En Primeur Bordeaux 2014

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £585 - 93-95 - 95-96 17 92-95 91-94
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The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sémillon matured in around 40% new oak, with a low pH, Olivier Bernard remarking that it was close to 3.0. It has an almost clinical nose, extremely well defined, Zen-like at first with scents of flint and cold granite, stone rather than fruit. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity, though it is not shrill. It is very focused, "minimalist" Domaine de Chevalier that Olivier remarked is perhaps the best he has ever made. Perhaps he is right. There is a Burgundy like sense of terroir coming through here, a wine that perhaps does not wish to conform to the Bordeaux stereotype of what a white Pessac-Léognan should be. So it's a bit of a sui generis, a one-off, and you'll love it.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2035

A solid and muscular Domaine de Chevalier with layers of fruit. Very dense, loads of flavor. Full body, bright acidity and a long, long finish. Tangy acidity. It lasts for minutes.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Pungent and reductive nose and then very flattering sweet fruit on the palate. Distinctive and relatively rich. Almost ready to drink now! Real finesse.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2016-2026

Very pure, with a long makrut lime note holding the upper hand, while white peach, Chartreuse and tar fruit accents fill in behind. Offers a kiss of brioche on the finish. There's lots to like here.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Powerful and intense, the 2014 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is very tightly wound today. Lemon peel, white flowers, slate and crushed rocks are all beautifully delineated. Blocked malolactic fermentations keep the flavors bright and the textures focused. The intensely mineral, salivating finish is a thing of pure beauty. There is little doubt the Chevalier Blanc is one of the wines of the vintage. Readers can look forward to several decades of exceptional drinking. In 2014, the blend is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves £325 - 92-94 93-95 93-94 17-18 90-93 92-95
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The Domaine de Chevalier 2014 is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 30% Merlot. It has a fragrant bouquet with blackberry, black plum, cigar ash and woodland scents, complex though not as intense as its white counterpart. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, quite firm tannin that underpin a classic Domaine de Chevalier that has just the right amount of austerity at this stage. Reserved perhaps, but it is beautifully knitted together with a lovely bay leaf tinged finish. Quintessential Domaine de Chevalier…which is what we all want.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2040

Complex, stylish nose with crisp black fruit, smoke and minerality. Soft and supple in the mouth with blueberries and smokiness coming through. Unforced and very beguiling with lacy tannins. Not too dry and the whole impression is very harmonious.

Score: 93 - 95 Albany Vintners, -

Very dense and beautiful with chocolate, currants and spices. Walnut and hazelnut character too. Full body, silky tannins and a long finish. Balanced and fine.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Particularly dark crimson. Intense nose. Quite thick and dense. Then soft and beguiling on the palate. Unusually low in acidity! Quite luscious. And a cool finish. Complete.

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2036

Tightly focused, with red currant, bergamot, Campari and sandalwood notes woven together and carrying through the well-polished finish. Has a noticeable twinge of singed wood and sweet earth at the end. A touch more backward than most of the Pessac pack right now.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Domaine de Chevalier is stunningly beautiful. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, spice and leather are all supported by veins of underlying acidity and minerality. Sweet floral and spice notes continue to open up over time, but it is the wine's imposing structure that stands out most. Readers will need to be especially patient here, as the domaine's wines are typically very slow to mature. That is especially like to be the case with the 2014, as the tannins are quite imposing at this stage. The 2014 is going to need a considerable amount of time. The only question is how much. I expect the 2014 will still be magnificent at age thirty and likely beyond. The 2014 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that spent approximately 35 days on the skins. Olivier Bernard adds that the Merlots were brought in between October 10 and 17, which is quite late by the domaine's standards. Tasted three times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien £750 - 94-96 93-96 96-97 17-18 - 94-97
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The Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2014 is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that was picked between 25 September and 15 October and matured in 100% new oak as usual. The IPT is 81, the pH 3.81. Compared to recent vintages the nose is more backward, sultry and less explosive although there is still impressive concentration here. It's just "buttoned down" at present. (A second sample showed a little more sous-bois, more complexity than the first.) The palate is medium-bodied and masculine, a little chalky in the mouth with a firm backbone. Bruno Borie has overseen a more classic Ducru-Beaucaillou, one that I suspect will be less approachable than the last three vintages, boasting a Pauillac-like, graphite-infused finish that just needs to gain a little more persistence during its élevage. This is one wine that actually showed better on my second visit, demonstrating more élan and brio, but nuances notwithstanding, it is another magnificent Ducru-Beaucaillou to add to the roster.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2040

A very small crop here once again due to the vines producing very few bunches, concentrating the grapes naturally. Deep colour with opulent black fruit at the front and concentration building. Lots of layers, cool and refined, with a satiny texture, this is really impressive.

