En Primeur Bordeaux 2013

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue-Mondotte St Emilion £880 £600 - £1,100 - 15 - 87-88 91-93 88
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Rather sweet oak, very tough tannins. Impenetrable, but without much fruit generosity to back up.

Score: 15 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2026

This is a little lean and firm but has some decent fruit, with spice and berry character. Lacks a center palate.

Score: 87 - 88 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The Bellevue-Mondotte 2013 has a bright bouquet with crème de cassis, iodine and blueberry, the 80% new oak nicely integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, fine in the mouth with admirable precision on the finish. This is a more tempered Bellevue-Mondotte, but it has great potential. One of the more successful Saint Emilion crus this year. Tasted April 2014.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

A Gérard Perse wine. Deep, dark and reserved. Firm, tight structure. A little heavy handed in a year that needs a light touch.

Score: 88 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2019-2030

This has some depth for the vintage, with a solid core of raspberry and plum paste notes lined with red licorice hints and backed by toasted spice details on the finish. A showy style.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to shopping basket] Beychevelle St Julien £425 £330 - £500 - 17 88-90 89-90 86-88 89
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Opulent fruitiness, brambles and cherry. Modern, sleek and aromatic with a white pepper and sweet spice element. Good persistence, really nicely done. (17+)

Score: 17 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2018-2028

A rich sweet black fruit nose, leading to quite good depth of black cherry richness and body. Slightly woody tannins and a dry finish.

Score: 88 - 90 Albany Vintners

Delicate and pretty with blueberry and mineral character. Medium body, fine tannins, fresh finish. Well-crafted for the vintage.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The Grand Vin is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot cropped at 28.5hl/ha between 1 and 10 October. There is around 9% vin de presse. It has a rather "sedate" bouquet with earthy black fruit, a hint of graphite originating from the Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is balanced, light with that graphite theme interwoven through the black fruit. It is nicely focused although very linear and a little hollow towards the finish. As Philippe Blanc said, this is "honest" Beychevelle that will not set the world on fire, but it should drink nicely over the next decade.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Deep colour, good Cabernet fruit, well-expressed vineyard and will show well, classic St-Julien.

Score: 89 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2018-2027

Presents a piercing feel to the plum pit and red currant fruit, with a hint of graphite lining the finish, set against a backdrop of warm stone notes.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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[Add to shopping basket] Branaire Ducru St Julien £280 £250 - £320 - 17-18 87-90 91-92 86-88 90
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Liquorice, aniseed, very savoury and dark. Fruit is quite suppressed, this is very traditional and very successful. Bundles of tannin on the finish. Aristocratic and self-assured. (17.5)

Score: 17 - 18 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2033

Light and but balanced in the mouth with very bright strawberry and cherry fruit in the middle. Attractive and Pinot-like.

Score: 87 - 90 Albany Vintners

A juicy young wine with berry, cherry and currant character. Medium to full body, with well-integrated tannins and a juicy finish. Pure and delicious. Very well done.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The Château Branaire Ducru 2013, a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 15 October cropped at 33hl/ha. Patrick Maroteaux told me that the older vines did not suffer so much from coulure. I tasted the wines on three occasions, once at the château and twice elsewhere. It has a simple bouquet with light, slightly herbaceous black fruit laced with graphite, not dissimilar to that of Beychevelle. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins. There is just a little coarseness in this Branaire Ducru, a little angular at the moment although it has a little more persistency than Beychevelle with the graphite note lending it a Pauillac-like sensibility, though it cuts off very abruptly. This is a decent, honest Branaire Ducru made in a classic off-dry style but it desperately needs more substance.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Fine deep colour and fine vineyard expression, good depth, balance and class for the future.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2018-2028

An elegant, floral style of St.-Julien, with violet and lilac notes out front, followed by rooibos tea, red currant and bitter cherry flavors. The long, stony finish has ample acidity and drive. This should develop into a charmer.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

[Add to shopping basket] Brane Cantenac Margaux £295 £250 - £330 - 16-17 91-94 92-93 86-88 90
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Plenty of toasted oak apparent here. Crunchy fruit, medium body, good balance of tannin and acid. Better body than many other 2013s, though still light compared with a typical Bordeaux year. (16.5)

Score: 16 - 17 JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2017-2027

A lifted nose with bright red cherry fruit. Lots of interest and flavour here with high-toned fruit and energy and a mocha finish.

Score: 91 - 94 Albany Vintners

Loads of strawberry and berry character with a fantastic intensity. Medium body, with a beautiful core of fruit and a long finish. Rose petals and fruit. Wonderful finesse. A triumph for the vintage.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The Grand Vin is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc (more Cabernet Sauvignon because the Cabernet Franc did not quite pass muster.) It has a clean cedar scented bouquet that is very linear and somehow quite airy. The palate is medium-bodied and nicely balanced. On this occasion, this oak is quite prominent on the day I tasted although Henri Lurton remarked that it varies day to day. This is a nicely made, easy-drinking style of Brane-Cantenac to enjoy over the next 10 years.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

Good young colour, Margaux fragrance on the nose, florality, elegance and balance in the discreet Brane style.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2017-2027

Light, with airy plum and red cherry notes giving way to a light sanguine note through the finish.

Score: 84 - 87 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2013 Brane-Cantenac is a wine of rare distinction. Tobacco, smoke, cedar, red plums and menthol all meld together in a striking, beautifully nuanced wine endowed with considerable personality and tons of style. The 2013 is soft and understated, but is also impeccable in its balance.

Score: 89 - 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

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