Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2010
A beautiful effort from Chasse-Spleen, this dense purple wine exhibits plenty of black currant and black cherry fruit with some licorice, roasted herbs and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied and supple, the final blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot has produced a fleshy, succulent style of Chasse-Spleen to drink over the next 15+ years.
Château d’Agassac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2010
A superb wine from the Southern Medoc, this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc is a real sleeper of the vintage. Floral notes intermixed with forest floor, black currant and some subtle smoke and truffle are all present in this seriously endowed, full-bodied wine that is performing beautifully.
Château d’Aiguilhe, Comtes von Neipperg, Côtes de Castillon, 2010
One of the best-run estates in the underrated and undervalued appellation of Cotes de Castillon is Chateau d’Aiguilhe, which is owned by Stephan von Neipperg. As with all of von Neipperg’s wines, Stephane Derenoncourt is the consulting winemaker. The blend is usually 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, although I did not see the statistics on this particular vintage. The 2010 (10,000 cases produced) achieved 14% natural alcohol from modest yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple hue, lots of cassis, crushed rock and floral characteristics, a round, generous, savory, broadly textured style and sweet tannins. Drink it over the next decade.
Château d’Issan, Margaux, 2005
From 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the wine was aged in 55% new oak. Still deep in color, the wine opens with floral, black cherry, forest floor, cassis, tobacco and spicy aromas. With supple, refined textures, concentration of fruit and a long, elegant, blackberry finish, this continues to develop perfectly.
Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc, 2009
Fourcas-Hosten has long had a reputation as one of the best Châteaux in the commune of Listrac in the Médoc. This vintage is very classically profiled with a nose of cassis, cocoa, and cedar followed by a complex array of black and red fruits on the palate. Exceptionally well-balanced, this is a wine that can improve over the next couple of years, but is already a joy to drink. Jancis Robinson MW said “…quite an intriguing nose, full, firm and dramatic. Nicely balanced with polished tannins and very appetising, the type of wine that could be a pleasure to drink all its life.”
Château Kirwan, Margaux, Crand Cru Classé, 2009
After bottling, wine often goes through a difficult period of weak aromatic expression and/or imbalance, with a sensation of hollowness. This stage is called “Bottle Shock”. In the case of Kirwan 2009, this phase is over and the fruit dominates, with robust notes of black cherry. The attack is soft, round and juicy in the mouth. The flesh has a velvety character that blankets the palate while aromas of pepper, cedar, cocoa and light roasted coffee complement the pervasive fruit. Even young, Kirwan 2009 already presents remarkable complexity. The months to come will further accentuate these perceptions of volume and smoothness. As for the bouquet, it will continue to develop for many years…..patience.
Château la Tour Carnet, Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, 2009
Deeply-coloured. Powerful nose of ripe red fruits (strawberry) with slightly burnt oak presence. Power takes centre-stage on the palate with lovely fat at point of entry. A robust style with a good framework still showing pronounced oak. Slightly dry tannins on the finish. Wonderful potential.
Château Lafon-Rochet, Grand Cru Classé, Saint Estèphe, 2008
A strong effort for this vintage, the 2008 exhibits a dark plum/purple color, plenty of firm, rugged, austere tannins, copious red and black fruits, admirable flavor intensity and medium body. Cellar it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 15.
Château Lalande-Borie, Saint Julien, 2009
This is a beautifully elegant Saint Julien from a top vintage – a velvety texture, plenty of exuberant, ripe berry fruit and great length. Top critic Robert Parker declared the 2009 to be “the finest wine I have ever tasted from Lalande Borie”.
Château Latour-Martillac, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
The best ever wine from this estate (even better than their sensational 2005), this full-bodied wine offers notes of blueberry, black currant, asphalt and burning charcoal embers in a deep, layered and multi-dimensional style. It is impressively pure and well-built, with far greater concentration and length than I ever remember this wine having in the past. Forget it for 5 years and drink it over the following three decades.
Château Meyney, Saint-Estephe, 2009
Ripe dark fruits, licorice, smoke, earth and spice aromas open to a medium/full bodied, soft, round, forward wine that can be enjoyed in its youth or aged, as there is enough stuffing for this wine to improve for at least a decade or more.
