Everyday Bordeaux Wines, 2015 En Primeurs(Part 1)


It is easy to forget about Cru Bourgeois(CB). 10 to 20 years ago, wine people seemed to have made some place for these humble chateaux. Hong Kong customers of those older days seemed to have appreciated these little gems. It would seem that these old soldiers are in these days, we are afraid, facing a losing battle against Second Wines.

Riding on the some of their great performance in this 2015 vintage EP tasting we did in Bordeaux, we just wish to write more about CBs and recall memories of some of them?

One of the most interesting release 2015 is Margaux CBS CHATEAU LABEGORCE 2015 (JS 93-94, WE 94-96, DECANTER 90, WS87-97, RG 18/20). The "turn-around" really took place in 2010 after the arrival of Consultant Claude Gros, and the efforts of the entire team of Labegorce are really paying off now with a spectacular 2015 vintage. We have been writing about Labergorce since its 2005 vintage. We have every bit of confidence about this wine.

Claude Gros also consults also for La Mauriane ST EMILION PUISSEGUIN - CHATEAU LA MAURIANE 2015(JMQ 92/100), which is a tiny estate of less than 7ha located on a great limestone terroir, ORGANIC/BIO since 2004 and very well driven by its owner Pierre Taïx.

Jancis Robinson in her Purple Pages covers Claude Gros for some details. Given his very generic and flexible treatment to wine making, he will be talked often. Watch out for Mr. Gros work.

Also very relevant is the discreet but very consistent Cru Bourgeois CH. CAMBON LA PELOUSE 2015 JS 90-91, which vines are located between 2 prestigious Crus Classés CH. GISCOURS and CH. CANTEMERLE, consulted by Hubert De Bouard, CAMBON is undoubtedly a sleeper of the vintage, and cheaper than 2010. There are lots of supports of this wine with the Hong Kong Chapter Commanderie de Bordeaux. We attended various tasting events and so we have been writing about this wine since the 2000 vintage. We always like this very consistent wine.

Some interesting releases this morning, starting with an overachieving Bordeaux BORDEAUX Chateau La Cour d'Argent 2015 JS 90-91 produced by the competent Denis Barraud (Lynsolence, St Emilion Grand Cru), a real bargain especially in the outstanding vintages like 2009-2010 and now 2015. We have a special attachment to this wine because we have been writing about this wine when it was in its infancy. We all love the pure, fruit-driven and modern style-something which is not easy to achieve like 20 years ago when customers are more after the older styles.

The young and dynamic Paul Garcin has recently taken over the management of CHATEAU HAUT BERGEY 2015 and his orientations are clear: driving the estate in Biodynamic and step by step, plots by plots, on the Organic path. Paul Garcin is also very aware of the commercial aspects and besides the fact that he wants to bring HAUT BERGEY at its best quality level, he kept prices very reasonable this year, especially on the red! Priced at the same than En-primeurs 2014. The 2015

PESSAC LEOGNAN Chateau Haut Bergey Blanc is JS 92-93 and the PESSAC LEOGNAN Chateau Haut Bergey Rouge JS 92-93. Admirable efforts. We have tasted this wine since its 1999 vintage. Recently we write about the 2004 vintage.

Followed by a terrific estate from a single vineyard close to the river and sitting across from Sociando, Chateau Charmail 2015is definitely a sleeper of the vintage this year, thanks to Olivier Seze and the family d'Halluin. We have tasted this wine since the 1995 vintage. With a claretic charm of its own, HAUT MEDOC Chateau Charmail is JS 90-91. This wine is classically Bordeaux Cb in style. Robert Parker used to mention, “A wine close to perfection”, and “Charmail is definitely one of the Haut Medoc stars” and it is “One of the most consistent Crus Bourgeois in the last 10-15 years”. We agree. This wine tastes good and always well made even in bad vintages.

Margaux CH. d'ARSAC 2015 this year, which is considered to be way above 2009 & 2010, a very good Margaux at the most affordable price in this appellation. MARGAUX Chateau d’Arsac is WE 92-94 , RENE GABRIEL 17/20. Again, that is pretty in the same quality range of the little, claretic Margaux Chateau La Gurgue 2015.

The most affordable but consistent Saint Estèphe of this campaign, consulted by Hubert de Bouard, and really well driven by its owner Didier Marcelis' SAINT ESTEPHE - CHATEAU SERILHAN 2015 JS 89-90, whose 2008 was well-covered by Tasting Team members.

Not to be missed is the HAUT MEDOC - CHATEAU PEYRABON 2015, one WE 92-94, which we all love.

And still available but will be soon sold out as we are told during the Boirdeaux EP2015 tasting,...... a rival from the neighboring Chateau Cantemerle, Chateau d'Arsac & Chateau de Malleret, a property dating back from the 16th century and belonging to the famous Cordier Family (Chateau TALBOT) is HAUT MEDOC - CHATEAU SENEJAC 2015 JS 92-93. Team wrote about the 2009 vintage which Is also a JS92.

There are quite a number of worth-mentioning’s. LISTRAC Chateau Fourcas Dupre which is elegant, not the tough type; MEDOC Chateau Les Grands Chênes 2015 JS 90-91 we wrote about the 2008 vintage earlier is excellent; the quite read FRONSAC Chateau de La Huste 2015 JS 91-92 WS 90-93; a Chinese investment HAUT MEDOC CHATEAU LANESSAN 2015 JS 92-93; Beychevelle connected Chateau Beaumont 2015; MEDOC CHATEAU LOUSTEAUNEUF 2015 which has a strong supporting base here in the more connoisseur type of tasters in the wine scene; high cost-performance COTES DE Bordeaux Chateau MONT-PERAT ROUGE 2015 and BORDEAUX Chateau MONT-PERAT BLANC 2015.

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