En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

St Emilion - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £2,670 £1,700 - £2,250 95-97 95-98 99-100 17-18 - 94-96
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The 2015 Angelus is a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, picked from 22 September finishing on 14 October. "We found a nice homogeneity with the Merlot lots," I was told when I visited. "The old Cabernet Franc was very nice, but the younger vines were blended into the second label. This year, it is especially the Merlot that lends a lot of harmony to the wine. This year, the Merlot have some of the qualities of the Cabernet Franc, the precision and freshness. They give the generosity and sweetness." The wine was aged in 100% new oak at 11 degrees Celsius so they could add less sulfur to keep the freshness of the aromas and maintain the elegance of the wine. It offers a complex array of aromas such as black cherry, camphor, oyster shells and Japanese nori, beautifully defined and very focused. The palate is medium-bodied but powerful with layer of svelte tannins and a keen thread of acidity; layers of black fruit laced with spices, baking powder, mint and white pepper. It feels long in the mouth, insistently clinging for a minute after the wine has departed. Oh là là. This is a sexy, but compelling Angelus, fit for "007" and wine-lovers everywhere.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060

Elevated in 2012 to St Emilion First Growth status, Angelus is owned and made by renowned winemaker Hubert de Bouard. 62% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc. Powerful broodingly deep aromas, of rich fruit, mocha and spices. The palate is intense and gorgeous with incredible cashmere texture and layers of rich elegant fruit: chocolate infused dark raspberries, cassis, blueberries. Dense, textural and structured with a long beautiful racy finish.

Score: 95 - 98 Albany Vintners

This shows the purity of Angelus. I have never tasted a wine from here with such incredible clarity. Full body, full fruit and full beauty. Super silky tannins. A joy to taste. Makes you want to drink it. 62% merlot and 38% cabernet franc.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

62% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc. First year Stéphanie de Boüard was in charge with father Hubert at her side. Extremely dark purplish crimson. Light nose but masses of sweet concentration on the palate. Nothing exaggerated. Just rather drying tannins on the end at the moment. Like Carillon d'Angélus, it has a slight bitterness on the finish but has clearly been made with no shortage of ambition. For the long term.

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

In 2015, Angélus is 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc. It is also one of the most powerful, vertical wines of the vintage. A rush of sweet floral and spice notes appear first, before waves of intense, inky/purplish fruit take hold of all the senses. The tannins need time to soften, probably quite a bit of time, but there is no denying the wine's sheer beauty. I came back to the 2015 several hours later and found a wine that had blossomed beautifully with air. The 2015 will be magnificent once the tannins soften. Readers will have to be patient, as that is likely to take a decade-plus to happen.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to waiting list] Ausone St Emilion £5,500 £3,500 - £6,500 Sold Out 95-97 96-98 100 18-19 - 97-100
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The 2015 Ausone is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot this year, cropped at 30 hl/ha between 29 September and 2 October for the Merlot and 8-10 October for the Cabernet Franc. Matured in 85% new oak, it has a very intense bouquet of small dark cherries, cassis, violets and incense, a hint of blood orange originating from the Merlot tucked underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, seamlessly integrated oak. It is an intense Saint Emilion with a superb arching structure on the finish, while maintaining sufficient freshness from start to finish. It grips the mouth a little more than some of its peers, implying that it will need longer in bottle, but it will be worth the wait. Patience advised for this great Ausone courtesy of Alain and Pauline Vauthier.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060

Sweet cassis with notes of violet and spiced mirabelle plums. In the mouth there is fantastic vibrancy and real underlying power and fruit density. This is one of the densest wines of the vintagePowerful and super-fresh with enormous structured rich tannins. This will be very long lived. Grand

Score: 96 - 98 Albany Vintners

A mindbinder of a wine with pure fruit and so much fine tannins and mineral character. It’s hyper tight and super polished. The palate starts off slowly and ends with a bang. Amazing endless finish. What an energy.

Score: 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dark crimson with some purple. Real class and concentration on the nose - all vineyard, surely. Brisk yet very opulent. Lots of drive and no oak in evidence. Very fine. Very long.

