Phelan Segur 2019
Posted by Admin | Mon 06 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

PHELAN SEGUR 2019 - £330.00 ZR 16++; JS 95-96; JA 94 This is certainly an improvement to the usual hard core St Estephe one finds at Phelan. More matt than bright, but good structure, some very fine tannins and soft blue fruit on the palate, prunes and damsons all the way. This will certainly be a very decent drop of wine in about 6- 8 years. Pretty decent buy at £330 and might have an investment potential as well - the neighbour Calon was released at more than double the price. Well done, an easy 16+ with 17 potential. Another ...

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Lynch Bages, Pauillac 2019
Posted by Admin | Mon 06 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

LYNCH BAGES, Pauillac. £395.00 per 6 bottles. ZR N/A;  NM 95-97; JS 96-97; AG 96-98; JA 98; As Armailhac, not tasted by us, but at this price and with these scores, free money.  We have very limited stock as I did not buy any last year due to high prices, so first come first served.   The 2019 Lynch-Bages is intense on the nose with layers of blackberry, bilberry, cedar, pencil shavings and light mint aromas defining it as a Pauillac. Very focused and I noticed it gaining delineation with aeration. The palate is very smooth and harmonious, the acidity ...

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Talbot St Julien 2019
Posted by Admin | Mon 06 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

TALBOT, St. Julien. £420.00 per 12 bottles.  ZR - 17+; JD 93-95; AG 91-92; NM 93-95;  JS 94-95; JA 93; This is a great Talbot, but even if I did not think so it makes no difference.  At this price it is a gift, so I would strongly suggest taking 5 cases or more. I cannot think of a safer place to park some pennies than this. The wine itself is a classic St Julien, deep purple, shiny and impressive in all aspects of it. Small black berries dominate nose and palate, with just a hint of wood in the ...

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Armailhac Pauillac 2019
Posted by Admin | Mon 06 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

ARMAILHAC, Pauillac.  £360.00 per 12 bottles. ZR – N/A; NM 92-94; JD 92-94; L P-B – 91-93; JS 92-93; JA 93. I did not manage to get a sample of Armailhac this year, but feel that it needs to be included in this offer.  It is made by the Mouton team which by all accounts seem to have excelled in 2019, but most importantly released below any other physical vintage of Armailhac on the market including the 2013. This is free money!   The 2019 d'Armailhac was the last vintage made in the old winery that has since been demolished ...

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Langoa Barton 2019
Posted by Admin | Sun 05 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

LANGOA BARTON 2019 - £350.00 per 12 bottles (YES THIS IS THE PRICE FOR 12 BOTTLES!!!) ZR 17+; NM 93-95; JS 95-96; AG 91-93; JA Decanter 94; JL 17 Those of you who have followed my en primeur campaigns since way back in 1996, know that I have a soft spot for Barton properties. There is something very refined, classy and classic about them.  However, their pricing policy since 2015 had been such that I could not recommend them as a good buy (despite the fact that the wines were up to the usual high standard).  In 2019 we are back ...

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Chateau Labegorce 2019
Posted by Admin | Fri 03 Jul 2020 | En Primeur

CHATEAU LABEGORCE 2019 £240.00 per 12 bott ZR – 17, JD – 93.95; LPB – 89-91; NM – 93-95; JS – 91-92; AG 91-93; JA – 92 Pleas from my last tasting sessions were answered and we eventually got the sample.  Labegorce is on a roll and by my calculation one of the great bargains, not only in the commune of Margaux but in the whole of Bordeaux. Bright shiny and purple, jumping out of the glass, decent concentration and focus of autumn fruit. Quite rich on the palate, damsons and blackberry jam. Decent wood balance and fine tannins in the back. This will drink very well ...

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Pavie Maquin, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

PAVIE MAQUIN, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, 2019, - not released yet £ 500 est ZR 16+, JS 98-99 Usual, highly polished Macquin with some mint on the nose, but that is probably Derenocourt’s yeast selection. Interesting none-the-less; would need to be below £500 per case to be of any interest despite extremely high Suckling rating. Really classy red, offering blueberries, minerals, salt, limestone and light fresh herbs. It’s full-bodied, but so refined. Fine layers of fruit and tannins. It’s like millefeuille. The 2018 is more exuberant, but I love the elegance and structure here. Subtle and complex. 78% merlot, 20% ...

