2015 Bordeaux – getting into the proper stuff

by Charles Lea

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Yesterday and this morning have seen a few of the more serious crus class茅s being released – the primeur season is getting into gear.

2015 CH脗TEAU PAPE CLEMENT (拢625) is a big wine with a mass of rich dark concentration. For us it seems a little forced, but Neal Martin (95-97) and James Suckling (96-97) clearly loved it. In terms of being a primeur buy, it is certainly significantly cheaper than any comparably-rated vintage, and if you like the style it has to be said it looks a solid proposition.

2015 CH脗TEAU MALESCOT SAINT EXUP脡RY (拢370) is another wine which, if points win prizes, looks a potentially good buy. 93-95 from Neal Martin, and 97-98 from James Suckling represent excellent scores for a wine that is offered under 拢400 a case. We have to be honest and say that we too find the style of this wine rather forced, but if you like them big, it’s worth considering.

2015 CH脗TEAU LANGOA BARTON is a wine we just loved. It may not be the biggest or the most long-lived of the Saint Juliens, and to be frank we’d have preferred it a little bit cheaper (it is at 拢340), but this is a wine that has improved dramatically in the last ten years, and as a drink it’s one we’d look forward to having in our cellars – it’s just delicious.

2015 CH脗TEAU D’ARMAILHAC the first of the releases from the Mouton Rothschild stable, and although slightly put in the shade by others tasted here, especially Clerc-Milon, which was one of the few properties which seemed genuinely to have matched or beaten its 2010, this represents solid value at a perfectly sensible price.

2015 CH脗TEAU PETIT VILLAGE is a Pomerol with a great terroir which was in a bit of a parlous state when taken over by AXA Mill茅simes (putting it in the same stable as Pichon Baron and co.), and a lot of work has gone on here to replant and improve – work which has paid off with the best Petit Village for ages. Worth a look, but the price of 拢500 feels a bit toppy to us.

Also on the market are the three properties owned by the n茅gociant Dourthe, 2015 CH脗TEAU BELGRAVE, (拢195) 2015 CH脗TEAU LA GARDE (拢145) and 2015 CH脗TEAU LE BOSCQ, (拢160) all of which represent great value, having had significant investment to raise quality over the last decade. Our favourite the year was the sappy, seamless La Garde, a wine that seemed to have taken all that was best from a great vintage in the Graves.