Vintage - 2015, Bordeaux
Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.
The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.
On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.
White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
Chateau Villa Bel Air Rouge 20152015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$57.00 As low as $51.30
Chateau Rahoul Graves Blanc AOC 20152015sauvignon Blanc, SemillonFrance356$61.00 As low as $54.90
Chateau La Louviere Blanc 2015100% Sauvignon Blanc - Limited only 4bt available
This lovely 2015, containing a majority of Sauvignon Blanc, has a pale golden colour, enlivened by crystalline highlights, and a bouquet dominated by complex aromas from oak ageing (sweet spices, almond, and vanilla) on a background of yellow fruit. It is just as charming on the palate, with the same elegant oak notes and yellow fruit flavours. 2018 - 2023 Le Guide Hachette2015Sem/Sauv BlendFrance356$120.00 As low as $108.00
La Parde de Haut Bailly 20152015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$130.00 As low as $117.00
Beychevelle 2015 375mlSAINT JULIEN 4th Growth Cru Classé
The 2015 Beychevelle was picked between 22 September and 8 October, a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot that will be matured in 50% new oak. It has quite a high IPT at 81, a pH of 3.72. It has a clean and crisp bouquet, tightly-wound at first, then unfurls with redcurrant, cranberry and raspberry scents, leaning towards the red spectrum rather than black. There is impressive delineation here, no frills, almost clinical in its "aromatic efficiency." The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. This is a suave Beychevelle in the making, harmonious in the mouth, supple even, gently building towards a lightly spiced finish. Among the Saint Julien wines, this is clearly one of the more understated 2015s. It is only when you swallow the wine that its lingering flavors remind you that this could evolve into one of Philippe Blanc's great Beychevelles. While it is not a headline-grabbing wine, a decade in bottle will be handsomely rewarded. (92-94) ANTONIO GALLONI2015Cabernet MerlotFrance356$165.00 As low as $148.50
Sociando Mallet 2015 1500mlOne of the standouts of the vintage, the 2015 Sociando Mallet is all finesse. Light on its feet, gracious and super-expressive, the 2015 speaks to class above all else. The flavors are bright and beautifully lifted in this polished, sophisticated Haut-Médoc. Although a touch light, the 2015 is very pretty. The blend is 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. 90 ANTONIO GALLONI2015Cabernet MerlotFrance356Special Price $195.00 Regular Price $230.00
Lynch Bages 2015PAUILLAC 5th Growth Cru Classé
One of the finest Pauillacs of 2015, Lynch-Bages is rich, racy and voluptuous. A rush of dark red and purplish stone fruit, mint, new leather, spice and blood orange give the 2015 a very decidedly exotic character that is impossible to miss. Raspberry jam, mocha, new leather and expressive floral notes appear with time in the glass, rounding things out nicely. Even though the 2015 is quite forward and open at this stage, the wine has plenty of stuffing as well as the underlying structure to support many years of exceptional drinking. This is a stellar showing for Lynch-Bages. ANTONIO GALLONI
They 2015 Lynch Bages is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked from 23 September until 2 October, matured in 75% new oak. There is an overwhelming sense of purity on the nose: perfumed, almost floral blackberry, wild strawberry, graphite and cedar scents, unmistakably Pauillac in style. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, a keen citrus thread that impart tension and ample freshness. Tasting this as the first wine of the day, it instantly refreshes the mouth and leaves it tingling with energy after it has departed. This is an excellent, top-grade Lynch Bages that deserves 8-10 years in bottle and then will offer three decade of pleasure, maybe more.