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Clos Fourtet, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

CLOS FOURTET, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe,  2019 ZR 17, JS 95-96 Not bad at all, quite big and thick. Old style (Parker pleasing), happy wine. Alcohol seem to dominate background, but not badly balanced. Possibly bit too much ripeness and concentration, but looking well. Can’t really figure out how Suckling can rate it this much lower than Macquin, but there we go. A beautiful core of ripe fruit in the centre palate with deep, dark-chocolate undertones. It’s full-bodied with layers of fruit and ripe tannins. Flavourful finish.                             ...

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Leoville Poyferre, St Julien 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

LEOVILLE POYFERRE, St Julien - £305.00 per 6 bott ib ZR 18;  JS 96-97 Lighter, with more red fruit than Beychevelle, but again, very fine drop (as one would expect for Poyferre). St Julien seem to have got the upper hand in 2019 in terms of tannin refinement.  Even with softer fruit expression in Poyferre, there is solid middle palate. Kind of an "iron bar wrapped in velvet" feeling. Not much fruit definition at this stage, just overall feeling of structure and intensity.  Very fine coating on the palate, with good wood background. This will make a great classic, claret ...

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Beychevelle 2019, St Julien
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

BEYCHEVELLE 2019, St Julien, £325.00 per 6 bott ib ZR 18; JS 93-94; JA 94 Since 2010 Beychevelle is way out-batting it’s lowly ranking as 4th Growth. This is now well with 2nd growth quality level finally delivering potential of it’s position next to Ducru Beaucaillou. Textbook, high class St Julien with black fruit, extremely fine grain tannins and great crispy acidity in the back. Power and elegance combined. Very refined and more intellectual than hedonistic, very memorable. I will keep some of this for myself. An easy 18.   Rich, layered red with lots of ripe fruit and creamy, ...

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Pichon Comtesse 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

PICHON COMTESSE 2019 - NOT RELEASED YET - ESTIMATE £960.00 Zr - 18++; JS 98-99; JA 98 What can I say, I like Pichon Comtesse. This year much more than Pichon Baron, which was tasted at the same time and did not really even qualify for a tasting note – perhaps the sample was not up to scratch. Still, I can only write about the wine in front of me. Comtesse is back to its best, with extra fine tannins, purity and elegance one should expect from top end Pauillac; refined and balanced. It seems to go on forever. Right now the pure, crunchy, ...

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Giscours, Margaux 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

GISCOURS, MARGAUX - £420.00 PER 12 BOTT IB ZR 17-  JS 96-97; JA 94 A very decent Giscours! Cabernet Sauvignon, which was harvested very late in 2019 makes 65% of the final blend. Very classic left bank. Reminds me of the old “pre-Parkerise” style of wine making here. Black fruit dominates with solid core of well structured tannins and tobacco/ dark wood in the finish. Touch stalky which complements it very well. This will need 5-6 years and will drink well for further 20. Very solid and classic. Happy to give this 17- and expect to improve once bottled; and it ...

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Marquis D' Alaesme, Margaux, 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

MARQUIS D' ALAESME, MARGAUX, 2019 - ESTIMATE 300+ ZR 16+; Bit confused about the fact that they sent me a sample of Marquis which I normally do not buy and did not send the sample of Labegorce which I regularly buy, but such is life.  Hopefully, Labegorce in on the way. Still, a very decent effort from the team here. Bit more old school with higher tannins and some green undertones, but with fine grain tannins and quite a good length. This will need a bit more time but will be a very good classic Margaux. Price still not released so, ...

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Meyney, St. Estephe 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

MEYNEY, ST. ESTEPHE. £225.00 ZR 16; This was released some 15% below my bottom estimate, which makes it a seriously good buy. Classic, bright purple, fine texture and balance; a step up on Cantemerle for sure.  Black cherries dominate, with fine tannin in the background.  Will drink very well from around 2028 for some 10 y.  Deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Meyney strides confidently out of the glass with classic notes of cassis, warm plums and baked blackberries plus hints of cedar chest, bay leaves, pencil lead and clove oil plus a waft of underbrush. The medium to full-bodied ...

