fine and wrapped in layers of appealing fruit. Builds steadily to a long, persistent finish. Overall great balance. Drink 2027-2042 (JL)
If great wine is about emotion, as we so often say it is, then this is a wine to savour. The last vintage under Denis Durantou, who passed away in May 2019, it will quite rightly be celebrated. But it also stands very much on its own, as a great Pomerol in a vintage where the plateau wines of this appellation have really stood out. A teasing mix of power and a feather-light touch, that trick that Durantou managed to pull off time and time again, one of a handful of winemakers to really get that right. A serious wine, more so than many in Pomerol this year, with tannins that pull you back and slow things down (a character that you see in Petite Eglise this year also), emphasising the slate and crushed stone character to the texture. Liquorice and cassis, blackberry, and a cooler blueberry note, wrapped up in dark black chocolate. This deserves its high score, one that I have only given to handful in this vintage. Is it also given in tribute to Durantou? Honestly, I don't know, and if so he deserves it. 70% new oak. 98-100. Drinking Window 2029 - 2050
Like walking into a rose garden, next you find dark cocoa, truffle, violets, licorice and plums on the nose. On the palate the wine is sensuous, opulent, silky and full-bodied. The length is just perfect, as it lets you linger over the layers of fruit, dusty cocoa and truffle nuances that accompany all those gorgeous, velvety plums and black cherries. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol, with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 18-26 for the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc being picked September 26. 2019 the final vintage for Denis Durantou is a testament to his love for his vineyard and wine. It is exactly the type of wine he truly loved making. Owners of this beauty should toast him and his years of work at L'Eglise Clinet. I know I will.
There is no other way to describe this wine than pure hedonsim. A gorgeous, exuberant nose of plump plums, vanilla pod and damson. The palate is succulent and beautifully polished, revealing an array of Moroccan spices. Exotic with a touch of real class, this is possibly the most appealing L’Evangile of recent times. Quite wonderful.
The 2019 L'Évangile was picked from 13 September, expediting the picking of the young Merlot that was threatened by hydric stress, the Cabernet Franc picked 22-27 September. This is the first vintage to include a "pinch" of Cabernet Sauvignon from the newly planted plot, for now just 0.5% of the blend. Matured in 75% new oak instead of the usual 100%, it has a rich and opulent bouquet with mulberry and blueberry fruit. I am seeking just a little more delineation and nerve vis-à-vis its peers, more clarity and terroir expression. The palate is medium-bodied with soft, rounded tannins that impart a seductive creamy texture, a leitmotif of this Pomerol cru and vintage. I would prefer more Cabernet influence towards the finish that would lend more dimension and personality. It is a sensual Pomerol but the oak still seems superfluous and detrimental to clarity on the finish. Drink 2025 - 2045
The 2019 L'Evangile is composed of 83.5% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from the 13th of September to the 3rd of October. The alcohol comes in at 14.6%. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose hits the ground running with opulent scents of ripe black cherries, dried mulberries, baked plums and warm blueberries plus hints of candied violets, licorice, molten chocolate and wild sage with just a drop of hoisin. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully concentrated with seductive layers of exotic spice-laced black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing long and with just enough freshness. Tantalizingly moreish!
Deep crimson. Round and plush with a generous depth of fruit. Certainly luscious in style, the berry fruit sweet and layered. A wealth of fine tannin sits in behind. Light glow on the finish but generally good balance. As good as 2018, possibly better? Drink 2027-2042 (JL)
Lots of black-olive, crushed-berry and wet-earth aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, yet polished with a very fine, velvety texture from the tannins. It’s long and structured with a blue-fruit and stone undertone to the palate. Some sage, too. More balanced than in the past. Extremely persistent on the palate. 83.5% merlot, 16% cabernet franc and 0.5% cabernet sauvignon.
The 2019 L'Évangile is a rich, sumptuous wine. There is a good bit of immediacy to the 2019, but ultimately the wine feels overripe and disjointed. Black cherry, chocolate, leather and spice add to the wine's flamboyant personality, but the 2019 never seems to totally come together.
From the very first moment your nose approaches the glass you know something special is happening. Seductive, rich, mouth-filling to the point that you really understand what that means. Just pops out of your mouth, with evident density of luscious blackberry and brambled raspberry fruit but also vertical climb through the palate. Violet notes marry with baked earth, grilled liquorice, tension and seduction. Highest level of Cabernet Franc in the blend in recent history, and first time that they have used all of the Cabernet Franc available in the vineyard - also first time to have this touch of Cabernet Sauvignon since the Rothschilds arrived at the property. Have I tasted a better l'Evangile? Certainly not at this stage, and one of the very few wines in 2019 that I can say without question approaches a perfect score. I don't give 100s at En Primeur but this is off the scale delicious, and I already can't wait to taste it in bottle. 98-100. Drink Window 2027 – 2050
The beautiful blend of roses, chocolate, licorice, coffee with cream and perfectly ripe plums is exciting. On the palate, the wine is rich, lush, sensuous and velvety, giving you a backdrop for all that sexy plum liqueur and extremely dark cocoa in the full-bodied, concentrated, long, opulent finish. The wine is a blend of 83.5 Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and .5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first time Cabernet Sauvignon has been placed in the blend. Harvesting took place September 13-October 3. The wine reached 14.6 alcohol, with no touch of heat or jammy sensations. The Grand Vin was produced from 60% of the harvest.
The 2019 Feytit Clinet rolls sensuously from the glass with notions of baked plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry preserves with touches of Chinese five spice, potpourri, dusty soil and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with ripe, rich black fruits, supported by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and spicy. This 6.68-hectare vineyard is situated between Trotanoy and Latour à Pomerol on gravel and sand-based soils.
This is a real beauty with ripe, opulent fruit and plush, polished tannins. It’s focused and tight at the end, but the texture and flavor is of standout quality.
One of the most distinctive wines in Pomerol, the 2019 Feytit-Clinet emerges from the glass with a heady concoction of gravel, smoke, licorice, incense, grilled herbs, sweet French oak and inky dark fruit. Virile, imposing and massively constituted, the 2019 possesses tremendous depth as well as persistence. As always, Feytit-Clinet is an especially rich, dense Pomerol. I can't wait to see how it develops. Tasted two times.
Some serious structure and lift going on here, this has walls to the tannins rather than just frame, and intends to hold its ground for a good few decades. Not the most exuberant Pomerol in the vintage, instead this goes for controlled but silky black fruits, holding back its coffee bean dusting until the wine has fully opened in the glass. Excellent quality from Jeremy Chasseuil at Feytit-Clinet in this vintage. 70% new oak. A yield of 42 hl/ha. Drinking Window 2026 - 2044
This hits you right where it counts with all the truffle, dark chocolate and earthy plums, Good levels of concentration, richness, and velvety tannins make all the dark cocoa, black cherry, plum and truffle that much better. The finish really sticks with you too, coaxing you back for another sip. The wine blends 92% Merlot with 8% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. This is a contender for the finest vintage of Feytit Clinet ever produced. Great job, Jeremy!
Brilliant opaque colour with lively and pure dark cassis aromas. This racy 2019 has plenty of deep berry flavours. The Cabernet drive marries beautifully with the Merlot’s creamy plum fruit flavours that give harmony and volume in the mid palate. An amazingly nuanced wine true to its varietal makeup (30% Merlot, 34% Cabernet sauvignon and 36 % Cabernet Franc) , direct on entry, broad in the middle and then so fine on the finish. Absolute class, I love it.
The 2019 Figeac was picked from 13 September to 7 October, a total of 4 weeks picking. There is a little more emphasis on the Cabernet Franc this year - 36% of the blend. It is quintessential Figeac on the nose, that is to say that the enticing mélange of Merlot and Cabernet together creates more than a sum of their parts. Here the blackberry, crushed stone and graphite elements are seamlessly enmeshed with the more ravishing red fruit aspects delivered by the ripe Merlot. It is exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied. First impressions are of a Figeac that leans more to the Cabernet/Left Bank side of its personality, quite structured with black fruit dominating, saline and marine-influenced. The Merlot really comes through towards the close delivering that almost clinical mineral-driven finish. Winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team have conjured a deeply impressive, intellectual Figeac this years, amongst the canon of greats that stretch back to the 1940s. Drink 2028-2060
The 2019 Figeac is composed of 30% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 13th of September to the 7th of October. The alcohol this year is 14.1% and the pH is 3.7. Steal-your-heart scents of mulberries, black raspberries, Black Forest cake and cassis prance ever so gracefully out of the glass, followed by nuances of plum preserves, red roses, cinnamon toast and clove oil plus just a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shimmers with electric energy, framed by a solid backbone of wonderfully ripe, grainy Cabernet-led tannins and bold freshness, finishing with fantastic persistence and with tons of emerging earth and floral layers. This is a simply stunning, seemingly effortless, beautifully harmonious expression of the vineyard and the vintage - bravo!
Exquisite wine. Fragrant, floral nose with a perfect pitch of fruit. Cool, minerally edge alongside. Very pure and precise, the crafting spot on. Lovely line and length with plenty of drive and persistence. Refreshing, saline finish. A classic Figeac in its elegance and restraint. Gets the nod over 2015 and 2018 and at least on a par with 2016. Drink 2028-2048 (JL)
This is one of the most structured and linear Figeac with very fine tannins, yet at an intense level. So complex on the nose with notes of white flowers, blueberries and graphite. It’s full-bodied, very balanced and agile. So transparent and linear with brightness and raciness. 36% cabernet franc, 30% merlot and 34% cabernet sauvignon.
A stunning vivid wine, the 2019 Figeac may very well turn out to be one of the wines of the vintage, when all is said and done. Cabernet Franc is 36%, a bit higher than the norm, which has been closer to 30%. The 100% new oak is barely perceptible. Rich and dramatic in the glass, the 2019 soars with magnificent intensity. Graphite, cured meats, smoke, licorice, menthol and spice develop with aeration, but the 2019 is dense and very primary today. It is a truly grand Grand Vin in the making. Estate Director Frédéric Faye describes a year of starting and stopping in terms of maturity. He chose to start harvest with the young vine Merlots on sand early to preserve freshness, but waited on the parcels with Cabernet on clay/gravel, where the soils retain more moisture. Faye opted for gentle winemaking as he was concerned over-extracting the Cabernets in particular.
A higher amount of Cabernet Franc than usual in the blend, really get the Cabernet impact on the nose and on the attack, could easily say Left Bank with the liquorice root, menthol and leafy character. A rich creaminess comes in through the mid palate, with sappy raspberry fruits alongside salinity and minerality. The exuberance of a warm summer is there but it is well hidden under the precision of the tannic structure overall. An extremely impressive and signature Figeac. Juicy on the finish and oh so careful in its tannic delivery. Drinking Window 2028 – 2046
Beautifully dark, almost purple/garnet in color, the wine gets you going with its nose of flowers, blackberry, dark plums, spice, smoke, vanilla, cherries, licorice and tobacco leaf. As good as that is, when the wine hits your palate, the show starts with its majestic textures. Voluptuous, opulent and silky, the wine seeks attention, but it's not loud, it's discreet. Classic and yet, voluminous, the flamboyant palate-coating finish, with its multiple layers of fruit stays with you for close to 60 seconds. The wine was made from a classic blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot reaching 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place September 13 - October 7.
The 2019 La Fleur-Pétrus underwent double sorting, optical and manual, after harvest between 17 September and 3 October. It is matured in 50% new oak. It has a gorgeous bouquet with expressive red and black fruit, intermixed with crushed stone, freshly shaved black truffle and a touch of blue fruit perhaps originating from the 3% Petit Verdot. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, gently grippy tannins, undercurrents of tobacco and earth towards the finish. It actually ends more cerebrally than I anticipated, quite mercurial in the glass. This will require several years in bottle, but it will surely be worth the wait. Superb! Drink 2026 - 2050
Very deep purple-black in color, the 2019 la Fleur-Petrus soars out of the glass with vibrant notes of freshly crushed black cherries, warm plums and kirsch with underlying suggestions of wild sage, damp soil, charcoal and unsmoked cigars plus just a hint of Sichuan pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and bags of freshness supporting the muscular black fruits, finishing long and savory.
There’s a lovely purity and refinement in this wine which also has lift and pep. Floral-violet aromatics, the palate smooth and sculpted with super-fine tannins and juicy, engaging fruit. Long, fresh, clean finish. Drink 2028-2044 (JL)
This is a genuine, old-school Pomerol with blueberries, wet earth and black tea leaf. It’s full-bodied, yet balanced and beautiful. Traditional and so attractive with a modern tone.
The 2019 La Fleur-Pétrus is explosive and heady in the glass. A rush of wild flowers, spice, mocha and licorice gives the 2019 an exotic feel that resonate on the palate, where the wine is rich, ripe and flamboyant. With a bit of aeration, the 2019 shows its shoulders and persistence. I would be in no hurry here, there is plenty still left to come as the tannins soften. I never put stock in numbers alone, but the pH of 3.9 is higher than normal while the acidity above 3 is high. "These are very California-style numbers," Christian Moueix commented.
Beautiful aromatics, this sets itself apart from the first nose. The texture is velvety, with a sense of energy and precision that showcases the barest flicks of graceful minerality as it heads through the palate. Seriously enjoyable wine, one to note down in the vintage. It's concentrated, with barreled-down brambled fruit, relatively low acidity compared to the 2018, but it's sumptuous. A yield of 28hl/ha. 2027-2045
A cornucopia of fragrances here ranging from flowers, black and blue fruits, truffle, smoke, wet earth and kirsch grab your focus. It only takes one sip to hook you with its silky, sexy attitude. Concentrated, opulent, fresh and with vibrancy to the fruits, the opulent character knocked me out.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Fonbadet slowly unfurls to offer suggestions of Black Forest cake, mulberries and preserved plums with a core of blackcurrant cordial, cedar chest, pencil lead and clove oil. The palate bursts with vibrant black berry flavors accented with loads of savory nuances and backed by a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins, finishing with great length and freshness.
This is another beautifully crafted barrel sample with blackcurrant and mineral character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and a pretty finish.
The 2019 Fonbadet is racy and so inviting. Plush fruit and soft contours give the 2019 a fabulous sense of immediacy. An infusion of black cherry, plum, licorice, spice and lavender wraps around the palate as this sumptuous Pauillac shows off its alluring personality. There is so much to like here.
Good Pauillac typicity here from the first mouthful, as the tannins step up to the plate and enrobe the savoury black fruits. Has that lovely acid backbone that Pauillac does so well, and feels like there is real architecture to hang the fruit off. Great quality from Fonbadet in this vintage, recommended. Harvest 23 to October 11. A yield of 55hl/ha. 40% new oak. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040
Chocolate covered blackberry and cassis is the top note to the perfume here. Full-bodied, chunky, herbal, fresh and spicy, with juicy berries, chewy tannins and a fruity finish. Give it 7-9 years in the cellar before pulling a cork. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 30% Merlot.
Fresh fruit aroma and flavour with a savoury edge. Palate lively, juicy, with light, chalky tannins. Simple but appetising. Drink 2023-2030 (JL)
The 2019 Gazin is tightly wound at first and needs coaxing from the glass. Broody dark berry fruit, truffle and smoke eventually emerge, flanked by a discrete marine influence. The palate is very promising with saturated tannins that belie the structure of this Pomerol. The freshness is very impressive, lighting up the senses. The finish is imbued with wonderful tension and traces of iron on the aftertaste. Quintessentially Gazin, this is a superb wine. Drink 2025 - 2055
A tight, focused red with blackberry and blueberry character, as well as chocolate. It’s full and compact with soft, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Harmonious.
The 2019 Gazin is succulent, racy and forward. Super-ripe red cherry, kirsch, cedar and new leather are all laced together here. Deceptive in its mid-weight feel, the 2019 is racy and forward, with plenty of the vintage's radiance on display. Best of all, the 2019 should drink well right out of the gate.
Full of wild bramble fruits, hints of damson and sloe. A controlled and weighted wine, with a hint of muscular boldness. The fruit is richly layered and sits comfortably with the tannic structure. Full long and very concentrated
The 2019 Giscours is ripe and extrovert on the nose with exuberant black cherries, blueberry and crushed violets bursting from the glass. This is very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with a tang of seaweed infusing the black fruit on the entry, segueing into more tarry notes toward the well structured finish. This articulates a sense of completeness that I appreciate. The persistency is impressive. This is a superb, potentially long-term Giscours that may well end up at the top of my banded score. Drink 2025 - 2060
Quite an elegant wine. Dark fruited and minerally fresh with the tannins finely honed. A touch of oak spice on attack then smooth, linear, juicy and refreshing. Certainly understated. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2035
Lots of deep blue fruit with blackberries and grape skins, as well as tar and asphalt. Lead, too. It’s full-bodied, yet very tight with powerful, defined tannins, surrounded by attractive ripe fruit. Serious. Reminds me of the excellent 1975. A blend of 65% cabernet sauvignon and 35% merlot.
Quite simply, Giscours is magnificent in 2019, and also one of the rising stars of Margaux today. Pliant, supple and creamy, the 2019 races out of the glass with striking dimension. Ripe red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice and new leather all flesh out in a radiant, finessed Giscours that hits all the right notes. The 2019 is fabulous - that's all there is to it. Tasted two times. My tasting with General Manager Alexander Van Beek and Estate Manager Lorenzo Pasquini was one of the highlights of several weeks of the Zoom calls all of us will remember from this very particular campaign. According to Van Beek and Pasquini, 2019 was one of the longest harvests on record. The Merlot was picked early, to preserve freshness, while the Cabernet needed several additional weeks to achieve full physiological ripeness. Cuvaisons were long, 35 days on average, but pumpovers were stopped earlier in order to avoid overextraction. This new approach, along with the input of super-talented consulting oenologist Thomas Duclos, yielded two superb 2019s that continue Giscours' ascendency in Margaux and Bordeaux.
This is a serious Giscours, with medium intensity violet-edged ruby colour. High aromatics on the nose with cumin and cloves, followed by black cherry and cassis fruits that do a good job of filling the palate, and a cooling menthol finish as the tannins close in. Enjoyable overall, succulent yet with precision. Harvest lasted for an entire month, from September 11 to October 12, the longest ever at the estate and a reflection of more precise plot-by-plot work, with vines separated according to age and terroir. Thomas Duclos is consultant here as of the 2019 vintage. A yield of 44hl/ha. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
Flowers, black, red and blue fruits, wet earth, spice and smoke produce the attention-grabbing perfume. Pure silk and velvet in texture, the wine has richness and depth, while focusing on its purity and freshness. The long finish, with its fabulous lift and sweetness in the fruit keeps on going, long after the wine has left the glass. The wine blends 65% Cabernet Sauvignon with 35% Merlot, 13.9% alcohol. Picking took place September 11 - October 12, making this the longest harvest in the history of Giscours. This is the best vintage produced in the long history of Chateau Giscours.
Hedonistically rewarding in every way with expressive black forest fruit aromas. In the palate it is very layered with an array of sweet dark berry fruit flavours and hints of fresh coffee beans and Morello cherry. Full and succulent, it boasts an appealing drive of tannic power on the finish. A superb example of the subtle approachability of St Julien wines with a hint of Pauillac power. Top notch.
