En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

Pauillac - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Armailhac Pauillac Unreleased £250 - £340 89-91 91-93 92-93 17-18 88-91 90-93
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The 2015 Château d'Armailhac is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, marking a slightly higher percentage of Merlot this year. Picking began on September 16 and finished October 5 - one of the longest harvest periods for this estate, according to Philippe Dhalluin. It has a very intense bouquet with layers of small dark cherries and cassis, the oak prominent, though the final blend will contain proportionally less. The palate is very concentrated and quite showy, as d'Armailhac has a proclivity of being at this early juncture. The acidity here is nicely judged with just a touch of graphite coming through on the finish. This is a satisfactory d'Armailhac, but there was a nagging feeling that this is one wine from the Mouton Rothschild stable that left me wanting more. Perhaps that will develop during its barrel maturation?

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2035

Rich aromatics of ultra-ripe fruit and roasted almonds and allspice. Attractive and open-knit in the mouth with seamless texture. Fine wood tannins are underpinned by notes of coconut and spices enduring on the finish.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

A refined and pretty red with plum, blackberry and black cherry aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, fine tannins. Exuberant.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Particularly bright crimson. Savoury, lively nose. Drier and lighter than most but racy and satisfying in the new style. Good freshness and breadth. Really very polished.

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2040

This has good density midpalate, with red currant and plum fruit. Keeps a slightly racy edge overall, with a lightly chalky frame giving way to iron through the finish.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 d’Armailhac is especially strong this year. Racy and sumptuous to the core, the 2015 offers lovely depth and radiance throughout. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, blood orange and spices are all pushed forward, while the creamy, generous textures are hugely inviting. The plush, racy personality of the vintage comes through loud and clear. The d’Armailhac is the hidden gem in the Mouton-Rothschild portfolio this year. This is superb effort from the Mouton team headed by Philippe Dhalluin. Tasted three times.

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

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Batailley Pauillac Unreleased £240 - £300 93-95 90-92 94-95 16-17 89-92 -
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The 2015 Batailley is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot cropped at 48 hl/ha picked between 17-30 September. Matured in around 55-60% new oak, it has a very focused, intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, cedar and mineral notes, perhaps a little Margaux-like in style as those violets blossom with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity, a touch of white pepper here lending edginess, gradually building to a very composed and structured finish. This is an excellent Batailley, meliorated by the introduction of a second wine, that continues the upswing in quality over the last six or seven years. I would not be surprised if this settles at the top of my banded score once in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2050

This Classed Growth is the epitome of classic claret, with an enviable track record of quality and value. Attractively ripe black bramble fruit, cedar and spices in moderate density. Very appealing and drinkable thanks also to particularly creamy tannins and nice length. A lovely Batailley that should reward its many fans.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

Wow. The shows a new level of excellence with mint, mineral and currant character. Full body, super fine tannins and a savory finish. New definition here. Precision. New second wine from this estate moved up the quality.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

48 hl/ha. Very dark crimson. Attractive fresh minerality. Many steps up from Lions de Batailley. Racy and quite muscular. Not very intense but well balanced and with sufficient energy.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2038

This has nice energy, with a brambly frame around the notes of cherry paste and currant preserves. There's a solid bolt of iron through the finish, with lots of tobacco. A touch old-school and solidly done.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Carruades de Lafite (2nd wine of Ch Lafite) Pauillac Unreleased £900 - £1,250 89-91 90-92 92-93 16-17 - 90-93
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The 2015 Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. This has a satisfying purity on the nose: blackberry and briary, a distant, cold slate-like note just underneath, with the new oak (close to 20%) neatly subsumed. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. There is moderate depth to this slightly foursquare and conservative Carruades, but there is also plenty of freshness and it has an appealing, unassuming finish that is both harmonious and precise. Probably one of the most approachable deuxième vins, afford this 2-3 years in bottle before broaching.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2028

The second wine of Chateau Lafite with a huge following in Asia. Slightly muted on the nose but with ripe soft fruit in the centre with some kirsch notes behind. Creamy with vivid tannins on the finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

A silky and fine second wine of Lafite with blueberry, blackberry and flower aromas and flavors. Cedar and nuts too.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Relatively light crimson. Light, rather timid nose. Drying tannins on the end. Very pretty and polite but not at all dramatic!

