En Primeur Bordeaux 2015

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Climens Sauternes/Barsac £515 £420 - £650 96-98 - - 18 - -
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The 2015 Climens was tasted from different lots (after naughty Bérénice Lurton had successfully duped me with her April Fool's joke by saying that she had done a final blend). The fruit was picked from 8 September until 4 October at 21 hl/ha. The residual sugar is 130 grams per liter this year. Aromas that spring from samples included acacia honey, orange blossom, grapefruit and a little frangipane, all beautifully defined and gaining intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous opening, a dash of spice on the entry, lively in the mouth with ginger and a dash of pepper tincturing the honeyed fruit, long and sustained as it fans out with vigor. This is a fabulous Climens from Bérénice Lurton and her team, and as usual, those with wise heads will opt to lay bottles down for 15 years to get the most from this special Barsac. It is destined to be a great Climens - and that's no April Fool's joke.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2060

Of the 22 very promising ingredients, many are big and muscular, while some are particularly spicy. As usual, Bérénice Lurton did not show the final blend, which is likely to be about 14.3% alcohol.

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Clinet Pomerol £780 £450 - £850 Low Stock 95-97 94-96 99-100 17 94-97 94-96
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The 2015 Clinet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, cropped at 37 hl/ha and matured in 65% new oak. It was picked from 15 September commencing with the young Merlot vines, and finishing between 28 and 1 October with the very old Merlots and the Cabernets. A couple of specific features to note: the alcohol level is 14.3%, perhaps a little lower than some of Clinet's peers and also a IPT of up to 88, higher than 2010 even. Broody at first, it eventually develops a perfumed bouquet as it opens, with black fruit, melted tar and a brush of black truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. There is plenty of nascent energy in this Clinet, spicier than other vintages that I have tasted over the years, linear at first and then fanning out towards the finish with a dash of white pepper on the aftertaste. It is a very harmonious Clinet, one that I suspect will favor those with the nous to age this Pomerol for 5-7 years, even though it might tempt you earlier. This is a great Pomerol from Ronan Laborde and his team.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2025-2050

90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. Picked between 15th September (Merlot) and 1st October (Cabernets). Deep colour with a lovely aromatics, ripe black cherries and blackforest gateau. Lots of dense and opulent fruit with vivid acidity. Good concentration without being overdone and the tannins are creamy and smooth building to a dry finish.

Score: 94 - 96 Albany Vintners

OMG. This is really dense and rich with velvety tannins and so much fruit and length. Super concentration and structure. Greatest Clinet ever. No jam. Just class.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Purplish. Almost overripe nose. Very velvety texture. More savoury than sweet on the palate. Hugely ambitious. Rather drying tannins on the end. Not my style but a very good example of the super-concentrated style.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2038

The fleshy plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors sail along, gilded with a hint of anise and backed by velvety tannins. Shows serious length already and latent depth. A hedonistic wine in the making.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Clinet is an exotic, totally arresting beauty. Powerful, unctuous and inky to the core, the 2015 exudes richness. There is nothing subtle at all in this full-throttle, towering Pomerol. And yet all the elements are very nicely balanced. Blackberry jam, crème de cassis, licorice, graphite, dark spices, licorice and bittersweet chocolate are fused into rich, port-like finish. The 2015 is a bit extreme, but it is also compelling. The blend is approximately 90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, while new oak is around 65%. The Clinet is unusual in that the Cabernet portion favors Cabernet Sauvignon over Franc. Tasted two times.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos du Marquis St Julien £385 £300 - £380 91-93 92-94 93-94 17 91-94 90-93
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The 2015 Clos du Marquis is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc cropped at 39 hl/ha between 22 September and 9 October, a total of 15 days of picking. Matured in 50% new oak, it has a pure and harmonious bouquet with blackberry, sous-bois and subtle tobacco aromas that gently unfold in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin in the mouth, a keen line of acidity, fine precision here with a mineral-rich finish that exudes terroir expression. This is a great Clos du Marquis from Jean-Hubert Delon and his team, a Clos du Marquis with swagger.

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

Made by the team behind Leoville Lascases, Clos du Marquis is a separate parcel of vines on the opposite side of the road, on different soil structure than its more famous big brother. Clos du Marquis has a big following of its own given that quality is often better than many Classed Growths, and with the introduction of a new second wine La Petite Marquise (15-20% of the crop), Clos du Marquis is poised to gain in weight and quality. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, from vines averaging 30 years of age. Floral and impressive on the nose with a beautiful mouthfeel and good depth of well-integrated black currants and liquorice. A big step up in quality this year.