The 2019 Gloria continues a strong run of form - those rustic Glorias of the 1970s and 1980s are a distant memory. This has a precise and detailed bouquet that offers blackberry, briary, cedar and light tobacco aromas that gently unfurl in the glass. The palate is very well structured with a lovely citric undercurrent lending freshness and sharpness. This is a nimble Saint-Julien, athletic in build with a sapid finish that urges you back for another sip. Excellent. Drink 2025-2050
Deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Gloria comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy of a new puppy, featuring notes of baked plums, black cherry preserves and warm cassis plus hints of spice box, pencil lead, woodsmoke and dried mint. Medium to full-bodied (the alcohol states 14.2%), the palate is packed with juicy black fruit flavors, framed by approachable, ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing pleasantly earthy.
A firm, chewy red with blackberries, earth and hints of chocolate. It’s full-bodied and very structured. Better than the 2018.
The 2019 Gloria is fabulous. A wine of pure and total seduction, Gloria is so wonderfully inviting. A rush of floral, spice and earthy aromatics make a strong first impression. Pliant and racy on the palate, with striking red berry character, Gloria is incredibly alluring. A healthy dollop (34%) of Merlot gives Gloria its soft contours and open-knit personality, especially compared to its sibling, Saint-Pierre, which is much more Cabernet Sauvignon focused. I won't be surprised if Gloria turns out even better than this note suggests. It is one of the best values in Bordeaux.
Another winning velvety texture out of St Julien. You can trace the warmth and generosity of the vintage in the concentration and the ripeness of these blackberry and raspberry fruits but it is so seductive and carefully balanced with a core of freshness and a ton of crushed stone, black chocolate and baked earth adding layers and interest. This should be good value and is a definite buy. So much character and personality, right up there with the best vintages of this property. 40% new oak, 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
Wow', was the first word that crossed my path as soon as I met this beauty. Texturally, this wine rocks with its layers of lush, soft, polished, elegant, ripe, succulent fruits. The black and red berries glide over your palate with no hard edges, leaving with waves of sweet, ripe, rich, concentrated, full-bodied, pure black, red and blue fruits. This is a super wine that is clearly a contender for the best wine ever produced at Gloria!
A very seductive Grand Puy Lacoste with enticing volume and aromas of cedar, clove and black forest fruits. Broad and full, the juicy summer fruit flavours are in perfect harmony with the silky tannic structure. There is an understated power behind the beautiful freshness that flows onto a long finish spiked with dark currant and eucalyptus. A high class Pauillac.
The 2019 Grand Puy Lacoste is deep purple in colour. Initially the bouquet is tight and so I left my sample for 15-20 minutes to open. It rewards patience with a beguiling mélange of pure blackberry, raspberry, crushed violet and pencil shavings, very focused and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannins. Compared to the robust, tannic GPL's of old, this is much more lithe and approachable, yet it still bears the DNA of this Pauillac estate. It might not possess the flair of other 2019 Left Banks, but that it is not what I seek from this estate. Classy and full of breeding - quintessential Pauillac. Drink 2025 - 2060
Deep colour. A refined classic. Fragrant, lifted dark-fruit nose with blackcurrant notes to the fore. Super palate, the tannins plentiful and firm but offering a velvety texture at the same time. Lots of freshness, even a saline edge. Builds to a long, dry, mouth-cleansing finish. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2045
A firm, silky red with intense, chewy tannins, showing structure, beauty and intensity. Full-bodied, tight and chewy. Racy and focused GPL. Shows a more refined structure than the 2018, but serious.
Lovely depth of colour, a big difference between the 1st and 2nd wine in this vintage, this just screams Pauillac with its pencil lead, charcoal and cassis notes. Glass-staining colour, extremely silky, with liquorice and chocolate adding layers without taking away from the purity of expression. Fine tannic hold, tons of character and clear longevity - this is a brilliant wine, easily equal to the 2018 and approaching the 2016. Drinking Window 2027 - 2046
Black currants, flowers, cedar, cigar wrapper and cassis meld together on the nose. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, round, concentrated, lush, deep and packed with sweet, juicy cassis and blackberries, ripe tannins, and a finish marked by the purity in the fruit with the structure of Pauillac. This will age gracefully for at least 3 decades or longer.
Although Gruaud Larose is part of the UGC that sent over samples from its members, they decided not to take part, a decision that I respect. I look forward to tasting their 2019 when I can go to Bordeaux.
A very fine blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot, with the rest made up of equal proportions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. With its sweetly intense dark berry fruit flavours and hints of arabica spice, it is a very balanced portrayal of the warm summer days in July and the cooler days that followed in August. The tannins are full and round but stylishly ripe which gives weighted breadth. The palate is wonderfully refreshed on the finish with a finely composed line of acidity.
The 2019 Haut-Bailly was picked 23 September to 10 October. After 10-15 minutes in the glass the wine gradually unfurls to reveal beautiful red berry fruit, crushed stone, wilted rose petals and faint hints of blueberry. The palate is quite brilliantly balanced, the tannins extremely fine and framing the slightly earthy black fruit laced with salt. Though Véronique Sanders suggests that it bears a semblance to the 2009 with more depth, I cannot see that verisimilitude. To me, it is a less flamboyant and more terroir expressive Haut-Bailly that has an effortless allure and a sense of sophistication. Wonderful. Drink 2024 - 2055
Composed of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 23rd of September to 11th of October. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with vivacious notes of blackcurrant cordial, black raspberries and plum preserves with a tantalizing undercurrent of candied violets, dark chocolate, menthol and licorice plus a touch of Chinese five spice. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is achingly elegant, showing off perfumed black fruit layers with a firm frame of very fine-grained, silt-like tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with incredible persistence and fragrance. Just magic.
Well within itself but complex, compelling and racy. Cool, fresh and reserved on the nose but with a density of dark fruit apparent. Lively, vibrant palate, the fruit juicy, pure and substantial, the abundant tannins lithe and long. Dry, clean, minerally finish. Good persistence and drive. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2045
Such totally graceful perfumes to this, showing currants, dried flowers and stones, as well as hints of forest fruit and subtle tar, asphalt and smoke. Full-bodied, yet the texture is pristine with intense, polished and fine-grained tannins. So long, flavorful and ever so beautiful. The finish is never ending. This really is something special. 56% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot.
Elegance and sophistication are front and center in the 2019 Haut-Bailly. A wine of finesse and understatement, the 2019 reveals itself slowly in the glass. Graphite, crushed rocks, lavender, blackberry and lavender are some of the nuances that develop over time, but more than anything else, the 2019 is all about focus, persistence and simply exquisite overall balance. It is easily one of the highlights of the vintage.
Dark ruby in color, with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, cigar box, tobacco, smoke, herbs and ripe, sweet, fresh red fruits. Silky, sexy and seductive, with a long, sensuous palate, feel and presence, this is a beautiful expression of the vineyard. It should drink a bit earlier than the 2015, 2016 and 2018. But it will still need time in the cellar. The harvest took place September 23 - October 10. The wine is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot reaching 13.7 alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin was produced from 50% of the harvest.
An expressive and very polished wine from this estate recently purchased by the Cazes family. Deep purple colour, there are appealing bilberry and dark cherry aromas on the nose. I love the pure black fruits here. The rounded tannins are very sophisticated and there is a controlled energy throughout. Intense yet fresh, the palate unfurls to reveal strong cassis flavours. An excellent wine with great Pauillac intensity.
The 2019 Haut-Batailley, now of course part of the Cazes family's portfolio, is nicely detailed on the nose with blood orange and even a touch of marmalade tincturing the black fruit. The palate is very intense on the entry, the fruit remarkably pure with fine-grain tannins. This is a Haut-Batailley with ambition: very harmonious with touches of white pepper and cedar towards the finish. Is this a harbinger for things to come? I hope so. Drink 2025 - 2055
Plenty of blueberry and chocolate aromas and flavors. It’s full and chewy with a powerful finish. Tar and graphite at the end. Solid core of fruit and tannin here. One of the most structured I have had from here. Cazes family making the difference.
The 2019 Haut-Brion is completely different to La Mission Haut-Brion, the two compared side-by-side in the course of 24 hours. It was picked from 10 September until 3 October at 53hl/ha. Initially it is riper, more extrovert and luxurious than its sibling, yet returning after four hours (when chatting to Jean-Philippe Delmas) it has transmogrified into a very different wine with intense black fruit, boysenberry, iodine, forest floor and potpourri. The palate is medium-bodied and like the nose, initially comes across quite exuberant. Four hours later it is a much more nuanced wine that begins in understated fashion before a crescendo of black fruit tinged with blood orange and Chinese 5-spice. It fans out and gains volume wonderfully on the finish. This is a sensual and almost flamboyant Haut-Brion. Drink 2029 - 2070
The 2019 Haut-Brion is a blend of 48.7% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.1% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 10th of September to the 3rd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Displaying a deep garnet-purple color, it comes off incredibly shy and reticent to begin, needing considerable coaxing to reveal notes of dark chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry preserves, woodsmoke and sandalwood, before launching into a full-scale fireworks display of iron ore, cumin seed, redcurrant jelly, red roses, oolong tea and Sichuan pepper scents plus a waft of cardamom. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers the most exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins with a lively backbone of freshness supporting the tightly wound, earth-laced black fruit layers, finishing very long and minerally. This is one of the most finely structured, tightly knit wines of the vintage. Given time, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it goes atomic and eventually takes top place for the vintage.
Flexes muscle this year. Deep and complex but broody and subdued on the nose. Big, bold palate with an impressive density of mouth-filling fruit. Huge tannic frame behind, the tannins plentiful but ripe and swathed in all that fruit. Just a touch more freshness than La Mission. Really long and persistent. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
A potent, brooding wine, the 2019 Haut-Brion soars out of the glass with magnificent intensity. Its greatness and regal bearing are immediately apparent. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of dark fruit, scorched earth, tar, licorice and incense overtones that build effortlessly into the deep, eternal finish. The 2019 Haut-Brion is a wine of breeding, structure and power. It is also very clearly one of the standouts of the vintage. Don't miss it!
Powerful and confident, there is no mistaking this concentration of ripe damson and black cherry fruits, set against coffee, earth, sage and black chocolate. Tons of tannins on display but extremely fine, to the point that you almost don't notice them, then once the wine has left your mouth you suddenly realise how many there are, and how they are still exerting a pressure. Great persistency, slowing everything down and asking you to stop and think. Clear ageing ability here. Harvest September 10 to October 3. Drink 2029 – 2050.
Blood red ruby in hue, the aromatic profile resonates a bonfire of cherry wood, tar, cigar box, spearmint, hot rocks, stones and blackberries. Elegance, refinement and purity, with all that smoky essence is not found on any other wine. The supple, polished tannins, the layers of fruit that builds as you play with the wine on your palate is sublime. Here, the energy and vivaciousness in the fruit stands out, expands and never wants to quit, as the finish is close to 60 seconds! The finish, with its sensual, velvet palate presence, coupled with luscious red fruits needs t be experienced at least once by every wine lover! The wine blends 49% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc with the harvest taking place September 10-October 3. The wine reached 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.85 with 49% of the harvest being placed into the Grand Vin.
The 2019 Hosanna continues this Pomerol cru's strong run of form. Picked between 20 September and 3 October, it is matured in 50% new oak. It contains a little more Cabernet Franc than previous vintages (31%). It has a divine bouquet, pure and delineated with intoxicating scents of blackberry, raspberry preserve, rose petals, hints of blood orange and a light smear of honey. The palate is beautifully balanced with filigree tannins and perfectly judged acidity. Cabernet Franc contributes an extra dimension to the finish. This might well be the best Hosanna since its inception. Drink 2025 - 2055
The 2019 Hosanna sports a deep garnet-purple color and flamboyant notes of crushed black cherries, black raspberries, fruitcake and boysenberries with hints of allspice, potpourri, tilled soil and wild mushrooms plus a provocative touch of iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with spiced black fruit layers, textured by beautifully plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and earthy.
The nose is a little more reserved and austere but the leafy freshness of the Cabernet Franc is apparent. Lovely texture, the layered fruit fleshing out fine but firm tannins. Definitely has lift and freshness, the finish clean and persistent. Staying power, I would think. Drink 2028-2044 (JL)
The aromas and flavors of blueberries, black olives, black chocolate and minerals are very impressive. It’s full-bodied, layered and powerful. Focused and chewy.
The strengths of 2019 appear incredibly well suited to Hosanna, which is shaping up to be one of the most compelling wines of the year. Rich and sumptuous to the core, with stunning depth. The 2019 is simply breathtaking. Plum, chocolate, licorice, leather and dark spice all build effortlessly. As always, Hosanna is a Pomerol built on fruit density and volume. About 2/3rds of the property is planted with 60+ year old vines (the oldest in the Moueix stable) that clearly handled the rigors of the summer heat well. The 2019 is big, bold and beautiful. What a wine!
Coffee bean and violet, I love the balance of austerity and exuberance. The dark berry fruits are plush and expand outwards through the mid palate, the tannins are well brushed and hang around just as you wish them to do. Plenty of ageing potential here. 2025-2040
Black cherry, boysenberry and blueberry fruits are all over the place. You also find truffle, smoke, licorice and chocolate to add to the fun. On the palate the wine is deep, opulent, rich, full and concentrated, with layers of silky, sensuous, chocolate covered, supple textured fruits that go on and on in the finish.
A really complete Ch d’Issan representing the very best of the two classic grape varieties: the Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) gives brightness and energy with its refreshing lively cassis flavours while the sweetly generous Merlot (30%) provides a creamy, plum fruit character. Very energetic in style with some crisp tannic composure. A hugely classical style which will be so rewarding for lovers of traditional red Bordeaux.
The 2019 d'Issan has an intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, pencil lead and wilted iris scents that unfold gradually from the glass. The oak seems nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe tannins that provide quite a firm backbone. Mainly black fruit with hints of white pepper, sage and graphite, this is a tightly-wound d'Issan with impressive persistence on the classic pencil lead finish. Maybe a bit old school? There's nothing wrong with that if it is well crafted, like this. Tasted twice, one bottle showing a little more cohesion than the first. Drink 2025 - 2055
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 D'Issan soars out of the glass with expressive scents of baked red currants, warm cassis and black cherry compote with hints of powdered cinnamon, potpourri, Provence herbs and aniseed plus a waft of fallen leaves. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly played with bags of fresh, vibrant black and red berry flavors and a firm line of ripe, grainy tannins, finishing with an invigorating lift.
This is a very pure expression of cabernet sauvignon with blackcurrants, blackberries and tar. Wet earth, too. It’s full-bodied, yet very tight and reserved. Extremely racy, intense finish. This is super precise. Classical.
A gorgeous, inviting Margaux, the 2019 d'Issan is ample and resonant in feel, with striking depth and tons of character. Inly blue/purplish fruit, mint, lavender and spice are beautifully woven together. Deceptive at first, the 2019 fleshes out nicely as it gains intensity through to the persistent, taut finish. There is so much to like about this very fine d'Issan. Tasted two times.
A concentrated but graceful feel to this Issan, showcasing why it is one of the powerhouses of Margaux without necessarily flexing its muscles the most obviously. Takes a few moments to unroll on the palate but as it does it expands both forward and outwards, beautifully filling the mid palate with creamy brambly fruits and firm but flexible tannins. This inches open, suggesting it has an extremely long life ahead of it, and is close to the 2016 in expression, although not quite with the depth of expression of that exemplary vintage. 50% new oak, 3.7pH. 45% of overall production went into the 1st wine. Harvest from 25th September to 11th October. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045
Gentle aromas of flowers, wet earth, tobacco, espresso and red fruits permeate the nose. Elegant and refined in character, the wine falls gently over your palate with warm tones of ripe, sweet, fresh plums, blackberries, spice and freshness, so you discover lift, energy, length and purity. This will age and evolve for at least 2-3 decades. The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The Grand Vin was produced from only 47% of the harvest.
The 2019 Lacoste-Borie has a really quite gorgeous bouquet with blackberry and freshly picked raspberry while subtle floral scents emerge with time. The oak is neatly integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and well judged acidity. Hints of graphite give away its Pauillac origins towards the finish. This is a well-crafted Lacoste-Borie that is approachable yet has the substance to age. Very fine. Drink 2023 - 2040
Cabernet cassis and graphite nose. Juicy and concentrated on the palate with just a hint of oak. Solid tannic frame behind. Dry, grainy finish. Serious little number. Probably GV. (JL) Drink 2025 – 2034
Some traces of the warmth of summer here in that fruits are brambly with traces of fig and just a little soft on the finish. It's still a great quality Pauillac and one that will deliver this well-loved 2nd wine's signature success, but I'd pick the 2018 or 2016 as more representative of what it can do at its best. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036
Pepper, flowers and red fruits open the wine before finding the soft, medium-bodied, fresh, sweet red berries on the palate and in the refined, spicy finish. Enjoy this while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. It will offer pleasure early.
Striking aromas of mocha and oriental spice with hints of liquorice and autumnal forest fruits. This is all about composure and discretion with layers of distinctive tight dark fruit flavours. The entrance in the palate is very graceful and the fruit unfurls beautifully. This is everything a Lafite should be: elegant and defined, subtle yet powerful. A wine which will reward keeping and give many generations of claret lovers huge pleasure. The ultimate in Pauillac class.
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild was picked from 19 September with the Merlots, pausing during a rainy spell and then picked through to 7 October. The blend includes what Eric Kohler calls "outsider" parcels that met the grade, including some of the Merlot on more clayey soils (see introduction) as well as 13.5% vin de presse. Alcohol here is some half a degree lower than many of its peers at around 13.4%. It has a very sensual bouquet, not a common feature in this First Growth, with generous black fruit infused with pencil box, sous-bois and discrete white pepper aromas. The oak is beautifully subsumed by the fruit already. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, rounded tannins that lend this Lafite its creamy femme fatale texture and disguise its backbone. More powerful than expected, this builds in the mouth towards an atypically corpulent, dense finish that seems to "flow" across the senses. There is not a single hair out of place. I can envisage this firming up during its élevage and deserving more bottle age than seemingly appropriate at this juncture. Whatever its drinking plateau turns out to be, it is certainly a wonderful Lafite-Rothschild that pips the 2018 and revels in the growing season. Drink 2029 - 2070
The 2019 Lafite Rothschild is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 7th of October. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with compelling notions of baked black cherries, ripe blackberries and crème de cassis followed by hints of mocha, licorice, smoked meats and Sichuan pepper with a waft of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate is at once ethereally graceful and powerfully intense, featuring layer upon layer of profound smoky, savory flavors and decadently ripe fruit, framed by exquisite, silt-like tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. In terms of flavor profile, this is a surprisingly (atypically) hedonic, forward expression, with notably lower acidity/higher pH (the pH is 3.9). The alcohol is 13.4%, just a tick higher than the 2018 (13.3%). And yet, the tannins here are unmistakably Lafite, featuring all the tannic grace, finesse and densely pixilated poise fans will expect. What an exciting paradox for the palate—bravo!
Supreme elegance in the Lafite mould. Fresh and fragrant on the nose with mineral, cedar and dark-fruit notes. Poise and precision on the palate, the attack clean and direct, the tannins long and linear but enrobed in ripe fruit. Dense but with a reined-in discretion. Silky texture and overall great freshness. Just edges the 2018 for freshness and finesse. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
Complex aromas of blackcurrants and lead pencil. Incredible. Graphite and tar. Stunning. It’s full-bodied, yet shows such harmony and polish. Elegance and complexity with finesse. The tannins are so integrated and endless. It goes on for minutes. 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot.
