Wines that won’t wilt your wallet #Bdx15
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
24 July 2016
In celebrated Bordeaux vintages, consumers may find that prices are out of reach. Sure, wines like Ducru Beaucaillou and Léoville Las Cases are excitingly delicious, but not all us mortals can afford them.
A sign of a top vintage is finding barrel samples that please your palate across all price points. And Bordeaux 2015 makes me happy, too, as it features many high quality cru bourgeois level wines that won’t wilt your wallet. So it is easy to be all smiles about the vintage, as the photo above from a lovely press dinner at Château de Fieuzal shows, with fellow taster Vasily Raskov from Moscow and Emilie Gervoson of Château Larrivet Haut Brion.
Not surprisingly, many of my favorites in this category come from the southern Médoc but fine price/quality ratios exist throughout Bordeaux. And you will not have to reserve these wines as futures purchases; they will be bargains off the shelf, too.
Ten bargain wines from #Bdx15 including red and white. As usual, wines in bold I like in particular (they are all at least in bold ;-); those with red and bold even more; when underlined, too, a sort of wine nirvana (for the price point).
2015 Château d’Agassac (Haut Medoc) Tasted at the Alliance de Crus Bourgeois. Pure expressions of ripe red and black fruits precede a very robust palate, which has more power than many other cru bourgeois in 2015. The savory mid palate shows depth, but the tannin needs to soften with barrel aging. The price is absolutely right, and by the time you open a bottle, it will be delicious. 89-91
2015 Château Beauregard (Pomerol) Among the most expensive in the “bargain” category, but the price-quality ratio is so well worth the ticket. This is textbook Pomerol, with pleasing floral aspects, ripe plum and touches of dark cherry. The palate is smooth and elegant, leading to a lifting finish with cool fruit. Savvy consumers take note. 91-93
2015 Château Beau-Site (Saint Estèphe) This gave off lovely blackberry and ripe plum as well as cooler cassis aromatics, leading to a rather rich yet structured palate, that augurs well for aging. An impressive showing for this more challenged northern Médoc appellation – and a great price! 90-92
2015 Château Chantegrive Cuvée Caroline Blanc (Graves) Sumptuous and juicy stone fruit (ripe peach) aromas and flavors imbue this opulent, somewhat decadent white, lifted with lemon notes on the finish. Light oak-derived spice adds complexity. Give me more! 90-92
2015 Clos Floridene Blanc (Graves) Manages to be brisk and fresh with no varietal characteristics coming from the ripe Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is medium bodied, with lime and lemon aspects, as well as overtones of both mango and quince. A smooth texture is balanced by vibrancy that leads to a refreshing finish. 89-91
2015 Clos des Lunes Lune d’Argent (Bordeaux Blanc) This very reasonably priced blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon smells of white flowers and acacia leading to a medium bodied and smooth palate, marked by ripe apricot flavors. An opulent style, with balancing acidity that can easily pair with fettuccini in oyster sauce or seared scallops, roasted chicken à l’orange or fish in a cream sauce. 89-91
2015 Château Corbin (Saint Emilion) Although on the pricier side of the bargain-level category, you cannot help to fall for the subtle notes of chocolate and damson – all nuanced in its richness – with exciting tonic lift on the finish. I can understand why Decanter Magazine gave it a “best ever from barrel” rating. Buy this. You will be very happy. 91-93+
2015 Château Dauzac (Margaux) Red and black fruit and white flower aromas are a prelude to the deliciously juicy palate that has fine tannic structure and a pleasing, lifting finish. In some years the underrated Dauzac hits a home run. It did so again in 2015, so don’t hesitate! 91-94
2015 Château La Pointe (Pomerol) Tasted at the merchant Ulysses Cazabonne, the red berry fruit basket like aromas precede a palate that is juicy and bright and deliciously seductive. Fine mid palate grip reassures for aging, but perfect for mid-term drinking as you wait for, say, Vieux Château Certan or Gazin, to mature longer in your cellar. 89-92
2015 Château Villars (Fronsac) Tasted at the merchant Ulysses Cazabonne, this is an exemplary Fronsac that combines a robust palate with plum fruit aromatics. The tannins are very present at this stage, but barrel aging will bring you a savory drink for your barbecue! 89-91