En Primeur Bordeaux 2014

Margaux - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) Margaux £370 - 90-92 90-92 92-93 16 90-93 90-92
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The Alter Ego de Palmer 2014 is a blend of 52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot. It has an opulent, glossy bouquet with layers of small dark cherries and plenty of glycerin. The palate is more reserved than the bouquet suggests: saturated tannins, a little chewiness on the entry but suppler towards the finish. It feels very linear in keeping with the style of the vintage, the finish a little sweet than its peers with a dab of licorice on the aftertaste.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2035

Fragrant with vivid cranberry and cherry. Plump mouthfeel with well-integrated oak, finishing fresh.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

Vibrant and fruity with currant, blueberry and spice character. Full yet tight with tension and brightness. Very velvety tannins. Sexy already.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very bright crimson. Certainly straightforward and very directly fruity on the nose. Noticeable acidity on the palate. Very fresh red cherry flavours and not that dense. Good finish. 13.4%

Score: 16 JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2019-2025

Bursts with violet, plum and raspberry fruit, lined with silky tannins and backed by a tantalizing iron hint. Features lovely brisk energy and gorgeous purity. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A juicy, expressive wine, the 2014 Alter Ego is wonderfully open and expressive today, with radiant fruit, soft contours and gorgeous overall balance. Sweet red plum, raspberry, rose petal and French oak flow through to the soft, resonant finish. An exuberant floral note adds the last layer of complexity. The 2014 is 52% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot. Despite the relatively high percentage of Petit Verdot, that fruit comes from gravelly/sandy soils that confer perfume and aromatics, qualities winemaker Thomas Duroux brought out further with a short, gentle fermentation. This is a lovely second wine.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Brane Cantenac Margaux £305 - 91-93 90-92 92-93 16 87-90 90-93
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The Château Brane-Cantenac 2014 is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, representing 38% of the total crop. It was picked between 22 September commencing with the Merlot up until 9 October finishing with the Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields came in at 44.8 hectoliters per hectare. It has a very typical nose for this Margaux estate: understated and reserved at first, touches of ground-up stone intermixed with brambly red berry fruit and damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins. There is moderate weight in the mouth, plenty of sous-bois character and a touch of graphite (à la Pauillac) leading to a tapered but sustained finish. This is your straight-down-the-line classic Brane-Cantenac, unashamedly classic in style, what you might call "good old fashioned claret." Never the beauty queen at primeur, my remarks reflect how this Margaux blossoms in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2040

Aromas of cherry jam. Plenty of sweet fruit in the middle to balance the grainy, toasty tannins with some freshness just giving it the edge that it needs.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

A solid core of fruit here with lots of cabernet character, as well as currants and blueberries. Full to medium body. Chewy tannins, yet polished and refined.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dark, fairly evolved crimson. Sweet, light, a bit simple and green. This is the sort of casually made wine that gets classed growths a bad name - though of course it may not be a classed growth!? (It is.)

Score: 16 JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2018-2026

A gentle, elegant style, with pretty lilac, red currant and cherry notes, lined with a liberal savory hint that lingers through the sandalwood-edged finish.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Brane-Cantenac is a striking, wonderfully complex wine with a lot going on. Powerful at the outset yet also quite floral almost to the point of being exotic, the 2014 is certainly not lacking in nuance or personality. Hints of orange peel, mint, white flowers and berries open up gradually in a wine of understatement. The firm tannins add energy and convey an overall impression of classicism, while tobacco, iron and smoke punctuate the powerful, expressive finish. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow over the coming years and decades.

Score: 90 - 93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cantenac Brown Margaux £250 - 91-93 - 92-93 16-17 90-93 91-94
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The Château Cantenac Brown 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. It has a feisty nose compared to its mild-mannered Margaux neighbors: perfumed dark cherries dallying with incense and iris. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, moderate depth of fruit, a little grippy with some lovely tarry notes developing towards the finish that has more substance than intimated by the aromatics. It needs to flesh out during élevage, but presuming it does, this could be a spicy Margaux that will give 15 to 20 years of pleasure.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2035

A silky red with fine tannins and a beautiful core of ripe fruit. Medium to full body, fine tannins. Polished already.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dark crimson. Floral nose. Quite delicate and full of elderberry flavour. Quite chunky tannins. Solid stuff. Tannins dominate at the moment and may always be a little heavy for the fruit.

