En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Brane Cantenac Margaux £460 £340 - £420 93-95 91-93 93-94 17-18 - 92-95
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The 2015 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenère that was picked from 17 September until 7 October (that Carmenère was actually picked on 19 October). It was cropped at 51 hl/ha. This is classic Brane-Cantenac down the line: austere at first, almost aloof, but very well defined and over time it starts revealing lovely tobacco-stained black fruit. The palate is very well balanced with raspberry and wild strawberry on the entry, perhaps more red fruit than I was anticipating. Veins of undergrowth and cedar are in situ on this very well-balanced, reserved and classic Margaux boasting a long and persistent finish that feels satisfying, reassuring even. Not a Margaux for those that seek tons of fruit, it is nonetheless a very terroir-expressive wine that will repay those who know that this cru demands preferably 12-15 years in the cellar. Henri Lurton never wavers from his style of Margaux and it pays dividends here on this great wine for those with patience.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2030-2060

Aromatic but plenty of lift and richness, gloss, sweetly ripe black fruit. Lightish, maybe not as concentrated as usual.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

This is very big and rich wine with dense and rich tannins, lots of ripe fruit. Blackberry, blueberry flavors. Muscular yet polished.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Exceptionally deep crimson. Meat and wild flowers on the nose - very interesting. Definitely out of the ordinary. Left-field wine that should not disappoint. Racy and lifted. Really very elegant. Chapeau!

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2038

A super-expressive, deep wine, the 2015 Brane-Cantenac possesses magnificent intensity and pure power from start to finish. Dark red cherry, wild flowers, smoke, plum, tobacco, spice and game are some of the notes that build as the wine gains richness and volume with time in the glass. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but it is nearly buried by the sheer opulence of the fruit, while the creamy finish alone is striking. This a deeply satisfying wine from Henri Lurton. Brane-Cantenac is another wine that is a pure pleasure bomb in 2015. Don't miss it. Tasted three times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Cabanne Pomerol £230 £180 - £250 92-94 - 94-95 17 - -
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The 2015 La Cabanne is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Proprietor François Estager told me that this was the first vintage were he has not used any sulfur (one of a few that are moving in that direction). Tasted on three occasions, the nose is offers brambly black fruit mixed with wild hedgerow and cold stone, certainly more sophisticated than recent vintages, with impressive purity. The palate is built upon fine grain tannin, well-judged acidity, and is nicely proportioned with the fruit, given lift by the new oak on the finish. I suspect that the aromatics were just having an off day; given the performance of the palate and knowing how fine this Pomerol can be, it should turn into a delicious, perhaps relatively approachable Pomerol that will give a couple decades of pleasure.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com Maturity: 2019-2035

95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged in 55% new oak and 45% 1 year barrel. This Pomerol estate is well situated not far from Trotanoy and Clinet, on clay with gravel soils, and produces on average 2500 cases per year from vines of around 30 years of age, and a second wine, made from the younger vines. Owned by the Estager family since 1952. following a fire at the property in 2010 which destroyed the vat room and the entire 2008 crop, renovations have been carried out with state of the art new winemaking facilities. A Chateau to watch.

Score: - Albany Vintners

A rich and round red with lots of dried fruits, spice and dark chocolate aromas and flavors. Full body, flavorful and rich. Classic styled red. Best ever from here?

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very dark, then rich and furry and sweet. Very sweet and charming. Intense and jewelly. Very seductive!

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

[Add to shopping basket] Calon Segur St Estephe £570 £440 - £560 Low Stock 91-93 92-95 93-94 17 - 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

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] Canon St Emilion £1,300 £400 - £650 On allocation 98-100 96-98 100 - - 96-98
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The 2015 Canon is going to be a benchmark for this historic estate. A blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, it was cropped at 42 hl/ha between 14-25 September and 30 September until 2 October respectively. The alcohol level is an average 14.5% with a pH 3.78, matured for 18 months in 70% new barrels (except for one barrel of Cabernet Franc that they will bottle separately - just to see). Lucid in color, it has an intense bouquet that exudes extraordinary purity with scents of raspberry, wild strawberry, limestone and violets. It makes a huge impression. The palate is medium-bodied and multilayered with vivacious red and black fruit infused with minerals. The acidity lends the tension here from start to finish, but what this Canon possesses unlike the dozens of other vintages that I have tasted, is an overarching structure that will see it age in similar fashion to past classics such as the 1929, 1947 and 1964. It lingers very long in the mouth, the oak just surfacing a little on the aftertaste, although that will be subsumed with time. This estate has been in the ascendant in recent vintages under winemaker John Kolasa and now Nicolas Audebert, together with a benevolent growing season, has elevated Canon to a level that few could have predicted.

Score: 98 - 100 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060

A gorgeous nose, broad, perfumed lifted St Emilion with bright pure blackberries, mineral and cloves notes. Bramble fruit with a dense sweet soft juicy texture. Beautiful balance. Long cashmere tannins, a dancing acidity and very good pure fruit length. Superb! The best Canon that we have ever tasted.

Score: 96 - 98 Albany Vintners

This is the greatest red ever produced here, even better than the great wines of the 1950s and 1960s. Full body yet tight and reserved. Superbly refined tannins. Yet rich and flamboyant. Fruity yet salty and minerally. Electric finish. Stone and chalk undertones. A wonder of a young wine.

Score: 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2015 Canon is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. An utterly mesmerizing wine, Canon has it all; alluring aromatics; towering structure, fabulous depth, and exceptional balance. The aromas and flavors are remarkably nuanced for such a big wine. Waves of graphite, exotic spices, smoke, herb, licorice, violets and crème de cassis appear at every angle as this utterly profound Saint-Émilion shows off its pedigree. So far I have tasted the 2015 four times. It has never been anything less than sensational. Quite simply, Canon is one of the few truly must-have wines of 2015. It is every bit that memorable.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Canon La Gaffeliere St Emilion £590 £430 - £550 93-95 - 96-97 - - 95-97
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The 2015 Canon la Gaffeliere is a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 19 September and 6 October at 37 hl/ha and matured in 55% new oak barrels. It has another "cool" bouquet, a common thread among Comte Stephan Von Neipperg's 2015s - very restrained at first, nicely focused and gradually revealing undergrowth and even a subtle charcoal scent (probably from the Cabernet Sauvignon). The palate is medium-bodied with black fruit laced with graphite and cedar, the Cabernet brothers really defining the character of this Saint Emilion and edging it towards say, more Figeac in style. This is a fascinating 2015, more cerebral than previous vintages that I have tasted over the years.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2045

Very tight yet shows wonderful cream and lemon rind texture. Full and powerful with walnut and spice character. Linear and focused. 55% merlot, 37% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2015 Canon La Gaffelière is seriously impressive. Like all of Stephan von Neipperg's wines in this vintage, the Canon La Gaffelière is endowed with considerable richness and a sense of vertical structure. The significant presence of Cabernet Franc gives the wine striking aromatic lift, which it very much needs. Mocha, red cherry jam and sweet floral notes give the 2015 its soaring perfume. This exceptionally beautiful Saint-Émilion is going to need time to fully come together, but it is super-impressive, even in the early going. The 2015 has been nothing short of magnificent on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. The presence of Cabernet Franc is felt in the wine's strong aromatic signature.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

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