Château Raymond-Lafon, 2015 Update

While you can get a good grip on Sauternes during the primeurs from a generic tasting – of which the best is surely that hosted by négociant Bill Blatch, the range of wines available for tasting always far surpassing that provided elsewhere, even at the official Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting – it is always worth visiting one or two châteaux to taste the wines in situ, so to speak. First, because it is worthwhile having contact with the winemakers, to hear a first-hand account of the growing season and harvest, and second because affable folks like Jean-Pierre Meslier of Château Raymond-Lafon, which lies in the shadow of Château d’Yquem, will always pull out a few other bottles for a quick ‘recent-vintage recap’. Here I make a brief report on the three wines Jean-Pierre selected.

Château Raymond-Lafon

The Wines

Unsurprisingly Jean-Pierre (pictured above) pulled three recent vintages, but not the three most recent. He skipped the 2013 vintage which is not yet in bottle, and he sensibly circumvented the disastrous 2012 vintage when he bottled everything under a second label, arriving at 2011 first, followed by 2010 and 2009. All three years were very good ones for Sauternes and Barsac, and whereas I have reviewed the 2011 and 2010 vintages before, this was the first time I have tasted Jean-Pierre’s 2009. More importantly I think, it was an opportunity to taste these three vintages side-by-side, and to sort out which I liked best.

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