Bordeaux En Primeur 2015. Our opinion.

Published by William Frazier on 14th Apr 2016

2015 in Bordaux has been a very enjoyable vintage to taste, the wines were fully ripe with plenty of fruit flavours and in some cases excellent concentration. We visited several new wineries at Chateau Pedesclaux in Pauillac, Fonpleage in St Emilion and Kirwan in Margaux where recent investments by the owner’s part have enabled wines of great quality to be made, however these improvements have not yet followed into the pricing.

The wines in the Haut Medoc and Listrac Medoc and the satellite appellations of St Emilion and Pomerol will offer the best value. We recommend the wines of Beaumont, Caronne St Gemme, Cissac, Clement-Pichon, Fourcas Hosten, Fourcas Dupre, Perron, Tour de By, and Lamothe Bergeron.

Starting on the right bank with Pomerol and St Emilion here the great wines of Angelus, Cheval Blanc, VCC, Pavie Maquin, Soutard, Le Gay with Clinet, La Consteillante and Beauregard stood out from the crowd. We feel that with the general quality you will be able to enjoy any right bank 2015 for many years to come. We have the great value Chateau Perron Lalande Pomerol for the first time this year from a well-regarded family estate. This will provide excellent drinking around 2020.

The left bank has had more variation however Margaux stood firmly above the rest in terms of power and concentration with Angludet, Brane Cantenac, Cantenac Brown, Kirwan, Margaux and second wine Pavillon Rouge, Palmer and Alter Ego and Rauzan Segla really scored. Chateau Margaux 2015 is the last vintage produced by the late Paul Pontallier who has been making this wine for 33 years.

The new Sir Norman Foster winery at Chateau Margaux.

In St Julien Ducru Beaucaillou, Gruaud Larose and Leoville Poyferre really stood out with lots of lovely fruit flavours.

An old family favourite shone in St Estephe Chateau Meyney, which we learnt is due to the similar blue clay that is also found in Pomerol. Cos Labory, Montrose and Tronqey Llande were also very good.

Pauillac has the great names and great wines. Clerc Milon, d’ Armailhac, Duhart Milon, Lynch Bages, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pichon Longueville au Baron de Pichon Longueville, Pontet Canet and Pedesclaux are our favourites for this vintage. It’s the best Lafite for 5 years and d’Armailhac and Clerc Milon are real performers.

Moving further south to Pessac Leognan Haut Brion, Larrivet Haut Brion, Malartic Lagraviere, Olivier, Pape Clement and Domaine de Chevalier are all thoroughly enjoyable.

The tasting team at Chateau Lafite Rothschild enjoying a moment in the sun.

2015 will be ranked amongst the great vintages for Sauternes and Barsac with the dry summer and the noble rot developing uniformly allowing for easy harvesting of the rotten grapes. The wines are rich and unctuous and will develop beautifully in the bottle. Our favourites included Ruissec, Doisy Vedrines, Lafaurie Peyraguey, and Suduiraut.

The dry whites are as classy and refined as ever particularly Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Carbonnieux Blanc, Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc and Pavillon Blanc.

We wish you the many years of happy drinking which these 2015’s certainly will provide.

William and John

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