Thursday, 12 May 2016

A bit more Bordeaux

The En Primeur wheels have finally creaked into motion over the last couple of days with a flurry of big name releases – out prior to the big Bordeaux wine fair in Hong Kong next week.

Chateau d’Armailhac marks the first major Pauillac and the first of the Mouton-Rothschild stable to offer their 2015.  A crisp and red-fruited claret, we have stock available at £310/cs.  Chateau Clerc Milon – the other Mouton-owned Pauillac – joined it’s sister property in releasing this morning.  Very little stock seems to have been released but we expect to have some available – in 6-packs – at £240 very soon.  Clerc is a far bigger, richer wine than d’Armailhac, markedly Pauillac in style and a success of the vintage.

From Margaux, one of 2015’s stars, Chateau Palmer have released their ‘not-quite-second-wine’ – it’s currently fashionable to claim one’s 2eme vin is from a distinct vineyard, and hence not really a 2nd wine – Alter Ego.  Combining a tight-knit structure with the vintage’s signature succulence of fruit, Alter Ego is a lovely expression of Margaux at £470/cs.  Also from Margaux, Chateau Malescot Saint Exupery has been released at £370/cs – roughly half the price of comparable vintages – and the marriage of high scores and a reasonable tariff means that we’re very nearly sold out.  Please contact us if you’re interested.  Chateau du Tertre has been released at £276/cs.  This distinctive Margaux has a relatively high proportion of Cabernet Franc in the blend, giving a characteristic spice and floral aspect to the nose.

The Barton family have released Chateau Langoa Barton at £340/cs and fellow Saint Julien Chateau Beychevelle is available at £535/cs.  Given that even lesser vintages such as 2006 are finding £700+ and very little Beychevelle can be found for sub-£500, this is an attractive price for a classic vintage that is set to join the ranks of the chateau’s best ever wines.  Pitch-perfect balance, great poise and a lingering finish make this a superb rendition of Saint Julien.

Two Pessac Leognan properties have put their 2015s on the market.  Chateau Pape Clement is one of the most concentrated and opulent wines of Bordeaux.  A 2015 of immense power and structure, the £625/cs price for a wine with high 90s scores from the major critics has meant that we have sold all we’ve been able to buy.  At a much more affordable end of the scale, Chateau de Fieuzal is a classic Grand Cru Classe that has made huge strides forward in quality recently.  A strong tip for those who seek ‘real claret’ – as Pessac remains criminally undervalued – we have this available at £265.

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