The arrival yesterday of Mouton and Lynch Bages finally struck a chord with the market. Well thought out prices mean that as ‘primeur buys’ these wines work. This small flurry has spurred on other châteaux it seems – and there has been a rush of releases this morning. Of which there are 3 estates that we feel are well worth high-lighting.
Château Nénin in Pomerol was bought by Jean-Hubert Delon of Léoville Las Cases in 1997 and for the last few vintages the quality has been on a clear upward trajectory.
This year the wine is sophisticated, silky and nicely flowing, but no pushover. There is a gentle intensity and quite a classic Bordeaux shape to the wine, no doubt due to the high level of Cabernet Franc, which is so successful here in 2014. This is impressive Pomerol for the price (£260/12) and it looks like a sensible buy. Their second wine too deserves a mention. The Fugue de Nénin at £160/12 seems attractive for drinkers with space in the cellar, quite an elegant style for Pomerol – pretty, perky drinking from about 2019.
Two other wines we were impressed with were Château Croix St Georges (£280/12), another Pomerol and Château Lilian Ladouys (£115/12) from over the water in St Estephe, a commune full of successes in 2014. The Croix St Georges is from a small (12 acre) Pomerol estate owned by the talented Jean-Philippe Janoueix. We have been fans of his work here for more than a decade and he has made another great effort in 2014. A rich and opulent fruit core is balanced and kept lithe by a brighter, lifted finish. Good, classic Pomerol at a sensible price.
We tasted the Lilian Ladouys at the extraordinary Château Pedesclaux in Pauillac, where the new owners have entombed much of the château in glass (see the picture above, more on this later!). This St Éstephe offers great value drinking. Classic, elegant and with a lovely, generous weight – this will be perfect supper-party claret for enjoying in 6 to 12 year’s time.