Bordeaux 2015: Final Taste
St Emilion always comes last (more or less, mixed with Pomerol a little) in my en primeur schedule, and this was also the case on this tasting trip. Friday was 100% St Emilion, from 9am until the sun went down, kicking off a day of mixed 2013 and 2015 tastings, as well as more detailed, lengthy visits. I started with Château Angélus, to taste the 2013, followed by Château Larcis Ducasse for more from the same vintage. This was a really informative visit, as I spent an hour with winemaker David Suire talking about his work on the estate, how he reacted to the difficulties of the 2013 vintage, and looking at how the harvest of the 2015 vintage was managed.
From there I saddled up and rode out to Vignonet, on the sandy plains of St Emilion, to Château Teyssier and Jonathan Maltus. After taking a look at the 2013 vintage, I’m grateful for another opportunity to put myself around something from the 2015 vintage. And there was no sticking my glass under a dripping tap here, as winemaker Neil Whyte drew off three samples for me.
Sample A4, Destieu: Merlot, for Château Teyssier. Super-ripe, creamed-fruit nose. Delicious fruit, lovely energy, pre-malo acidity (same for the next two samples as well), and a ripe bed of tannins. Very superior quality.
Sample N3, Grand Pontet: Merlot, near the roundabout at the top of St Emilion, for Château Laforge. Black plum skin, sweet, textured, supple and ripe tannins. So succulent, perfumed and fresh.
Sample N5, Gaste Bourse: Merlot, for Les Astéries. A glossy hue. Just amazing minerally, perfumed, smoky character here. Dense, concentrated, vibrant, with a perfume no less amazing than the nose. Surging minerality. Fabulous.
After all this excitement, I headed back towards the limestone slopes, and after rewinding the elastic band in the engine of my diminutive hire car one more time I forced it to ascend the côtes once again, to Château de Pressac, where I spent a couple of hours in the company of proprietor Jean-François Quenin. What a great visit this was; a fascinating history, a charming proprietor, an unusual blend of varieties in the vineyard, and delicious wines which helped push the estate up to the Grand Cru Classé level in the 2012 St Emilion classification. I’m looking forward to writing this one up. Finally, I finished the day at Château Tertre Roteboeuf with none other than François Mitjavile. This was everything in one. A really good 2013. A taste of 2015, with all its explosive fruit. And then some wines from bottle, including the hugely confident 2010 Tertre Roteboeuf, and wines from Roc de Cambes as well. What a finish!
I will publish a review of Bordeaux 2013 (for subscribers) in the next few weeks, and will reflect further on both 2013 and 2015 on the blog on another day, including some ‘from the horse’s mouth’ reports on the 2015 vintage.
These early Bordeaux 2015 reports are essentially funded by Winedoctor subscribers, the first purpose of this latest trip to Bordeaux having been to taste 2013s for a forthcoming report on that vintage. If you find these reports interesting, please consider taking out a subscription to Winedoctor.