Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, 2005
Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, 2005
Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, 2005

This wine (a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc) has a stunning nose of forest floor, licorice, blackcurrants, plums and spring flowers. Soft tannin, full-bodied opulence and beautifully textured, lush richness, make for a brilliant wine from this large, 180-acre vineyard. In spite of the wine’s stunning forward fragrance and lushness, the color still looks as if it is 3-4 years old, rather than a decade. This is a big-time winner in 2005 and should drink well for at least another 25+ years.

£78.75 Add to cart
Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, 2009
Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, 2009
Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, 2009

Soft and silky on the palate with an almost Right Bank feel, the 2009 Ch. Cantemerle is full if generous, mulberry fruit and supple tannins. The fruit is well balanced by the refreshing acidity, leading to a crisp, clean finish.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château Carbonnieux, Grand Cru Classé, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
Château Carbonnieux, Grand Cru Classé, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
Château Carbonnieux, Grand Cru Classé, Pessac-Léognan, 2009

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.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2008
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2008
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2008

Soft and approachable, this fruit forward claret has immediate appeal. Concentrated black cherry aromas dominate the nose alongside herb and sweet spice hints. The palate shows earthy and more savoury characters and is rounded with a pleasing mouthfeel, all very well balanced.

£30.95 Add to cart
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2009
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2009
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2009

Beautiful blueberry, black raspberry and cassis fruit as well as incense and graphite jump from the glass of this inky ruby/purple-colored wine. Ripe, medium to full-bodied, dense and rich, this is one of the stars of Moulis in 2009.

£36.75 Add to cart
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2010
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2010
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.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château d’Agassac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2010
Château d’Agassac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2010
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.

£20.95 Add to cart
Château d’Aiguilhe, Comtes von Neipperg, Côtes de Castillon, 2010
Château d’Aiguilhe, Comtes von Neipperg, Côtes de Castillon, 2010
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.

£31.45 Add to cart
Château d’Issan, Margaux, 2005
Château d’Issan, Margaux, 2005
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.

£78.75 Add to cart
Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc, 2009
Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc, 2009
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.”

£23.75 Add to cart
Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2008
Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2008
Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2008

This wine opens with floral cassis, earth and spice aromatics. The elegant, already open Margaux, combines cassis and cherry flavors in the finish.

£44.75 Add to cart
Château Kirwan, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, 2009
Château Kirwan, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, 2009
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.

£61.95 Add to cart
Château la Tour Carnet, Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, 2009
Château la Tour Carnet, Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, 2009
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.

£36.75 Add to cart
Château Lafon-Rochet, Grand Cru Classé, Saint Estèphe, 2008
Château Lafon-Rochet, Grand Cru Classé, Saint Estèphe, 2008
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.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château Lalande-Borie, Saint Julien, 2009
Château Lalande-Borie, Saint Julien, 2009
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”.

£34.25 Add to cart
Château Latour-Martillac, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
Château Latour-Martillac, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
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.

£39.40 Add to cart
Château Meyney, Saint-Estephe, 2009
Château Meyney, Saint-Estephe, 2009
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.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château Meyney, Saint-Estéphe, 2010
Château Meyney, Saint-Estéphe, 2010
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.

£39.40 Add to cart
Château Petit-Village, Pomerol, 2008
Château Petit-Village, Pomerol, 2008
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.

£51.45 Add to cart
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2009
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2009
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

£44.75 Add to cart
Chateau Pineraie AC Cahors, 2014
Chateau Pineraie AC Cahors, 2014
Chateau Pineraie AC Cahors, 2014

It has subtle tangy red fruit flavours such as redcurrant and cranberry, undertones of earth and ripe red cherries with some sweet liquorice on the delicate long finish.

£11.25 Add to cart
Château Quinault l’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2010
Château Quinault l’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2010
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.

£39.45 Add to cart
Château Rollan de By, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
Château Rollan de By, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
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.

£25.75 Add to cart