Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes, 1999 – 1.5L
James Suckling, Wine Spectator 94 points. “The 1999 was particularly impressive for the vintage. It was superbly focused and beautiful on the nose, with sugared lemons, tropical fruit and maple syrup character. Full-bodied and thick, yet very fine, it was extremely … Read More
Château de Camensac Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc 2014
– 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.
Château de Chantegrive “Caroline”, 2014
– The Caroline cuvée is the flagship of the wines produced by Chateau de Chantegrive. This top of the range dry Graves Blancs gets its good reputation from its airy thickness, always enhanced by an accurate acidity. This wine’s freshness and volume on the palate are due to the cold soak that then ended by an ageing process on lees in French oak barrels (50% new barrels) with regular stirring of the lees. The 2014 Caroline offers an intense nose on citrusy (lemon and grapefruit) notes followed by white flower hints (lilac and acacia). Aromatic freshness and clearness are expressed on swirling. The attack is frank and releases a few surprising (for a dry wine) pineapple, mango and litchi notes. This wine offers good volume, and its balance is assured by minerality and accurate acidity.
Chateau du Fauga – AC Grand Vin Blanc, Montravel, 2017
Lively, fruity aromas. In clayey-limestone soils, the grapes are very ripe and thus give off aromas of candied fruit. Château Fauga is made with 90% Sauvignon, or 100% according to the vintage. Fermentation is carried out at a low temperature with a skin maceration of 24 hours – adding weight and complexity to the wine. Suggested dishes: Seafood platter, raw vegetables, fondue Savoyarde.
Chateau du Fauga
Chateau du Fauga is an 18th century castle listed as a historical monument, located 200 meters from the banks of the Dordogne in the town of Port Sainte Foy.
Chateau d`Yquem 1999 (37.5cl)
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.
Château Filhot Grand Cru Classé, Sauternes, 2011 (375ml)
Intense aromas of beeswax and honey combine with a luscious, full-bodied palate of ripe tropical fruit, bitter orange and quince with lovely fresh acidity to balance the richness of this delicious sweet wine.
Classified a Second growth Cru Classé in 1855, Château Filhot is a famous Sauternes property producing wonderful sweet wines from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The vineyard originally dates back to the seventeenth century and the Château was built in 1709. Now covering 62 hectares on deep gravel, sand and clay soils, Filhot displays the classic characteristics of Sauternes produced from low-yielding, nobly-rotted grapes individually picked by hand.
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 Grand-Puy Ducasse, Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2014
– 92 points Wine Enthusiast
For the vintage, this is a particularly rich wine. It is structured and firm with opulent black-plum fruit that gives the wine a ripe character. Dense with supporting tannins, the wine is going to develop well over the medium term. Drink from 2022. (RV) (2/2017)
– 91 points James Suckling
The forthright cassis note is immediately appealing, then the rather bold tannic structure sneaks up on you and shows that this is a serious wine. Maybe not quite the power and length of the appellation’s top wines in 2014, but still an impressive wine. (2/2017)
– 90 points Wine Spectator
Ripe and racy, with a graphite streak that drives the core of cassis and plum fruit along, picking up an anise edge on the finish. Not big, but fresh and well-defined. Shows some sneaky grip. Best from 2018 through 2026. (JM) (3/2017)
Chateau Kirwan 3eme Grand Cru Classé Margaux 2006 – 1.5L
Wine Spectator 90 points “There’s lovely fruit in this wine, with berry, chocolate and plum aromas and flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A very balanced Kirwan.” (03/09)
Chateau Kirwan 3eme Grand Cru Classé Margaux 2007 – 1.5L
Wine Enthusiast 91 points *Editors’ Choice* “This is a solid, finely perfumed wine, the tannins giving concentration and structure. There is some severity as well, a sign that it is still settling into the bottle. But with its bitter chocolate character … Read More
Chateau Kirwan 3eme Grand Cru Classé Margaux 2009 – 1.5L
James Suckling 94 points This is a wine that seduces you, with its crushed blackberries and hints of dark chocolate that follow through to a full body and ultra-fine tannins with a tangy, fresh finish. Solid as a rock. Best ever … Read More
Château Kirwan, Margaux, Grand 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 Kirwan is a 3ème Cru Classé. The wine is typically a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. The wine is then matured in oak barriques (30-50% new) for 18 months. Owned by Dutch Bordeaux négociants firm Schröder and since 1925, it has enjoyed an upsurge in quality since the 1990s when bringing the estate back to its true status as a classed growth.
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.
‘This dense purple wine displays notes of charcoal, subtle toast and white chocolate as well as blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with hints of graphite and licorice. Dense, full-bodied, unctuously textured, and quite long and thick, this concentrated, impressively endowed wine is silky-textured and already accessible. However, I suspect its best days are at least 5-7 years ahead of it. It should keep for a minimum of two decades.’ – 92pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (199), March 2012.
Château La Tour Carnet
Château La Tour Carnet is a 4emé Cru Classé property owned since by Bernard Magrez. ‘It is one of the most picturesque chateaux in Bordeaux, dating from the 12th century, with real towers and a Camelot-style moat surrounding it. A large estate, they have been making top-flight wines for well over a decade, yet the prices remain very realistic for a classified growth Bordeaux.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Critic.
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 Lafon-Rochet is a 4ème Cru Classé St-Estèphe estate that has been owned by the Tesseron family since 1959. The property has one of the best terroirs in Bordeaux: its one block of 45 hectares is on a gravelly rise not far from Pauillac, and overlooks first growth Lafite Rothschild and second growth Cos d’Estournel.
