After two days of extensive tastings on the Left Bank, it was time to see what all the noise on the Right Bank was about. All very much warranted I must say. The overriding impression of the Right Bank wines is one of completeness. If you think back to the 2005 vintage – it was all about structure; the 2009 vintage – the wines were all about the impressive up front, ripe fruit; 2010 was about the freshness, drive and acidity. With the 2015 vintage, it’s not about identifying one thing; everything is there you see, in its correct place, the right amount and in the perfect way. It’s a vintage about balance, precise balance. What the challenge appeared to be in 2015 was to take the excellent fruit provided in the vintage and not make a mistake in the winery; fortunately very few have.
After a visit to the UGC tasting for Pomerol, the first stop of the day was Petrus. 100% Merlot and fortunately a normal size crop – 2013 was half the normal and 2014 was two thirds. The alcohol is high at 14.5%, though you certainly don’t notice it at all. A wonderful comment from the team at Petrus – ‘we make it to please the consumer, not to impress’. It’s not about power at all here, so exceptionally well balanced.
From there, a short distance, we visited at Château Lafleur; what a treat. All the wines brilliant, Lafleur itself stunning, There’s a clear story through this wine; first the fruit, then a ripe and creamy middle, fine tannins, velvety smooth finish that is so long it comes in the car with you to your next appointment.
And next up was Château Cheval Blanc. The tasting this year in their super modern new winery. Interestingly this year, there’s no Petit Cheval. Of the parcels that usually go into Petit Cheval, some did not make the quality of Petit Cheval and some were so good, they made Cheval Blanc, increasing the overall production of Cheval this year. We also had the opportunity here to taste Château d’Yquem. Another super sweet wine from the 2015 vintage.
The JP Moueix properties were next on the tasting line up. What a line up they were; not a good wine in there, all excellent, many exceptional. Château La Serre stands out this year, gorgeous and very appealing. A relatively new wine to the JPM stable, Clos Saint Martin was a super surprise. Located near Château Angelus and surrounded by top properties, each taste of this left me wanting more. A tiny production unfortunately, a mere 250 cases in total. Château Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Lafleur Pétrus and Trotanoy are all exceptional this year, top wines from these very good Chateau. For me, Lafleur Pétrus my standout today.
Two more tastings to complete the day: the UGC for Saint-Émilion, where Clos Fourtet and Pavie- Macquin were excellent; then a charming visit to Château Beau Séjour Bécot where we were hosted by Julien Berthe.
Three very full days of Bordeaux tastings completed and, yes, it’ll be Bordeaux for dinner tonight. Trotanoy 1999 to be exact. A notebook full of tasting notes from a great vintage and plenty of good memories; this vintage was a delight to taste.