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2031

The2015 Carruades de Lafite is a very pretty second wine. Dark, sensual and inviting, the 2015 Carruades is super-expressive today. Graphite, plum, black cherry, lavender and licorice are all nicely delineated throughout. The higher presence of Merlot gives the Carruades lovely inner sweetness and perfume. This is very nicely done.

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

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Clerc Milon Pauillac Unreleased £350 - £430 91-93 92-95 94-95 17-18 89-92 91-93
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The 2015 Clerc Milon is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère, raised in 55% new oak. It has a highly perfumed bouquet with scents of small black cherries, graphite, touches of incense and wilted violets. This is a very extravagant bouquet for Clerc-Milon that wants to make an early impression. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, more expressive and delineated than the 2015 d'Armailhac, the finish beautifully focused with that graphite seam coming through on the sustained finish. This is potentially an outstanding Clerc-Milon, though it will need a decade in bottle to show its true potential.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2023-2045

Owned by the Rothschild family and made by the team at Mouton. An expressive nose of cool black Cabernet fruit. Good depth of mint and cassis in the middle with very high quality, polished soft tannins and impressive length. This is a handsome 2015 and an impressive Clerc Milon. Mouton's Technical Director Philippe Dhalluin believes that this could be as good as their 2010.

Score: 92 - 95 Albany Vintners

This is super fine textured with ultra-polished tannins. Full body, blackberry, blueberry and dark chocolate. Long and refined.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenère. Picked 17 Sep - 6 Oct. Rather broader and riper than Armailhac, presumably thanks to the lower Cabernet quotient. But still very fresh, almost inky. Dry finish. 'New fashioned.' Super-appetising. Very long.

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2040

Offers a rounded, juicy feel, with cherry and black currant fruit moving along, backed by sweet tobacco notes and a flicker of anise. Pure and fresh.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Clerc Milon is plush, round and inviting, with a gorgeous center of fruit, striking aromatics and balance. The tannins are especially silky, which gives the 2015 much of its succulence and inviting personality. Hints of mocha, dark spices and violets add further shades of nuance and gravitas in a Clerc Milon endowed with real depth, density and gravitas. Patience will be key, as the 2015 is likely to require at least a few years to fully come together. This is a very pretty, rewarding Clerc Milon. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Duhart Milon Pauillac Unreleased £400 - £550 90-92 91-94 91-92 16 - 90-92
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The 2015 Duhart Milon is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot picked between September 23 and October 6, the September 17-23 respectively. It will eventually see 40% new oak during its élevage. It has a tightly-wound bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and cassis fruit, moderate complexity, perhaps just a little static at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with quite supple tannin for the normally obdurate Duhart-Milon, the acidity nicely judged with a pleasing salinity towards the finish. I would just like to see more personality come through by the time of bottling. Otherwise, this is a fine Duhart-Milon that is more compromising than the tannic "beasts" of yesteryear, and it should drink after 5-7 years in bottle.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2048

Owned at made by the team behind the famous Chateau Lafite, Duhart is a very fine Classed Growth in its own right. The 2015 is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot. Soft, slightly subdued nose with blackcurrant, vanilla and a hint of lead pencil in the middle and a beautifully smooth texture.

Score: 91 - 94 Albany Vintners

A firm and silky red with blackberry and chocolate character. Hints of walnut. Full and chewy. Fresh finish.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot. Picked 28 September to 6 October. Light and mild-mannered on the nose. Sweet palate that could do with a little more freshness. Very dry finish. So unassuming it's rather underwhelming. Full marks for texture but flavour is a bit dull.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

The 2015 Duhart-Milon is soft, open-knit and expressive, with gorgeous dark red and purplish fruit pushed forward and pretty spiced notes that add complexity. Medium in body and gracious, the 2015 should drink nicely with minimal cellaring. This is a very pretty, understated Duhart. The blend is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot.

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

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