En Primeur Bordeaux 2014

St Estephe - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to waiting list] Calon Segur St Estephe £420 - Sold Out 91-93 92-94 93-94 17 92-95 93-96
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The Château Calon-Ségur 2014 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 19% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot cropped at 41hl/ha and aged in 100% new oak for what is intended to be 20 months. The alcohol comes in at 13.8%, which would have been higher if more Merlot had been retained. The first impression is one of the oak because coming straight after the Montrose '14 (élevage in 60% new oak) the wood element is more pronounced here. It is relatively opulent and high-toned compared to its Saint Estèphe counterparts, developing floral scents with time but never quite extricating itself from the winemaking. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin that lend this more chewiness than either Montrose or Cos d'Estournel. There is a lot of backbone to this wine, well focused with a good line of acidity, but again, I believe a more moderate use of new oak would have allowed the terroir to be expressed in what is a terroir-driven vintage. It is an impressive, you could almost say ambitious Calon Ségur, though I am seeking more personality via the terroir to be articulated. Tasted three times with consistent notes.

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

Deep ruby-purple. Beautiful aromatics of dark cherries, mineral hints. A touch of violet. On the palate medium weight of plush black fruit with natural concentration. Lots of vivid appeal. Well-structured (the tannins measure surprisingly, as high as their 2010) but silky in feel with a charry, saline finish. Lots of class. Lovely balance makes it accessible already but with all the elements to age well.

Score: 92 - 94 Albany Vintners, -

This has a wonderful density and a velvety texture with so much fruit and richness. Full body, fine tannins and wonderful length. Gorgeous.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Vibrant dark crimson. Very dense and not that communicative on the nose. But very impressive density, silky texture and refinement. Classic focused stuff with drive. Sufficiently ripe but not at all sweet. Long and truly St-Estèphe. Lots of energy here. Though it certainly isn’t opulent! Lots of tannins and St-Estèphe stoniness on the end. Pretty drying end. Less charm than Capbern but lots more classicism. Just cuts off a little suddenly (perhaps because of those younger vines). 13.8%

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

This has a core of lightly steeped plum and blackberry, with alluring tobacco and charcoal notes lining the finish. Shows nice underlying acidity, and seems likely to fill out steadily. This estate is back in form since the ownership change.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Calon Ségur is silky, polished and exceptionally beautiful. Freshly cut flowers, mint, dark berries and sage are some of the notes that are pushed forward in a sweet, unctuous St. Estèphe endowed with tons of class and personality. Raspberry jam and crushed flowers add further shades of nuance. The 2014 captures a deeply intriguing blend of lifted aromatics, super-ripe, fruit, pulsating energy and polished tannins. Persistent and impeccably balanced throughout, the 2014 Calon Ségur is without question one of the wines of the vintage. The refined finish alone is striking. In 2014, the blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Calon Ségur remains one of the few classified growths the average consumer can still afford to buy by the case. As such, it is likely to be one of the very best wines readers will find for the money. Don't miss it. (93-96+ Points)

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

[Add to shopping basket] Capbern (formerly Capbern Gasqueton) St Estephe £110 - 89-91 89-91 - 17 90-93 90-92
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The Château Capbern 2014 (note the new un-appended name that will be introduced with the 2013 vintage) is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. There is appreciable volume on the nose, quite floral with incense developing with time. The palate is smooth and velvety on the entry with sweet tannin. There is a dash of white pepper towards the second half of this well-structured, quite sophisticated Saint Estèphe that sports a long, peppery, slightly earthy, masculine finish. Give this four or five years in bottle to allow those tannins to soften.

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

Good deep colour. Attractive ripe open aromas then rich ripe cassis is combined with good quality spicy oak and a polished texture and a fresh floral finish. Glossy and impressive. 78CS, 19M, 3PV. 60% new oak for 18 months. 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.

Score: 89 - 91 Albany Vintners, -

Very floral nose and round and juicy. Punchy and fun. Lots of fruit and very fine tannins - though not opulent. 14.2%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2021-2028

Pure and direct, with a textbook beam of cassis and bitter cherry notes, laced with lilac and iron hints. The racy, unencumbered finish lets the mineral edge shine. Lots of improvement here recently. This may be the best value play in the vintage.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A delicious, mouth filling St. Estèphe, the 2014 Capbern captures the personality of the year in the northern Médoc in spades. Hints of smoke, tobacco, licorice, mocha and earthiness wrap around a core of dark fruit in an exuberant wine loaded with pure textural richness. The 2014 finishes with notable intensity to round out its racy, voluptuous personality. There is so much to like here, including what should be a reasonable price. The blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the first time Capbern includes Petit Verdot.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £820 - 93-95 95-97 96-97 18 - 92-95
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The Château Cos d'Estournel 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 25 September and 10 October at 33.7 hectoliters per hectare. The pH came in at 3.77 and an IPT of 87, quite high compared to some other properties in the northern Médoc. It has "cool" nose, by that I mean it is not a flamboyant set of aromatics like the 2009 or 2010, but rather "streamlined" and focused, very delineated with black fruit intermingling with incense and iris. It is very controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, but "full" tannins in the mouth that lend this Cos d'Estournel impressive volume. There is an unerring purity here, a gradual crescendo of intensity towards a peppery finish that lingers long. This is an impressive Grand Vin - classic Cos d'Estournel. Tasted three times with consistent notes.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2045

