Some best values from Bordeaux Left Bank
The Pichon Lalande’s 2007 is a seductive, dark ruby/plum-tinged wine displaying sweet cocoa, white chocolate, black currant, and foresty notes, medium body, a velvety texture, and a delicious style. The final blend is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The wine always lightish, pleasing and elegant. RP89
The 2012 Lynch-Bages is deep ruby/purple with tell-tale cassis notes. Medium-bodied, but somewhat foursquare and monolithic, it has well above average concentration, impressive purity and nicely integrated tannins and wood. We prefer 2012 to 2011, as the 2012 is ripe, easy vintage with lots of classic Lynch Bages nose and taste. A relative low score, hence excellent value. RP 87. Cab, Merlot & Cab Franc.
Chateau d'Armailhac 5CC 2013 is fruity, soft, round and easygoing, this medium-bodied blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc with a touch of Petit Verdot is a charming, consumer-friendly red. 2013 is of much lower production and is quite ready now.
Château Pibran 2012, now under the guidance of Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch-Bages, produces with good complexity, weight and concentration. Its 9.5 hectares of vineyards stretch across a well-drained gravel bank and border those of Mouton-Rothschild, Lynch-Bages and Pontet Canet. They are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (5%). The wines are vinfied at Pichon-Baron. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and the wine is matured for 12-15 months in barriques (50% new). Pibran is classified as a cru bourgeois but is now producing wines the equal of many of its more highly classified neighbours. If you drink Pibran, you are drink some of the best to offer in Pauillac. RP90.
Awarded RP96+, on Lascombes 2010 WA writes, ‘The wine hits all cylinders in 2010. The average alcohol for the bottled wine is 14%. It has a gorgeously sweet nose of creme de cassis, spring flowers, subtle barbecue smoke and charcoal followed by full body, beautiful intensity, great purity, stature and length. The influence of any oak is minimal, despite the fact that 90% new French oak was used. Needless to say, this is an example of modern-styled winemaking at its finest, and arguments that such wines will not age well, do not represent their terroir , and are soul-less, are totally groundless. Give it 5 or so years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years. This is one of the great Margaux wines of the vintage. Probably the greatest Lascombes made to date, the 2010 is a blend of 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot. The production from this huge estate totals nearly 400,000 bottles.’
GG93, JS93. We thought Rauzan Gassies 2010 is understated, as always, fortunate or unfortunate. GG says that Rauzan Gassies 2010 is intense, dark crimson. Profound nose of fresh red and black fruits. Subtle oak. Powerful, warm palate framing refined, evident stuffing. A robust, generous wine with good fruit expression. Touch of firmness on the finish.
Chateau Tour de Mon 2011 is awarded WS88. Don’t misinterpret and thinks this is a lousy margaux. Château La Tour de Mons will thrill any amateur of the Margaux appellation while still at a very decent price. It is a vibrant wine, with a lovely fruity structure (endowed from vintage 2011), floral aromas, sweet spices on the finish and polished tannins (endowed from Soussans). Definitely a great value Margaux! Cabernet based, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Awarded RP88, Brio de Cantenac 2012 is easy to Drink. A rather firmly structured, masculine style of wine in 2012, with a dense, opaque ruby/purple color. The wine reveals a certain angularity, with hard tannin, but medium body and excellent purity. Cabernet based, with Merlot and a dash of cabernet Franc.
Awarded RP93, Les Pagodes de Cos 2010 is as good, if not better than 2009. This wine exhibits beautiful, silky tannins as well as sweet, rich mulberry and black currant fruit with hints of spring flowers, licorice and subtle toast. A full-bodied, opulent and -ideal- second wine. Cabernet based of 62% and remaining Merlot. Lots of drive and power.
RP94. Dame De Montrose 2010 is a superb second wine, opulent and substantively textured; it shares more in common with a flamboyant. Dense purple, its oodles of fruit, luxurious mouthfeel and terrific finish. 64% Cab & 36% Merlot. Ripe, floral, very St Estephe, nose similar to first wine, generous palate.
Sarget de Gruaud 2000. Low score, hence Great value. Meaty, powerful and claretic. Very different.
A little damp-wooded on nose, old school on palate, this Les Fief de La Grange 2010 but has great balance and completeness on the palate.
GG93, this Bernard Magrez’s Tour de Carnet 2011 shows deep garnet-red. Nose of ultra ripe fruit, ripe plum, cherries in brandy and subtle oak. Concentrated palate with very evident, ripe tannins framed by fat. Harmoniously powerful. Wonderful classic style. 2011 is structured.
Tim Atkins 91 and JS90, this 2011 Poujeaux is deep in color with spice, cassis, blackberry, flowers and truffle in the nose. With good concentration of flavor and ripe tannins. For the more experienced or fans of Llafite stylistics
JS99, Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2011 is a white that is dense and structured with amazing honey and dried-fruit character. Mango, pineapple and papaya. Chalky undertones from the soil. Full and chewy with a beautiful depth of fruit and intensity. So much going on here. Phenomenal depth of fruit. Why drink grand cru Burgundy? Better in 2017. Stunning scores like Tim Atkins 95, WS95, WE96, Jeff Leve 95 and overall Wine Searcher 94. Dirt cheap and good.
AS good as 2011, Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2012 gives an exciting wine with lift, energy and freshness that really lets you experience the ripe, grapefruit, lemon zest, honeydew. Preference for 2011 or 2012 is a matter of stylistics. Blending 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon produced JS95, WE95, JMQ93, GG95.
An RP92, Gazin 2006 is a full-bodied, powerful wine. The oak more restrained than it normally is in a young Gazin. Copious quantities of sweet plum, fig, and black cherry fruit are intermixed with cedar and dried herbs in a medium to full-bodied, rich, long, impressively endowed style. This is an outstanding wine, with enough stuffing, structure, and density
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