The annual primeur tasting of Bordeaux in Stockholm took place earlier this fall . For the sixth year running Winefinder, a wine merchant, organised the tasting and I had the opportunity to sit down with their (then) CEO Ole Nielsen for an interview. The interview will be published here soon. But first it’s time for a review of the 2015 Bordeaux wines, and some older vintages. — BKWine Magazine’s reporter Tobias Karlsson reports.
Surprisingly ready to drink wines
Overall the wines were surprisingly ready to drink. When this tasting takes place the wines are still very young and there can, and will, be considerable evolution before we can get the bottles in our glass, or rather to our cellar.
Despite this, I found that many of the wines were drinking very well now. The fruit is expressive and has a good maturity, the acidity is already well balanced and the tannins are fairly well integrated. This may indicate that 2015 may not be the most long-lived vintage but at the same time it can be an advantage with wines that show up well already now.
The tasting was, like Bordeaux, organised by commune and I will go through the wines in the same way. 41 different wineries were represented and unfortunately I could taste them all. As usual, all wineries brought an older wine to show how it can taste when it is a little more finished. Always well-chosen of course.
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2015
The aroma is very pleasant and has clear red fruits. In time, with time in the glass it also has a lot of cassis. The wine has a rather light tone and despite the existence of clear fruit the wine feels fairly calm and elegant. The aftertaste is medium-long. 87 p.
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2009
Compared with 2015, this wine has darker berries and the tannins feel softer. 88 p
Château Haut-Bailly 2015
A lot of oak is the first thing that strikes me. After that comes a scent of light and well balanced fruit. The wine is very calm and elegant. The aftertaste is long and balanced. 90p
Château Haut-Bailly 2008
The oak has become more delicate and goes more towards pencil shavings. There are still lots of fruit left but the wine has started to get a bit more sleek and smoother tones. Very good. 92 p
Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2015
Compared to the other Pessac-Léognan wines, I think the fruit has a bit more autumn leaves and wet forest, which becomes a pleasant and gives a bit more of a mature feeling. The oak is kept at a fairly low level and makes itself barely felt. The wine has great balance even though the tannins have not really had time to blend in. There are also some darker tones such as liquorice. 92 p
Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2011
This wine is very aromatic and powerful. The balance is fine and the wine is drinking very well right now. The aftertaste is very long and pleasant. 95p
Domaine de Chevalier 2015
Initially I get some pencil shavings. The oak has not yet had time to fully integrate and tannins feels pretty gritty. Apart from that the wine has great balance and is easy and elegant. 87 p
Domaine de Chevalier 2006
One of the oldest reference wines and you see a big shift in colour compared with the other wines. The wine is light and the fruit is a bit too low for my taste. 85 p
Château Cantemerle 2015
A mixture of oak and black currant is the first thing that strikes me. In spite of that the wine is fairly low-key and the fruit is quite chaste. 86 p
Chateau Cantemerle 2009
Initially, I get a hint of barnyard and a little sulphur. The wine has a good balance between acidity, tannins and fruit. But when it comes to the nose, it feels like the wine is in some sort of intermediate phase. Some tertiary aromas have begun to arrive, but not completely. In some years’ time it can be really good. 87 p
Château Camensac 2015
Here, the oak has a clear tone of pencil shavings and there are also some violets initially. The wine is light and quite well-balanced, but in the current situation the tannins are a bit too intrusive. 87 p
Château Camensac 2011
This wine is a bit more closed, but given some time it begins to express some darker tones like liquorice. The tannins are long and very fine. 88 p
Château Chasse-Spleen 2015
A lot of pencil shavings and plenty of fruit. A very aromatic wine that feels difficult to predict in the current situation. Time will tell if it will come to a better balance. 86+ p
Château Chasse-Spleen 2008
Also here there are a lot of fruit and some violets. Nice wine. 88 p
Château Brane Cantenac 2015
Lots of black currants, but despite the very intense fruit the wine is well-balanced. The tannins are powerful and in the current situation quite challenging. 89p
