New Releases | Ch Capbern & Ch Les Ormes de Pez 2017
As the campaign gains momentum, this morning sees the welcome release of two fantastic St Estèphes that are both triumphs of the vintage in their own right, and offer excellent value. This is something to get excited about.
Ch Capbern is run by neighbouring estate and Goedhuis favourite, Ch Calon-Ségur. It was the first wine we tasted of the UGC week and set the tone for the vibrantly fruited, delicately aromatic, medium bodied wines we would enjoy all week. Neal Martin noted: “It is the precision rather than the power that defines this Capbern and if released at similar prices to previous vintages, could be one of the must-buys of 2017.” At £174/12 IB this has hit the sweet spot.
Ch Les Ormes de Pez is owned by Jean-Charles Cazes and is under the careful stewardship of his team at Ch Lynch Bages. They have made yet another brilliant Ormes de Pez in what is fast becoming a purple patch for them. Neil Martin says, “This will be delicious over the next couple of decades. Don’t ignore this.” It offers superb winemaking and delicious depth of fruit for £225/12 IB.
Large formats of both wines are available to purchase, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7793 7900.
Ch Capbern is run by the team at St Estèphe cru classé, Ch Calon-Ségur, and offers excellent value for the calibre of winemaking. It was the first wine we tasted of the UGC week and set the tone for the vibrantly fruited, delicately aromatic, medium bodied wines we would enjoy all week. It has a leafy freshness to the fruity nose and a smooth, iodine character on the palate. Managing Director Laurent Duffau explained they offset the slight lack of structure in the Merlot this year with the high quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This showed a dextrous application of Bordeaux’s tradition of blending.
The 2017 Capbern was cropped at 43.5hl/ha and matured in 60% new oak. It has a fresh, lively cranberry and blackcurrant-scented bouquet, a little savory in style with hints of Japanese nori (seaweed). The palate is nicely structured with a keen thread of acidity. There is a little compactness on the entry but it gently unfolds towards the finish that exerts subtle grip. It is the precision rather than the power that defines this Capbern and if released at similar prices to previous vintages, could be one of the must-buys of 2017. 2021 - 2032
The tentative blend for the 2017 Capbern is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives exuberant red cherries, blackberries and black raspberries on the nose with touches of bay leaves and dusty soil. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and fresh with chewy tannins and an earthy finish.
Deep crimson with purple rim. Fresh and delicious bramble and cassis fruit. Firm, finely grained, super-fresh. Slightly chewy but with plenty of dark fruit in the middle. Full but balanced. (JH) Drink 2023-2030
Dark berries and crushed stones. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Tightness.
The 2017 Capbern is soft, pliant and inviting. This pretty, gracious Saint-Estèphe has plenty to offer, especially over the near and medium term. Floral notes give lift to the bright red cherry fruit. Soft contours and mid-weight structure add to the wine's immediacy. Tasted two times.
The Merlots and Cabernet Francs suffered a little from the rains of September, but the early season and lack of frost damage helped overcome this, with a normal yield of 43.5hl/ha. Capbern has an ample mid-palate with savoury but fleshy blueberry and blackberry fruits, and mint-edged charcoal - it's well put together. 3% Petit Verdot makes up the blend given here. Ageing for 18 months in 60% new oak. 3.8pH. Drinking Window 2024 - 2036
Calon Ségur winemaker Vincent Millet explained that the IPT is the same as 2015 but lower than 2016. There were no problems with frost in Saint-Estèphe so the yields were perfect (43.5 hl/ha). The low level of alcohol is the same across the family of Calon wines which is amazing, too. The fruit is smooth and very clean and forward with classic Saint-Estèphe hallmarks of earthiness balanced with juiciness. This is a lovely wine.
This is an excellent example of good value St Estèphe, in the infinitely capable hands of Jean-Charles Cazes of Lynch Bages. A firmly structured wine, full of wild hedgerow fruit flavours. Beautifully balanced with a subtle stony finish, this well-made wine bursts with energy and intensity.
The 2017 Les Ormes de Pez was matured in 45% new oak with 13.42% alcohol. None of the vines were touched by frost. Cropped at round 50hl/ha, it has a clean, pure red cherry, blackcurrant and cedar-scented bouquet, more Pauillac in style than Saint-Estèphe. The palate is well balanced with ripe tannin that feel more malleable than previous vintages at this stage, a little saline in the mouth with a silky smooth finish. This will be delicious over the next couple of decades and I suspect it will be more approachable than the 2016. Don’t ignore this. 2021 - 2036
Very dark crimson. The aroma is equal parts black fruit and graphite. On the palate, some sweetness of oak spice but there's a slight lack of fruit richness on the palate so that overall it is relatively light. Persistent though, and the tannins are fine enough not to dominate. (JH) Drink 2024-2032
The density for the vintage is impressive with dark-berry and cherry character. Medium to full body, velvety tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Linear and driven.
The 2017 Ormes de Pez comes across as a bit light in both body and structure. Spice, leather, dark red stone fruit and new French oak are nicely pushed forward. Easygoing and open-knit, the 2017 is likely to offer its best drinking sooner rather than later. Jean-Michel Cazes told me yields were surprisingly generous in 2017, along the lines of 2009. Merlot plays an especially prominent role in a blend composed of 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
Ormes has managed another good vintage after a run of them. This is a lovely wine and a buy for me. Succulent, bristling and charming, it has juicy brambled fruit extraction and tension. It doesn't take itself too seriously, just asking to be loved. The fruit spectrum is rich with blueberries and damsons, with integrity and a swirl of vanilla bean oak. Includes 6% Cabernet Franc in the blend. No need to wait too long for this. 45% new oak. Drinking Window 2022 - 2035
Chiselled and firm, this is a stern wine with a very forceful demeanour and a slight touch of greenness which might not melt away. I like it a lot, but you will have to be forgiving in due course.