Score: 16 - 17 JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2032

Very refined, featuring alluring currant and blackberry fruit that glides along the supple structure, with iron and light espresso hints filling in on the finish.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Cantenac Brown is very pretty. A model of total understatement, the 2014 stands out for its terrific overall balance. All the elements are in the right place. Sweet red stone fruit, iron, tobacco and cedar are woven into the silky, exquisitely layered finish. Tasted twice.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Giscours Margaux £270 - 89-91 90-92 92-93 16 90-93 88-91
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The Château Giscours 2014 is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 20% Merlot picked between 22 September until 16 October. Alexandre Van Beek told me that the Merlot didn’t really contribute to the blend. The nose is reticent at first with scents of black fruits, a touch of graphite and a subtle marine influence, detailed though not intense. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin on the entry, the acidity pointed and noticeable from start to finish. There is plenty of freshness here (acidity 3.4 pH) very linear with fine tension, probably an earlier drinking Giscours since there is not the weight of the fantail of flavours on the finish. It just needs more horsepower.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2032

Rich chunky black cherry jam, then robust and full-bodied and nicely textured.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

Very pretty cabernet sauvignon character. Full body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Ultra-fine tannins. Tight and caressing. Refined. This is a little more cabernet in the blend that gives detail and direction.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Glowing mid crimson. Straightforward, quite fruity nose. Cool and fresh. Good balance even if not complex. A little toastiness. Good, neat finish. Quite a charge of tannin on the end. But pretty restrained. Even slightly austere.

Score: 16 JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2032

Fresh, with pretty cherry and plum fruit, lined with a light red licorice thread and backed by violet and iron notes on the finish. Not that dense but has good range and definition.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A bold, powerful wine, the 2014 Giscours hits the palate with exotic spices, herbs, tobacco, smoke and game. Broad swaths of tannin give the wine its distinctive broad-shouldered personality. Iron, white pepper, herbs and smoke give the Giscours much of its trademark ferrous/savory personality. There is no shortage of intensity, although some slightly rough, angular contours remain.

Score: 88 - 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Issan Margaux £295 - 89-91 90-93 92-93 17 86-89 89-91
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The Château d'Issan 2014 is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot picked between 25 September and 15 October and matured in 50% new oak. It has a very precise, quite minerally bouquet that has that tradamark violet touch that pins down the appéllation. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and good acidity; appreciable depth with chewy black tarry fruit towards the finish. This is a guttsier d'Issan that will probably be one of the longer lasting Margaux crus of the vintage. I've been smitten by recent vintages from this glorious Margaux estate, but I detected just a mote of greenness on a couple of samples that I hope will vanish by the time of bottling. If it does then it will merit a higher score. Tasted three times.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2040

Lifted notes of blackberry, cranberry and eucalyptus. Vibrant with a tightness on the finish but enough weight to balance this out.

Score: 90 - 93 Albany Vintners

A dense and tight wine with cedar, berry, light chocolate and nut character. Full body, compacted center palate with muscular tannins.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Mid crimson. Correct and well balanced. Spreads right across the palate. Really very impressive balance with lots of useful elements. Good drive and interest quotient. Complex and satisfying. Quite persistent. Really very impressive even if not a very long-term wine.

Score: 17 JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2018-2030

Elegant, with lacy yet persistent tannins carrying pretty plum, anise and savory hints. Lacks some stuffing on the finish.

Score: 86 - 89 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 d'Issan is an open, forward wine that should drink well pretty much upon release as it already shows quite a bit of immediacy. Black cherry, plum, spice, new leather and licorice are some of the notes that meld together in the glass. The 2014 is juicy and not especially complex, but it does offer plenty of up-front appeal.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

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