Château Brane Cantenac 2007
Elegant wine with a hint of pencil shavings and plenty of fruit which is still balanced. 88 p
Baron de Brane 2015
(Chateau Brane-Cantenac’s second wine)
A very light wine with some red fruits. The wine has great balance and good length with a fine and light acidity. 89p
Baron de Brane 2011
This wine felt very perfumed and a bit in-your-face. 87 p
Château Cantenac-Brown 2015
Some pencil shavings and quite dark fruit. There are a lot of black currants, but that are held back nicely. Very long finish and strong tannins. 93 p
Château Cantenac-Brown 2011
One begins to see that the colour of the wine is changing. This wine had a slightly oxidized tone initially but then showed up elegant dark fruit with cassis in the lead role. Long finish with a clear tannin structure. 89p
Château Lascombes 2015
Initially, the wine is a bit anonymous. After a while I get fruit that has a slightly creamy feel. The tannins are medium. 87 p
Château Lascombes 2011
Already a lot of maturity and some barnyard show up right away. The wine still has lots of fruit and a nice length and very elegant balance. 92 p
Château Beychevelle 2015
A little anonymous with light fruit and a hint of apple. The tannins are quite grainy at the end and there is some black currant. It is a good wine but the one which will most ageing to achieve greater heights. 86 p
Château Beychevelle 2008
Perfumed and a little spicy, very fine structure. A little fat, with a clear mineral finish. Differs quite a lot from the other wines in a fun way. 89 p
Château Branaire-Ducru 2015
Lingonberry jam is the first association I get. The wine is light and well balanced, with a nice acidity and good length. Very good finish with some salty tannins. 89 p
Château Branaire-Ducru 2011
Pencil shavings and some barnyard. A little lighter wine but still very nice. 88 p
Château Lagrange 2015
Really plenty of fruit with a lot of mineral saltiness. The fruit is very balanced, the wine has a long finish with very fine balance. 93 p
Château Lagrange 2011
Some maturity tones (barnyard) has arrived. The wine has great balance and very long finish. 91 p
Fiefs de Lagrange 2015
(Chateau Lagrange’s second wine)
Has some more notes of forest than big brother and a little less crunchy salt. But is still incredibly good. 92 p
Fiefs de Lagrange 2010
Pencil shavings and cigar box. Nice balance well-constructed and clear saltiness in the finish. 89 p
Château Langoa-Barton 2015
A little barnyard, nice fruit and fine balance. The wine is a quite light but still has a long and fruity finish. 88 p
Château Langoa-Barton 2011
A bit too much oak and pencil shavings. The wine is, like the 2015, relatively lightweight. 87 p
Château Léoville-Barton 2015
Fruity wine, but one which unfortunately today is a bit sprawling. 87 p
Château Léoville-Barton 2012
The wine is not overly aromatic initially but with a little time, a lot of black currants emerges. Today it is not so complex; the wine seems to be little on the middle ground. 88+ p
Château Léoville-Poyferré 2015
Dark fruit and some oak that has a pretty rough character, makes me think a little of oak planks. The tannins are very distinct and this is really a powerful wine in comparison to the rest. 91 p
Château Léoville-Poyferré 2012
The wine is almost black but despite that, the taste is much easier than one would think; the appearance makes one think of a shiraz from Australia. The wine has some animal notes but still keeps its fruit. There are also some floral notes. 90p
Château Talbot 2015
An aromatic wine with a lot of tannins and a hint of violets.
Château Talbot 2006
A wine that is quite mature. There are still some fruit left but also a large dose of “animal” (maturity) tones. The tannins are still very strong.
Château Pichon-Baron 2015 (previously Pichon-Longueville Baron)
Currently quite light, well-balanced but somewhat anonymous. 88 p
Château Pichon-Baron 2010
This wine still feels very young, and quite similar to 2015. Will probably need a good while yet in the cellar to really show its true form. 89 (today).
Château Petit-Village 2015
Fruity wine with a nice balance and drinking very well now. With a little more complexity that probably will come with some age, it can be a wonderful wine. 88 p
Château Petit-Village 2010
Very nice initial impression and a lot of fruit that carries the wine well. Long and nice aftertaste. 92p
Winefinder, an online wine merchant, organised the tasting.
Tobias Karlsson writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.
If you are curious to know more you can read BKWine’s brand new book about Bordeaux wines. (Unfortunately so far only available in Swedish.)
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