Top wines from Bordeaux, primeurs and aged

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.

Pessac-Léognan

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

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan, Graves

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan, Graves, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, Graves

Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, copyright BKWine Photography

Haut-Médoc

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

Closerie de Camensac, Bordeaux

Closerie de Camensac, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Margaux

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

Chateau Brane Cantenac, Bordeaux

Chateau Brane Cantenac, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux

Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Lascombes, Margaux. Medoc, Bordeaux, France

Chateau Lascombes, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Saint-Julien

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

Chateau Beychevelle, Saint Julien

Chateau Beychevelle, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint Julien

Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Lagrange, Saint Julien

Chateau Lagrange, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Les Fiefs de Lagrange, Château Lagrange, Saint Julien 1997

Les Fiefs de Lagrange, Château Lagrange, Saint Julien 1997, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Langoa Barton, Saint Julien

Chateau Langoa Barton, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint Julien

Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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

Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint Julien

Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint Julien, copyright BKWine Photography

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.

Pauillac

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).

Chateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Chateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Pomerol

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.)

To try different vintages is exciting and you learn much from it. That you can do on a luxury gourmet and wine tour to Bordeaux with BKWine in May.

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This post is also available in: Swedish

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