En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Aile d'Argent Dry Whites Unreleased £460 - £580 90-92 - - 17 - 89-91
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The 2015 Aile d'Argent Blanc, a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 43% Sémillon and 2% Muscadelle, has an attractive bouquet of lime cordial, pink grapefruit and apricot that gently unfolds in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a keen thread of acidity that runs through waxy-textured fresh pear, grapefruit and lime notes. There is just a touch of malolactic fermentation here (actually around 7% of the total according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin) that just lends cohesion and smoothness to the finish. With a dash of lemongrass loitering on the aftertaste, this is a very fine Aile d'Argent that should age well over the course of a decade, possibly more.

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

55% Sauvignon Blanc, 43% Sémillon, 2% Muscadelle. Relatively complex nose. As though this is a wine with a future. I really like the dry finish and nutty layers. Bone dry but lots of interest. Racy but not ready. (17+ Points)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2017-2024

The 2015 Aile d'Argent, Mouton Rothschild's dry white, is 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 43% Sémillon, 2% Muscadelle, is laced with attractive scents of white flowers, lemon and grapefruit. The fruit was brought in between September 2 and 9 which helps keep the flavors fresh, while a dollop of Muscadelle and a small amount of malolactic fermentation gives the Aile d’Argent its characteristic sweetness.

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

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) Margaux Unreleased £400 - £550 90-92 90-93 94-95 16-17 - 90-93
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The 2015 Alter Ego de Palmer is a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 52% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. It has a very open, ravishing, quite precocious bouquet with ripe black cherries, fresh dates and crème de cassis that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is more refined, reins it all back in thanks to quite tensile tannin, a crisp line of acidity, moderate depth in the mouth and a gentle grip. There is a touch of tarriness and cracked black pepper towards the finish with very good length. Give this 5-7 years in bottle.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2040

The second wine of Palmer. 52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot. Lush and potent nose, rich with plump red fruits, summer pudding notes and cloves. An appealing texture, finishing just slightly dry.

Score: 90 - 93 Albany Vintners

Very solid and powerful with dried mushroom and wet earth aromas and flavors. Complex. Full and chewy yet so polished and long. Spicy, meat and gorgeous. Most serious Alter Ego ever. More inner Ego now!. 52% merlot, 41% cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot 6%.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, picked 22 September to 7 October. Very rich on the nose. Very sweet and with sufficient freshness. Very very round. Just on the right side of soupy - but you really have to drink this pretty young, I think.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2027

The 2015 Alter Ego is round, succulent and also a terrific introduction to the vintage. Raspberry jam, cinnamon, flowers and mint are all pushed forward. This is an especially succulent, juicy Margaux that is firing on all cylinders. Today, the 2015 gives the impression it will drink well with minimal cellaring, as its balance and overall harmony are first-rate. The blend is 52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot.

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

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Angelus St Emilion Unreleased £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 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] Ausone St Emilion Unreleased £3,500 - £6,500 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

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