The 2019 Lafite-Rothschild is sensual, alluring and simply breathtaking in its beauty. A vivid, towering Lafite, the 2019 simply has it all. Even with all of its intensity, the 2019 possesses striking minerality and tension that give the wine its sense of drive and precision. it is a stunning wine by any measure. The blend is 94% Cabernet 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, including some Merlot from clay-rich parcels that are new to the Grand Vin. Technical Director Eric Kohler describes 2019 as an easier vintage than 2018, a year that saw quite a bit of disease pressure and extremes of temperature. Kohler added that while 2019 was hot, it was consistently hot, and therefore the vines adapted to the conditions as opposed to being shocked by sudden changes. Yields were a very classic 36-40 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the property. Cuvaison was about three weeks, with gentle extractions. As always one of the signatures at Lafite is the use of a portion of press lots in the final blends.
Performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the final stretch, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never before been used in Lafite's 1st wine, because their drone and satellite research discovered three tiny areas that were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7. Drink 2029 – 2048
This is a beautiful example of what Chateau Lafite Rothschild does best. Dark garnet in color, aromatically, you find lead pencil, cedar, forest, tobacco wrapper, mint, and black with red fruit scents. The most elegant of all the First Growths, the wine, classic in nature, is refined, pure, bright, focused, precise, and long. There is an intensity that expands as the wine graces your palate, before moving to the finish that is all about the extraordinary purity in the fruits. The wine blends 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. The Merlot was harvested September 19-September 25. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked September 22-October 7. The wine reached 13.4% alcohol with pH of 3.9. The Grand Vin was produced from only 40% of the harvest with yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare.
A stunning wine from Basile Tesseron and his team. Bright, lively, silky and charming, with crunchy currant fruit aromas. The palate is harmonious and supported by a graceful structural core. Rich, subtle and full of energy, this really is a beautiful wine. Great length. A joy
The 2019 Lafon-Rochet, which was picked from 25 September to 5 October, requires a little coaxing from the glass, eventually unfurling with blackberry, bilberry, violet and light crushed stone/clayey scents that is quintessential Saint-Estèphe. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins, fresh and saline in the mouth, old school in the best sense of that expression. No, it is not the most flamboyant Lafon-Rochet, but it is imbued with a sense of nobility and classicism that I much admire. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Drink 2025 - 2050
Dark and subdued but very fresh. Adequate fruit but long and linear with plenty of drive. Good persistence and lovely palate-cleansing finish. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2038
The purity of fruit and balance in this young St.-Estephe is really beautiful with crushed-currant, stone and orange-peel aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and a pretty finish. We will see if this is better than the 2018 or not.
The 2019 Lafon-Rochet is absolutely gorgeous. Dark and powerful, yet also wonderfully translucent, the 2019 has so much to offer. Black cherry, licorice, spice, sweet tobacco, leather and dried herbs infuse the 2019 with striking layers of dimension and nuance. There is so much going on in this potent wine; this is a real sleeper in Saint-Estèphe.
Spiced pepper and cinnamon on the first nose, good concentration, pencil lead and slate abound in this alongside cassis bud and touches of brambled hedgerow, all of which suggests fresh acidities and good backbone. Some chewy tannins also, this is a serious Lafon that will age well. Less immediately seductive than the 2018. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
Dark ruby in color, the wine is lush, soft, rounded and concentrated with layers of perfectly ripe, black, red and blue fruit complicated by crushed rocks, stones, smoke and spice-box aromas. Rich, lusciously textured and full-bodied, this is a beautiful expression of Saint Estephe and Lafon Rochet.
The 2019 Lagrange was picked from 24 September and finished with the Petit Verdot on 14 October - the longest harvest at 27 days. It has quite a dense, powerful bouquet with black fruit, sous-bois and cedar, taking its time to open but somehow remaining more “distant” than previous vintages of Lagrange. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, layers of black fruit with just a light citric touch. Quite a streamlined Lagrange in the context of a warm growing season, this feels agile and nimble on the finish. Excellent. Drink 2025 - 2055
Look at all that Cabernet in the blend! Classic graphite and cassis aromas. Deep and quite profound with layered fruit, freshness and a big but polished tannic frame. Long, firm finish. Solid and with staying power. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2045
A red with dark fruit and plenty of dark chocolate, as well as spice undertones. Full body. Juicy finish. Extremely balanced and refined.
The 2019 Lagrange is a dark, sumptuous wine endowed with tremendous textural resonance and pure power. Cedar, sweet tobacco, dried leaves, leather and licorice all add nuance to a core of ripe red cherry and red plum fruit. I especially admire Lagrange's depth in 2019.
Dark plum in colour, medium intensity, this is sleek, well-defined and has an extremely pure expression of cassis fruit. Just enormously elegant, with tons of St Julien balance, and fine tannins that are sure to take it through the next few decades with ease. I love this wine, one of the most enjoyable of the vintage in St Julien, with a strikingly seductive texture. Tasted twice two weeks apart, sure to become a standout with some bottle age. When you look at the figures (which I only did after tasting) you start to understand why this is so good - highest level of Cabernet in the estate's recent history, longest harvest ever through to October 14, and only 1/3 of overall production in the 1st wine, lowest amount to date. Whatever they are doing, they are getting it right. Drinking Window 2027 - 2045
A big, juicy, energetic blast of spicy, invigorating cassis is the first thing that sticks with you. The fruit is sweet, round, full-bodied and fresh. The fruit here really lingers on your palate, and the tannins are ripe and present, which is a good thing because that sensation of purity in the finish is something you want to hang on to.
Pep and vitality on a rather refined, dark-fruit and floral nose. Plenty of backbone but the tannins finely honed. Long and linear with drive and persistence but sufficient mid-palate fruit to fill the holes. Clean finish. Should stay the course. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2038
This shows very good concentration of ripe fruit in the center palate with medium body, ripe tannins and a wet-earth, berry and bark aftertaste. Lots of tannins and structure at the end. Solid. From organically grown grapes.
The 2019 La Lagune is superb. Medium in body, yet beautifully resonant, the 2019 is understated at first, but opens up with a bit of time in the glass. Dark red cherry, red plum, licorice, mint, blood orange and dried flowers add striking layers of nuance. The 2019 is a gorgeous La Lagune. I loved it.
The 2019 Lanessan has a ripe, upfront nose that is missing a bit of precision: plenty of liquorice notes coming through. The palate is better with sweet black fruit laced with black pepper and tobacco. The finish is nicely proportioned. I just need to see more delineation and terroir expression once in bottle. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2023+
Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Lanessan strides boldly out of the glass with notes of crushed blackcurrants, warm plums and cedar chest plus hints of pencil lead, bay leaves and Marmite toast. Medium bodied, the palate has a sturdy foundation of chewy, rugged tannins and loads of freshness supporting the black fruit layers, finishing savory.
Bright and vivid with blackcurrants, dried flowers and hints of spice to the energetic fruit. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, racy tannins and a long finish. Very well done.
With a dark hue, the wine combines wet earth, forest leaf, cocoa, dark red fruits and tobacco to create the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, full-bodied and loaded with sweet, dark red fruits and freshness. This should age quite nicely.
This small 18 ha estate was ideally suited to cope with the noticeable heat in the month of July thanks to its slightly cooler northerly facing vineyard location, hence this is a gorgeous expression of the 2019 vintage. Full of charm and generosity, the nose reveals layers of Morello cherry and Mara de Bois strawberries. There is delicious volume in the palate, spiced with molasses and freshly ground coffee. Full of charm, this is a beautiful and enticing wine that competes with the very best of the appellation in 2019.
The 2019 Langoa Barton has a very typical Langoa nose, which is a good thing, sporting vivacious black cherries, blackberry, crushed iris, cedar and light blood orange scents lurking offstage. Lovely oak integration here. The palate is beautifully defined on the entry, a structured almost big-boned Langoa with enormous grip on the spicy finish. I love the generosity of this Saint-Julien, one that I suspect will be seductive on release but don't be deceived - it deserves cellaring lest you get a smacked wrist for being impatient. Drink 2026 - 2055
Attractive nose of dark fruit with a savoury edge. Palate joyous and juicy with plenty of lift, the tannins ripe and smooth. Clean, long and harmonious. Everything in its place. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2038
Very finely textured with pure blue fruit and lavender and violet undertones. It’s full-bodied with pure, focused fruit. Extremely long and refined. Clearly better than the 2018.
The 2019 Langoa Barton is fleshy, succulent and a great example of the year. Soft contours and pliant fruit give the 2019 tons of immediacy. Red plum, pomegranate, sweet spice, mint and blood orange all meld together in a rich, seamless Saint-Julien that will drink well right out of the gate. Langoa-Barton has really come on strong in the last few vintages; the 2019 is another terrific edition.
Silky blackberry and bilberry fruits, this is a brilliant Langoa, with concentration and lift that pull you both forwards and upwards through the palate. For me this is more successful than the 2018 because it delivers an absolute punch of fruits but gently so, with elegance and control that is very St Julien. Grilled cedar finish, great stuff. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
This is always is keen to announce its big brother status over the neighbouring family wine Langoa. The high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) gives a jet black colour and is very expressive, with masses of dark black forest fruits, hints of liquorice and boiled toffee. Sturdy, muscular and richly layered, this is a wine with presence and composure and an almost Pauillac-like power. Tremendous aging potential.
The 2019 Léoville Barton is a different kettle of fish compared to its sibling Langoa. It has a complex bouquet of blackberry, sous-bois, tobacco and minerals, much more introverted yet exceedingly complex. The palate is exquisite in terms of balance, laden with intense black fruit laced with orange zest, that citrus element counterbalancing the tannic grip and structure. There is a sense of completeness to this Léoville-Barton, certainly on par with the best vintages in recent years. A formidable yet charming Saint-Julien in the making. Drink 2026 - 2065
A graceful wine but with plenty of reserve. Great depth and purity of fruit. Refined cedar and cassis nose. Vibrant palate with a juicy quality to the fruit, plentiful tannins and a texture that is silky and smooth. Fresh, long and persistent. The absolute in harmony. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
A pure, focused red with blackberries and blackcurrants. Very floral, too. Medium-to full-bodied, tight and fine-tannined. Pretty clarity and balance to this. Less muscular than the 2018, but very attractive all the same.
The 2019 Léoville-Barton is fabulous. In the glass, the 2019 captures all of the natural intensity of the year while remaining so true to its identity; that's always the sign of a great terroir. Graphite, lavender, crème de cassis, licorice, jasmine and dark spice are some of the many nuances that unfold across this wine. What a gorgeous wine the 2019 is.
Medium to full intensity in colour, this is glass-staining ruby and yet another hit from an estate that is making seriously great wine right now. Mint and eucalyptus are clear, tension and grip held through the palate. This has shoulders and swagger to the tannins, pure cassis hit of fruit and some lovely black chocolate and slate overtones along the way. Strays almost to Pauillac in terms of the weight of the tannins, but it's brilliant. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045
The 2019 Léoville Las-Cases was picked from 18 September to 8 October and matured in 90% new oak barrels. Typically deep and limpid in colour, it has a knockout nose with penetrating blackberry, bilberry and blueberry fruit struck through with an accentuated marine/oyster shell element. The palate is beautiful, the fine-grain tannins framing delineated, mineral-infused black fruit. There is a clarity to this Grand Vin that places it amongst Jean-Hubert Delon's finest releases in recent years and it is blessed with astounding length. You come away with the feeling of a nascent wine boasting immense coiled-up energy that will guarantee its longevity. Stunning. Drink 2026 - 2070
The 2019 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 11% Merlot. Harvest began early for the Merlot, on the 18th of September, and the Cabernets were picked in October, finishing on the 8th of October. The IPT number (measurement of tannins) is 80—the same as 2018. The alcohol came at 14.02% (lower than 2018), but it does seem a little lower than this percentage, probably because the pH is a little lower this year, at 3.67. It is aging in French oak barriques, 90% new. The color is opaque purple-black, with a nose that unfurls slowly in the glass, beginning with vibrant, expressive black fruit notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, ripe blackberries and fresh black cherries, followed by a beguiling array of floral and earth nuances—candied violets, lavender, fragrant soil, underbrush, crushed rocks and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied wine dances ever so gracefully on the palate, demurely revealing tightly wound layers of of bright, crunchy black fruits and tantalizing floral and mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid structure of firm, finely grained tannins and fantastic tension, finishing with epic persistence. Although the style is completely different, the barrel sample is behaving a lot like the Haut-Brion sample was when I tasted it, in that it appears to be holding just that little bit extra back right now. I have to call it as I see it today, but I wouldn't be surprised if when I come back to taste this from bottle, it shows me all that and a lot more.
Deep purple-black to the rim. Dark and brooding with immense depth. Blackcurrant and graphite nuance. Beautiful lift on the palate, so much energy and power. Ingrained minerally freshness. Huge tannic base but the texture smooth and remarkably refined. Zest and force but absolute precision. Lingering and intense, stays on the palate for ever. One of the greats from this estate. (JL) Drink 2032 – 2050
So structured for the vintage, but there’s freshness and vibrancy from the acidity. Full-bodied, extremely creamy and polished. Plush silk. Extremely long, linear and compact. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot and 10% cabernet franc.
Love it when a wine steals up on you, and you very definitely get that here, taking its time on the first attack then rapidly expanding outwards and upwards. Undoubtedly it will knit down as Las Cases can't help itself but do, but there is a creamy almost caramel side hiding among the tannins here. Beautiful power and layers of charcoal, slate, crushed stones, cassis, bilberry and tobacco, all displayed with elegance and tension. A long harvest of over three weeks from September 18 to October 8, 6.5% press wine used, a little more than in 2018 (where just over 2% was used). 3.67ph, 90% new oak. 2029-2045
Dark, almost opaque garnet in color, the wine loads you up with smoke, spearmint, cigar wrapper, cedar, flowers, deep red pit fruits and blackberries. Perfectly combining intense power, concentration, layers of ripe black fruits and a refined character that create a seamless tasting experience. Give this at least 12-15 years before popping a cork. The wine is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.02% alcohol with a 3.67 pH. The harvest took place from September 18 - October 9.
The wines of St Julien have been absolute joy to taste this vintage, even in the confines of my tasting room in Suffolk and not “sur place”, and no wine emphasises their quality better than this glorious Poyferré. Full of summer pudding aromas, this has the characteristic flamboyance that we have seen in this property in recent times, but with the reserve, grace and finesse that this great terroir is famed for. A must buy wine of the appellation this year. Gracious, full, persistent, with perfect integration between fruit, alcohol, tannins, and a subtle line of acidity. Total harmony and absolute pleasure.
The 2019 Léoville-Poyferré has a typically seductive bouquet with layers of ripe black fruit laced with tobacco, sous-bois, touches of marmalade and dried orange peel. Give it another hour and more blue fruit begins to emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with lavish, luxuriant black fruit and a creamy texture that is instantly seductive. It is a more opulent Saint-Julien than the Barton with a satin-like texture on the finish. If you love the style of Léoville-Poyferré then you will adore this. Drink 2026 - 2065
Deep purple hue. Rich but reserved with great purity of fruit. Cassis and spice aromas. Powerful tannic frame but folded in layers of unctuous fruit. Mouth-filling and flexing a little muscle. A big wine with plenty of matière. Long finish. One for the cellar. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
Chewy and rich this year with lots of ripe tannins and solid depth of fruit. Chocolate and walnuts to the blue fruit. It’s full-bodied. Plenty of fruit at the end. Excellent length.
The 2019 Léoville-Poyferré is magnificent. Inky, dark and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2019 possesses off-the-charts richness allied to tremendous breadth that grows over time. Crème de cassis, chocolate, licorice, sweet spice and menthol wrap around the palate as this dense, potent Saint-Julien shows off its alluring personality. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2019 for some years, as it is a wine of raw power.
A rich and highly charged Poyferré, with creamy damson and vanilla pod spice expanding through the mid palate. Hugely impressive, with velvety tannins and plenty of charcoal, grilled sarments and slate impact. Higher tension through the core would take the score up even further. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the estate under the ownership of the Cuvelier family.
Deep and dark in color, the wine exudes flowers, tobacco, smoke, licorice and dark red fruit aromas. Full-bodied, lushly textured, round and fresh, the fruit has this beautiful, opulent, sensuous character. This is a good thing as it allows the cashmere tannins and layers of sweet, ripe, almost decadent berries to come alive, expand and really hang in there. If you are a fan of Leoville Poyferre, this needs to be in your cellar. Blending 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14.1 alcohol. The harvest took place from September 20 to October 11.
A wine that lives up to expectations. Shining purple in colour, the nose is scented with black summer fruits, blueberry and violet. The palate is rich, fruit-forward and succulent with a leathery tannic intensity. This is a very composed wine that is comfortable in its own powerful skin and boasts a lovely combination of weight and sweet ripe fruits. The finish is elegant and harmonious.
The 2019 Lynch-Bages is intense on the nose with layers of blackberry, bilberry, cedar, pencil shavings and light mint aromas defining it as a Pauillac. Very focused and I noticed it gaining delineation with aeration. The palate is very smooth and harmonious, the acidity perfectly pitched with a gentle but insistent grip. It reminds me of the superlative 2016 in some ways, effortless on the lightly spiced finish. This has huge potential. They should build a new winery to celebrate! Drink 2026 - 2060
Big, bold and broad-shouldered. A wine that states its presence. Spicy, dark-fruit and graphite nose. Juicy and wholesome on the palate with layers of generous fruit and muscle-flexing tannin. All tight and contained. Long, dry finish. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
A tight and very focused young red with redcurrant, tile and blackberry undertones. Lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with very polished, creamy tannins and lots of intense dark fruit. Compact fruit and tannins. Structured.
The 2019 Lynch Bages is stunning. Rich, ample and dramatic, the 2019 possesses tremendous richness and an intensity that builds all the way through to the finish. Inky red and purplish fruit, new leather, cedar and blueberry are all pushed forward here. Vibrant and expansive from the very first taste, with tremendous saline energy backing it all up, Lynch Bages is pure magic in 2019. Wow. Don't miss it!
This takes hold from the first moment and powers along, delivering a ton of black brambly fruit, liquorice, grilled cedar and Pauillac confidence. The tannins are pretty chewy, really closing in on the end of play, giving no doubt that this is going to age slowly and for many decades, but there is a creaminess to the overall structure that is already evident. Drinking Window 2029 - 2046
The 2019 has refined and subtle summer pudding fruit aromas. On the palate, there is noticeable richness and ripeness of fruit while strong, controlling tannins give a sense of structure and power. A deep and fully flavoured wine with hints of dark toffee and liquorice. Strong and long on the finish.
The 2019 Malescot St. Exupéry is richer and more flamboyant on the nose compared to its Margaux peers with ravishing red berry fruit, vanilla, iodine and touches of cassis, becoming increasingly floral with aeration. The palate has a cashmere texture on the entry matched by well judged acidity. Wonderful cohesion here, harmonious and focused with veins of black pepper and allspice towards the finish that feels reassuringly long. Deee-licious! Drink 2024-2060
The 2019 Malescot St. Exupéry is a striking wine that is sure to find many admirers. Gravel, smoke, licorice, pencil shavings and crushed rocks meld into a core of dark, inky plum and berry fruit. The interplay of earthy and savory notes with rich, dense fruit here is utterly captivating. Even in this warm, obviously opulent vintage, Malescot remains one of the most distinctive wines in Margaux, and in Bordeaux more broadly. I loved it.
Shining radiant purple colour. Despite hints of summer pudding and Morello cherry, it’s clear there is plenty more to come. In the palate this initial discretion gives way to a firework of sensations, it really is quite fabulous. There is a breadth of rich fruit and the wine progressively fills out in the palate thanks to its Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) substance. It balances the Cabernet’s directness, with an appealing creaminess. A very full wine with wonderful fruit concentration and a fine degree of freshness. There is nothing ostentatious about this wine, comfortable in its own skin and fully aware of its breeding. Top class.
