Bordeaux 2014 – Pichon Lalande, Léoville Las Cases & Léoville Poyferré

From Pichon looking toward Latour blog size

The view from Pichon towards Latour ‘..one within touching distance of the First Growths..’ Neal Martin on the 2014

Two of the big names who made great wines in 2014 are out this morning. First came Château Pichon-Lalande (£625/12), its second wine, Réserve de la Comtesse (£215/12) is also available. Both wines show Pichon back on track and making great wines. We were really impressed when we tasted at the château. The pedigree of this fine terroir, neighbouring Latour, is clear. This is sophisticated and elegant and yet retains an incredibly sensuous feel in the mouth. Balancing superbly the grandeur and poise of Pauillac with huge depth of fruit. At this price it is below comparable vintages in the market and also looks quite well-placed alongside the 2014s from neighbours Pichon Baron and Pontet-Canet which were both more expensive.

And just a moment ago Château Léoville-Las-Cases (£895/12) entered the fray. This was a real stand-out for us in 2014 – and for many one of the very top wines; Neal Martin again was full of praise – ‘this is an outstanding wine from Jean-Hubert Delon and his team and dare I say, equal to some of the First Growths.’ This just makes it into the ‘cheapest available vintage on the market’ category – so deserves a look.

Late last night we had the release of another of the ‘Super Second’ Saint Julien Chateau Château Léoville-Poyferré at £430/12 – this comes out at the same price as Léoville Barton.

Jancis describes Poyferré as ‘Rather glorious really’ and Antonio Galloni notes ‘This is without question one of the stars of the vintage.’

In recent vintages the Poyferré has certainly out-performed Barton as an investment, due in part to the 100 points Mr Parker gave the 2009 – but in our eyes, this year, Barton just looks like the better wine.

Please see the complete list of releases, so far, here.

 

 

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2014 Bordeaux – Léoville Poyferré out this afternoon

This afternoon has seen the release of another of the ‘Super Second’ Saint Julien Chateaux – Léoville Poyferré.  At £430/12 – this comes out at the same price as Léoville Barton.

Jancis describes Poyferré as ‘Rather glorious really’ and Antonio Galloni notes ‘This is without question one of the stars of the vintage.’

In recent vintages the Poyferré has certainly out-performed Barton as an investment, due in part to the 100 points Mr Parker gave the 2009 – but in our eyes, this year, Barton just looks like the better wine.

Please see the complete list of releases, so far, here.

Léoville Poyferré

 

As ever you can order online – or contact the office on 020 7244 0522

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2014 Bordeaux – Domaine de Chevalier, Branaire Ducru & Clinet

Today’s releases include Branaire Ducru (285/12IB). This property has been extremely consistent for many years and fans of this lifted elegant style of Saint Julien (among which we count ourselves) will not be disappointed – it is supple, fine and long. But earlier vintages are available for less, and the 2008 is barely more.

Chateau Branaire Ducru

Chateau Branaire Ducru

In Pomerol we have Château Clinet (£425/12IB), which has changed hands and is getting lots of investment. It is a fine Pomerol in the making, and is cheaper than almost any other vintage in the market, so worth a look as a primeur buy. In terms of buying a drink, if we were looking for a Pomerol, Beauregard looks attractive at a mere £245, while Léoville Barton on the other side of the river looks a better way of spending £430.

The ever-improving Pessac-Léognan Domaine de Chevalier (Rouge) (£320/12IB) is also out this morning. We loved this wine, and you will not be disappointed, but you can buy the 2008 from us for delivery now at £330/12IB. The prices will eventually catch up with the quality here, so worth a punt on that basis? We can also offer the Domaine de Chevalier Blanc (£575/12IB). This is a great white Bordeaux, a true aristocrat of a wine, and a bit of a rarity, but if you really want it, older vintages are out there at not dissimilar prices.

Also out is Château Beauséjour Bécot (£325/12) which Neal Martin describes as ‘..one of Saint Emilion’s most sensual offerings.’ Yet Jancis Robinson found it ‘..astringent…’ We are not sure there is any great need to jump in on this.

The full list of all releases is here.

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2014 Bordeaux – Léoville Barton

This morning sees the release of one of Britain’s favourite clarets, Léoville Barton (£430). A second growth from one of the great terroirs of Saint Julien, Barton offers quality that vies with many much more expensive ‘super-second’ wines, and innate distinctiveness that seems to come out of this vineyard year after year. It’s a long-term wine in the context of the vintage, but if you want a something in your cellar that you will be really happy to find in fifteen to twenty years, and which will not have cost the earth, Barton could be it. We are not going to tell you you will make a heap of money out of it, but as future drink we know we’d like to have some.

Leoville Barton Bottles

At a lunch yesterday (we had Daniel Ravier from Domaine Tempier over) we were discussing releases so far and how to make a choice – and the relative merits of wines around the £350-£400 a case mark, and while we liked the look of Rauzan Ségla (£375) and Canon (£375) (and still do), it is fair to say that the table agreed we’d all rather find Grand Puy Lacoste (£375) and Haut Bailly (£400) in our cellars in ten to fifteen years’ time. Worth another look. Again, making money would depend on inflation, but we know we’d like to drink them. Much the same would apply to Brane Cantenac £310. We like this wine very much and the price seems fair.

Chateau Brane Cantenac

Chateau Brane Cantenac

Also out today, below the 2012 price for once, is Malescot Saint Exupéry (£290), and Fieuzal (£195) which offers value as ever.

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Bordeaux 2014: Nearly there! Pavie, Gaffeliere & Clos’ de L’Oratoire…

In Saint Emilion the wines of Gérard Perse, including Pavie (£1700) are now out, as are those of the Comte von Neipperg, including flagship Canon La Gaffeliere (£400), value buy Clos de l’Oratoire (£200)  as well as the supper-party drinker Castillon, d’Aiguilhe (£125) – these latter two come recommended – not to mention his super-cuvée La Mondotte (£1040).

Pavie St Emilion

These are joined by the Graves Malartic Lagraviere (£260) and in Pomerol by Feytit Clinet (£325).

Although we have championed some of the lesser wines as value for the drinker who does not mind tying up some cash now, we are increasingly thinking that the best thing that can be said about this campaign is that it is nearly over. The Bordelais have not understood, and another opportunity to get the en primeur market working again has been stifled by too many releases at prices that are really the retail prices for mature wines.

We will continue to point out wines where savings can be made against the price you would pay on delivery, but the old idea that you could buy two cases en primeur and sell one ten of fifteen years down the line to finance your purchase seems to be long gone.

If inflation takes off once more, wine has in the past proved a pretty good hedge, and these prices may one day seem as cheap to the current generation as the 1996s do now to the generation who bought them – they were thought very expensive at the time.

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