2015 Bordeaux – Cos d’Estournel, Beausejour-Duffau, Nénin, Quintus & Dragon

by David Porter

In what promises to be a busy day on Bordeaux’s ‘place’, things have started briskly. The biggest name so far is CHÂTEAU COS D’ESTOURNEL 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe (£1250). This is quite toppy and it’s hard not to see Pichon Baron as a more compelling buy if it was a choice of ‘one or the other’ at this level. We liked it and although it divided opinion a little, the critics generally scored it well. Antonio Galloni writes ‘A wine of cool sophistication and polish, the 2015 Cos d’Estournel is endowed with striking length and overall persistence 92-95 points.’ Jancis Robinson is very complimentary giving this 18.5 and noting ‘Very comfortable. A lovely pair of slippers. Real tension and ripeness – great combo.’ Praise indeed!

As if the price of the reds was not stiff enough, the price of Cos d’Estournel Blanc, a minor Sauvignon wine from an insignificant vineyard in the upper reaches of the northern Médoc, is so completely ludicrous this year (£888 a dozen) that we have removed it from our offer. We think we actually preferred Les Arums de Lagrange, yours for a mere £80 per wood case of 6 bottles. The Cos doesn’t even come in a gold-plated casket at this price, but a cardboard box.

Also out are some newsworthy St Emilion wines. First from Nicolas Thienpont is CHÂTEAU BEAUSÉJOUR DUFFAU LAGAROSSE 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion (£750). This is a big, burly but very well-made St Emilion and comes with a big, burly price tag to boot. Jancis gives it 17 and describes it as ‘Sweet and fully ripe – almost Pomerol-like in its intensity.’  James Suckling was left ‘speechless’ and gives it 98-99 points. One for the longish term.

From the Haut Brion stable come CHÂTEAU QUINTUS Grand Cru Saint Emilion (£995) and their second wine the 2015 LE DRAGON DE QUINTUS Grand Cru Saint Emilion (£255). We started our Haut-Brion tasting with the Dragon and were very impressed, it really held its own in the company on the tasting table. Jancis too noted it well saying it has ‘Lashings of Charm’ and even more so at this stage than the top wine. These are undoubtedly the best efforts from this estate to date and so the Dragon has to be a consideration. Indeed for buyers of a serious second wine from today’s releases we feel more confident recommending this than the much more expensive PAGODES DE COS (£345).

It remains to be seen whether the advertising of Château Quintus in the Royal Opera House’s programmes has been enough to soften this market for the hefty price tag on the 2015 release.

Hot on their heels is CHÂTEAU NÉNIN Pomerol (£440) which was well received generally. Tim Atkin gives it 94. Neal Martin writes ‘this Nenin has very good potential. One to watch.’ Giving it 92-94 points. However, Antonio Galloni was less bowled over giving 89-92 – rather like us who sadly tasted it as part of a disappointing visit to Léoville Las Cases where many of the wines did not seem to show at their best.

As ever you can keep up to date with all releases from #Bdx15 on our Recent Releases page.

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