The 2019 Château Margaux, like many other top names, was tasted in 12-hour intervals after opening. Like the Pavillon Rouge, it is tightly-wound on the nose initially and it is really only after 12-hours that it begins to motor, revealing enticing scents of blackberry, briary, seaweed and crushed stone, perhaps less florality, less violet-inspired aromas compared to previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with very lithe tannins that disguise the considerable backbone of this First Growth. This is imbued with a sense of linearity and focus, a strictness that gradually gives way to more sensuality. It is a beautifully proportioned Château Margaux, somehow "effortless", fanning out nonchalantly with residues of white pepper and fresh tobacco on the finish. Outstanding. Drink 2029-2065
The 2019 Château Margaux is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, accounting for 37% of the crop. The alcohol came in at 13.9%, the IPT was 75, and the pH was 3.66. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose begins with intense scents of crushed blackberries, warm cassis and plum preserves before fanning out into a whole array of floral, exotic spice and earth scents: iris, red roses, star anise, cassis, tilled soil, moss-covered bark and black truffles, with an emerging waft of crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate quivers with energy, emitting loads of mineral sparks, featuring bold freshness and fantastically ripe, finely grained tannins to support the delicate, perfumed layers, finishing very long and wonderfully poised. The juxtaposition between the acidity and the richness in this Château Margaux is just extraordinary!
Deep colour to the rim. Super fragrance, the aromas pure and persistent with typical Cabernet cassis and graphite notes. Rich and full across the palate but definitely more freshness than the Pavillon. Plentiful tannins provide the drive but absolutely no aggression. Aromatic freshness on the finish aids persistence and length. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
The fantastic quality of the cabernet sauvignon really comes through here with black currant, blueberry and raspberry character. It’s full-bodied with such tightness. It’s so beautiful in the center palate. The tannins are wonderfully blended into the wine and flow across the palate. Rather leaner and racy. Ethereal. 37% of the production and 90% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
The 2019 Margaux is a total showstopper. A thrilling wine that melds together the textural intensity of the year with striking vibrancy, Margaux is just stunning. All the classic Margaux signatures are amplified in such dramatic fashion. The 2019 is a wine of pure and total sensuality. A second sample that arrived very late after having been stuck in customs was shockingly vibrant when I tasted it out of curiosity. I couldn't help myself. In the early going, Margaux is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Don't miss it. Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules and his team turned out two spectacular wines in 2019. Note: I did not taste the Pavillon Blanc, as the estate thought it was too fragile to ship. Bascaules describes 2019 as an easy vintage. Flowering was normal and set was good. Yields came in at a healthy 47 hectoliters per hectare, more than 2017 or 2018, the summer heat spikes notwithstanding. Bascaules opted to pick the Merlot early and gave those lots a very gentle extractions at low temperatures, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon vinifications were a much more typical 20-22 days at 28-30 degrees Celsius. In tasting, the 2019s have more tannins than any other vintage, with the exception of 2018, and yet the wines don't show that at all.
This expands sideways, vertically and downwards, with a creamy mid palate and a rose petal, peony, raspberry and cassis collision on the nose. This is chewy in its tannic structure, full on and yet delicate and sappy. Fresh, elegant, perfumed and concentrated - clearly will age for decades. This is close in character to the 2009 or 2015, two exceptional vintages at Margaux and classic to the graceful yet concentrated signature of the property. 1% Petit Verdot to complete the blend, 100% new oak although barely discernible already. 37% of overall production in the 1st wine this year. Drinking Window 2029 - 2050
Dark garnet with purple accents in the hue tells you the wine going to be concentrated. The nose, with its showy aromatic display of lilacs, roses, herbs, cigar box, blackberries, dark red pit fruits, gun powder and violets informs you the wine is complex. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, silky, and seductive. It starts off discreetly before moving to its sexy side. The layers of sweet, fresh, vibrant, black and red fruit come on strong and keep on going long after the wine has left the glass. The wine blends 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.9% alcohol. The Grand Vin was produced using only 37% of the harvest. Picking took place September 18 - October 10, making this a fairly leisurely harvest.
The 2019 Le Marquis de Calon Ségur comes sprinting out of the blocks on the nose with powerful blackberry, iodine and pressed iris petals, a little "in ya face" at first but with aeration develops commendable cohesion. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit laced with pencil lead, very harmonious with a precise and persistent finish. This is surely the best second label from Calon Ségur to date. Drink 2025 - 2040
Deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Le Marquis de Calon-Ségur wafts out of the glass with fragrant potpourri, garrigue and Darjeeling tea scents over a core of redcurrant jelly, plum preserves and blackcurrant pastilles plus a touch of cracked black pepper. The full-bodied palate has a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins with loads of freshness supporting the crunchy black fruits, finishing long and savory.
A solid red with a deep, dense center palate and a balance of berry, spice and chocolate character. It’s full and linear at the finish. Better than the 2018.
The 2019 Le Marquis de Calon Ségur is a stunning wine. Dark cherry, blackberry jam, plum, gravel, menthol, licorice, inky spice and new leather meld together in a Saint-Estèphe that is rich, unctuous and potent to the core. In the glass, the 2019 is virile and expansive, with tremendous depth, persistence and aromatic breadth. Not a timid wine, the 2019 packs plenty of punch and 15.1% alcohol that is remarkably well-integrated.
Gorgeously plump blackberry and damson fruit here, high impact with chewy tannins that build through the palate and give an impression of confidence and pleasure. A clear crowd pleaser, with cocoa bean and chocolate shavings, no need to wait too long to approach. 30% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040
Deep in color, the wine already expresses blackberry, cassis, spice, cigar wrapper and cedar. Polished, lush and rich, with a beautiful elegance to the fruit, the wine tastes and feels just great, with all its layers of fruit and ripe, slightly dusty tannins. You drink this young, while waiting for the Grand Vin to come around. The wine was made from blending 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15.1% alcohol.
No longer the secret it once was. This gorgeous little estate adjoining Ch Montrose produces one of the most charismatic wines in St Estèphe. Scented with hints of liquorice, eucalyptus, cedar and blackcurrants. This is direct and shows great energy and drive. I love the purity of fruit and the lively, refreshing palate that gives way on the finish to a fine volume and lingers on hints of mocha and vanilla pod. A wine with backbone and persistence.
The 2019 Meyney is well defined on the bouquet, leaning a little more towards the red side of the fruit spectrum with raspberry, wild strawberry and floral scents. The oak is neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins. It has a citric element from start to finish, a taut line of acidity with light spicy notes towards the finish that shares the brininess of stablemate Grand Puy Ducasse. Very fine. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2024 - 2048
Deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Meyney strides confidently out of the glass with classic notes of cassis, warm plums and baked blackberries plus hints of cedar chest, bay leaves, pencil lead and clove oil plus a waft of underbrush. The medium to full-bodied palate has a generous core of ripe black fruits with a slight touch of oak poking through and a firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins, finishing with impressive length.
Aromas and flavors of blackberries and blueberries with walnut and coffee-bean notes. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. Excellent, but not the 2018.
The 2019 Meyney is well defined on the bouquet, leaning a little more towards the red side of the fruit spectrum with raspberry, wild strawberry and floral scents. The oak is neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins. It has a citric element from start to finish, a taut line of acidity with light spicy notes towards the finish that shares the brininess of stablemate Grand Puy Ducasse. Very fine. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
One of the wines I use as a marker of how good the vintage is in St Estèphe, because it isn't classified but is in a brilliant location right next door to Montrose. And this is good, extremely concentrated, pure cassis and bilberry flavours, tons of tannins, clear austerity and fairly high acidity as I am getting in a lot of these 2019s. Not the same luscious character as 2018, but in many ways that makes it more typical of the appellation, and the alcohol seems less over the top than in 2018. Lots to enjoy here, not quite up to 2016 standard but not far. Tasted two weeks apart, and if anything its expression had deepened second time around. Hubert de Boüard consultant. Drinking Window 2025 - 2038
Dark garnet in color, with a healthy sweetness to the cherry and raspberry fruits on the nose and palate. The wine is medium-bodied, fresh and energetic.
The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked from 11 September until 2 October at 52hl/ha. It is deep purple in colour. It has a very intense, what you might call quite "serious" bouquet with blackberry, wild hedgerow, crushed iris petals and a light estuarine influence. It shows exquisite delineation and focus. The palate is stunning with intense black fruit laced with crushed stone, sea salt, black pepper and cedar, almost Pauillac in style. This La Mission is so pixelated with stupendous intensity. After four hours it closes up and appears cowed by the presence of the expressive Haut-Brion. Yet after 8 hours it is unquestionably showing greater structure and depth than the First Growth and, as such, despite its mercurial nature, I wager that ultimately this will become one of the wines of the vintage. Breathtaking. Drink 2030 - 2080
The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 53% Merlot, 39.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 11th of September to the 2nd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Very deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls in the glass to reveal a beguiling perfume of violets, Black Forest cake, wild blueberries and kirsch with nuances of star anise, cast-iron pan, pencil lead and crushed rocks plus a waft of wild sage. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with layers of black fruit, earth and floral-laced flavors, framed by exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and compelling freshness, finishing with great length and loads of mineral sparks. A wine of impeccable breeding, both decadently flamboyant and provocatively graceful, this is already a prodigious wine of indisputable beauty.
A thoroughbred tugging at the reins. Deep colour. Lifted and racy on the nose with a hint of cassis. Ripe and mouth-filling then a charge of fine but firm tannin. Sleek but substantial with any excess stripped away. Super length and persistence. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion is a powerful, brooding wine done in a grand scale. Scorched earth, tar, licorice, gravel and dried flowers infuse the 2019 with striking depth and dimension. A wine of somber, brooding beauty, the 2019 is going to need the better part of a decade to start unwinding. Readers will find a La Mission of virile power and breadth.
Wonderful depth of flavour, a signature of this château that is just so elegant but is always happy to oblige in delivering delightfully sappy, seductive, gently spiced fruit. Cigar box and tobacco notes, floral peony and iris aromatics. Great second wave of aromatics that is striking and increases the density and width of the palate. Oak already feels integrated even at this early stage. 50% 1st wine. Drink 2028 – 2044.
Inky ruby in color, the wine blasts off with smoke, tar, hoisin sauce, oyster shell, thyme, black currants and plum aromas. The palate is full-bodied, powerful, rich, intense, mouthfilling and long. The wine coats your palate, but there is nothing heavy about it. Everything is in balance, meshing power with precision, purity and depth with a finish of more than 60 seconds! This is one of the great vintages for LMHB! Created from a blend of 53% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, reaching14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.9. Picking took place September 11 through October 2. The Grand Vin was produced from 50% of the harvest.
The 2019 Montlandrie, Denis Durantou's Côtes de Castillon vineyard, was picked from 30 September with the Cabernets picked 7-10 October before maturation in 40% new oak. It has a well-defined, very focused and compelling bouquet with intense cranberry and raspberry scents laced with cedar and sous-bois. The palate is exquisite: built around a core of finely chiseled tannins, a mélange of black and red fruit with hints of liquorice and subtle briny notes on the persistent finish. This is outstanding. Drink 2024 - 2044
The 2019 Montlandrie is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes bounding out of the glass with bright, cheerful scents of warm redcurrants, Morello cherries, wild blueberries and boysenberries with touches of lavender, red roses, cinnamon stick and cast-iron pan. Wow. I LOVE this energy on the elegantly styled, medium-bodied palate. The red and black fruit layers practically dance, intermingled with grainy (Cabernet-like) tannins and tons of freshness. It has a satisfyingly long, fragrant finish. Truly impressive!
Bright and lifted on the nose. Dark-fruit aromatics with a lingering chalky note. Fresh and layered on the palate, the limestone terroir again apparent. Firm, fresh and dry with plentiful tannins and a stony, pebble-sucking finish. Muscular but refined at the same time. Drink 2025-2034 (JL)
The 2019 Montlandrie is another potent, brooding wine in Denis Durantou's range. Here, too, the tannins are incisive, but there is enough fruit to balance things out. Dark fruit, spice, chocolate, leather and licorice add a real sense of gravitas. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes through in the wine's aromatic and structural profile. Montlandrie is a rare 2019 that is going to need time in bottle to be at its best. Interestingly, harvest was later here than in Lalande de Pomerol. Merlot came in between September 30 and October 4, while the Cabernets were harvested between October 7 through 10. Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive environment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
Cinnamon and spice box tinged pulped raspberry fruits on the nose, this has the restrained exuberance of Montlandrie in spades, where the ripe fruits are balanced step by step with fresh acidities and lip smacking salinity that speaks to the limestone soils of this estate. Cabernet Sauvignon adds a savoury touch, and overall this is yet another example of why the loss of Durantou will be felt for years. Drinking Window 2025 - 2036
One cannot help but notice the ripe, juicy plums on the nose. The chocolate, truffle and licorice notes that come next are the perfect nuance. Round, opulent and juicy, this wine is fresh, long and mouth-filling, ending with layers of fresh fruits.
Deep purple-black hue. Slightly shy and reserved but clearly has plenty of depth. Elegant, dark-fruit fragrance as the wine opens. Clean and direct on attack with a marked note of salinity. Plenty of power but really refined tannins assisted by a bright, juicy quality to the fruit. Incredible length on the finish. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
Oh this is good, it steals up on you with real depth of flavour, stately and concentrated in a way that reminds me of a 1996 or a 2016. Extremely measured, very clear that this is going to age effortlessly, it is extremely discreet and yet packed with persistent flavours. A masterclass in the flavours and aromatics that you expect in a great Médoc wine - slate, crushed stones, savoury blackcurrant, liquorice, hints of smoke and cold ash. After five minutes in the glass the sweeter berry fruit comes out, and the whole thing is sappy and mouthwatering, and makes you smile. 12% press wine, 3.77oH. A yield of 47hl/ha. 60% new oak. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2029 - 2050
Fresh, red-berry aroma with an almost burgundian edge. Palate round, juicy and lifted with finely etched tannins. Harmonious and almost approachable now. Drink 2024-2034 (JL)
In one word, wow! I can’t remember ever tasting such an instantly striking wine en primeur. The 2019 is the perfect balance between hedonistic pleasure and elegance. Deep opaque colour, the nose is scented with herbs, dark spice and hedgerow fruits. Abundant fruit on the palate is layered with hints of mocha and graphite, and while there is a lot of volume the palate remains fresh, energetic and lively. The tannins are textured and weighted, with a velvet like feel to them and there is a lovely sweetness to the fruit content. A wine of extraordinary class that wants to tell the world about itself, this is a very exciting Mouton.
The 2019 Mouton Rothschild comes off the back of a succession of superlative wines that you would have to go back to the late Forties to see again. Deep in colour, it has a very composed and refined bouquet: very pure blackberry intermingling with bilberry and graphite, touches of Earl Grey and crushed stone emerging after several minutes in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with finely-chiseled tannins, a little spicier than the previous vintage from barrel last year, gently building and fanning out towards the poised finish. This is a sophisticated, classic Mouton-Rothschild that will require a little more cellaring than some recent vintages, but will surely be worth the wait. Drink 2027 - 2060
The blend this year is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 18th of September to the 5th of October. Opaque purple-black colored, the 2019 Mouton Rothschild simply shines, even at this very nascent stage, beaming from the glass with bright, vibrant scents of crème de cassis, blueberry preserves, boysenberries and black raspberries plus fragrant suggestions of lilacs, dark chocolate, sandalwood, jasmine tea and woodsmoke with a spicy waft of star anise. The medium-bodied palate shimmers with energy, featuring tightly wound layers of black fruits, exotic spices and mineral notions, framed by exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing with epic length and perfume. This year's profound expression is without doubt a legend in the making. (For number crunchers, the alcohol is 13.5% this year, slightly lower than 2018, which came in at 13.8%.)
A powerhouse Mouton, broad-shouldered and built for the long haul. Deep and intense on the nose with marked cassis and spice notes. Ripe, mouth-filling palate, the tannins plentiful and firm and smothered in layers of fruit. Almost opulent but not to the same degree as 2018. Hint of telltale mocha. Finishes fresh and long, the tannic backbone again present. (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
This shows purity of fruit with blackcurrants and cassis and hints of blueberries and fresh flowers. Toasted and roasted. The 90% of cabernet sauvignon really makes this special. Lead-pencil, tar and licorice notes. Powerful with finesse. Extremely persistent.
The 2019 Mouton Rothschild is dark, sensual and enveloping. Readers will find a Mouton of notable finesse and class. In this tasting, the Grand Vin comes across as quite restrained, with lifted aromatics and tons of elegance, but also quite a bit in reserve. Time in the glass brings out the wine's aromatic presence and overall depth.
A deep intense nose, this is another brilliant Pauillac First Growth in 2019, all different in style and true to themselves. The tannins are ripe and fleshed out, taking a confident hold around well-textured blackberry and cassis fruits that are fluid, supple and frankly delicious. This is pure Mouton, you couldn't mistake it, with its touch of mocha and chocolate, and its core of freshness. Has a feel of the 1996 about it. Harvest September 19 to October 5 (finishing a little earlier that Clerc and Armailhac because Mouton is always an early terroir due to its abundance of pure gravel). Drinking Window 2030 - 2050
Deeply colored, the intoxicating, aromatic profile provides essences of mint, Asian spice, blackberry, cassis, cigar box, smoke and lead pencil. On the palate, the wine is rich, lush, round, full-bodied and concentrated, with layers of lusciously textured, ripe, sweet, fresh, pure dark red pit fruits and blackberries. Classically styled, but classic in a good way, the wine is showy, but not flamboyant. The finish here just keeps on going. With a high proportion of Cabernet in the blend, the wine is produced from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.5 alcohol. The harvest took place September 18-October 5. The Grand Vin was produced from 51% of the harvest with yields of only 40 hectoliters per hectare.
Merlot makes up the greatest proportion as an individual variety (50%) in the finished blend, with the other 3 varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Petit Verdot combining to make the other 50%, and it’s the Merlot which really speaks out when tasting. Rich and unctuous, with plenty of mocha, fresh coffee and Moroccan spice. This charming wine is packed with juicy volume. Midterm drinking but very rewarding
The 2019 Ormes de Pez has an intense bouquet of blackberry, bilberry, pencil box and light fumé aromas, nicely defined but demanding encouragement from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, pliant tannins almost unrecognizable from the somewhat sturdy offerings in the past. It feels seductively smooth in texture with a very satisfying, detailed finish. One of the best Ormes de Pez that I have tasted in recent years. Drink 2025 - 2055
Plenty of spice and plums on the nose. Full body, round tannins and flavorful finish. Raspberries and hazelnuts at the end.
The 2019 Ormes de Pez is ample and creamy, with a real sense of resonance that emerges with a bit of time in the glass. Inky dark fruit, leather, licorice and scorched earth are nicely pushed forward here. A wine of depth and power, Ormes de Pez is very nicely done.
The 2019 Les Pagodes de Cos has an intriguing bouquet that takes time to settle in the glass. When it finally does, it reveals well-defined blackberry, raspberry and briary aromas, a touch of undergrowth/damp moss too. Where it really delivers is on the elegant palate framed by fine-boned tannins and a fine bead of acidity. A Pauillac-like, pencil lead tinged finish, that dare I say, is reminiscent of Lafite-Rothschild! This is well worth seeking out. Drink 2024 - 2040
The 2019 Les Pagodes de Cos (14.03% alcohol) is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aging in 20% new barriques. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, notions of wild blueberries, boysenberries and redcurrant jelly come bounding out of the glass, followed by a profound core of warm cassis, licorice and bouquet garni with a touch of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with bright, expressive black and red fruit flavors, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing on a lingering spicy note.