Château Meyney, Saint-Estéphe, 2010
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark cherry red. Smells more pure-fruited than the 2009 and doesn’t have its dusty mineral character. Much more down the line Cabernet aroma of cassis and cedar but the fruit is intense so that there is also a touch of dark chocolate – in a thick, chewy texture as well as in the flavour. Firm and chewy and with real mass as well as structure and still finishes fresh thanks to the fruit clarity. This has some way to go but has fine St-Estèphe direction and firmness and the fruit to fill out the middle. Long and satisfying and attractively aromatic as well as powerful.
Château Petit-Village, Pomerol, 2008
Deep, intense, ruby red colour. On the nose there are aromas of violets and ripe soft red fruits with a touch of vanilla. The tannins are ripe and the aromas on the nose are reflected on the smooth palate. Finish is long, this is a wine to drink now or left to further develop in the bottle.
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2005
Bouquet of dark fruits, cassis with whiffs of smoke, lead pencil and earth. On the palate, more bold black and red fruits with a distinct, dense meatiness and gamey flavours submerged under its ripe tannins and acid backbone. A lovely, lengthy finish.
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2009
The best Phelan-Segur since the 1990, this is a rather dense, full-bodied, massive wine for a cru bourgeois. Sweet blackberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with crushed rock and a hint of subtle oak jump from the glass of this full-bodied, intense, yet attractive and alluring wine. There is significant depth and substance to this Phelan-Segur, which is a sleeper of the vintage that should last up to 15 or more years.
– Score: 90 – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012
Château Quinault l’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2010
From an assemblage of 70% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and some Malbec for good measure, the team at Cheval Blanc came up with a wine that reached 14.5% alcohol that shows licorice, griotte and earthy scents. The wine end with a fresh, supple, fennel, chocolate and black cherry.
Château Rollan de By, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
Very fleshy, this delicious red shows plum, raspberry and blackberry pâté de fruit notes backed by spice cake, anise and toasty vanilla. The finish is long and polished. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Chateau Rousseau de Sipian, Cru Bourgeois, 2008
This wine has a nose of bramble fruit, cedar and a touch of tobacco. A deep red appearance, firm rich dry tannin and good length on the palate. Soft and rounded. A lovely elegant claret.
Production: 60.000 bouteilles
Silver Medal – International Wine Challenge 2011
“Deep red colour, classic style. Notes of rich fruit cake and forest fruits on the palate with integrated ripe tannins and a long finish.”
Gold Medal Decanter World Wine Award 2013
Silver Medal – Concours de Bordeaux 2011
Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc, 2009
This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the finest Senejac I have tasted. The team from Pontet Canet, who have done such a phenomenal job at that estate, were in charge of making this Senejac, and the result, not surprisingly, is a sensational wine that consumers need to buy by the case. Dense purple, with notes of creme de cassis, incense, licorice and forest floor, this wine is delicious and full-bodied, with sweet tannins, low acidity, copious fruit and exceptional concentration. Everything is in balance, and the wine is capable of lasting 10 or more years. Robert Parker – Wine Advocate – Feb 2012
Chocolate Box “Dark Chocolate” Shiraz by Rocland, 2015
On the nose there are strong aromas of coffee chocolate, blackberries and spice which is supported by sweet vanilla oak. On the palate, this wine is textured, powdery tannins and dark chocolate beneath a pastiche of coffee, apricot and liquorice.
Clarendelle inspired by Haut-Brion, Bordeaux AOC, 2010
A rich, ripe core of dark fruit, tobacco, leather and spices, cassis, plum and cedar too. A wonderful blend of classic Bordeaux styling with modern fruit purity.
Impressive generosity of flavour (delicious, rich dark fruits) with elegant structure, the greatness of the vaunted 2010 vintage is confirmed at every point from the succulent entry to the long, fine finish. Supported by a velvety bed of fine ripe tannins with a spine of juicy acid and liquorice spice, it’s approaching its very best drinking – released at 5 years old, it will only improve over the next 5 years.
90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“This wine, which is a blend of the three basic varietals planted in Bordeaux – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – is a major sleeper of the vintage and far exceeded my expectations, and that, of course, is all good news. Lots of red and black currant fruit, licorice, spice and soft tannins have resulted in a silky, opulently styled wine that far exceeds its humble origins and appellation. Drink it over the its first decade of life, although the position of Prince Robert is to release this wine only when it is showing some maturity, as their target market is largely consumers desiring immediate gratification and restaurants seeking similar qualities. (RP)”