En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

St Estephe - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Calon Segur St Estephe Unreleased £440 - £560 91-93 92-95 93-94 17 89-92 90-93
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The 2015 Calon Segur is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot (no Cabernet Franc in the Grand Vin this year). It was picked from 8 September until 5 October at a yield of 47 hl/ha and is matured in 100% new oak for the next 20 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the aromatics with blackberry, cedar and graphite aromas: quite linear, nicely focused and reserved compared to the 2014 last year. The palate is understated on the entry, the tannin very fine and the acidity very well judged. Like the nose, the Cabernet drives this wine forward: structured and a little "brittle" in the mouth, perhaps the most Pauillac-like Calon-Segur that I have encountered over many years of tasting. Afford this several years in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2040

Calon Segur is one of the great names of St Estephe. Quality has been in the ascendant since 2009 when Vincent Millet (previously head of R&D at Chateau Margaux) took over as Technical Director, with more emphasis on Cabernet fruit. Strict selection, a long-term replanting programme and a reasonable pricing policy means that there is never enough to go around en primeur. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Extremely frgrant with cassis, violets and black cherries. Medium body and concentration with poise and balance, effortlessly smooth tannins and a very long graceful finish.

Score: 92 - 95 Albany Vintners

This is very fine and integrated with black currant, walnut and fresh tobacco. Full body, pretty polish. Sophisticated. Well done for the vintage for this appellation.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 47 hl/ha. 20 months in 100% new oak. Dark crimson. Pure and aromatic. Pretty dense and dry with a hint of sweet oak. Solid and concentrated. All set for the long term. Pretty introvert. Edgy finish but more sweetness than there used to be. Intense - more intense than usual for this property. A little attenuated on the end. Very solid indeed! 13.3%. (17+ Points)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2036

A solid effort, with plum and dark cherry fruit showing the fleshier side of the vintage. Shows silky tannins underneath and a pleasant tobacco edge on the finish.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Calon Ségur is super-polished, silky and exceptionally beautiful, especially for the vintage and appellation. Creamy, expressive and inviting, the 2015 possesses striking nuance and delineation throughout. Dark blue and purplish fruits, lavender, herbs, menthol and licorice add the closing shades of nuance. I don't think the 2015 will match the superb 2014, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat smaller-scaled, wine. Tasted three times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Capbern (formerly Capbern Gasqueton) St Estephe £135 £115 - £140 88 89-91 90-91 16-17 - 88-90
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The 2015 Capbern (formerly Capbern Gasqueton) is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, to be matured in 60% new oak over the next 18 months. This is the first time that Petit Verdot has been included in the blend from new plantings, around ten-years-old now. It has a crisp blackberry and bilberry scented bouquet, quite linear, a floral aspect emerging after a couple of minutes in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a structured opening, a decidedly more masculine Capbern Gasqueton in the making, with a slight tinniness towards the finish. Give this 3-4 years in bottle for the jaggedness in those tannins to soften.

Score: 88 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2030

Since 2013 the Gasqueton moniker has been dropped from St Estephe Chateau Capbern, owned and made by the same team as Calon Segur. This should offer great value. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Attractive very ripe open aromas, elegant sappy blackberry and blueberry fruit, with a long clean fresh finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Albany Vintners

Very fine and polished with lovely integration and finesse. Medium to full body, fresh finish. Harmony here.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. 47 hl/ha. 60% new oak. Bright crimson. Racy nose. Lighter than some vintages. The oak is just a little sweet and obvious at this stage. Pretty astringent finish. 13.7%

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

The 2015 Capbern is striking. Pliant, open-knit and seductive, the 2015 offers lovely radiance and superb balance, especially at this level. Black cherry, plum, mint and violet notes are laced into the aromatic, silky finish. There is so much to like in this forward, fruit-driven Saint-Estèphe. The blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe Unreleased £800 - £1,100 92-94 92-95 97-98 18-19 - 92-95
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The 2015 Cos d'Estournel is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 17 September and 5 October at 44 hl/ha. It is being matured in 65% new oak, less than in recent years due to the tannin (IPT is 71). Deeper in color than the 2015 Pagodes, it has a very pure bouquet with tightly knitted blackberry, blueberry and violet scents, perhaps just a little Margaux-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity and harmonious in the mouth. What it does not quite deliver is the complexity of a top-tier Cos d'Estournel or the peacock's tail of flavors on the finish, which feels linear and conservative compared to its peers in more southerly appellations. You feel as if the vintage put a tight leash on this Saint Estèphe grandee. There is pedigree in this Grand Vin for sure and it is bound to give up to 20 years of pleasure.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2040

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 1.5% with 39% destined for the Grand Vin, the smallest proportion ever. Under the new direction of Aymeric de Gironde, like the 2014 there is a move towards more elegance and refinement, so less extraction and less new oak (65% for the 2015). Certainly this is a lighter styled, fresh and fragrant Cos with beautiful complexity on the nose, spicy black fruits mixed with clove oil, nutmeg and a hint of blood orange. Medium intensity of pure crisp black fruits in the mid-palate but this is long and fine with a racy finish.