Poised, fresh and balanced with nothing in excess. Plenty of lift on the nose with berry fruit, mineral and liquorice notes. Long and linear but with adequate flesh. Fine, persistent tannins. Juicy and harmonious. Ticks all the boxes. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2038
This is really minerally and salty with spices, such as cloves. Full-bodied, yet tight and beautiful. Chewy, yet focused and bright. Very integrated. Hard not to drink.
The 2019 Les Pagodes de Cos is a powerful, tightly wound wine, its mid-weight structure notwithstanding. Grilled herbs, menthol, licorice, dried herbs and rose petal lend aromatic brightness. In this tasting, the 2019 comes across as a bit compact and nervous, which may be attributable to its recent racking . Even so, there is plenty of character. It will be interesting to see what time brings.
Flowers, chocolate mint, spice, smoke, blackberry, cherry and thyme create the aromatic profile. Elegant, silky, fresh and showing gorgeous symmetry on the palate with its display of sweet, pure, red fruits and refined tannins, this is just fabulous. Clearly, Pagodes de Cos is now in competition for the top second wine in Bordeaux. Drink this young while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. The wine blends 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot.
A joyous wine that bristles with zest and energy. Clearly not the super-concentration of the 2018 (when the mildew-reduced yield was only 11 hl/ha), but rich and profound and a degree more elegant. Morello cherry and dark-fruit aromas. Beautiful texture, the tannins present but refined. Fresh and vibrant with a long, palate-cleansing finish. (JL) Drink 2028 – 2045
A little reticent on the nose but a full and powerfully structured palate. This is no shrinking violet but a wine with real power and packed intensity. Broad and full, the sweet dark black fruit flavours show a touch of oriental spice. A wine for the long term.
The 2019 Pape-Clément was picked from 17 September to 10 October, underwent a 30 day maceration. Matured in 90% oak barrels and 10% wooden foudres for 18 months. It has a very perfumed bouquet with luscious black cherries and boysenberry fruit, touches of raspberry preserve and crème de cassis. The palate is full-bodied and quite muscular, exerting a firm grip and displaying plenty of tobacco-tinged black fruit that dovetails into a more saline, marine influenced finish. This is a very serious Pape-Clément that will require longer ageing than its peers, but will surely be rewarding for those with patience. Tasted on five occasions - hopefully there is some wine left back at the château. Drink 2025 - 2060
Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, the 2019 Pape Clement was harvested from the 18th of September to the 11th of October. Ninety-three percent is aging in French oak barriques, 66% new, and 7% is aging in large foudres. Deep garnet-purple in color, it hits the ground running with bold, expressive notes of warm cassis, boysenberries and black cherries with an undercurrent of clove oil, fertile loam, cedar chest and tar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a rock-solid foundation of firm, ripe grainy tannins and tons of freshness supporting the densely packed black fruit and earthy layers, finishing very long and mineral laced
Deep, dark and brooding. Plush and full on the palate with a generosity of fruit. As broad as it is long. Impressive tannic base. Firm, dry finish. Tight and embryonic but sure to stay the pace. (JL) Drink 2028 – 2045
This shows attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate, walnuts, wet earth, mushrooms and berries with full-body, round and refined tannins and a subtle, focused finish. Excellent length, in a sophisticated way. Chewy at the end.
Continuing the strong performance of Pape Clement over recent vintages. Violet edging around the glass, and a supple tannic hold that both constricts and expands the fruit through the palate, giving a sense of momentum. There is a firm tannic grip, given drama by notes of black pepper and bitter chocolate, and a slate textured finish to slow things down and hold the flavour. Malolactic fermentation in barrels (60%) new, and ageing in both barrels (90%) and larger oak casks. Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are planted in the vineyard, but not yet in the 1st wine. Certified bee-friendly. Tasted twice, two weeks apart, excellent both times. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040
The 2019 Pavie was picked from 30 September to 11 October at 29hl/ha. It is initially exubertant, feisty on the nose, a bit like the Pavie-Decesse. Allowing my sample an hour in the glass, it evolves more grace and composure with scents of blackberry, briary, incense and iris flowers. The oak beautifully integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, quite an edgy line of acidity, touches of graphite infusing the very pure black fruit on the satin-textured finish. This is undoubtedly a very impressive, sauve Pavie destined for long-term drinking. Drink 2024 - 2060
The 2019 Pavie is a blend of 50% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from the 30th of September to the 11th of October. The yields this year were 35 hectoliters per hectare, and the alcohol came in at 14.73%, while the pH was 3.55 (remarkably low!). Very deep garnet-purple in color, the nose opens with a beguiling array of intertwined earth and black fruit scents: baked plums, black cherry preserves, tilled soil, black truffles, mossy tree bark and mulberries with nuances of allspice, clove oil, espresso and cedar chest. Full-bodied, densely packed and with a rock-solid structure, the constrained flavor layers are just waiting to explode; it's framed by firm, exquisitely ripe, rounded tannins and this vineyard's signature freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors, this could only be Pavie.
Deep purple-black to the rim. Dark, ripe and complex with a leafy, blackcurrant note. Still assertively tannic and powerful but there’s a little more restraint and the tannins are polished and refined. Cool limestone terroir shows. Finishes on a muscly, chewy note. Plenty of wine but will need time. Drink 2030-2050 (JL)
This is superb with great length and quality tannins. It’s full-bodied with intense, polished tannins and great length. Tar and black fruit. Goes on for minutes. On and on. We will see which is better: 2019 or 2018.
The 2019 Pavie is a showstopper. A wine of soaring intensity and grandeur, Pavie is striking from the very first taste. A rush of red/purplish berry fruit, mocha, dried flower and lavender builds effortlessly. The purity of the flavors is just striking. Racy, deep and sensual through to the finish, Pavie is magnificent. What a wine.
Excellent quality Pavie, rippling with black fruits. Notably more subdued than in some vintages as the team looks to reframe just slightly the bulging muscles of the past, and as the high levels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc make an impact. It takes a moment to adjust to, but when you sit with it, you feel a rippling frame to the wine, and a juicy central core. Fleshy cassis and blackberry fruits, slate walls and black truffle overlay. Is going to age extremely well. 29hl/h yield, 3.55ph. 2027-2044
Almost opaque in color, the complex nose, with its barbecue, flower, crushed rock, cherry liqueur, blackberry, plum, smoke and espresso is inviting. Concentrated, lush, full-bodied, mouth-filling and palate-staining, yet with all that going on, nothing is too much here, everything is in balance. The opulent, velvet drenched fruit really holds it own in the finish.
The 2019 Pavie-Decesse was cropped at a measly 17hl/ha on 5 October, the same day as Bellevue-Mondotte. It is the one cuvée from proprietor Gérard Perse that suggested a bit of sur-maturité, displaying prune and dates aromas, perhaps a few bunches here that could have been picked earlier? The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins, fleshy but nicely structured and no, there are no indications of excessive ripeness in the mouth. There is an attractive mineral vein embroidered on the finish and certainly a very persistent aftertaste with impressive salinity. If the bouquet can address that over-ripeness it will merit a higher appraisal. Drink 2024 - 2050
The 2019 Pavie Decesse is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, harvested on the 5th of October. The yields this year were 17 hectoliters per hectare, and the alcohol came in at 14.51%, while the pH was 3.51 (remarkably low!). Very deep purple-black in color, it has an intoxicating nose of plum preserves, blueberry tart, kirsch and molten chocolate with nuances of licorice, lilacs, clove oil and cedar chest. The full-bodied palate is built like a skyscraper, with a soaring structure of firm, finely grained tannins and brazen freshness supporting the decadent black fruit and spicy layers, finishing very long and fruity.
Deep colour to the rim. Shows the house style of power and structure if somewhat toned down from the past. Ripe cassis and blueberry notes. Pervading freshness, the limestone terroir showing. Plentiful tannins provide a muscled core. Clean finish. Needs time. Drink 2027-2038 (JL)
Wow. A big, rich wine with lots of tannins here. It’s full-bodied with a core of tannins that frame the wine nicely. Intense and powerful at the finish.
Dark in color, with a distinctive floral, blackberry and plum liqueur nose, the wine is lush, opulent and rich. Full-bodied, with waves of polished, sweet, dark fruits and licorice, this is going to be outstanding after 7-9 in the cellar. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc.
The 2019 Pavie Macquin feels very tight on the nose at first and certainly from my sample bottle, I allowed it 15-20 minutes to open. Eventually it reveals very intense scents of black cherries, cassis and crushed violet, touches of blood orange in the background. The palate has a satin-like texture, almost Vosne-Romanée-like, with extraordinarily pure blue and black fruit. Seamless! There is fine tension on the finish with impressive persistence. This is a seriously good Pavie-Macquin from Nicolas Thienpont and his team. Drink 2025 - 2055
Composed of 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2019 Pavie Macquin was harvested from the 23rd of September to the 11th of October. Yields were 47 hectoliters per hectare this year with about 90% of the production going into the grand vin. Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine opens with the most tantalizing perfume of lavender, lilacs and forest floor, giving way to a core of crushed blackberries, baked plums and blueberry preserves plus wafts of licorice and bay leaves. The full-bodied palate offers layer upon layer of black fruits and earthy nuances, sporting a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with great length and depth. About 5,500 cases are anticipated to be made.
Firm, solid but with drive. Zesty, dark berry and spice nose. Powerful tannins but enveloped by the fruit. Dry and muscular on the finish. Drink 2028-2040 (JL)
Really classy red, offering blueberries, minerals, salt, limestone and light fresh herbs. It’s full-bodied, but so refined. Fine layers of fruit and tannins. It’s like millefeuille. The 2018 is more exuberant, but I love the elegance and structure here. Subtle and complex. 78% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon.
With a dark ruby hue, the wine is filled with fresh flowers, incense, smoke, crushed rock and piquant dark red fruits. On the palate, the wine is fresh, juicy, sweet, lively and long. The finish, with its ripe, stony red fruits has good volume and persistence.
A lovely purple sheen and a nose bursting with sweet cassis fruit, chocolate and mocha aromas. In the palate it is graceful and harmonious thanks to sleek, fine tannins. There is nothing is forced about this lovey wine; it just flows through the palate with such ease. Polished, classy and very long.
The 2019 Pavillon Rouge is definitely one sample that repays aeration, initially very tight and unresponsive. It then begins to unfurl, revealing introverted black fruit laced with sea spray and light Japanese nori scents. It is well defined and detailed, yet never becomes as expressive as some of its peers. The palate is very well balanced with very fine tannins. This is clearly more "open for business" and what I really admire is that tang of salinity towards the finish, almost as if compensating for the bashful aromatics. Very fine, though it will require four or five years in bottle. Drink 2025 - 2040
The 2019 Pavillon Rouge is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, accounting for 47% of the crop. The alcohol came in at 14.2%, the IPT was 75, and the pH was 3.66. Deep garnet-purple in color, it begins a little closed and broody, soon unfurling to offer notes of tar, black licorice, cracked peppercorns and woodsmoke over a core of Morello cherries, boysenberries and warm cassis plus an earthy touch of forest floor. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant, refreshing and wonderfully refined, with beautifully ripe, plush tannins and impressive freshness lifting the black fruit and earthy layers with a long finish. It should age beautifully!
Quite rich and ripe with an almost raisined note to the fruit. A little more robust than usual, the fruit dense and gourmand, the tannins plentiful, firm and grainy behind. A touch of freshness on the finish pulls it together but a bit of chew at the end. (JL) Drink 2025 – 2035
Succulent and gorgeous with such supple tannins, yet it’s full bodied and very rich. It’s very savory, too. Dense, yet polished on the palate, showing fresh, minerally and salty notes. You want to drink it already. 27% of the crop and a blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon and 19% merlot, the rest petit verdot and cabernet franc.
A gorgeous wine, the 2019 Pavillon Rouge represents 27% of the crop. All of the radiance of the year is on display. Super-ripe red cherry, red plum, spice, cedar and new leather are all kicked up a few notches, with silky tannins that wrap it all together. Even with all of its obvious richness, the 2019 possesses notable energy as well as freshness. Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules and his team turned out two spectacular wines in 2019. Note: I did not taste the Pavillon Blanc, as the estate thought it was too fragile to ship. Bascaules describes 2019 as an easy vintage. Flowering was normal and set was good. Yields came in at a healthy 47 hectoliters per hectare, more than 2017 or 2018, the summer heat spikes notwithstanding. Bascaules opted to pick the Merlot early and gave those lots a very gentle extractions at low temperatures, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon vinifications were a much more typical 20-22 days at 28-30 degrees Celsius. In tasting, the 2019s have more tannins than any other vintage, with the exception of 2018, and yet the wines don't show that at all.
Packed with spice and fruit on the nose, this grips you and lifts off. A great mid palate with juicy, enrobed tannins and seductive fleshy fruit in the mouth. Makes you smile, enticingly creamy and yet with sappy slate on the finish. One of the best Pavillon Rouge for years. 27% of overall production in Pavillon. 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. A yield of 47hl/ha, (compared to 30hl/ha last year). Tannin index of 75 IPT so higher than 2009, 2010, 2016 (only 2018 higher). Drinking Window 2025 - 2040
Flowers, cherries and plums are the first things you notice before you get into all that silky, elegant, refined layers of ripe red, sweet, lifted fruits. Medium-bodied, elegant, luscious and fresh, this is a gorgeous Pavillon Rouge that is a scaled-down version of Chateau Margaux. The wine blends 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.2% alcohol.
The 2019 Le Petit Mouton was blended earlier than usual at the end of November and sees 50% new oak. It has a bold nose that wants to make a statement: copious black fruit, raspberry, hints of gingerbread and marmalade in the background, a multi-faceted nose that I have come to expect from this Deuxième Vin in recent years. The palate is just gorgeous: seductive black fruit laced with white pepper, very fine tannins, pitch perfect balance and an exceedingly precise finish that is frankly Grand Vin worthy. Outstanding. Drink 2024 - 2044
Perfumed, floral nose with an innate sweetness that stays through to the palate. Perhaps not quite as fragrant as 2018. Round and flattering on the palate, the attack direct, texture smooth and tannins finely honed. Point of acidity for freshness. Decent length. Drink 2024-2034 (JL)
A compote of bramble fruits, damsons, sloes with hints of cocoa and fresh coffee bean. Giving and rewarding, it has noticeable structure with a tannic core but the lasting impression is juicy rich and succulent. A hugely gratifying wine from the Mouton stable.
The 2019 Le Petit Mouton was blended earlier than usual at the end of November and sees 50% new oak. It has a bold nose that wants to make a statement: copious black fruit, raspberry, hints of gingerbread and marmalade in the background, a multi-faceted nose that I have come to expect from this Deuxième Vin in recent years. The palate is just gorgeous: seductive black fruit laced with white pepper, very fine tannins, pitch perfect balance and an exceedingly precise finish that is frankly Grand Vin worthy. Outstanding. Drink 2024 - 2044
Composed of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot, harvested from the 18th of September to the 5th of October, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2019 Le Petit Mouton charges out of the glass with gregarious scents of baked black cherries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial followed by hints of cumin seed, candied violets and licorice with a waft of dried Provence herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate has a real skip in its step, offering fresh, cheery black berry flavors and a grainy texture, supported by oodles of freshness, finishing long with invigorating spice and herbal sparks.
Another second wine loaded with charm. Expressive cassis nose with plenty of lift and freshness. Super touch of tannin, the texture smooth and silky. Good definition as well with plenty of length on the finish. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
A dense, creamy second wine of Mouton with blueberries and hints of chocolate and black olives. It’s full-bodied with round, ripe tannins and lots of pretty fruit. Love the integration of fruit and tannins. Intense and long. 68% cabernet sauvignon and 32% merlot.
You know what? Mouton Rothschild will get the lion's share of attention in 2019, but I think the Petit-Mouton might be even more impressive! Racy and sexy from the outset, the 2019 is positively stellar. Bright floral accents and a core of sweet red berry fruit flesh out in a mid-weight Petit-Mouton endowed with terrific purity and pedigree. It is a gorgeous wine in every way.
A very moreish Petit Mouton with plump fruit and clear coffee and mocha beans - a signature of this wine and people who love its unashamed glamour will adore this vintage. It has welcome astringent tannins on the finish and overall this is delicious. There are not many 2nd wines that can truly stand on their own but this is very much one of them. Harvest September 18 to October 5. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
Truffle, flowers, tobacco leaf, spice-box and blackberry aromas permeate the perfume. Round and richly textured, with a beautiful blast of black and red, ripe, sweet fruit and freshness on the palate, everything comes together in the supple textured finish. It is interesting to note that today, the second wine is superior to every vintage of Mouton Rothschild produced in the 70s and most of the 80s! The wine blends 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot.
The 2019 Petit-Village demands a lot of coaxing from the glass. Like some other Pomerol crus, it feels a bit static at first, missing the joie-de-vivre I expected. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, quite structured and grippy, gaining more detail and precision towards a slightly earthy finish. I hope to see more charm by the time of bottling. Drink 2023 - 2036
This is a full-bodied red with lots of blackberry and plum character and hints of black olives. It’s round and velvety, yet there is firmness and tension to the texture. It’s extremely polished, as well as structured.
In 2019, Petit-Village is outrageously beautiful. Rich, vivid and so complex, the 2019 is also one of the best wines I have tasted here in a number of years. On the palate, the 2019 is ample and inviting, with layers of dark fruit that unfold over time. Hints of licorice, new leather and sweet pipe tobacco add aromatic nuance as this distinctive Pomerol shows off its undeniable charm. Tasted two times.
Now under the same ownership as neighbouring estate Beauregard, although this harvest took place under AXA Millésimes and winemaker Diana Berrouet-Garcia is staying on. This has plenty of luxurious Pomerol character, there are black fruits here, with some chocolate notes. Lacks a little tension that is perhaps a reflection of the summer heat, but this is a gourmet-edged, seductive wine. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Drinking Window 2026 - 2038
The 2019 La Petite Eglise was picked 18-25 September apropos the Merlot and 26 September for the Cabernet Franc, matured in 35% new oak. It is vivacious on the nose with vivid raspberry, maraschino cherry, desiccated orange peel and subtle white pepper scents. The palate is silky smooth with fine grain tannins. Harmonious from start to finish, this is a sensual, seductive La Petite Eglise with spicy notes furnishing the finish. Another superb testament to the late Denis Durantou.
The 2019 La Petite Eglise is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose starts off slightly reduced, but with a little swirling, it comes sailing out of the glass with bright, pristine notes of kirsch, black raspberries and blackberry preserves, followed by suggestions of garrigue, tilled soil, wild mushrooms and bouquet garni with a waft of cloves. The medium-bodied palate has vibrant, impactful black and red fruit layers with a very fine-grained texture and tons of freshness, finishing long and earthy. This year, this sincerely is a “Petite” L’Eglise Clinet!