Score: 18 - 19 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2042

The 2015 Ausone is the embodiment of class. A seamless, mind-blowing wine, the Ausone boasts extraordinary purity and finesse. The flavors are deep and unctuous throughout, and yet the wine is remarkably vivid. A host of sweet floral notes and exotic spices are fused into the eternal finish. In 2015, Ausone is as good as it gets. Readers who can find the 2015 should not hesitate, as it is truly magnificent. All I can tell readers is that it took the most extraordinary discipline to spit this wine during my tasting. It is every bit that profound. The 2015 is 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot that will spend 20 months in French oak, 85% new. The Merlot was brought in between September 29 and October 2, while the Franc came in between October 8 and 10.

Score: 97 - 100 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to waiting list] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £760 £550 - £1,500 Sold Out 91-93 - 98-99 17 92-95 95-98
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The 2015 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) is a blend of 90% Merlot picked between 25 September and 5 October, 10% Cabernet Franc picked on 5 and 12 October. It was cropped at 34 hl/ha. It has a very intense, quite opulent bouquet, just like the 2015 Pavie-Macquin from barrel, with fig-tinged red cherry fruit, hints of kirsch and glycerin. The palate likewise shows more refinement and class, the tannins fine and the acidity well judged. It has a fresh finish, though it just needs to muster a touch more tension and sense of energy right on the finish. Let's see what happens during its élevage, because it has the materials to turn into a very fine Saint Emilion.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2045

I don’t know what to say here other than it’s better than any BDL I drank since 1989 including the 1990. There’s a transparency and beauty like a rainbow. Full body, extremely long and bright. Super fine tannins. Pure fruit.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A Stéphane Derenoncourt wine. Nicolas Thienpont has been making this wine since 2009. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 34 hl/ha yield. Very dark crimson. Brooding and vibrant on the nose. Sweet and fully ripe - almost Pomerol-like in its intensity. Big and bold. Even a bit brutal.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2038

Offers lovely richness, with a very caressing feel to the layers of warm plum compote and boysenberry confiture. Underneath all the fruit is a very fine-edged chalky thread, yet the feeling overall is velvety and lush. A beauty.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A dark, brooding wine, the 2015 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse may need twenty years to start drinking well. Today, the 2015 is imposing, with massive concentration and fabulous persistence, all supported by a vertical spine of tannin that is impossible to miss. Hints of graphite, smoke and licorice struggle to emerge from a huge wall of fruit and tannin. This is another wine that will require considerable patience. The 2015 is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, brought in between September 25 and October 12 and aged in 60% new oak. Tasted two times.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion £1,120 £950 - £1,600 91-93 94-96 98-99 17 91-94 93-96
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The 2015 Bellevue Mondotte is the one wine from Gérard Perse that tends to leave me cold. This year it is a blend of 90% Merlot with 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, matured entirely in new oak. It has a very powerful and intense bouquet with sweet ripe blueberry, boysenberry jam and honey-like aromas that almost knock you sideways. The palate is medium-bodied with sweet ripe tannin, not as tannic or as aggressive as I have occasionally discerned this wine, a little gentler and caressing towards the velvety smooth finish that just needs a little more personality to come through. It is always a brute out of barrel, but tends to mellow with bottle age, so don't even think about approaching this young. While it is undoubtedly surpassed by the 2015 Pavie, I am fascinated to see how this shows with age and who knows, maybe I will be proved wrong.

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

This property was bought by Gerard Perse of Pavie in 2001. A tiny vineyard of just 2 hectares situated on St Emilion's limestone plateau, with one of the lowest yields to be found in Bordeaux - often just 20hl/ha. Thick and dark in colour with unctuous black fruit and minerals and a hint of espresso. Huge concentration with very voluptuous fruit and swathes of ripe glossy tannin.