(93-95) NEAL MARTIN
2015Cabernet MerlotFrance356$415.00 As low as $373.50
Pichon Lalande 2015
PAUILLAC 2nd Growth Cru Classé LIMITED
The 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked from 10 September with the young Merlot, finishing on 9 October. It includes 12.5% vin de presse (which incidentally was included in the blend). It has a very pure bouquet with expressive Merlot imparting black cherries and wild strawberry aromas that are embroidered with a thread of graphite. I noticed how it errs more towards black fruit with extended aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin on the entry, the Cabernet Sauvignon here in the driving seat despite that level of Merlot trying to get in a look. Together they give a sense of completeness to this Pichon Lalande that has semblances towards the great 1996. Whereas this Pauillac has a tendency to be more approachable than others, in fact, the 2015 has the backbone and substance to suggest that it will require a minimum of ten years' ageing, but patience will be amply rewarded. Nicolas Glumineau has overseen a quite brilliant Pichon Lalande here. (95-97/100) NEAL MARTIN
A dazzling, towering wine, the 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has put on considerable weight in just the last few months. Today, the 2015 is vivid and intense, with a huge backbone of tannin and marvelous complexity. In 2015, the Cabernet Sauvignon is pushed higher as the Merlot was less consistent in its ripening. Graphite, charcoal, tobacco, crème de cassis and new leather are some of the signatures in what is shaping up to be a super-classic Pichon-Lalande. Simply put, the 2015 is one of the wines of the vintage. Tasted four times. (96-98/100) ANTONIO GALLONI2015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$520.00 As low as $468.00
Ducru Beaucaillou 2015
SAINT JULIEN - 2nd Growth
The 2015 Ducru Beaucaillou is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, picked from around 28 September to 6 October. Matured in 100% new oak for what will be 18 months, delivering 13.5% alcohol, it has a relatively opulent bouquet for Saint Julien, with ripe black plum mixed with blackberry and cranberry, very well defined and neatly interwoven with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly savory opening, gently but insistently gripping the mouth. It feels dense and structured with a subtle marine-like note towards the linear, black olive-tinged finish. Bruno Borie has a 2015 with backbone, with longevity in mind. I suspect this will require a decade for the tannins to soften and continue the purple patch for this grand estate. (94-96) NEAL MARTIN
The 2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou offers notable depth, power and richness. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but it is nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Smoke, tobacco, charcoal, leather and dark stone fruits give the 2015 much of its brooding, tightly wound personality. A wine of pedigree and exceptional class, the 2015 Ducru is structured yet also spherical in texture, with terrific balance and tons of style. The 2015 is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. (92-94) ANTONIO GALLONI2015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$535.00 As low as $481.50
Chateau Angelus Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2015
62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, 100% new oak
The 2015 Angelus is a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, picked from 22 September finishing on 14 October. "We found a nice homogeneity with the Merlot lots," I was told when I visited. "The old Cabernet Franc was very nice, but the younger vines were blended into the second label. This year, it is especially the Merlot that lends a lot of harmony to the wine. This year, the Merlot have some of the qualities of the Cabernet Franc, the precision and freshness. They give the generosity and sweetness." The wine was aged in 100% new oak at 11 degrees Celsius so they could add less sulfur to keep the freshness of the aromas and maintain the elegance of the wine. It offers a complex array of aromas such as black cherry, camphor, oyster shells and Japanese nori, beautifully defined and very focused. The palate is medium-bodied but powerful with layer of svelte tannins and a keen thread of acidity; layers of black fruit laced with spices, baking powder, mint and white pepper. It feels long in the mouth, insistently clinging for a minute after the wine has departed. Oh là là. This is a sexy, but compelling Angelus, fit for "007" and wine-lovers everywhere. NEAL MARTIN, erobertparker
Readers will have to be very patient with the 2015 Angélus. Massively tannic and forbidding, Angélus is one of the most reticent, unyielding 2015s I tasted. The high percentage of Cabernet Franc, the approach to extraction, aging in the cellar - which involves minimal racking and low S02 - and slightly late bottling are some of the factors that result in a huge, powerful, impenetrable wine at this stage. Even so, the 2015 exudes concentration and depth. Time in the glass brings out some of the wine's unctuousness, but it will be at least a decade before the 2015 is ready to deliver true drinking pleasure. ANTONIO GALLONI2015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$1,015.00 As low as $913.50
Canon 2015 1500ml
From the very beginning, the 2015 Canon has made an eloquent case for itself as one of the wines of the vintage. Multiple tastings from bottle only confirm what several early tastings hinted at: the 2015 Canon is simply extraordinary in every way. Sumptuous and exotic, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 grabs hold of all the senses and never lets up. A rush of red fruit intermingled with floral notes, spice and smoke notes effortlessly runs up the wine's vertical structure as the 2015 thrills with every twist and turn. The 2015 Canon is a rare wine that is both hedonistic and intellectual - well, maybe it is a bit more hedonistic-leaning. It doesn't matter. Don't miss it. This 2015 is masterpiece from General Manager Nicolas Auderbert and his team at Canon. (100) ANTONIO GALLONI, vinous
The 2015 Canon is going to be a benchmark for this historic estate. A blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, it was cropped at 42 hl/ha between 14-25 September and 30 September until 2 October respectively. The alcohol level is an average 14.5% with a pH 3.78, matured for 18 months in 70% new barrels (except for one barrel of Cabernet Franc that they will bottle separately - just to see). Lucid in color, it has an intense bouquet that exudes extraordinary purity with scents of raspberry, wild strawberry, limestone and violets. It makes a huge impression. The palate is medium-bodied and multilayered with vivacious red and black fruit infused with minerals. The acidity lends the tension here from start to finish, but what this Canon possesses unlike the dozens of other vintages that I have tasted, is an overarching structure that will see it age in similar fashion to past classics such as the 1929, 1947 and 1964. It lingers very long in the mouth, the oak just surfacing a little on the aftertaste, although that will be subsumed with time. This estate has been in the ascendant in recent vintages under winemaker John Kolasa and now Nicolas Audebert, together with a benevolent growing season, has elevated Canon to a level that few could have predicted. NEAL MARTIN2015Cabernet BlendsFrance356$1,700.00 As low as $1,530.00