Score: 93 - 96 Albany Vintners, -

Stunning aromas of licorice, blackcurrants, minerals, dried rose petals and wet earth. Full body, incredibly intense fruit yet this remains compacted and toned with tannins. Long, long finish. What a wine.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very dense crimson. Cedary nose. Scented and more grounded with more density than the other wines from this stable. Firm finish with lots of fine velvety tannin. Masses of tannin (IPT 81). One of the most backward wines.

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2043

The 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of the richest, most explosive wines of the year. Scents of blackberry jam, crème de cassis, graphite, pencil shavings, exotic spices and lavender meld into a plush core of super-ripe fruit in a decidedly opulent, full-throttle Ducru that is strikingly beautiful today. The 2014 is likely to require many years to drop some of its baby fat, but it is unquestionably stunning. Veins of saline-inflected minerality add a measure of freshness to the unctuous yet brooding finish. Readers who can find the 2014 should not hesitate, as it is truly magnificent. In 2014, the blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Duhart Milon Pauillac £400 - 89-91 91-94 92-93 17 90-93 88-91
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The Château Duhart-Milon 2014 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot that was picked from 29 until 10 October and 23 until 29 September respectively. It has a more fruit-driven nose than usual, a little less tertiary and austere than the Duhart's of old perhaps. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite sappy black fruit and well judged acidity. Nicely focused as usual here with a touch of salinity coming through on the finish. I feel that it is just missing the sense of dimension and authority that a great Duhart can possess, but it retains the aloofness that I admire so much. I will remain cautious for the time being and see how it fills out during its élevage.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2023-2038

55CS, 45M. Muted nose of dark fruit and chocolate, then more weight than Carruades. Pure and clean with lots of texture and layers of black fruit and graphite building up to a serious finish.

Score: 91 - 94 Albany Vintners, -

This is very solid and muscular with dark berries and blueberries. More merlot than normal but shows a serious structure that underlines the excellence of the cabernet. Small production of cabernet here with 45% merlot in the blend.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Mid crimson. Lightly floral nose. Then some real substance and palate weight. Masses of tannins well managed to make a pretty competent medium-weight claret. Nothing showy but well done. Very much in Lafite style. Bone-dry finish with some persistence.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2035

This has yet to soak up its oak and remains a bit raw, but the juniper and alder notes should meld easily enough as the core of plum and raspberry coulis flavors is ripe and fleshy. Shows ample grip through the finish, with a prominent tobacco streak adding texture. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 Duhart-Milon is a bit bombastic in this vintage. Scents of leather, smoke and tar meld into a core of intense dark fruit. Powerful and voluptuous on the palate, the 2014 shows the influence of a higher than normal percentage of Merlot in the blend. Firm yet well-integrated tannin carry the finish. The 2014 comes in at 12.8% alcohol, but feels richer and weightier than that. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot.

Score: 88 - 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Eglise Clinet Pomerol £1,300 - Low Stock 93-95 95-98 94-95 17 92-95 94-97
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The Château l’Eglise-Clinet 2014 is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked from 26 September to 4 October and 17 to 21 October respectively and matured in 70% new oak. I tasted the wine from two barrels à la Burgundy with Denis Durantou. It has a gorgeous bouquet that boasts exquisite precision. It is not an intense nose but one that unfurls in the glass, revealing red berries, myrtle and more mineralité than probably any other Pomerol ’14 that I tasted from barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin. This is utterly harmonious, the Cabernet Franc more expressive than the 10% would suggest with a long, sophisticated finish whose cousin might be say, Vieux-Château-Certan. This continues a run of outstanding vintages from Denis Durantou and should offer 20+ years of drinking enjoyment.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2040+

A little muted when we tasted first thing on a cool morning, but there is already blueberry and black plum, with complexity of smoke and dark chocolate waiting in the wings. Seductive with full body and weight of pure fruit that continues to build in the mouth. The tannins are ripe and sleek on the long, long dark chocolate finish.

Score: 95 - 98 Albany Vintners, -

A wonderful wine with dense and intense fruit and chewy tannins. Full body, coffee, chocolate, almond and walnuts. Layered. Magic winemaker of Pomerol.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very dark crimson. Very rich and perfumed. Sweet and polished but perhaps with a little less earthiness and fire than usual. Big and bold. And a little drying on the end. 14%

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

Very refined, with alluring raspberry, plum and boysenberry fruit, inlaid with fine-grained structure and backed by a long rooibos tea- and fruitcake-infused finish. Latent grip lurks in the background.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2014 L'Eglise Clinet is a real head-turner. Gorgeous, super-expressive aromatics meld into a core of dark, sumptuous fruit. Lavender, mint, violets, graphite and crème de cassis notes abound in a powerful, structured wine endowed with magnificent purity and a skyscraper-like sense of lift. Finesse and power collide in a crystalline Pomerol of exceptional beauty. Powerful and dense to the core, the 2014 is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

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

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