Score: 94 - 96 Albany Vintners

This has a focus and intensity that I haven’t seen before. I goes wide in the palate and then compresses with great precision and beauty. Full and excellent. So great. Best I ever had from here.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Gérard Perse's 2 ha (5 acre) property on well-drained limestone. Blackish crimson. Sweet black fruits on the nose. Very round. The fruit masks the tannin completely. Limestone stoniness on the end. 14.72%

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

A lush, modern style, with plum sauce and raspberry påte de fruit flavors backed by a broad swath of melted red licorice and sweet spice notes. Features the caressing feel of the vintage as well.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Bellevue Mondotte is, as always, the most massive and virile of the Perse wines. A vertical spine of tannin gives the Bellevue Mondotte its distinctive personality, even if the richness of the vintage has softened some of the contours just a bit. A host of dark, balsamic-inflected notes hit the palate first. Black cherry, plum, crème de cassis, smoke and grilled herbs are pushed forward. Intense veins of chalk salinity extend the mid-palate into the long, beautifully articulated finish. Bellevue Mondotte tends to get lost in the Perse lineup, perhaps because this is the family's smallest site, but it is superb. The blend is 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from 50 year-old vines. Yields were 20 hectoliters per hectare.

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

[Add to waiting list] Canon St Emilion £1,150 £400 - £650 Sold Out 98-100 96-98 100 17-18 94-97 96-98
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The 2015 Canon is going to be a benchmark for this historic estate. A blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, it was cropped at 42 hl/ha between 14-25 September and 30 September until 2 October respectively. The alcohol level is an average 14.5% with a pH 3.78, matured for 18 months in 70% new barrels (except for one barrel of Cabernet Franc that they will bottle separately - just to see). Lucid in color, it has an intense bouquet that exudes extraordinary purity with scents of raspberry, wild strawberry, limestone and violets. It makes a huge impression. The palate is medium-bodied and multilayered with vivacious red and black fruit infused with minerals. The acidity lends the tension here from start to finish, but what this Canon possesses unlike the dozens of other vintages that I have tasted, is an overarching structure that will see it age in similar fashion to past classics such as the 1929, 1947 and 1964. It lingers very long in the mouth, the oak just surfacing a little on the aftertaste, although that will be subsumed with time. This estate has been in the ascendant in recent vintages under winemaker John Kolasa and now Nicolas Audebert, together with a benevolent growing season, has elevated Canon to a level that few could have predicted.

Score: 98 - 100 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060

A gorgeous nose, broad, perfumed lifted St Emilion with bright pure blackberries, mineral and cloves notes. Bramble fruit with a dense sweet soft juicy texture. Beautiful balance. Long cashmere tannins, a dancing acidity and very good pure fruit length. Superb! The best Canon that we have ever tasted.

Score: 96 - 98 Albany Vintners

The purity of fruit is incredible here with intense character of crushed grapes and flowers. Full-bodied, velvety with refined tannins. Great length and beauty. Flamboyant yet refined and precise. Incredible. It’s so balanced and enticing that it makes you want to drink it now. Perfect.

Score: 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

72% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc. About 2/3 of the wine will go into the grand vin. 30% second-year barrels. 70% new. Sample 1, from a new Taransaud barrique: Very dark crimson. Very complete and juicy on the nose. Very rich and glorious! Luscious and spicy. Deep and rich. Quite savoury and structured. Very fine and tight. Dry finish. Not as much fun to taste in isolation. Doubtless a useful ingredient. Slightly drying end. Sample 2, from a new St Martin barrique: Very dark crimson. Very sweet and floral on the nose. Ripe and round. Lots to enjoy here! Real lift and very sophisticated. So long! Sample 3: And finally an official sample at the château: strong hint of iodine on the nose. Very luscious and supple at first and then with massive velvety tannins and almost dried-fruit sweetness and concentration. Bravo! (17.5+ Points)

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2040

This delivers a pretty awesome display of blueberry, plum and raspberry fruit, both in its purity and depth, while the finish is carried by a very refined minerality. Large-scaled for sure, but seriously pure.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Canon is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. An utterly mesmerizing wine, Canon has it all; alluring aromatics; towering structure, fabulous depth, and exceptional balance. The aromas and flavors are remarkably nuanced for such a big wine. Waves of graphite, exotic spices, smoke, herb, licorice, violets and crème de cassis appear at every angle as this utterly profound Saint-Émilion shows off its pedigree. So far I have tasted the 2015 four times. It has never been anything less than sensational. Quite simply, Canon is one of the few truly must-have wines of 2015. It is every bit that memorable.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

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