Deep purple with opulent black fruits, and plenty of heady lift too, with notes of tobacco, and cinnamon. Notable density with a core of deep chocolatey black fruit and espresso that builds to a superbly long, focused finish.

Score: 95 - 97 Albany Vintners, -

I love the style of this Cos with so much Indian spices constituting the aromas and flavors here. Full body, fine tannins and an ultra-long finish. Excellent structure and length yet this maintains finesse.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dense colour. Really very luscious indeed. A streak of St-Estèphe iron filings but surrounded by the more opulent fruit. Fine and refined. More fun than Lafite! Masses of tannins and density. Shorter than some vintages, such as 2005!

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2045

The 2014 Cos d'Estournel brings together gorgeous textural richness and ripeness, yet retains considerable aromatic freshness. Mocha, red plum, raspberry jam and rose petals are all beautifully nuanced. I very much like the sense of translucent energy here. Sweet floral and spice notes add to the wine's racy, voluptuous personality. Today, my impression is that the 2014 Cos will reward consumers with a long window of pure drinking pleasure. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Dame de Montrose (2nd wine of Montrose) St Estephe £210 - 84-86 89-91 - 16 - 90-93
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The La Dame de Montrose 2014 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot representing 37% of the total production. The bouquet is a little simple if compared to say, Les Pagodes de Cos 2014: blackberry mixed with boysenberry, a hint of black olive that is accentuated with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grippy tannin. There is moderate concentration here, just a touch of spice emerging toward the finish that tapers away a little too early. At the moment there is a gulf between this and the superlative Grand Vin - it will be interesting to see whether it remains there in bottle.

Score: 84 - 86 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2016-2020

Clean and pronounced aromas of black fruit with a touch of hedgerow. Broad in the mouth with glycerol texture and a black plum-tinged tight finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Albany Vintners, -

Not quite as deep a crimson as Tronquoy de Lalande. Some attractive pepper on the nose. Very rich palate entry. Really rather scrawny on the finish. Some definite green notes.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2030

The 2014 La Dame de Montrose presents a distinctly savory profile. Sweet red cherries, flowers, orange peel, herbs and white pepper give the 2014 much of its aromatic lift. Beautifully layered to match its gracious, understated personality, the 2014 impresses with its striking balance and laid-back sense of power. All the elements meld together in a wine of total grace. The 2014 showed better each time I tasted it over the course of two weeks. This is a very sexy second wine from Montrose. The blend is 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% % Petit Verdot that represents 37% of the total production.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Lafon Rochet St Estephe £220 - 90-92 88-91 91-92 16 88-91 89-91
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The Château Lafon-Rochet 2014 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot picked from 1 October until 15 October. Basile Tesseron explained that there was 25 and 35mm rain between 7 and 9 October at which point the Cabernet was not able to ripen further due to the lack of water. This gave the ripeness another spurt and destroyed the pyrazines. Pumping over was about 0.5 to 1.5 the volume per day over a long period to avoid extracting any harsh tannin (especially from the seeds) with a short cold maceration. It has a complex bouquet: brambly black fruit, touches of dark plum mixed with black olive and incense. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, a little chalky in texture with a precise, quite pointed finish. This 2014 continues a run of fine form for the estate.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2032

Clean pure berries on the nose and palate, not hugely concentrated the crunchy vibrant black cherry fruit should add weight and the tannins are sandy and restrained.

Score: 88 - 91 Albany Vintners, -

This is really beautiful with so much class and finesse already. Full body, bright acidity and lovely fruit.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very dark, blackish crimson. There is masses here but so much that it’s difficult to discern much aroma. Big and beefy but embryonic. And there is not that much follow-through on the finish. (16+ Points)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2036

Bright, with a mix of bitter plum, cassis and cherry fruit, lined with subtle savory and pebble notes that give the finish an edgy feel.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Lafon-Rochet is all about immediacy and energy. Dark red stone fruit, cedar, flowers, leather and mint all open up nicely. The high percentage of Merlot in the blend gives the 2014 lovely suppleness and mid-palate pliancy. The 2014 is not hugely complex, but it is absolutely delicious and should be ready to provide considerable pleasure early. This is a strong showing from the Tesseron family and Consulting Winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet.

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

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