Score: 92 - 94 Albany Vintners

Very fine Clos du Marquis and very pure. The cabernet sauvignon really comes through here with extremely pretty tannins and a mineral, dark fruit aftertaste. Clear and precise. Refined.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Very dark crimson. Very fragrant and much more concentrated and rich than Petite Marquise. Cool and fresh. Really very sophisticated. Bravo! Compete and sappy. 13.8%

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

Gorgeous, with anise, plum, blackberry and sweet tobacco notes already melded together seamlessly. Fleshy and inviting through the finish, with long, velvety tannins that are the hallmark of 2015. This is a delicious wine in the making.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Le Clos du Marquis emerges exclusively from 30+ year-old vines on the property. Lavender, violet, plum, crème de cassis, spice and menthol meld together in a deep, beautifully layered Saint-Julien built on spherical texture and juiciness. Silky tannins give the 2015 its up-front, racy personality, while sweet floral notes add aromatic lift on the finish. This is a very pretty and complete wine. Tasted two times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Clos Fourtet St Emilion £715 £550 - £700 Low Stock 95-97 92-95 96-97 17 94-97 93-96
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The 2015 Clos Fourtet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, and it was picked between 18 September and 12 October. It has a voluminous bouquet with sweet cassis and blueberry aromas, rather smudged with violets coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannin, ripe and voluptuous, dark chocolate infusing the red and black fruit with a touch of mint on the structured, graceful finish. What a fabulous Saint Emilion from Mathieu Cuvelier and his team - Clos Fourtet with breeding and class. It deserves 5-8 years in bottle.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2045

Situated right at the old entrance to the town of St Emilion on pure limestone, Clos Fourtet has a distinctively floral character. Sweetly ripe dark fruits and some minerally, stony notes on the finish. Very good.

Score: 92 - 95 Albany Vintners

This is very velvety and flamboyant with a sexy mouthfeel and rich and delicious fruit. Exotic and more-ish. All there. So much fun to taste.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A Stéphane Derenoncourt wine. Lively and fresh on the nose. Great balance and fruit. Dry on the end but very classic.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2036

Enticing, with raspberry, plum and boysenberry fruit taking hold from the start, followed by lively spice and black tea notes. The finish is threaded with a fine chalky spine. Focused and refined.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2015 Clos Fourtet is unusually rich and sumptuous in this vintage. Exotic aromatics, a huge core of fruit and ample, soft contours give the 2015 much of its striking personality. Although quite racy and unctuous today, the 2015 is going to need a number of years to shed its baby fat before it is even close to showing all it has to offer. This is a compelling effort from the Cuvelier family and consulting winemakers Stéphane Derenoncourt and Julien Lavenu. The blend is 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Tasted two times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Clos l'Eglise Pomerol £590 - Low Stock 94-96 - 92-93 - 92-95 88-91
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The 2015 Clos l'Eglise was picked on 8, 14 and 23 September apropos the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc on 23 September. Co-proprietor Hélène Garçin-Léveque told me that for the first time, Clos l'Eglise was one of the first Pomerols to be picked since they felt that the grapes were fully ripe. So why wait? That clearly is vindicated by the bouquet with ebullient, ripe blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, almost Burgundy-like in terms of its purity. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, tensile tannin, brimming over with energy, tightly packed towards the more linear finish than usual. This is a Clos l'Eglise built for long-term bottle ageing, though I suspect it will actually come round a little earlier than usual. A wonderful Pomerol, almost understated, but full of personality.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2050

A soft and fruity red with walnut, plum and earth aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, clean finish. Refined and pretty.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Offers a delicious core of plum, raspberry and cherry preserve notes, backed by flavors of apple wood and licorice that still need to integrate fully. A solid wine in the making.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The Clos L'Eglise is the best of Hélène Garcin's 2015s. There is good depth and persistence here, although like all the other wines, the style is decidedly delicate and understated, especially for the year. Dark red stone fruits, licorice, leather and smoke add subtle nuances of complexity. The 2015 offer good freshness and purity, although it is a bit light. Clos L'Eglise is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, picked on September 8 and September 14/15 respectively.

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

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