Exudes charm, the aromatics and flavour pure, fragrant and redolent of summer fruits. Fine, supple tannins. Good tension and balance. Finishes clean as a whistle. More for the short/medium term than the long haul. Drink 2023-2031 (JL)
The 2019 La Petite Eglise is a wine of pure and total sophistication. Silky tannins, sweet, lifted aromatics and pliant fruit give the 2019 its elegant, sleek personality. All the elements simply fall into place. Noble and alluring, the 2019 is absolutely delicious. This is the second year La Petite Eglise has some Cabernet Franc, and that really comes through in the wine's aromatic lift and structural feel, especially over time. The Merlot was harvested from September 18 to 25, while the Franc came in on the 26th. Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive environment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
Intense and concentrated Petite Eglise, raspberry and blackberry fruit rippling through the body of the wine, held in check by a deftly confident frame. You're in Pomerol here, with sweet heady floral aromatics, tons of bright plump fruits and an accessibility to the tannins that makes it extremely enticing. Easy to recommend this 2nd wine of L'Eglise Clinet. 30% new oak. Drinking Window 2023 - 2040
The 2019 Château de Pez was tasted from two bottles. The first I found a bit glossy and showy, the second more refined and controlled with blackberry, raspberry and sous-bois aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with bright red berry fruit laced with white pepper and subtle earthy notes, nicely focused with the second examples showing more appellation DNA than the first. Drink over the next 15 years. Drink 2023 - 2035
This year's blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 de Pez comes tumbling out of the glass with an astonishingly beautiful perfume of lilacs, black cherries and black raspberries over a core of stewed plums, clove oil, dark chocolate and Sichuan pepper. The medium-bodied palate is jam-packed with energetic black fruits, supported by a firm foundation of ripe, grainy tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and perfumed. I love where this once-malingering château is headed—bravo to winemaker Nicolas Glumineau from Pichon Lalande!
Dense, rich red with a solid core of ripe fruit and ripe tannins. Hints of hazelnuts and chocolate. It’s full-bodied with a creamy texture.
The 2019 de Pez is dark, fleshy and super expressive. Leather, cedar, tobacco, dried flowers, mint and sweet red cherry fruit flesh out in a mid-weight, succulent Saint-Estèphe that will drink well right out of the gate. Tasted two times.
Owned by Pichon Comtesse, this is a lovely St Estèphe with polish and poise. Good depth to the berry fruits, with an appealing unfussy confidence. New cellars this year that allows for more precise reflection of the plots in 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040
Flowers, spice, wet earth, cigar box and black currants on the nose work perfectly with the round, medium/full-bodied, rich wine on your palate. The blast of spicy currants and espresso on the mid-palate and finish makes this a stellar vintage for de Pez. The wine blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot reaching 14.3% alcohol.
The 2019 Phélan Ségur has a very composed bouquet with detailed blackberry and briary scents, a touch of melted tar and cracked black pepper coming through with aeration. The palate is very cohesive with fine tannins, gentle grip, quite saline in the mouth with impressive density and harmony towards the finish. Quintessentially Saint-Estèphe, this is a superb Phélan Ségur that should not be under-estimated. Tasted twice. Drink 2025 - 2050
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Phélan Ségur prances out of the glass with bold notions of blackcurrant pastilles, baked plums and boysenberries, plus hints of chargrilled meats, lavender, tilled soil and cracked black pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring, featuring loads of condensed black fruit and fragrant layers, framed by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with bags of energy.
Fragrant nose with a floral, dark-fruit edge. Ripe and smooth but lifted, the tannins compact and very refined. Layers of fruit then a long, firm, persistent finish. In short, an elegant interpretation of St-Estèphe. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2040
The complexity and depth is fantastic in this beautifully crafted, refined red. Such poise, finesse and length. Goes on and on. We will see if this is better than the outstanding 2018.
The 2019 Phélan Ségur is marvelous. In fact, it is one of the best vintages I can remember tasting. Graphite, crushed rocks, menthol, licorice, crème de cassis and lavender are some of the many notes that flesh out in the glass. Wonderfully nuanced and layered, the 2019 Phélan Ségur is a wine of unreal depth and vivid intensity. In a word: impressive.
The nose grabs you with its cedar chest, forest floor, earth, herb, tobacco, spice, cigar box, and smoke aromas coupled with a load of just-picked blackberries. Round and smooth, with finesse, a big juicy blast of fruit and roasted coffee beans, this could be the best vintage of Phelan Segur yet. The wine blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5 alcohol, with no sensation of heat or overripe sensations.
A compote of flavours thanks to layers of cassis, dark berries, lavender and eucalyptus. A full and ebullient wine, characteristically lush, rich and full. The fruit is wonderfully polished and the tannins provide a muscular presence. This makes a statement and isn’t shy in expressing its class and origins. Excellent.
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Baron was picked from 18 September to 11 October, fermented between 25-29°C and aged in 80% new oak for a planned 18 months. This year it represents just under half the production from their 73 hectares of vine. It has a very refined bouquet, perhaps a little more understated than the 2018, a more cerebral nose with predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, tobacco and a beguiling estuarine scent that becomes more prominent with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit framed by super-fine tannins that lend this a silky smooth, creamy texture. Certainly this is a rich Pichon-Baron, though it retains all the classicism you could ask for. Very fine salinity comes through on the finish with a persistent spice; after tasted that beckons you back for more. This is an outstanding Pauillac. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2025 - 2060
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot, harvested from the 18th of September to the 11th of October. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 80% new, for 18 months. This grand vin represents 49% of the harvest. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose skyrockets from the glass with vibrant scents of freshly crushed blackberries, black raspberries and blackcurrant pastilles followed by perfumed sparks of fragrant earth, clove oil, lilacs, crushed rocks, molten chocolate and cinnamon toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with layer upon layer of black fruit, mineral and exotic spices, framed by beautifully ripe, finely-grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with a lingering soft-spoken whisper of floral and earth notions. This is an absolutely beguiling expression that is classic Pauillac and yet it is Pauillac like no other.
Deep purple-black to the rim. Powerful but less obviously muscular this year. Pure, precise and fragrant, the tannins plentiful but really refined. Lovely fruit and texture with a pervading freshness that persists. Length on the finish. Up with the best from this estate (2010, 2016). (JL) Drink 2030 – 2050
Very polished with creamy, lightly chewy tannins and layers of texture. Real cabernet sauvignon here. It’s full-bodied with pretty blackberry and blueberry character. Chocolate, too. Long, intense finish of fine, lightly dusty tannins. Tight and focused. Such finesse and class. 87% cabernet sauvignon and 13% merlot.
The 2019 Pichon-Baron is a wine of extraordinary depth and resonance. Inky dark red/purplish berry fruit, pomegranate, chocolate, licorice and spice are all lavishly expressed in a sumptuous Pauillac loaded with character. Time in the glass brings out the wine's depth and vertical explosiveness. There is so much going on here.
Firm tannic grip lands you squarely in Pauillac from the first moment, with pencil lead and charcoal reinforcing the point. This is a serious Pichon Baron, carefully extracted black fruits that barely put a foot wrong, and a firm core of acidity. Takes its time to open in the glass, and will age for decades without breaking a sweat. 80% new oak. 49% of production in this wine. Drinking Window 2029 - 2048
The dark inky hue makes it impossible to see though the glass! The nose is like walking into a flower market located next to a fruit stand as those two scents permeate the air. Vanilla bean, earth, forest leaf, pepper and cedar come next. Rich, luscious, concentrated and with a remarkable purity of fruit, the wine coats your mouth, palate, teeth and gums with layers of black, red and blue fruit, velvety tannins and a finish that doesn't want to leave. Blended from 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot, representing the highest percentage of Cabernet in the blend in the history of the estate. At 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.74, the Grand Vin represents only 45% of the harvest, which took place between September 18 - October 9.
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande was picked 16 September to 8 October. It has a showstopping nose: intense black fruit laced with graphite and mint. (Whisper it...it reminds me of their First Growth next door neighbor.) The palate is underpinned by very refined tannins that cradle what may well be the purest fruit you will find in this vintage. Unbelievably precise all the way through to the finish, I admit staring at my glass trying to find fault with it. Unless winemaker Nicolas Glumineau gets distracted by the new Cure album and makes a catastrophic error during the rest of its élevage, which he is not prone to doing, you are not looking at a modern-day 1982 or 2016, but something even better and more profound. Tasted from three bottles with consistent notes. Drink 2026-2065
A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc (with no Petit Verdot this year), the 2019 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande came in at an alcohol of 14.15% and a pH of 3.7. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it sails out of the glass with a stunning array of Black Forest cake, warm cassis and wild blueberries scents with underlying hints of Morello cherries, redcurrant jelly, pencil shavings, menthol and aniseed with a touch of charcoal. The medium-bodied palate packs a lot of fruit into an elegant package, featuring very finely grained, silt-like tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of lingering mineral and exotic spice accents.
Just so poised and refined. Fragrant and pure with leafy, garden-fresh, dark-fruit aromatics. Long and linear with plenty of fruit and drive. A profusion of tannins but the resolution adjusted to rein-in power. Shades of the benchmark 1996 with an increase of Cabernet in the blend. (JL) Drink 2028 – 2045
Crazy aromas of sweet tobacco and black fruit. Tar and lead pencil, too. Blackcurrants and blackberries. Solid core of fruit and ripe tannins here. It’s full-bodied and chewy. Extremely long. Fascinating wine. Structure with elegance. Extremely creamy and very, very melted together. A classically proportioned wine. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot and 6% cabernet franc.
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande evokes a feeling of real power and breadth, with tons of energy giving the wine drive that builds into the finish. Time in the glass brings out the aromatic intensity of the Cabernets. Dark fruit, menthol, rose petal, licorice and grilled herbs all flesh out over time. The 2019 Pichon Comtesse is a very serious wine that almost certainly has more to say than it is willing to express at this stage. Tasted two times. General Manager and Winemaker Nicolas Glumineau describes 2019 as a year of drought, until rains arrived at the end of July and middle of August, which were very important for the maturation of the Cabernets in mid-October. Yields were 42 hectoliters per hectare, which is typical for the château. Glumineau added that the Merlots showed a wider range of quality, while the Cabernets were more homogeneous. In tasting, I found the two wines more differentiated stylistically, which has not often been the case.
A serious, muscled Pichon Comtesse that grabs you from the first nose. The width and texture is evident, feeling both more plush and supple in its fruit character. It's elegant and balanced but packed full of textured raspberries, blueberries and cassis, juicy, with a rise on the finish and clear tannic grip. Very Pauillac in style, more so than the 2018 with great length. Not as structured as the 2016 or the 2010 but not far off and this is easily one of the wines of the vintage. Its heft shares some similarities to its neighbour Latour, which is not always the case in this most feminine of Pauillac wines. Closes down pretty quickly on the finish, suggesting the initial rich fruit is a hint of what is to come but that it will take its time to show itself in bottle. Tasted twice, four weeks apart and it delivered both times. No Petit Verdot in this vintage. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040
With a complex nose of mint, tobacco leaf, roses, spice, crème de cassis, blackberry, cigar box and spice box, everything is off to a good start. On the palate, the wine is pure silk and velvet. Rich, full-bodied and concentrated, the decadently textured finish, with all its multiple layers of sweet fruits, spice and tobacco stay with you for close to 50 seconds. Comparing the 2016, 2018 and 2019 side by side is going to be an incredible experience over the next several decades. The wine combines 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc reaching 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. Picking took place September 16-October 8 with yields of 42 hectoliters per hectare. The Grand Vin was made from 50% of the harvest.
The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!
A very tight, compact red that shows wonderful precision and definition with lots of blackberries, blueberries, stones and black tea. The sorting and de-stemming was all done by hand. Love the sensibility to this. Superb length and finesse. Subtle and sophisticated. No pumping over and gentle pushing down. Handmade. Very exciting and thought-provoking. Very long. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. Biodynamic grapes.
The 2019 Pontet-Canet is plush, dense and explosive, with tremendous richness and pure, soaring intensity that strengthens in all directions with time in the glass. A wine of gravitas, the 2019 is statuesque in build. As always, Pontet-Canet offers a very personal, idiosyncratic expression of Pauillac. A range of lifted floral and savory notes ring out on the finish. The 2019 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 23 and October 10, which is a typical time frame for the estate. Yields came in a 33 hectoliters per hectare, more or less the historical average these days. For the first time, all sorting and destemming were done by hand and the wine was vinified only with manual punchdowns (i.e. no pumpovers), without any motorized equipment. Cuvaison was around 21 days, after which the wine was taken off the skins for the malolactic fermentation (which was done in the fermentation vats), and then racked into barrels and concrete for aging - 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels. Sadly, 2019 is the last vintage at Pontet-Canet for long-time Technical Director Jean-Michel Comme, who left after 31 years to focus on his own projects. He is succeeded by Mathieu Bessonnet, formerly at Chapoutier.
Clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow. As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence. The tannins have unmistakeable Pauillac strength, but the structure and the subtlety of this wine is Pontet-Canet, with the amphoras having an influence in terms of the tannins feeling less silky than they do in many of the appellation's biggest wines, but still with swagger. Back to a normal yield after the difficulties in 2018 with mildew that saw production drop to 12hl/ha. This is the last vintage under Jean-Michel Comme, technical director and estate manager for past 32 years. He has been replaced by Mathieu Bessonnet who has spent the last 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (also biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace and who was, they tell me, selected by Comme who chose him and worked with him. 100% 1st wine, as it has been for the past four years. 50% will be aged in new oak barrel, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. This is a two-point score under the 2016, because it doesn't have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it's an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.
The 2019 Potensac was harvested from 21 September to 9 October, raised in 34% new oak. Wild strawberry and raspberry preserve aromas make an impact on the nose that storms from the glass, a touch of pencil box in the background. The palate is well balanced with fine grain tannins, plenty of sappy red fruit that segues into darker fruit towards the strict finish. This is a "correct" Potensac, very linear in style with pleasing length. Drink 2024 - 2044
The 2019 Potensac is a blend of 47% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 21st of September to the 9th of October. The alcohol came in at 14.05% with a pH of 3.54 and an IPT of 74. It is aging in French oak barriques, 34% new. With a deep purple-black color, the nose hits the ground running with lively scents of black raspberries, warm cassis and redcurrant jelly plus suggestions of garrigue, tilled soil, unsmoked cigars and pencil shavings. The medium to full-bodied palate is positively invigorating, offering bags of crunchy black and red berry flavors and a racy line of freshness, framed by approachable, grainy tannins and finishing with a skip in its step. In a word: FUN!
Less exuberant and more classic than the 2018. Vibrant and fresh with an energetic feel. Nose bright and lifted. Good depth of ripe fruit. Firmly structured, the tannins grainy but honed. Persistent. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2036
Excellent Potensac with a creamy and tight tannin structure. Blueberries and blackberries with some salt and minerals at the end. Classic structure. One of the best ever.
Mint, cedar, leaf and herbal aromatics combine to produce a structured, firm, crisp bite of cassis, blackberry and stone on the nose and palate, creates a wine with freshness, fruit, with a true Medocian character. The wine was produced from blending 47% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.05% alcohol.
The 2019 Poujeaux has a more introverted bouquet than some of its Moulis associates, though it opens nicely offering black cherries, liquorice, pressed iris petals and touches of crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with insistent grip on the entry. This Poujeaux has good backbone, almost Pauillac-like in style with a dense and persistent finish that augers for a long-term wine that will repay those with the nous to cellar it a few years. Superb. Drink 2027 - 2055
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Poujeaux has an oh-so-tempting nose of blackcurrant pastilles, redcurrant jelly and warm plums with touches of pencil lead, underbrush, cinnamon toast and wild thyme. The medium-bodied palate has a fair bit of chewiness giving way to loads of lovely, ripe fruit with soft acidity, finishing savory.
Solid as a rock this year with blueberries and crushed stones. Dried lavender, too. It’s medium-bodied, yet structured and long. Excellent.
The 2019 Poujeaux is gorgeous. Pliant and radiant in the glass, with terrific palate presence, the 2019 captures all the richness of the year and yet also stays light on its feet. Sage, rose petal, spice and sweet macerated cherry all grace this ethereal, vivid and very pretty Poujeaux.
Fresh and already showing loads of flowers, dark cocoa, black cherry and wet earth on the nose. Round, soft and approachable, you can enjoy all the ripe, sweet, lush fruits with just a few years of aging. And even better, you can keep it for up to 2 decades. The wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.1% alcohol.
The 2019 Quintus was picked from 19 September is very intense on the nose with multi-layered blackberry and wild strawberry aromas tinged with vanilla. The aromatics are well delineated and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with densely-packed black fruit laced with graphite and cedar, almost Left Bank in style with a very penetrating yet harmonious and silky smooth finish. This is a very well crafted Saint-Émilion without a hair out of place. Drink 2025 - 2050
The 2019 Quintus is a blend of 55.4% Merlot and 44.6% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. The estimated alcohol degree on the label is 15%. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sails out of the glass with intense scents of plum preserves, blueberry pie and boysenberries with nuances of Chinese five spice, mocha, dried lavender and licorice plus a waft of chargrill. Full-bodied, the decadently fruited palate is jam-packed with layers of blue and black fruit preserves, supported by beautifully plush, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with an epically long, exotic spice-laced finish. Impactful!
The 2019 Quintus is dense, racy and also very promising. The blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc works so well here. Red cherry, red plum, mocha and sweet spice all meld together effortlessly. Silky and medium in body, the 2019 has much to offer. The substantial, resonant finish is especially of note.
Flowers, cherries, plums, mint and earthy notes pop in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is sweet, fresh, refined, soft and expresses purity in the fruit. The Grand Vin, which comes from only 26% of the crop was produced from blending 55% Merlot with 45% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15.3% alcohol.
Margaux finesse at the top table. Poised and fragrant with vineyard-fresh dark fruit and cassis aromas. Exquisite palate, juicy but seamless, the fine tannins and perfectly pitched fruit in absolute harmony. Silky texture. Long, clean, digeste finish. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2045
50/50 1st and 2nd wine, and yield of 42l/h. 70ha estate so a good difference of terroirs to find the best parts to react. This has a burrowing down to the black fruit, the first minute really it is closed, holdings its breath, and then it explodes out of the glass. There is the precision of Rauzan Ségla that is reminiscent of the 2016, less of the immediate voluptuous impact of 2018 but the density becomes extremely clear in the glass, the serious side, still with a rinse of iris flowers to give it the Margaux touch. 3.73ph. 2028-2044
The 2019 Réserve de la Comtesse is conspicuously deep in colour. The bouquet takes time to unfurl with exceedingly pure blackberry, raspberry and cassis aromas, the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is very well balanced with fresh acidity, fine grain tannins, a touch of salinity developing towards the finish that has more grip than previous vintages. Superb. Drink 2024 - 2044
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Reserve de la Comtesse hits the ground running with aromas of warm black and red plums, stewed cherries and mulberries wafting out of the glass plus hints of spice cake, violets, bouquet garni and Ceylon tea. The medium to full-bodied palate appears a bit weightier than the grand vin, with more open-knit, richer fruit at this youthful stage, delivering a plush texture and plenty of freshness, finishing with lingering notes of plum preserves.
This is a very solid second wine of Pichon Lalande with blackberry, blueberry and sweet, dried-tobacco character. It’s full-bodied, chewy and polished.
Réserve de la Comtesse is especially fine in 2019. Wonderfully dark, fleshy and inviting, the Réserve is just striking today. A rush of dark red/purplish fruit builds effortlessly in the glass. More than anything else, the Réserve impresses for its sensual, inviting personality. It is an ideal second wine that is approachable and avoids being excessively serious, as some recent editions have been. General Manager and Winemaker Nicolas Glumineau describes 2019 as a year of drought, until rains arrived at the end of July and middle of August, which were very important for the maturation of the Cabernets in mid-October. Yields were 42 hectoliters per hectare, which is typical for the château. Glumineau added that the Merlots showed a wider range of quality, while the Cabernets were more homogeneous. In tasting, I found the two wines more differentiated stylistically, which has not often been the case.