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Cantemerle 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

CANTEMERLE 2019, £200 ZR 16-; JA 92; Again, very classic, old school claret. Hints of green leaf in the background. Decent structure and finish with fine crisp acidity . Will make a fine lunchtime claret in about 6- 8 years and will drink for further 10. Very decent value at £ 200 per 12 bott considering that it is about the cheapest Cantemerle you can find on the market a very decent buy. Enticing aromatics, clear cassis fruits, astringency on the tannins which bodes well for the ageing as they also have good pliability. Not quite up with their very ...

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Domaine De Chevalier 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER - £247.00 per 6 bott ib ZR16; JS 96-97 Domain de Chevalier is one of the most respected estates in Pessac and  Bordeaux in general. It is regularly rated in the high 90’s and I genuinely do not know 1 single wine professional who is not in love with it….other than yours truly. Don’t get me wrong, wines are decent and well made, but just do not do much for me at least not enough to get excited about it ( the red, white is another story). I always find it bit too light ( without being ...

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Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

SMITH HAUT LAFITTE ROUGE - £390 per 6  botts. ZR 18+ (+); JS 96-97 Now this is the Pessac that I do like. Cathiard family has run this organically for some while producing elegant, fine wines with intensity and concentration without being overblown - balance is the point of the exercise here. More red than black fruit, soft and round with fine polished, cuddly tannins. This is a great example of ripeness and elegance in one place. More hedonistic than intellectual and I am happy with that. Very pure, this will be joy to drink from 2028 for some 10 ...

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Le Thil, Pessac Leognan 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

LE THIL, PESSAC LEOGNAN 2019 - £200 ZR 16+; (Released at 20% below my estimated £240 per case). Since 2016 my favourite little wine of Bordeaux at sub £20 per bottle. Tiny property next to Smith Haut Lafitte and run by the same team. This brings a smile to your face from a word go. 95 % merlot, soft, happy and juicy; summer black cherries and berries dominate all the way. Exceptional concentration for a little drop of vino. Ok, it will not last 20y + and it will never stop the planet, but boy o boy, this is real joy. I ...

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Fleur Cardinale 2019
Posted by Admin | Tue 16 Jun 2020 | En Primeur

FLEUR CARDINALE 2019 St Emilion Grand Cru Classe £290.00 per 12 bott ib. ZR – 17; JS – 95-96 First samples of 2019 Bordeaux en primeur have landed on our tasting desk. Fleur Cardinale at it's best. Deep bright purple, small black berries dominate, bright and crunchy mid palate, with extra fine grain tannins in the background. Will be gorgeous from 2030. Very well done Ludovic and team.THIS IS ON THE LEVEL OF THEIR 2009. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!   The 2019 Fleur Cardinale is ripe, bold and luscious, with striking depth and resonance. Inky dark fruit, graphite, lavender, spice, menthol and ...

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Bordeaux 2017 Initial Report And Releases - April 2018
Posted by Zoran Ristanović | Thu 26 Apr 2018 | En Primeur

It is late April and that can mean only one thing - the Bordeaux en primeur circus is back in town. It's been the tradition since 1996 that I have spent a week in Bordeaux tasting barrel samples of the latest vintage.  This time we were tasting the "weird and wonderful" 2017 vintage. The weird part comes to play thanks to the freak frost in late Spring which devastated number of vineyards in St Emilion, Pessac Leognan and central Medoc. Large number of properties lost over 30% of the crop with some, like Fleur Cardinale losing 98% and some really ...

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Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur - First Update
Posted by Zoran Ristanović | Sat 10 Jun 2017 | En Primeur

Good afternoon good people and hope you are all well. These are trying times and somehow the importance of Bordeaux en primeur seems to pale in importance compared with the events that are shaping our World.   The terrible event from last Saturday stopped me in my writing "tracks" (hence this update is a bit late) but, we have to try and keep going on as usual. They can't win!!! By the time I started thinking about Bordeaux again, the Election was here and I thought, let's see how that show ends... All fun and games but, no winner... "Play ...

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Burgundy 2015 Report And Offer
Posted by Admin | Sat 01 Apr 2017 | En Primeur

Good afternoon good people, it's been more than 2 months since the initial 2015 Burgundy tastings and I have had enough time to mull it over and come up with few thoughts about the vintage. There was a lot of noise about it in January and phrases like "best ever", "vintage of the century" were thrown about by all and sundry and,  in the same breath as, "it is expensive but worth every penny", "you will never be able to buy it again", etc... Perhaps I have become a real grumpy old man but, that reminded me very much of ...

