En Primeur Bordeaux 2013

Graves - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Chapelle de la Mission NEW Graves £330 £250 - £390 - 16 85-88 87-90 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

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

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

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

[Add to shopping basket] Clarence Haut Brion NEW Graves £550 £500 - £650 - 16-17 87-90 - 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

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

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

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves Unreleased £280 - £380 - 17 91-94 88-91 89-91 90
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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

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

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

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

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Bailly Graves £440 £300 - £480 - 14-15 89-92 89-92 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

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

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

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

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Brion NEW Graves £2,400 £1,800 - £2,800 - 16-17 92-94 88-91 89-91 94
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Closed nose, with better fruit concentration on the palate. Fine, dusty tannins with great persistence on the finish. Rather light body. Dry and savoury, but hardly brimming with potential. An early-drinking style. As Steven Spurrier says, beautifully polished. (16.5)

Score: 16 - 17 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2030

This Haut Brion is the smallest production of the last decade with just 5900 cases produced (8000 in 2012). 50% Merlot, 45 Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.5% Cabernet Franc with yields of just 26hl/ha. A subtle but creamy fruit nose with mineral and tarry notes. Gorgeously soft and fruit-filled with black cherry on the front. There is beautiful weight and plenty of texture and glycerol. Medium-bodied but very long.

Score: 92 - 94 Albany Vintners

Features a plump feel, with plum, cherry and blackberry fruit lined with savory, tobacco and warm cedar notes. Lightly firm through the finish, but this has ample flesh for the vintage. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2013 Château Haut-Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc and 45.5% Cabernet Sauvignon picked at the same time as La Mission, with 13.10% alcohol. I made two visits to the estate at the beginning and end of my visit. The bouquet is stubborn and reticent at this stage, expressing little in the way of fruit and refusing to really deliver the complexity of a First Growth. The palate is medium-bodied and a little fleshier than the La Mission thought that acidity level is noticeable, rendering this sharp and very linear. This feels somehow autumnal and leafy despite its nascence, but at least there is decent length. As a huge admirer of Jean-Philippe Delmas' work at the estate, but on this occasion there is something almost workmanlike about it, an absence of gravitas and flair that the La Mission appears to muster. Tasted April 2014.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Superb colour, lovely earthy black fruit spices nose, wonderful texture of velvety fruit in the La Tâche style, with tannins for the future, undeniable depth and class.

Score: 94 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2018-2035

This has one of the best finishes of all reds in Bordeaux in 2013. Full and balanced with medium density in the mid-palate but it lasts for minutes on the finish. Tobacco, currant and spice character. Only 13.1% alcohol.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

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