This is well structured and approaches 2010 in terms of its weight and depth of fruit. Deep spiced damson on the nose, you would be hard pressed not to say that this is as good as very many Cru Bourgeois 1st wines. Huge depth, similar to the 2018 but a little higher acidity, a little less round, a little more classic Pauillac in character. This is confident and serious with lots of tannins. A great 2nd wine, and a reminder of the consistently successful winemaking that is happening at this estate. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
The 2019 Roc de Cambes is focused and intense on the nose with Japanese nori tinged black fruit, damp loamy soil and later, hints of violet and incense. The palate is very well balanced with supple tannins, supremely well judged acidity and an irresistible creamy texture that maintains tension on the finish. This is a sophisticated and very satisfying Roc de Cambes in the making.
Ripe, jammy fruit with a present but integrated toasty edge. Less expressive than some years (François Mitjavile conceded afterwards that it needed racking). Rich and round on the palate but there’s freshness as well. Tannins firm on the finish. On another day probably worth a higher score. Drink 2026-2034 (JL)
Freshly cut flowers, raspberry, mint, anise and cedar give the 2019 Roc de Cambes striking brightness and energy to play off its radiant, sumptuous fruit. A wine of energy and vibrancy, the 2019 marries richness with persistence. The finish is perhaps just a touch nervous. Let’s see what élevage brings.
Full-bodied, concentrated, earthy and cherry-filled with an herbal nuance and complexity, the wine is lively, wild and fruity with forest floor and fresh red fruits in the finish.
This is really finely crafted with sleek, polished tannins and beautiful, deep fruit. It’s full-bodied. Flavorful finish. Gorgeous texture.
The 2019 Rouget is a bold, sexy wine. Super-ripe dark cherry, kirsch, new leather, cedar, menthol and cinnamon all flesh out in an ample, sumptuous Pomerol that captures all the best this warm, radiant vintage had to give. This is an especially flamboyant style that works so well.
Inky plum colour, clear aromatic concentration and a relatively low yield of 33hl/ha. These levels of concentration are repeated on the palate, and this is one of the more intense Rougets, particularly if comparing to years like 2017 but also more muscle here than the 2018. High quality, with rippling tannic muscle and smoked black fruit, will take its time to come around. Harvest 17 September to 10 October. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
The 2019 Saintayme, Denis Durantou's Saint-Émilion pure Merlot vineyard, was picked between 1 and 4 October and matures in 30% new oak. It is the most outgoing of the late winemaker's sextet of wines, kirsch and crushed strawberry scents bursting from the glass with a touch of cola. The palate is fleshy and ripe with impressive weight. Good density develops towards the back end with a saline tang on the aftertaste. Give it two or three years in bottle. Drink 2024 - 2036
Produced by Denis Darantou and family of Château L’Eglise-Clinet, made from 100% Merlot, the 2019 Saintayme has a deep garnet-purple color. It explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of stewed plums, baked black cherries and fruitcake with hints of mocha, unsmoked cigars and fragrant soil plus a waft of Chinese five spice. Medium to full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, it has a solid foundation of chewy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing spicy.
100% Merlot; 30% new oak. St-Émilion brand from the Denis Durantou stable. Same vineyard has supplied the grapes since 2003. Barrel sample. Accent on the fruit with pure, dark- and red-berry aromas and flavour. Chalky tannins behind. Firm, dry finish. A little dusty but the fruit stays. Drink 2024-2030 (JL)
The 2019 Saintayme offers up a veritable explosion of sweet red cherry, kirsch and floral notes. Deep and lush, with tremendous freshness, Saintayme is terrific in 2019. In fact, this is one of the better recent vintages I can remember tasting. The purity of fruit and overall energy are both remarkable, while the harder edges and slightly savory qualities that can be present are barely perceptible. The 2019 is 100% Merlot picked between October 1 and 4. Denis Durantou's 2019s are absolutely brilliant across the board. My tasting was obviously bittersweet, as Durantou lost his battle with illness just a few weeks prior. Denis Durantou was one of the most intriguing characters in Bordeaux. I can't say I knew him well, but I always enjoyed tasting with him, as he was a person that spoke more with his eyes than with words. Things were implied rather than overtly stated. So, I tasted the 2019s with daughters Constance and Noémie over Zoom, in typical 2020 fashion. The Durantou sisters describe 2019 as a year with an early flowering and homogenous ripening that led to small, concentrated berries and higher pHs than normal. Temperatures were kept cool in the cellar, where both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place over cuvaison of 21 days (for all wines), in a reductive enviroment with little oxygen. From top to bottom, the Durantou 2019s are positively stellar. Don't miss them!
Black chocolate, baked earth, liquorice root and silky smooth tannins greet you on the first attack of this wine. I've never found this the easiest to love of the Durantou range but it is strikingly successful in 2019. Silky and yet slatey in texture, this both eases you through the palate and pulls you up short, slowing things down. Sparks of fresh minerality accompany the pulsing blueberry and raspberry fruits, and the juicy finish makes this one to look out for. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
Floral, earthy and smoky, with the addition of licorice and vanilla, the wine is medium-bodied, fresh, sweet and juicy, with layers of ripe, dark plums, cherries and cocoa. Soft and silky, with richness and approachability, this 100% Merlot wine lingers with all its freshness and fruit in the finish.
Dense opaque colour. This is a firework of fruit flavours on the nose, with deep dark summer pudding aromas and hints of crème brulée and mocha. The texture is rich yet pure, full yet refreshing, and has a fine line of dark currant fruits. Very long and the palate oozes class throughout.
The 2019 Smith Haut-Lafitte was cropped at 36hl/ha, undergoing manual pigeage and maturation in 60% new barrels for a planned 18 months. It has an intense, very pure bouquet with blackberry, briary and cherry compote and a hint of black olive tapenade in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins that frame the pure, mineral-infused black fruit. Undercurrents of graphite and black olive surface towards the complex finish that I feel is less opulent but maybe more sophisticated than recent vintages of this top performer. Very elegant and refined, this is an outstanding success for winemaker Fabien Teitgen and his team. Tasted twice including samples direct from the château. Drink 2025 - 2055
The blend this year is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 17th of September to the 10th of October. The wine is aging in French oak barriques, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte is downright hedonic on the nose, rolling sensuously out of the glass with notions of warm cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, Black Forest cake and black raspberries with nuances of cinnamon toast, lilacs, camphor and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate juxtaposes remarkable energy and brightness with densely packed, rich, ripe black fruits, framed by wonderfully ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastically invigorating freshness, finishing long with mineral-tinged fireworks. Stunning!
Deep colour. Dark fruit with a spicy lift. Dense, creamy and layered. Plenty of matière, the texture suave and almost opulent. Big tannic frame but the tannins finely etched. A contained feeling to everything. Punch and length on the finish. (JL) Drink 2027 – 2045
This is a solid red with a compact, tight palate of black fruit and currants, as well as very pretty, powerful yet polished tannins. This shows finesse with structure.
The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte soars out of the glass with regal intensity and stature. A wine of depth and textural resonance, the 2019 has a lot to offer. Naturally, today the 2019 is about potential more than anything else, and yet all the elements are so impeccably balanced. Dark and racy, with real energy, the 2019 is impressive. Lavender, mint and sage linger on the persistent finish.
The aromatics are highly seductive, the texture silky and round, tannins relatively soft as they were in 2018, but lots of them, layering up one on top of the next. Violet rim around the edge, all the signs of an excellent quality En Primeur sample are here. Not quite as lush as the 2018, a little more like the 2016 in structure at this stage, boding well for the future. Refined in style with cassis and blueberry - good focus and concentration. Tasted twice, three weeks apart, and both times seriously impressive. 60% new oak, 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
Quite deep in color, the initial nuances of chocolate mint, flowers, spice, incense, espresso and smoky red fruits fills your nose and glass. On the palate, the wine is fleshy, seductive, soft and loaded with dark sweet fruits. Expansive, silky and long, the layers of sweet fruits linger in the finish. The fruit shows a beautiful purity and sensuous quality in the fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 23 through October 10. Yields were 38 hectoliters per hectare with the grand vin produced from only 40% of the harvest.
A terrific St Pierre that highlights the strength of St Julien as an appellation. A generous and full style with flavours of damsons and sloes and hints of dark Valrhona chocolate. The focus is on ripe succulent fruit and tightly integrated tannins. Nicely composed and excellent length.
The 2019 Saint-Pierre, the sibling of Gloria owned by Domaines Martin rather than the Right Bank estate, is an address that has rapidly become one of the go-to Saint-Juliens in recent years. The bouquet is exquisite: pure blackberry, raspberry and briary scents infused with cedar and hints of mocha, very well defined a little more generous than Gloria. The palate is fresh and detailed with grippy tannins. Very good structure here, a sturdy yet paradoxically elegant wine with a lip-smacking salinity on the long finish. Superb, absolutely superb. Drink 2025 - 2050
Walnuts and dark berries with chocolate undertones. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a tight finish. In reserve. Very structured.
A powerful St Julien, bedded and knitted down with layers of cassis and bilberry fruits, crushed stone and baked earth, along with a gentler waft of tobacco and black pepper spice. Needs time to open, this is a confident wine with a ton of tannin, and will require a bit of patience but you'll be richly rewarded. 55% new oak. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
The wealth of fruit is something you notice right off the bat. Lusciously textured, rich, fresh, nuanced and complex, the waves of perfectly ripe, concentrated, velvety fruit are fresh, long, intense, complex and exciting. This is a top vintage for Saint Pierre.
In our flight of St Julien wines this really held its own amongst the very best in the appellation, a hugely successful 2019 all round. Intensely scented with blueberry and blackberry, this is a very flattering Ch Talbot with a polished tannic core. The enticing and juicy dark fruit flavours are generous, full and rounded, and seductively long on the finish. Fabulous.
The 2019 Talbot has a very cohesive bouquet, "streamlined" being the operative word, before opening gradually to reveal a Pauillac-inspired aromatics, pencil shaving scents permeating the black fruit. Yet it is still unmistakably Talbot. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, creamy in texture with more depth in the middle than previous vintages (a shortcoming that, estate director Jean-Michel Laporte told me in the past he wants to address.) The great aspect of this Talbot is that it doesn't take its foot off the pedal on the finish, exerting impressive grip with that pencil lead lingering in the mouth. Superb. Expect this to land at the top of my banded score. Drink 2026 - 2055
Overt spice and cassis nose. Palate juicy and invigorating. Perhaps a little leaner than some. Firm, grainy tannins provide the structure and finish. (JL) Drink 2026 – 2038
A juicy, fruity wine with lots of blue fruit, blackberries and dark chocolate. Pretty depth and structure to this. Polished and structured at the same time.
The 2019 Talbot is a big, powerful wine. Black cherry, plum, licorice, menthol, spice, lavender and earthy notes give the 2019 a distinct impression of savoriness. The tannins are a bit burly, as they often are with Talbot, and yet the 2019 appears to have enough fruit depth to balance things out.
St Julien's largest property at 110ha (up there with Lagrange if you're keeping track), this has lovely plump black fruits on the nose. Takes hold right from the start, with clear tannic build and a silky character to the tannins. This continues the run of good vintages that Talbot has been producing since 2016. Well balanced, with plenty of St Julien character. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Highest ever level of Cabernet Sauvignon at the estate. Harvest 19 September to 8 October. 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
The 2019 Tertre-Rôteboeuf marks the first time that I taste a barrel sample from outside François Mitjavile’s cellar. It possesses a very classy bouquet with beautifully defined black fruit that feels maybe less flamboyant and more introspective than previous years. It is very finely tuned, almost Burgundy-like. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins: layers of black fruit laced with dark chocolate and a gorgeous, mineral-driven finish that fans out wonderfully. It will require several years to full absorb the oak, but it is a very impressive Tertre-Rôteboeuf. Chapeau François Mitjavile. Drink 2024 - 2045
Touch of reduction but also some compelling dark fruit, chocolate and liquorice notes. Rich but a little subdued on the palate, the fruit seductive but less aromatic than usual. Freshness of the vintage apparent. Firm, slightly hard finish. As with Roc de Cambes in need of racking. Provisional score. Drink 2026-2040 (JL)
The 2019 Tertre-Rôteboeuf is a wine of breeding and gravitas that is going to need a number of years to come into its own. Today, it is tight and unyielding, with swaths of tannin that frame a core of intense fruit. Hints of red cherry jam, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up with a bit of air, but only reluctantly. A Saint-Émilion of stunning beauty, the 2019 Tertre-Rôteboeuf is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the vintage.
Earthy crushed raspberries are all over the place here, on the nose and palate. Mouth-filling, flashy, vibrant, juicy, sweet and fresh, there is an exotic quality to the texture that is unique to Tertre Roteboeuf. There is good concentration, length, complexity, expansiveness and a uniqueness of character that makes you want to know more about the wine, making you take sip after sip.
Instantly appealing with its gorgeous medley of summer fruit aromas. The rich and succulent palate is very composed and retains a beautiful freshness throughout. The tannins sit firmly within the wine, but never dominate, and the bright cranberry and pomegranate flavours on the finish give life and energy. We are seeing a new era at this estate which boasts one of St Emilion’s finest terroirs.
The 2019 Troplong Mondot needs an hour or two to settle and coalesce in the glass. As has been well documented, this is a reconfigured "TM" compared to those a decade ago - less flamboyant and ostentatious. Indeed, once it has shaken off that introspection, it unfurls with mainly black fruit, briary, sous-bois, hints of dark chocolate and mocha, perhaps one of the first Troplongs that I have encountered that is reminiscent of Pomerol. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannins. This is beautifully balanced with extremely well judged acidity. Its gentle personality belies the backbone of this Troplong, with touches of white pepper and tobacco toward the cerebral finish. It is a wonderful Saint-Émilion from Aymeric de Gironde and his team, more approachable than the 2018, to be frank, just a wine you are going to want to drink. Drink 2024 - 2050
The 2019 Troplong Mondot is a blend this year of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 10th to the 25th of September. The pH is 3.55—pretty incredible when you consider the alcohol is nearly 15%! I hasten to add that from tasting, I would have guessed this was 14.3% to 14.5% alcohol. It is the kind of wine with so much energy it practically does pirouettes on your palate. Opaque purple-black colored, the nose is fantastically floral, bursting from the glass with notes of candied violets, red roses and lavender over a core of plum preserves, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of garrigue, tilled soil, wild fungi and crushed rocks plus a waft of powdered cinnamon. The medium-bodied palate is like a tightly coiled spring, featuring beautifully knit layers of black and red fruits, earth and floral notes within a firm, fine-grained frame and bags of freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. This is a far cry from the old-school style of Troplong Mondot from a few years back, and it is incredibly impressive. This wine is aging in French oak barriques, some larger vats, and a small proportion is in amphorae. The oak portion is 60% new.
The 2019 Troplong Mondot is sensational. Rich, vibrant and explosive, the 2019 pulses with energy. Black cherry, violet plum, licorice, lavender and dark spice build in a statuesque Saint-Émilion endowed with tremendous energy and pure power. Troplong Mondot is not as obvious a wine as it was a few years ago, but its grandeur - and more importantly, the grandeur of this site - are evident. Troplong Mondot is a wine that simply can't be denied. The 2019 is aging in 60% new oak and 40% a combination of once-used barrels, foudres and amphora. Troplong Mondot has undergone a radical transformation since 2017 under the stewardship of Managing Director Aymeric de Gironde. Today, picking is earlier, there is greater focus on a parcel by parcel approach at harvest, no SO2 is used until barreling down, and for the first time, none of the malolactic fermentation was done in oak. Harvest took place from September 10 through October 7. De Gironde was among the managers who reported clusters of uneven ripeness, but added he is more comfortable with that than he might have been a few years ago, a way of thinking that is becoming more common in Bordeaux. In tasting, Troplong Mondot remains a big, broad-shouldered Saint-Émilion, but now it also has more energy and vibrancy than in the past.
Quite exotic aromas of cappuccino, dark black forest fruits and juicy Victoria plums. The palate is broad and rounded with a gentle touch of freshness. Good length and very true to the appellation.
The 2019 Trotte Vieille has a ripe black cherry, raspberry preserve and iodine-scented bouquet that becomes floral with continued aeration. This is an exuberant nose that displays impressive purity. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit laced with black pepper and a pinch of sea salt, very cohesive and demonstrating fine grip on the finish. This is a classy offering from a much improved Saint-Émilion, especially in terms of the detail on the finish. Excellent. Tasted from bottle and half-bottle. Drink 2024 - 2050
A really classy, beautiful red with seduction and force at the finish. Aromas and flavors of currants, wet earth and truffles, as well as mushrooms. Full bodied, tight and tannic. Toned and steely. A new, traditional style. 49% cabernet franc, 48% merlot and 3% cabernet sauvignon.
Trotte VieilleThe 2019 TrotteVieille is rich and explosive in the glass. A whole range of intense floral notes appears first, followed by inky dark fruit, espresso, licorice, new leather and cedar overtones that open up over time. A wine of power and stature, the 2019 is drop-dead gorgeous. There is so much complexity to the 2019 that it is hard to move on in this tasting. In a word: dazzling.
Blackberry, raspberry and cappuccino-laced liquorice notes on the attack. As ever with Trotte Vieille there is clear and present austerity that comes through as chalky tannins and fresh acidities that scrape through the finish along slate walls adding a kick of salinity. Takes its time to open and is really one you need to sit with. As it relaxes in the glass the peony and iris floral notes become clear, showcasing the Cabernet Franc in the wine, with smoked coffee beans ensuring a gourmet edge. Good stuff. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
Dark garnet in hue, the wine is full-bodied, concentrated and intense. The unique sensation of minerality is on full display here with all its rocks, stones and oceanic character. The fruit is vibrant, round, sweet, long and clean. Everything is in harmony here. The complex aromatic's along with the richly textured, concentrated mouthfeel, silky tannins and long finish is just great. Give it 7-9 years of aging before pulling a cork and enjoy it over the next 20 years or so. Made from a blend of 49% Cabernet Franc, 48% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is deep in colour. It has a fabulous, very intense nose that explodes from the glass with billowing scents of black cherries, freshly shaved black truffles, raspberry and light rose petal aromas. The palate is so sensual and seductive on the entry, its creamy texture irresistible and completely disguising the structure underneath. Interestingly this VCC really comes into its own after 12-hours of opening, revealing more quintessential Pomerol characteristics and more grip on the finish. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont fashioned a brilliant follow-up to the glorious 2018. Drink 2025 - 2055
Very deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan slowly opens out to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of red roses, kirsch, black raspberries, violets and star anise over a powerful core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and boysenberries plus hints of cardamom, sandalwood and Ceylon tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is achingly graceful, featuring tightly wound layers of crunchy blue and black fruits with tannins so ripe and finely grained, you really have to look for them. The acidity here is absolutely seamless, and the finish explodes into an array of mineral sparks. Be prepared to fall head over heals for this one.
Dark crimson hue. Complex and intense on the nose with dark fruit, tea and floral notes. Oak just perceptible but well integrated. Touch of sweetness on the attack (oak again?) but the palate remains juicy, lively and fresh, the tannins rounded and refined. A classic VCC that’s sapid and digeste, the finish long, dry and clean. Drink 2030-2050 (JL)
The nose is so beautiful, offering dried flowers, white pepper and other spices. Yet,there’s also bright, blue fruit. Tar, too. Love the depth of fruit here. The wine flows across the palate with so well integrated tannins. You just want to drink it. Glorious. The cabernet in this makes it almost Medoc-like. A blend of 78% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 7% cabernet sauvignon.
