En Primeur Day One: Today we were on the Left Bank, starting the day bright and early at Mouton Rothschild. A good place to start, which also gave a very quick impression that was cemented as the day went on. This is a vintage that shows appellation clearly and, more so, the individual Château style. In vintages like 2009, you didn’t see this so much; in 2015, D’Armailhac, Clerc Milon, Le Petit Mouton and Mouton were four very distinctive, individual wines. D’Armailhac the bright lively one with vibrant acidity; Clerc Milon all about its juicy core of fruit; Le Petit Mouton dense dark and brooding, showing a glimpse of what the excellent Mouton is all about.
It was a morning of firsts; next up was Lafite, followed by Latour. At Lafite we looked at Duhart Milon, Carruades and Lafite. Latour was fascinating; not only did we taste the 2015 of all three wines, but also the wines just released: Pauillac 2010, Les Forts de Latour 2009 and Latour 2000 – we’ll have an offer on the second two mid-month. The Les Forts de Latour was my wine of the day for – ‘I’ll have a glass, or two, tonight please’. Superb age to be drinking this.
Pontet-Canet is once again looking very smart. Situated very much right beside Mouton, down the road from Lafite, yet, when you taste the wines, it’s striking how very different these wines are. Whether it’s the site, the biodynamics, the eggs, or something else, there’s no mistaking these wines for Pontet-Canet and once again the Tesseron duo have pulled something quite exceptional together.
The two vineyards, looking at each other across the road just south of Pauillac, Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron were both excellent today. Always interesting, which one has the edge, I’d say today, Lalande just slightly.
Palmer. Simply brilliant. Both Alter Ego and Palmer 2015 are some of the best wines from the property. Palmer would have to be one of the wines of the day. Palmer was the only winery we tasted in Margaux, so further assessment is required after tomorrow’s tastings.
Montrose was very smart indeed; 67% Cabernet this year, it had such intensity, vibrancy and drive. Following this tasting, I tasted at the Union de Grand Cru tasting, seeing a wide range of St Estephe and Pauillac.
The second to last visit for the day was to Château La Lagune where the Sauternes and Barsac producers gather to show their 2015 wines at a UGC tasting. This is a very good vintage for sweet wines, the standouts, Suduiraut and Coutet.
Finally, a visit to one of our Negociants offices, where a wide selection of 2015 and older wines were available. This gave the first opportunity to look at Bordeaux Blanc 2015 – what a sensational vintage for white. Château Pape Clement Blanc and Château Brown Blanc both exceptional. We also tasted the reds from Pessac Léognan at this tasting, a strong appellation for 2015.
As you can tell from the sheer number of superlatives gracing this page, this is a very good vintage, the wines are a lot of fun to taste and a treat.