It has been a slow start in Bordeaux in terms of releases, there is an almost palpable sense of tension as prices are considered closely by the Chateaux. This is certainly make or break time for the campaign, when prices so far have been too high, the market has responded with zero interest, but for well-priced, good drinking wines like Meyney and Sénéjac there has been some encouraging take-up. As we have already said there are some good wines this year, but they must be at the right price to make it worthwhile buying now..
There are two releases so far this week, which have caught our eye. Both estates we follow each year with interest. The first is Lafon-Rochet who have continued their run of good vintages with another impressive wine in 2014.
At £220 this will be a good drink, if you follow the estate and have space at home to store it on arrival it is recommended, however, with other wines of similar calibre already physically in the market it is hard to get too excited – this price is just not compelling enough if you then have to pay further storage charges before it is mature and ready to drink.
2014 CHÂTEAU LAFON-ROCHET 4ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe – £220/case of 12
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Lovely aromatic nose, cassis and more brambly fruit. Great feel, quite broad, in the dense middle there is an almost confected note to the dark plum fruit, deliciously ripe and nicely spicy. Silky, but intense core, lots to get your teeth into.
The other release at less than half the price is Pierre Taïx’s
2014 CHÂTEAU LA MAURIANE Puisseguin Saint Emilion – £105/case of 12
Regular Primeur buyers from L&S will know that we have been banging the drum for this wine since 2001, and this tiny property in Puisseguin Saint Emilion continues to produce wines of remarkable value, Pierre works fastidiously in his bio-dynamic vineyards to produce perfectly ripe and healthy fruit. With the trials of a most unusual season in 2014 (with September being hotter and drier than August), he really had his work cut out, but the care and attention has paid off.
The 2014 is another great, really well made wine. There is a good deep ruby colour, the nose is full of ripe, soft fruit and delicate spice. Having just finished its malolactic fermentation when we tasted, Pierre explains this is not showing as generously as it has been, nonetheless you can still feel the class here. In the mouth the plumminess is gorgeously generous, a firm thick slab of lovely textured, ripe, but not overly baggy dark, cooked fruit. This is really not a massive wine, there is lovely poise and the finish with an attractive feel of lightly grippy tannins is really well-balanced.
When all is said and done and the taxes have been paid this will still be delivered to your door for under £13.00 a bottle – and on that basis – it is highly recommended. Available in Halves, Bottles and Magnums this will be great buy from a super, diligent winemaker for good mid-term drinking from 2018-2026.