The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is a heady, rich wine that captures all of the exoticism of the year. Crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, lavender and spice are some of the many aromas and flavors that run through the 2019. This is an especially ripe, unctuous style for VCC. It will be interesting to see what aging brings, as there is plenty of grip and structure underneath a core of dense fruit that remains remarkably primary.
A wonderful wine, great depth of black fruit but extremely balanced, lace and satin. The aromatics open up almost immediately to show raspberry and redcurrant fruits. It's extremely complete; but mainly it just makes you want to enjoy it - no aggression to these tannins. 66% new oak, all the estate's Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes are here (with the 2nd wine 100% Merlot), and it surely helps give this sapidity and flavoursome savoury character. 3.75pH. A yield of 42hl/ha, so a good quantity, around the same as in 2018. 2026-2042
Flowers, black raspberry, plum liqueur, truffle, wet earth, forest floor and cherry blossoms are in the nose. Rich, intense, full-bodied, deep and velvety, the wine is loaded with dark chocolate, black cherries and the essence of dark plums. The decadent finish sticks with you for close to 60 seconds, which is a good thing, because the wine is so texturally sensual, you do not want it to end. Blending 78% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. Picking took place September 23 -September 27 for the old vine Merlot and October 2-October 3 for the Cabernet. The wine is aging in about 67% new, French oak barrels.
The 2019 Carbonnieux was picked 18 September to 10 October at 45hl/ha, matured in 40% new oak. It has an expressive bouquet with lively blackberry, bilberry and brown spices, all well defined and "natural". The palate is silky smooth on the entry with plush black fruit laced with black pepper and allspice, a touch of clove towards the seductive finish. This is a more sensual Carbonnieux than I am accustomed to. Maybe I hope it will develop more grip, but it certainly will appeal to those seeking a plush Pessac-Léognan. I wonder about its longevity vis-a-vis its peers. Tasted three times, later samples showing a little more charm and flesh. Drink 2023 - 2040
Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Carbonnieux was harvested from the 18th of September to the 10th of October. Yields were 45 hectoliters per hectare this year. The alcohol came in at 14.5% with a pH of 3.69. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 40% new, for an anticipated 12-15 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it prances out of the glass with invigorating scents of fresh redcurrants, black cherries and cassis with touches of bay leaves, pencil shavings and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has impressive vivacity with loads of crunchy black fruits and a refreshing line, framed by grainy tannins, finishing with a minty lift.
A dense, tight red with creamy texture and dried-pear and apple character. It’s full-bodied, focused and intense. Serious effort. One of the best whites from here.
A great Carbonnieux, with careful balance of juicy, salt-edged minerality and creamy nectarine and apricot fruits. Always a real highlight of the whites of the appellation and delivering another hit in 2019. Tasted twice two weeks apart. A yield of 40hl/ha. Drinking Window 2021 - 2030
Crisp yellow citrus combined with hints of sweet orange and mango on the nose and palate are a perfect match for all that racy acidity found here.
A brilliant lime sheen in the glass and a beautifully expressive nose, scented with white stone fruits peach and hints of jasmine. The palate has striking volume and balances excellent richness with creamy, buttery oak flavours that come together to give a feeling of Semillon depth (70%). On the finish there is a touch of hazelnut and some pure, bright Sauvignon fruit that gives zest and life to this wonderful wine. A really outstanding Chevalier blanc with structure and true aging potential.
The 2019 Domaine de Chevalier was harvested between 23 September and 12 October, underwent a triple sorting and a 30 day maceration before maturation in 35% new oak. It needs gentle coaxing in the glass, eventually offering broody blackberry, sous-bois, cedar and light brine scents that are certainly more cerebral than some of its peers. The palate is medium-bodied on the entry with crisp tannins, slightly chalky in texture, fresh and mineral. It is very complex towards the finish with blackberry, sea salt and mineral notes, completing an intellectual Domaine de Chevalier with long ageing potential. Drink 2026 - 2060
Blended of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, the 2019 Blanc was harvested from 3rd of September to 19th of September. The alcohol is 14%. It is aging on its lees in French oak barrels, 35% new, for an anticipated 18 months. The nose is almost completely shut down on first sniff, soon giving way to notions of freshly squeezed lemons and limes, green apples and pear slices with nuances of orange blossom, fresh ginger and marzipan. Medium-bodied, the palate has a beguilingly satiny texture with crisp freshness, packed full of zesty layers, finishing long and perfumed.
Reticent but refined. Gentle citrus tone with a chalky edge. Full and generous on the palate but also fresh, long and persistent. A class act. (JL) Drink 2023 – 2034
This is an opulent, dense white with dried-apple and honey character. Salty and hot-stone notes, too. Full-bodied, round and phenolic. Formed and beautiful. Quite open. Intense length.
A wine of real personality, the 2019 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has breadth and resonance to burn. Orchard fruit, citrus confit, white flowers, mint and chamomile nuances all flesh out in white that balances radiance with energy. I can't wait to see how the 2019 develops during its élevage; it is one of the most promising wines of the vintage.
Grip, power, nectarine, citrus, slate, this is an excellent Chevalier white that is clearly going to age extremely well. White flowers play around the edges, but it is the texture that appeals the most, reflecting its cooler terroir that works in hot summers like 2019. Drinking Window 2021 - 2034
Fresh pomelo, newly-squeezed lemons, honeysuckle and an intriguing orange tropical note with mangos and white peach. On the mouth, the wine pops with its freshness, zest and energetic fruit. Lemon, lime, vanilla, rocks and stones. This future rockstar will age for decades, getting better and better. But this is tasty now, I drank it at 9 in the morning! The wine was made from blending 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon.
The 2019 Cos d'Estournel Blanc, picked 16-23 September and seeing just 8% new oak, has more vibrancy and tension on the nose compared to the Pagodes de Clos Blanc, scents of orange blossom and yellow plums, the Sémillon very expressive. The palate is sharp and racy on the entry with green apple, melon, passion fruit and a slight tang of pink grapefruit towards the finish. Moderate length. Give it two or three years in bottle. Drink 2024 - 2035
A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon aging in French oak barriques, 8% new, the 2019 Blanc is all limes and lemons to begin, soon opening out to reveal nuances of peach blossoms, wet pebbles, green apples and struck match with a touch of coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with citrusy flavors, possessing impressive weight and creamy texture, finishing with loads of mineral layers and bags of freshness.
Intense and more restrained than the white Pagodes. More of a white-fruit/pear aroma. Round, ripe and opulent on the palate. Almost seems like there’s some residual sugar but it’s definitely dry and the pH low (3.15). Clean finish. (JL) Drink 2022 – 2028
This is incredibly long and refined with a compact structure and beautiful tension. It goes on and on. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and energetic. Lovely bitterness and brightness. Lemons, stones and limes. Flint, too. The grapes were harvested at three different moments. It’s beautifully constructed.
The 2019 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is a wine of real breadth, texture and resonance. Lemon peel white flowers, mint, sage and white pepper give the 2019 striking aromatic top notes and a real feeling of brilliance to complement the natural richness of the 35% Sémillon in this year's blend. Exotic tropical accents add a good bit of vintage 2019 character.
Lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange peel pop from the glass. Round, lush, juicy and fresh, with a myriad of ripe, sweet, fleshy citrus notes and a dab of honeysuckle in the finish. The wine was made using 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. This is the finest white wine yet from Cos d'Estournel.
The 2019 Haut-Brion Blanc is cut from a different cloth to the La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc. Taciturn initially, it then delivers intense green apple, gooseberry, honeysuckle and grass clipping aromas that are extremely well delineated. The palate is magnificently balanced with just the right amount of salinity. It has slightly more energy than its aforementioned sibling. The finish is tensile and light spiced with a very persistent aftertaste. This is one of the best Haut-Brion Blanc that I have encountered out of barrel. Drink 2030 - 2075
This Haut-Brion 2019 Blanc is a blend of 64.4% Sauvignon Blanc and 35.6% Semillon, harvested from the 29th of August to the 9th of September. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14%. The nose is quite subdued to begin, soon unfurling to offer fragrant scents of orange blossoms, white peaches and lime cordial with hints of oyster shell, fresh ginger, pomelo and kumquat plus a suggestion of jasmine. The medium to full-bodied palate has a seducing hint of oiliness texturing the intense citrus and chalky layers, lifted by bold freshness and finishing with incredible length and perfume. Just stunning.
Aromatic, Sauvignon-led nose with fine, pink-grapefruit aromatics. Explosive palate, full-flavoured, round, gourmand but fresh. More flamboyant than La Mission. Lovely weight and persistence with a tangy, fresh finish. (JL) Drink 2023 – 2034
The 2019 Haut-Brion Blanc is a regal white of uncommon complexity and nuance. Textured and resonant in feel, the 2019 saturates the palate with a host of citrus and mineral-drenched flavors. White pepper, chalk, mint and lifted floral overtones all develop in the glass, but it is the wine's textural resonance that stands out most. A thrilling white, the 2019 simply has it all. In a word: magnificent.
Clear difference in personality from La Mission Blanc, tons of rich texture, but more pulled together, with the Sauvignon making its mark. Feels poised at exactly the right level of ripeness, where there is so much flavour, it drips with citrus and nectarine alongside hints of green leaf and juice. One to savour, a brilliant Haut Brion Blanc with mouthwatering salinity on the finish. Drink 2021 – 2036.
Squeeze white peaches over crushed rocks, add flowers and yellow citrus and you have the recipe for the perfume here. The unique combination of luscious fruits and bracing acidities hits the spot. The endnote with all of its sweet, perfectly ripe lemons with an intriguing hint of mango goes on and on. The wine blends 64% Sauvignon Blanc with 36% Semillon, reaching 13.9% alcohol.
The 2019 Latour-Martillac Blanc was picked from 3 to 17 September at 50hl/ha and matured in 25% new oak. It has a crisp green apple and lemon thyme scented bouquet, introverted at first but it gradually finds its voice. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity. Subtle tropical notes of pineapple and orange rind with hints of strawberry come through on the finish. Excellent. Drink 2023 - 2040
A blend of 42% Semillon and 58% Sauvignon Blanc, harvested between the 3rd and 17th of September, the 2019 Blanc came in at 50 hectoliters per hectare and 13.8% alcohol. Aromas of fresh lemons, yellow apples and white peaches gently waft from the glass with emerging nuances of baking bread, almonds and spice cake. The medium-bodied palate has electric intensity with the tightly wound citrus layers well-supported by racy acidity, finishing savory.
Very structured and full of depth and layers of fruit. It’s rich and layered with plenty of lemon curd and cream, as well as lime. Nicely done.
Honeysuckle and just-squeezed yellow citrus hits the spot in the nose. The palate is loaded with sweet, juicy grapefruit, orange rind and waxy lemon, with a dab of honey to sweeten things up and acidity to keep it all fresh.
The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, formerly known as Laville Haut-Brion of course, is complex on the nose with peach skin, orange blossom and honeysuckle aromas gently unfolding with each swirl. As usual with this wine, it only really begins to "sing" after an hour's aeration (something I can afford to do at home and not when tasting at the château.) The palate is poised and vibrant on the entry. Notes of orange rind, melon and white peaches dovetail into a more resinous, textural finish that fans out gloriously. This is outstanding, but one worth cellaring as it will repay bottle age. Drink 2030 - 2070
The La Mission Haut-Brion 2019 Blanc is composed of 69.9% Semillon and 30.1% Sauvignon Blanc, harvested from the 30th of August until the 10th of September. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14%. Notions of freshly squeezed limes, grapefruit juice and white peaches come wafting out of the glass followed by suggestions of yuzu zest, coriander seed, underripe pineapple, wet pebbles and green mango with a touch of fennel. The medium to full-bodied palate offers layer upon layer of citrus fruits and mineral accents wrapped in a beautiful satiny texture and featuring seamless freshness, finishing long and chalky.
Returns (after 2018) to a more classic, Sémillon-dominated style. Lovely density and depth. Loads of fruit but all tucked away. Distinguished citrus, pear and floral aromas with a honeyed note as the wine opens. Same flavours but even more intensity. Generous fruit weight but balanced, the finish persistent, defined by a minerally edge. (JL) Drink 2024 – 2034
The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, 70% Sémillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc is a total stunner. Freshly cut flowers, mint, apple, citrus and sage are all finely cut in a chiseled, crystalline white of magnificent beauty. The Blanc is so deep and fully flavored, yet remains taut and light on its feet. It is a truly remarkable wine by any measure.
A wonderful La Mission with a creamy feel through the core of the wine, and a saline tang on the finish that gives form and shape to the white pear and ripe nectarine fruits. Great grip, expansion and rise, hard to argue with the confident and mouthwatering delivery of this white. Drink 2021 – 2038.
The sting of all that crushed rock, grapefruit, honeysuckle, white peach, lemon oil and star anise makes you take a step back and go for it again. Sapid in nature, the wine is rich, concentrated, juicy and mouth-filling with a crisp, zesty, sweet finish that does not quit. The wine is a blend of 7% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. It is interesting to note that this is the first vintage of LMHB where the Semillon was picked before the Sauvignon
The 2019 Olivier Blanc was picked from 29 August to 12 September at 44hl/ha. It has an intense bouquet with red apples, mango, white peach and waxy aromas - attractive and nicely defined. The palate is well balanced with a tangy marmalade note on the entry, crisp acidity with good persistence on the finish. I might eventually end up preferring this over the red. Drink 2023 - 2035
Composed of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, the 2019 Blanc was harvested from the 29th of August to the 12th of September. Yields were 44 hectoliters per hectare this year. The alcohol came in at 13.49% with a pH of 3.24. The nose is youthfully mute to begin, taking some coaxing and swirling to reveal white peach and fresh pear scents with touches of allspice, coriander seed and lemon blossom. Medium-bodied, the palate is locked tight, offering glimpses at an intense, layered, mineral-driven style with bags of freshness and texture to its credit. Shy at the moment, it should come out beautifully.
Tangy and flavorful with lemon-rind and cooked-apple aromas and flavors. It’s tight and lively with plenty of fruit and intensity. Consistently outstanding.
Fresh-squeezed pomelo, green apples and lemon peel hit the right notes on the nose. On the palate, the wine is fresh, zippy and zesty, with a shot of sweet, crisp citrus in the finish.
The 2019 Pape Clément Blanc has an attractive bouquet with scents of caramelised pear, peach skin and light waxy aromas. As usual, the oak is a little more prominent here compared to its peers. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, subtle guava and lychee notes on the entry, perhaps even a little Muscat towards the finish. I would have just liked more complexity and mineralité to be expressed on the aftertaste. Tasted twice. Drink 2024 - 2037
A blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, the 2019 Clémentin de Pape Clement Blanc was harvested from the 30th of August to the 13th of September. It was vinified in various types of vessels. Sixty percent was fermented in French oak barrels of varying capacities ranging from 225 to 500 liters, 22% of which were new. Seven percent was fermented in concrete eggs. Seventeen percent was fermented in large, French oak foudres, with 44% new. And 16% was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The nose is already quite complex, offering a range of savory and fruit scents including baking bread, shaved almonds, dried herbs and white grapefruit with notes of apricots and fresh pears coming through along with a waft of allspice. Medium-bodied, the palate has wonderful vitality and energy with loads of mineral nuances and a long, intensely fruited finishing. Impressive for a second wine!
Lots of tangy fruit and beautiful depth. It’s full-bodied, yet racy and very, very long. So much salty and sliced-apple character here. Excellent minerality and intensity.
The 2019 Pape Clément is a fabulous wine. Rich, exotic and sweet in its grandeur, the 2019 captivates all the senses with its dazzling beauty. The 2019 is a wine of statuesque proportions that impresses with its intensity. Dark fruit, spice, pear, tobacco and gravel all explode out of the glass. There is so much to look forward to here. What a wine. Tasted three times.
Finely balanced between richly textured and restrained savoury white pear and citrus fruits. Walks the line between the two, far more successful to my taste than it did perhaps a decade ago, when this was a bigger style of white. You can clearly tell that this has impact and confidence, but it is beautifully complex and well-put together. Fermented in barrel, large sized oak casks and (15%) in cement egg-shaped vats. Harvest August 30 to September 12. Consultant Michel Rolland. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Drinking Window 2021 - 2032
Opening with strong notes of white peach, assorted notes of orange and yellow tropical fruits and honeysuckle, with a hint of candied grapefruit peel. Fresh, sweet, crisp and long, with loads of waxy, sweet, juicy yellow citrus blended with tangerines. The wine was made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon.
100% Sauvignon Blanc. Barrel sample. Aromatically fresh and expressive with ripe citrus and pear notes. Lovely volume of fruit on the palate, the oak completely absorbed and freshness maintained. Great persistence. Weight of fruit and acidity perfectly balanced. (JL) Drink 2022 – 2032
Grip and balance with clear flesh to the white peach, pear and citrus fruit and a saline finish. The flavours spiral down through your mouth, anchoring themselves to your palate and holding on, totally moreish and very much in the style of the house, with a kick upwards on the finish. You would be hard pressed to say no to this. Harvest 2 to 10 September. 3.15pH. Drinking Window 2021 - 2038
The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc has a perfumed bouquet with citrus lemon, red apples, yellow plum and jasmine bursting from the glass. The oak here is wonderfully assimilated. The palate is medium-bodied with a perfect bead of acidity. It is not the most complex white Smith Haut Lafitte that I have tasted, yet it is full of tension with subtle spicy notes of ginger and lemongrass that enliven the persistent finish. There is a brightness and sophistication to this wine that is very persuasive. Superb. Tasted twice. Drink 2023 - 2045
The blend this year is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon, fermented in French oak, 50% new, within which it will age for 12 months on lees with batonnage. The Smith Haut Lafitte 2019 Blanc has a nose that unfolds in stages—offering intense white grapefruit, green mango, yuzu and orange blossoms scents to begin, giving way to hints of coriander seed, turmeric, shaved almonds and cedar chest with wafts of baking bread and beeswax coming through after some coaxing. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully opulent with layers of citrus, stone fruit and savory flavors and a seductive oiliness to the texture, finishing very long and fantastically refreshing. Wow-o-WOW, that is good!
Punchy citrus-mandarin aroma. Round, rich and exuberant. Practically opulent but a zesty acidity/freshness keeps everything in line. Oak really well integrated. Juicy finish. (JL) Drink 2022 – 2030
A full-bodied, layered white with dried apples, pears and cream. Beautiful, very upfront and plush already. Love the richness and precision.
The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is creamy and beautifully textured. Orchard fruit, mint, white flowers, lemon confit and white pepper confer briskness to a white that nicely balances the natural richness of the year with freshness that comes from picking on the early side. A dollop of Sémillon adds richness and textural depth.
Subdued on the first nose but opens up to show the rich, citrus and rosemary-filled grown up glamour that Smith Haut Lafitte's white does so well. Acidity feels lower than in vintages like 2017 but similar to last year, with an emphasis on slate texture that narrows and focuses the tension through the palate, and suggests this will age well. Tasted twice three weeks apart and gorgeous both times, perhaps a little more developed in terms of its nuances and depth the 2nd time around, giving plenty of confidence to what will happen over the rest of ageing. If you are planning to drink this soon I recommend a good few hours in a carafe first. 3.15pH. Drinking Window 2021 - 2034
Walk into a flower garden and squeeze lemons, grapefruit and white peach all over everything, with honeydew melon and you get an idea of the nose here. Great lift, vibrancy, elegance and mouth-feel, with length, purity and freshness. This is the best white wine from Smith Haut Lafitte in a few years! The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon.