En Primeur Bordeaux 2014

St Emilion - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £1,700 - 91-93 92-95 93-94 16-17 93-96 93-96
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The Château Angelus 2014, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot was picked between 2 and 22 October over a 3-week period. It has a surprisingly bashful nose at first, not one that comes racing out of the blocks to greet you. But there is plenty of fruit here, beautifully defined, a little more introverted than usual possibly due to the higher percentage of Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, linear in style with a saline note complementing that lattice of black fruit. It gently builds towards the spicy, slightly compact finish but never fully let’s go, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory edge on the aftertaste. This will probably need three of four years in bottle as this is slightly harder compared to recent vintages with more backbone. Yet it still constitutes an admirable Saint Emilion even if it does not ignite the same pyrotechnics as say, Pavie or Ausone.

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

50/50 M/CF in 2014 whereas 60/40 is more typical Vivid attractive nose of forest fruit and lilac. Ripe and dense with plum skins and chocolate. Concentrated and grippy with mineral grip all the way through and bone dry on the finish.

Score: 92 - 95 Albany Vintners, -

This is dense and compacted with pretty fruits, ultra fine tannins and a pure and intense finish. The excellent quality of the cabernet franc really shows here. Lightly salty with citrusy acidity. Chalky undertone. Half cabernet franc and half merlot. So about 10% more franc than normal.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc, picked 2-22 October. Very dark crimson. Not very expressive on the nose though there seems to be great density underneath. And then almost painful concentration. Verging towards Pavie, tar stew with lots of acidity. It may evolve into something lovely but for the moment it’s very hard work. Very dry end. Masses of effort has been put into this but it is not user-friendly at present.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2040

Features base notes of bittersweet ganache and smoldering tobacco, with dark plum, currant and fig fruit flavors. Despite the charcoal thread, this is lush and integrated, showing no aggressive edges at all. The tobacco accent chimes in at the end for added effect.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Angélus, equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, boasts superb depth and textural richness. Firm tannins give the 2014 its explosive energy and overall tension. Mocha, espresso, new leather, French oak and licorice gradually open up in the glass, but with some reluctance. The 2014 will need quite a bit of time to find its more finessed side, but its there.

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ausone St Emilion £3,420 - Low Stock 93-95 - 95-96 17 - 92-95
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Pauline Vauthier told me that this year, there is more Cabernet Franc in the blend of the Château Ausone 2014: 60% with 40% Merlot. Both she and father Alain felt that some of the young, 10-year old Cabernet Franc was worthy of promotion into the Grand Vin, which represents two barrels. It was picked between 4 and 11 October at 27hl/ha and matured in 85% new oak rather than the 100%, a slight reduction as has been their policy since the 2011 vintage. It has a very perfumed, floral bouquet with dark cherries and blueberry with a touch of orange blossom that develops with aeration. The palate is imbued with a sense of freshness and joie-de-vivre - a less "serious" Ausone than in the past, but perhaps one that exudes greater terroir expression and tension from start to finish. I was quite smitten by this Ausone that comes across more self-effacing compared to other vintages, surfeit with style and panache.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2035

A juicy red with beautiful blueberry, blackberry and mineral character. Oyster shell and iodine. Full and tight with 60% cabernet franc instead of 50%. This gives a fresher and more linear character of Ausone. Fine finish. Fascinating with such purity.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Not especially deep colour. Very sweet but much better oak management than at one time. Chestnut intensity. And some freshness. But it does not leap out of the glass yelling ‘top wine’! Something a bit sinewy. Plays the sweetness and freshness cards rather than alcohol and density. Quite playful.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2037

The 2014 Ausone is a bit unusual in that the blend includes 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. Rose petal, mint, crushed flowers and red stone fruits all flesh out in a racy, beautifully layered wine long on class and pedigree. Today, the 2014 is a bit inward, but the aromatics are striking, while the flavors are bright, chiseled and beautifully articulated throughout. Given the high percentage of Franc, I expect the 2014 will continue to grow during its elevage.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £525 - 90-92 - 93-94 - 93-96 94-97
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The Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2014 is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc cropped at 39 hectoliters per hectare picked from 6 until 15 October. It represents 56% of the total production this year. Matured in 55% new oak, it actually has quite a laid-back, lighter bouquet than I was expecting, especially compared to the Pavie-Macquin '14. Giving it 5 minutes to open, it develops greater fruit intensity thanks to scents of macerated black cherries, dark plum and allspice. The palate is medium-bodied on the entry, bridled with marmalade and white pepper notes intermixed with the lush red fruit. There is impressive tension and weight here, an appetizing crescendo of flavors and a twist of bitter cherry on the finish. There is a feral element that keeps drawing you back to this complex Saint Emilion that may warrant a higher score after bottling.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2038

A wonderful finish to this wine with a full body. Compacted and tight with beautiful ripe fruit and mineral undertones. Some walnut character too.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Juicy and dense, with lots of blueberry, dark plum and blackberry fruit, studded with anise and backed by a lightly brambly finish. Hedonistic and engaging, this should be fun to watch fill out fully.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Power and finesse collide in the 2014 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse, a breathtaking, vertical wine that hits all the right notes. Sweet black cherries, smoke, licorice and tar are some of the many notes that flesh out. The 2014 is quite dark and brooding in personality. I imagine the 2014 will drink beautifully for decades, although it is also going to need quite a bit of time to fully come together. There is so much to like here. Tiny yields in the Cabernet Franc resulted in a Beauséjour with more Merlot than is the norm. The 2014 is magnificent. It's as simple as that. In 2014, the blend is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, all brought in between October 6 and 15.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Belair Monange St Emilion £790 - 89-91 - 93-94 17-18 94-97 93-96
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The Château Belair-Monange 2014 has a surprisingly "outgoing" bouquet that is determined to make an impression: blackcurrant pastilles intermingling with truffle and iodine scents. The palate is medium-bodied and linear, underpinned by strict, slightly rigid tannins that lend this a masculine personality. It has a slight bitter note on the finish but a satisfying long, peppery aftertaste following suit. It is just missing a little substance and flair. Not a bad Belair-Monange by a long chalk, though I might actually have a preference for the 2012.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2030

Lots of mineral, chalk and salt character with dark fruits. Full and powerful with firm tannins and a long finish. Compacted and tight with wonderful density and intensity.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Thick and dense and very rich and opulent. Sweet and beguiling and round and velvety. Layers and confidence. Gorgeous stuff, with opulent scents and a great spread over the palate. Impressive!

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

A beauty in the making, with gorgeously pure red currant and raspberry fruit, laced with bergamot and incense accents. A very fine chalky thread knits everything beautifully. Shows pristine balance and gorgeous minerality. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

One of the highlights of the vintage, the 2014 Bélair-Monange hits the palate with serious depth, palpable energy and huge, imposing tannins. All the elements come together in a dark, sumptuous wine that brings together deep layers of fruit along with beams of precise, salivating minerality. Sweet floral and spice notes add lift on the close, but above all else the 2014 is a wine of power. The fresh, invigorating finish encapsulates the essence of the vintage. Since 2012, Bélair-Monange has been made from three parcels on gravel, clay and limestone. It is that very intersection that yields one of the most distinctive wines in St.-Emilion. Two thousand fourteen is also the first vintage that includes fruit from the replanting done on the plateau. I tasted the Bélair-Monange last in my survey of the Moueix family's 2014s, after Trotanoy and La Fléur-Petrus, and it more than held its own.

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion £930 - 89-91 - 92-93 16 91-94 92-95
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The Château Bellevue-Mondotte 2014 was harvested on the same day as the Pavie-Decesse, a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured in 100% new oak, it has a very rich, decedent bouquet with sweet black cherries, boysenberry jam and plenty of glycerine. The palate is full-bodied with ripe tannin, moderate acidity, not too oppressive compared to previous vintages with layers of blackberry and blueberry fruit towards the sinewy finish. It does not possess the same degree of precision or character as the superior Château Pavie '14, which is where I would place my money.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2030

This is powerful and rich with a very fruity richness. Full and soft with a lovely density and core of fruit. Soft and sexy.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A singed quality to the nose and then much lighter and more transparent on the palate. Chewy and vivacious – although very drying indeed on the end. Really green and tough on the end. Sorry – this is just not my style. And because it has not the sweet portiness up front, I’m not quite sure who it will appeal to. Maybe it just needs (a lot of) time?

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

Ripe and showy, featuring exuberant raspberry, plum and boysenberry fruit, carried by well-integrated grip. This has spine, but remains lush and velvety through the finish, with the fruit echoing.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A deep, inward wine, the 2014 Bellevue-Mondotte possesses the striking depth and density that are typical of this sector of St.-Emilion. Here, it is the wine's vertical structure and pure, unbridled power that come through. Smoke, licorice, lavender, graphite, tobacco, blood orange and incense are layered into an explosive finish laced with elements of brooding gravitas. The 2014 is 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 spent 34 days on the skins, followed by malolactic fermentation in barrel. New oak is 100%.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

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