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Bordeaux 2015
Posted by Zoran Ristanović | Sat 28 May 2016 | En Primeur

Good evening good people. It’s another Bank Holiday and another Bordeaux update. Last two weeks were quite hectic with new releases on the Bordeaux market and, as usual, I did not want to bombard you with the updates. Now that Bordeaux merchants and Chateau owners have gone to Hong Kong for this week’s Vinexpo, I have tried to make a sense of it all. At the risk of repeating myself, 2015 is a very, very decent vintage with some very beautiful wines made, some of which really should be in every decent wine cellar. The main characteristics of the vintage ...

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Bordeaux 2013
Posted by Admin | Tue 24 Nov 2015 | En Primeur

Good afternoon good people. I hope you are enjoying this sunny weekend. As you know, this is that time of the year when everyone is talking about Bordeaux; how great it is, how wonderful the wines are, how, even if you need a second mortgage just to buy a case, it is definitely worth it and so on. Woops, sorry……. Actually, this year, no one is talking about Bordeaux and well, there isn’t really much to talk about. 2013 was as close to a disaster as a vintage could be for a vine grower. There are in principle 5 different ...

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Bordeaux 2014 – The Wines
Posted by Admin | Wed 28 Oct 2015 | En Primeur

To see my full report, click HERE. I have divided the wines in to 3 groups: 1. GREAT VALUE EVERYDAY DRINKING WINES – these are “little” wines selected purely for the value they represent – essentially, less than £ 20 per bottle when shipped inc duty and vat. LALANDE BORIE, St Julien; ZR16+; DECANTER – 16.75; –  £145.00 – THE BEST VALUE OF THE VINTAGE This is second wine of Ducru Beaucaillou. The same care and attention goes into this as in Ducru, only the fruit comes from younger vineyards. Great effort; the wine is on Cru Classe level, very refined and elegant with ...

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Bordeaux 2014 Report
Posted by Admin | Thu 22 Oct 2015 | En Primeur

It is the end of April and the Bordeaux En Primeur circus is back in town.  Following a disastrous 2013 vintage (both in quality and pricing), the 2014 was going to be a “make or break” vintage for the future of Bordeaux En Primeur. And, it did not start well. I will not bore you with the gory climatic details. But, it was cold and rainy for the most of the year, especially in July and August when vines need the sun in order to produce the goodies. By the end of August it looked as if it was going to ...

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Bordeaux 2012 - Left Bank
Posted by Admin | Wed 13 May 2015 | En Primeur

I am sure that most of you have already received numerous reports on the 2012 Bordeaux vintage. In principle, there are lot of good wines there but you have to pick extremely selectively. Overall, the Merlot (the right bank) did much better than the Cabernet on the left bank and so most of the fine wines from the 2012 vintage are Merlot based. As a result, only a very few of the best managed estates have produced classic wines. Nevertheless there are several left bank wines that you could consider. I found myself disagreeing with Parker in most reviews, but there we are. ...

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Bordeaux 2012 - Right Bank
Posted by Admin | Wed 13 May 2015 | En Primeur

Here are our recommendations for the wines that are worth buying this year. The dominance of Merlot on the right bank means that the best of the bargains are to be found here. To see our Report on the 2012 Vintage SAINTAYME, St Emilion, ZR – 15.  £100.00 per case This is a great little wine made by Denis Durantou of Eglise Clinet fame and great value. Soft, summer red berries dominate throughout with well balanced oak in the background. It will drink every well when shipped for some 6-8 y. Highly recommended. MONTLANDRIE, Cotes de Castillon, ZR 16-;  RP 87-88   £145.00 ...

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Bordeaux 2012 Report
Posted by Admin | Wed 13 May 2015 | En Primeur

Good day to you good people. I hope you all enjoyed the sunny bank holiday weekend – and that it won’t be the last of the sunshine we’ll see this year! I am sure that most of you have already received numerous reports on the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, so I will try and be as brief as possible.  To start with, I will paraphrase the big man himself, Mr Robert Parker, in his initial assessment of the vintage: “… there are lot of good wines there, but you have to pick extremely selectively …“. The emphasis is on “extremely selectively”!!! Why is this? Well, it ...

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