A tiny organic vineyard with pre-phylloxeric vines owned by Pascal and Sophie Lucin Douteau. ‘Louison & Leopoldine’ is their second wine; with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc it has a charm and elegance and is drinking wonderfully right now.
‘Red cherry with hints of mint, creamy and smooth on the palate. Expressive and with fine depth of flavour – a good find.’ – www.bordeaux.com
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.
Chateau d`Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet wine in the world. Yquem is located on the highest hill in Sauternes and enjoys the best growing conditions in the whole appellation. The 110-hectare vineyard is planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Only fully botrytized fruit is picked by the 150 highly skilled pickers and yields are so low that each vine produces only one glass of wine. Yquem is fermented in oak barrels (100% new) and is left in barriques to mature for up to 36 months. Intensely opulent when young, Yquem develops an extraordinary complexity and exotic richness when fully mature, with the best vintages lasting for over 50 years. Château d’Yquem is classified as a 1er Cru Classé supérieur.
– The robe is garnet and bright. The nose is neat and straight. Before stirring, candied citrus notes, fine wooded touch and vanilla. After stirring, come the red fruit aromas, gunflint and spice as pepper. The attack is right. Nice balance. The half body has a beautiful silky and tight grain in an ample and supple volume. The finish is very long with lots of cherry.
– Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2014 Camensac has a vivid and vivacious bouquet with bright black cherry and boysenberry fruit, a touch of pencil lead developing in the glass. The palate is well balanced with thickset tannin, an Haut-Medoc of commendable structure that may well see it aging more slowly than others. I appreciate the fruit concentration here, while it exerts a pleasant grip on the finish. Give it two or three years in bottle just to soften those edges.
A classic Pessac-Leognan, the 2009 Carbonnieux possesses aromas of sweet black currants and cherries intermixed with hints of roasted herbs, unsmoked cigar tobacco, charcoal and licorice. Medium to full-bodied with more concentration than many vintages, this surprisingly fleshy effort has more poundage and glycerin than this normally light-styled Bordeaux has offered in the past. Harmonious sweet tannins and low acidity give the wine a fleshy mouthfeel and immediate appeal, but most of its aromatic complexity will not emerge for another 5-7 years. It should keep for two decades or more.
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.
A delicious, fully mature Sauternes from Chateau Filhot – relabelled as Gold Reserve. The unctuous sweetness of youth is settled into a light and elegant style. Full of dried fruit and marmalade flavours. There is a little orange pith dryness on the finish.
‘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.’ – 90pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012.
Phélan-Ségur is a Cru Bourgeois property which was established by Irishman Bernard Phelan in in the early nineteenth century. The estate was bought by by Xavier Gardinier in 1985 and is now run by his sons, Thierry and Laurent.
Phélan-Ségur’s wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Franc (10%), matured in oak barriques (30% new) for 15 months. It can typically can age up to 15 years.