So, the 2015 Bordeaux are already in, or on the way via refrigerated containers, from France. We worked hard to receive as many wines as we could early in the year in order to ship as quickly as possible. Still to arrive are the First Growths, but the balance of our wines should be in by May. We know the summer heat is on its way and soon it will be impossible to ship.
At this juncture of the 2015 cycle, we thought we’d share a few of our thoughts regarding the vintage and its evolution:
We were right!
Most experts agree that 2015 is outstanding. Comparisons with 2009 abound, but our final take is that the wines are for the most part very pleasurable. Balancing fruit, acidity and focus, they feature excellent character and depth. If they fail sometimes, it is because the winemakers waited a little too long to harvest and the fruit became slightly overripe. But that is only the case with a small number of wineries. Some of the wines are already starting to drink, having gone through their “closed phase” while the more serious wines will require your patience for another 5-8 years.
Regardless, there are no hard tannins to deal with. One hint in that regard is Château Tour Saint Christophe, the new star property of Hong Kong businessman Peter Kwok, who is taking Saint-Émilion by storm! The wine is rich with cassis, black currants, cedar and spice aromas and is layered with sweet, integrated tannins. “A blockbuster” says Jeb Dunnuck, who gives it 95-pts while James Suckling applauds it with a 96-pts rating. All that for $29.99!!! We have 144 bottles coming in 8 weeks. Pre-order yours now.
Where we agreed with the pros:
The top wines of the vintage are (in alphabetical order) Ausone, Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, la Mondotte, Margaux, Palmer, Pavie and Vieux Château Certan. Our personal favorite was Palmer, a lush, hedonistic wine that characterized the vintage. In truth, it was the very first wine we tasted en primeurs. And, although many others came close, none matched Palme for overall refinement. At $300 a bottle, it is expensive but the other top wines cost more.
Beyond the very top wines, we agreed there was a wealth of outstanding wines such as Beausejour-Duffau, Clinet, Pichon Lalande, Pontet Canet, and most everything within the Margaux appellation.
Where we disagreed with the pros:
Why did Wine Spectator give an average rating to Le Gay? Did they sample the same wine we did? In our opinion the best wine in decades from that property. Also, l’Evangile was a stellar Pomerol in 2015, and we think it deserved perfect or near-perfect scoring.