En Primeur Bordeaux 2013

Graves - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Carbonnieux Rouge Value for money Graves £200 - - - - - 88-90 -
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The sample of Carbonnieux Rouge has a dense, almost broody bouquet with dark plum and blackcurrant that is well defined and snugly knit with the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a subtle marine influence on the entry. The tannins feel a brittle and the texture shows some hardness, but that will soften by the time of bottling. This should turn out to be a more masculine Pessac-Leognan that might benefit a year or two in bottle.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

The vivid raspberry and bright cherry fruit is lined with an iron note, staying focused through the lightly taut finish.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to shopping basket] Chapelle de la Mission (2nd wine of Mission Haut Brion) Graves £330 £250 - £390 - 16 85-88 88-89 83-85 89
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52% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% Cabernet Franc. Vegetal, leafy nose. Attractive chew to the tannins, but quite light. Missing core concentration. Very pretty, good, dainty balance and attractive floral perfume, but without huge substance.

Score: 16 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2016-2022

The second wine of La Mission Haut Brion. Deep purple, with fresh, chewy black fruit, sandy tannins and a dry finish.

Score: 85 - 88 Albany Vintners

This is chewy and mineral with an oyster-shell and light iodine undertone. Full body, round tannins and a fresh finish. Intense acidity.

Score: 88 - 89 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The La Chapelle de la Mission has a light, herbaceous nose with moderate definition, a little stalky at this stage, the second sample tasted at the end of primeur evolving a tealeaf scent. The palate is a little hard on the entry with some under-ripe tannins and an attenuated finish that pulls up short. Tasted April 2014.

Score: 83 - 85 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Fine crunchy red fruits over slightly earthy base, a touch of green that adds rather than detracts, good lifted length.

Score: 89 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2017-2013

Shows a chalky frame, with racy red currant fruit and a bright sanguine note through the finish. An echo of pomegranate leaves a slightly tangy feel. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to shopping basket] Clarence Haut Brion (2nd wine of Haut Brion) Graves £550 £500 - £650 - 16-17 87-90 89-90 85-87 90
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57% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cedar and blackcurrant, and attractive medium-grained tannins. No bitterness, no leafiness, this is well coiffured. Again, it displays a lightness that betrays the tricky vintage. (16.5)

Score: 16 - 17 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2017-2027

The second wine of Haut Brion, previously known as Bahans, this was renamed in the 2007 vintage and is now also bottled in the same distinctively shaped bottle as the Grand Vin. Deep purplish red in colour. Intense aromas of fresh plums and woodsmoke. The palate is rich and creamy, with a touch of liqueur at the centre. Simple but pure.

Score: 87 - 90 Albany Vintners

Iodine and oyster shell with stones. Full body with chewy tannins and a medium finish. Creamy texture.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The La Clarence de Haut-Brion showed a little differently during my two tastings at the property. The first was a little anonymous but the second exhibited more fruit intensity with pleasant dark plum and briary aromas. The palate is pinched on the entry with slightly aggressive tannins, although there is more depth on the finish compared to the La Chapelle de La Mission, especially the second sample that seemed infused with greater tension. Tasted April 2014.

Score: 85 - 87 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Superb carmine-ruby, smooth and ripe black fruits, slightly earthy with lovely texture, clarity and good future.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2017-2024

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves £300 £280 - £380 90-92 17 91-94 91-92 89-91 90
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Made from an unusual blend for this great estate, the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot (no Petit Verdot), and the total production was less than half of normal. The wine achieved 13% natural alcohol, but yields were frightfully low. The result is an outstanding effort in this frequently disappointing, average quality vintage. The wine possesses a deep plum/ruby color as well as a sweet bouquet of incense, charcoal, red and black currants, and loamy soil. Medium-bodied with good texture, depth and purity, sweet tannins, and present but unobtrusive acidity, it should drink nicely for 12-15 years. Once again, it proves that Domaine de Chevalier often accomplishes impressive things in so-called 'off' vintages.

Score: 90 - 92 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2014-2029

Beautifully ripe, modern cassis character. Creamy texture, smooth and aromatic. A well-judged leafy element, firm but not impenetrable tannins, and refreshing acid. Comparatively light, but has convincing enough flavour and balance. (17+)

Score: 17 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2017-2029

A complex and beautiful nose of bright wild strawberries, cherries, tobacco, woodsmoke and mint. On the palate there is nice weight of cedary berry fruit. Very nicely done. This is a gorgeous 2013, refreshing and long.

Score: 91 - 94 Albany Vintners

Spice and tobacco character with berry and coffee undertones. Medium to full body, silky tannins. Seamless and integrated for the vintage.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A blend 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot picked between from the end of September up to around the 15 October, the Domaine de Chevalier has a toasty bouquet with dark chocolate scents that seem more pronounced compared to previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of greenness in the background. This is a broody, introspective Domaine de Chevalier, with good weight on the dry, gritty finish, but I feel it is missing its usual flair…at the moment. I strongly suspect that it will mellow and demonstrate more pizzazz by the time of bottling as this 2013 has impressive persistency, but it needs to really get hold of that oak. Tasted April 2014.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Superb colour, lovely cassis black fruits nose, rich smoothness on the palate with Chevalier tobacco leaf hints, elegantly exuberant in 2013 (90+ Points)

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2017-2028

This is nicely put together, with good flesh to the plum and blackberry fruit. Subtle toast and a hint of graphite checks in on the finish. A touch of plum skin pinches the finish, but this remains solid overall.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Bailly Graves £440 £300 - £480 - 14-15 89-92 91-92 88-90 90
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Cedar, tobacco, light black fruit and incredibly high tannins that totally overwhelm the rest of the structure. They aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and leave the wine quite unapproachable. It might resolve with significant bottle age, but will the relatively light concentration have equivalent staying power? (14.5)

Score: 14 - 15 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2028

Pure black berries on the nose, followed by some tarriness. The palate is smooth at first and filled with fresh black plums, tar and smoky notes but the tannins the tannins dry out the palate and the finish is toasty but very dry indeed.

Score: 89 - 92 Albany Vintners

A firm and juicy wine with dried berry, sweet tobacco and cedar character. Medium to full body, with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Iodine. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot and 2% cabernet franc. Tiny production.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2013 Château Haut Bailly is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked 1 to 10 October, cropped at 20.6hl/ha. The grand vin represents 40% of the crop and it saw 55% new oak (though Véronique Sanders told me that it may undergo a shorter élevage). It comes in at 12.8% alcohol. It has a clean pleasant bouquet, defined but perhaps missing the usual flair and exuberance, which is typical of the vintage. The palate is structured with a firm grip, a slight saltiness in the background. There is tightly packed black fruit here and it builds nicely to a masculine, tobacco-tinged finish. I will happily drink this over the next ten years whilst I await the 2009 and 2010 to come round. Tasted March 2014.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Dense purple-red, cassis nose with hints of wild roses, good vineyard fruit, tannins a bit raw still.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2018-2028

Almost succulent, with dark plum and red currant fruit married to the singed apple wood and blackberry paste notes. Features a pleasant, anise-lined finish that shows good grip. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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