Score: 92 - 95 Albany Vintners

This shows what great selection did in the northern Mêdoc. Big surprise. Really excellent. Full body, chewy and rich tannins and loads of ripe fruit. Black currants, blue berries. It has hot and ripe tannins yet cool fruit.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc. IPT 71. 65% new oak. Extremely dark crimson. Lovely spice and breadth. Hint of tobacco leaf with lots of ripe fruit. Very comfortable. A lovely pair of slippers. Real tension and ripeness - great combo. Nothing forced. Ethereal and builds towards the end. Certainly has the graphite ingredient. 13.4%

Score: 18 - 19 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2040

A wine of cool sophistication and polish, the 2015 Cos d'Estournel is endowed with striking length and overall balance. Silky tannins support a core of graphite, smoke, licorice, incense, tar and dark spice. The 2015 is perhaps not as aromatically nuanced or expressive as in the very best years (although that may develop in time), but it offers terrific persistence through to the finish. Finesse and nuance are the key signatures in the 2015 Cos. Only 39% of the crop went into the Grand Vin, as opposed to the more typical 50% or so.

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

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Dame de Montrose (2nd wine of Montrose) St Estephe Unreleased £220 - £280 88-90 88-90 91-92 16-17 - 89-91
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The 2015 La Dame de Montrose is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot that was picked between 15 September and 8 October. It has a perfumed, floral and pure bouquet with black cherries, blueberry and violets, all with commendable delineation for a deuxième vin. The palate is well balanced with a more sumptuous texture compared to its fellow Saint Estèphes, thanks to that lush Merlot that forms the core of this wine. It has commendable energy and feels approachable, therefore with 3-4 years in bottle, you should have yourself a fine if not exceptional La Dame de Montrose.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2032

Ripe with deep red fruits and an exceptionally creamy character, with a hint of peatiness of the finish.

Score: 88 - 90 Albany Vintners

Polished tannins with lovely integration and finesse. Full body, round texture. Persistent finish. Second wine of Montrose.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

More Cabernet Sauvignon than usual in this wine: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Picked from 15 September to 8 October. Deep crimson. Scented and sleek. Very ripe and flattering. Not at all like the classic Montrose style - presumably deliberately made to be drunk young. Polished and even rather sweet! Not that St-Estèphe

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

The 2015 La Dame de Montrose is a very pretty second wine. Dark, radiant and open-knit, yet with plenty of nuance, the 2015 offers lovely precision and silkiness throughout. The wine's mid-weight structure suggests it will drink well relatively early. Raspberry jam, white pepper and mineral notes add the closing shades of complexity. The 2015 is an attractive Saint-Estèphe, although it lacks the depth and overall follow through of the very best versions, but it makes up for that with its finesse. Tasted four times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Lafon Rochet St Estephe £295 £240 - £320 90-92 91-93 91-92 16-17 87-90 92-95
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The 2015 Lafon Rochet is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, picked between 25 September and 9 October. Matured in 40% to 50% new oak from eight coopers including Stockinger since last year, it has a dense blackberry and boysenberry scented bouquet that is a little more voluptuous than its peers. The palate is again quite dense with "stocky" tannin, obdurate and a little hard at the moment, structured and clearly a Lafon-Rochet that is built for the long-term. It will need several years to just lose its brutishness.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2050

Owned by the Tesseron family, Lafon Rochet has been Basile Tesseron has been at the helm since 2007 with his eyes firmly on quality and understanding the terroir. Jean-Claude Berrouet, the world-renowned winemaker of Chateau Petrus for over forty years, has been consultant winemaker here since 2012, bringing extra precision to the blending process. Attractive with good lift and blue fruit on the nose. Fleshy with nice concentration and soft tannins. Quite impressive.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

A firm and silky red with blueberry and dark chocolate aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, serious core of fruit for the vintage.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Particularly dark. Rather beguiling. Perhaps a bit more evolved than most but rewarding. Nice lift at the end. Very fruity/juicy. (16.5+ Points)

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2037

Fresh and direct, featuring a ripe beam of kirsch and black cherry fruit augmented by lilac and iron notes. Balanced, with a gentle structure.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

One of the potential sleepers of the vintage, Basil Tesseron's 2015 Lafon-Rochet is a total knock-out. Explosive, deep and powerful, the 2015 possesses remarkable richness and intensity. A host of black cherry, smoke, gravel, menthol, tar and licorice notes abound. I tasted the 2015 four times over two weeks. During that time, the wine seemed to acquire more and more freshness as well as finesse. There is little question Lafon-Rochet is one of the stars of Saint-Estèphe in 2015. The blend is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Jean-Claude Berrouet consults.

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

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