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 Latour-Martillac is a Bordeaux wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, rated a Cru Classé (Classed Growth) in the 1953 Classification of Graves wine. The Château has been owned and managed by the Kressmann family since the late 19th century. The wines gold and black label dates back to 1929 and was designed specifically for a bottle served in 1936 for the coronation of George Vl.
Château Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estèphe 2014
– The nose is full of bright red fruit flavours and even a hint of warm orange peel, more of the same on the palate with hints of cedar and gunflint and rounded tannins.
– Fantastic aromas of blueberries, orange peel and flowers. Full-bodied, fruity — yet silky and focused with a beautiful center palate of fruit and ripe tannins. Remains fresh and gorgeous. Best ever. Drink in 2019 – 93 Wine Enthusiast
– Under the ownership of Jacky Lorenzetti, president of one of France’s top rugby clubs, this estate is now performing impressively. The wine is finely structured with dark tannins and tight acidity and a hint of minerality. It is Merlot dominated, although it is the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon that brings out the black-currant fruitiness. Drink from 2022. – 90 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
– The 2014 Lilian Ladouys 2014 has a crisp, masculine, tightly wound bouquet with blackberry, briary and cedar emerging with aeration. There is clearly prudent use of oak here, complementing rather than dominating the wine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, a pleasant sous-Bois note underpinning the layers of cedary black fruit and a touch of spiciness on the finish. This comes highly recommended plus great value. Tasted February 2017. – 90 Wine Spectator
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 is a Cru Bourgeois estate located in St Estèphe. Owned by Domaines Cordier, it neighbours Château Montrose and has relatively small production of 30,000 cases per year.
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 Meyney is a Cru Bourgeois estate located in St Estèphe. Owned by Domaines Cordier, it neighbours Château Montrose and has relatively small production of 30,000 cases per year.
Chateau Musar – ‘Gaston Hochar’, Beeka Valley, Lebanon 2000
In youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-textured, with intense ‘baked fruit’ characters: plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon lends black fruit flavours; Rhône grapes Cinsault and Carignan contribute fragrance (violets; pepper) and supple spiciness. Either set of qualities might dominate a particular vintage, but the style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavours. Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes.
In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s 6,000 year winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux. His ‘wines with noblesse’ greatly impressed senior officers in the army following on from the French mandate of the 1920s. Major Ronald Barton, of Château Langoa-Barton, stationed in Lebanon during World War II became a great friend, strengthening the links between Chateau Musar and Bordeaux that remain to this day.
Serge Hochar, Gaston’s eldest son trained as a civil engineer, then decided to study oenology and with the encouragement of his father became a student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux. Having declared to his father “I want to make the wine my way, I want it to be known world-wide – and I want you to quit!” he became Chateau Musar winemaker in 1959, Gaston senior having graciously given way. He then spent 18 years perfecting the formula for Chateau Musar’s Red and was chosen as Decanter Magazine’s first ‘Man of the Year’ in 1984 for his dedication to producing superb quality wines during Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990). Serge has two sons: Gaston and Marc. Both have studied engineering and worked in the banking sector. Gaston now manages the day-to-day running of the Chateau Musar winery, Marc its commercial aspects.
“My brother looks after the liquid, I look after the liquidity.” Like his brother Serge, Ronald Hochar was encouraged to participate at Musar from an early age: both grew up washing bottles and working at the winery before pursuing their separate paths within the business. Ronald would work 7am-5pm in Ghazir then work in the evenings at the Musar shop in Beirut. “We were paid 5 Lebanese pounds a day” says Ronald “I learned everything about selling from my father.” Having studied law, Ronald’s good-humoured contributions on the commercial and logistical fronts (against huge odds he kept Musar’s trucks running during the war) remain vital to the business. Ronald’s son Ralph works with the on-trade sector from Chateau Musar’s UK office and his daughter Elsa recently produced a documentary film about Chateau Musar.
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.’ – 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.
Chateau Pontet Canet 5eme Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2006 – 1.5L
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95+ points. The 2006 is a wine to stockpile, especially for those in their thirties and forties as it needs another decade to reach maturity, after which it should keep for 30+ years. This vineyard, just … Read More
Château Pontet Canet, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2006
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95+ points.
The 2006 is a wine to stockpile, especially for those in their thirties and forties as it needs another decade to reach maturity, after which it should keep for 30+ years. This vineyard, just south of Mouton Rothschild, has produced an opaque bluish/purple-colored 2006 with an extraordinarily pure nose of graphite, charcoal, sweet creme de cassis, and a hint of scorched earth. Incredible concentration, stunning richness, and a 60-second finish result in a wine that transcends the vintage as well as this estate’s 1855 classification. This enormously endowed, modern day classic is a legend in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+.
Enormous credit is due proprietor Alfred Tesseron for turning things around at this estate in 1994, and continuing to produce first-growth level wines. Pontet-Canet is one of the few bio-dynamically farmed vineyards in the Medoc, and Tesseron is such a perfectionist in both the vineyard and wine cellars that his nickname among other bordelais is “”Monsieur Bonsai.”” February 2009
Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, 94 points.
“The 2006 Château Pontet-Canet has an extremely pure, vivacious, perfumed bouquet with crushed violets infusing the blueberry and blackberry fruit. But it is all about the detail and precision in this wine. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip in the mouth: lightly toasted black fruit, dried orange peel, cedar and a pinch of white pepper. This feels very cohesive and poised with just a touch of mint entering right on the finish. What a great wine from Alfred Tesseron and Jean-Michel Comme. Go grab the corkscrew now, but don’t feel that this wine has to be opened for another 5-6 years.” May 2016
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 Rollan de By
The property is owned by Jean Guyon and is a leading estate in the Medoc and of the Cru Bourgeois chateaux. The wine spends 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels and consistently offers good value.