Bordeaux 2015: our top 10
Author: Berry Bros. & Rudd
Quite restrained on the nose, this wine is so opulent on the palate. Expressive, seductive black fruits and spicy cedar wood dominate. Tannins are totally ripe and acidity is in perfect balance with fruit and the gloriously long finish. Juicy, rich, fresh fruit appears on the mid-palate. The length is very impressive.
A huge wine, but so elegant, grown-up and heady, this is a genuinely multi-layered wine which offers a lovely cornucopia of flavours throughout the palate and finish. There is such focus here. It’s a really successful result: so, so soft and utterly charming.
Blend: 100% Merlot
Ch. Palmer, a perennial favourite of our team has made another blockbuster in 2015. It is a remarkable wine and oozes class this year. The quality is exceptional and as good as the First Growths this vintage, with a glorious concentration of blackcurrant fruit on the nose and an intense, smooth, fruity, rich yet fine-boned palate.
The wine is powerful, but has such precision that it takes your breath away. Fine-grained tannins add elegance and there’s an intriguing, almost raspberry hint to the finish. This is a beautiful wine with the most sumptuous of finishes. A terrific, seamless wine, with a core of minerality: a true wine-lover’s wine.
Blend: 44% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
Ch. Figeac stands out in some style in 2015. We have a soft spot for the wines of this estate and found the wines to be triumphant again this year. Fine, stylish and with generous gravitas, the wine immediately appeals in the glass with a tremendous dark purple colour. Lively, with spice evident on the nose and dancing on the palate, the highlight here is the really super-fine tannins which are just wonderfully integrated.
The finish is tasty, harmonious and refreshing. We loved the tension and underlying power of the wine. There is the coolness shared by the 2015s, but slightly more restrained. It’s a wine which makes you happy to taste, drink and enjoy. Really delicious and complete, t is very much Ch. Figeac.
Blend: 29% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc
This is a really super effort: engaging and atypical of the great commune of St Estèphe. Modern and pure, it is a perfect expression of modern Ch. Montrose. The sweetness of the tannin, the extraordinary purity of fruit and the intense aromatics suggest a year of great ripeness. Fragrant, pretty and beguiling, this provides a really enjoyable glass of wine. Full-bodied, it exhibits superb concentration, sweet tannin, and a multi-layered, textured, full-bodied mouth-feel. The sweet, perfumed nose is so, so enticing and the palate simply doesn’t disappoint.
Blend: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc
The wines of St Estèphe seem to have performed very well in 2015. Quite sophisticated, this is classically structured. Inky black in the glass, it has a dense and sweet berry nose alongside attractive aromas of smoky, toasty oak. It is quite masculine and powerful, and lightly spiced with concentrated fruit. The firm tannins and balanced acidity surround a deep centre of cassis fruit. It is a wine for the cellar for sure and a very good one at that. We were genuinely impressed.
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
What a fabulous nose of warm, exotic herbs and spices… The palate has good concentration of mineral fruit, ripe tannins, tobacco and chocolate notes. There is concentration here and a thoroughly exciting and rewarding freshness. The coolness is really delicious. Full-bodied, robust and with masses of sweet fruit, it is a really great effort in 2015. A really excellent Calon Ségur, it is one of the most complete wines we have tasted all week.
Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
The crisp acidity of this wine is what provides it with such great freshness and the tannins are plentiful but exceptionally fine. The persistence of the finish is usually a hallmark of this great estate, and it is certainly present on this 2015. It needs time to mature of course, but this wine seems to be maintaining the tradition of the finest wines from this St Julien Super Second. This is a classic Claret-lover’s dream, with those slightly earthy notes courtesy of the high Cabernet in the blend. This is so reflective of Ch. Léoville-Las Cases, and so very good.
Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot
There is a wonderful quality to this grand vin in 2015. Its hilltop location looking out over the appellation always makes it a glorious property to visit and we loved the wine this year. Sweet, succulent and beautifully perfumed with floral aromas and a touch of vanilla spice, there is real focus here.
This great estate has used its renowned terroir to create something which is full of multi-layered fruit complexity. Really focused, rewarding and utterly charming, the mouth-filling creamy palate offers a richness of flavour which lingers long on the finish. This epic wine is one of the very best produced by the Bordelais in 2015.
Blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc
Alexandre Thienpont has succeeded in creating a terrific wine again in 2015. Fabulously elegant, it is almost Burgundian in style and finesse. This is pure, focused and graceful: a wonderful success. Real acidity provides freshness and a lovely texture. It is really polished. An underlying core of some depth, but the wine is very light in its feet. Very clean and precise, it is soft, light and beautifully spicy. There is so much complexity on the palate, yet the flavours are so refined. The wine has real length, but everything is understated and elegant.
Blend: 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
There is a lovely saline edge to this tasty Graves. The eponymous gravel soil lends a crisp saline edge to the Sauvignon Blanc which is tempered by the roundness of Sémillon. Oak-ageing exerts a pronounced spicy, vanilla-laced complexity. Lovely and golden in colour, the nose is voluminous, with citrus, white peach and lychee in abundance. Nicely concentrated, there is crisp, weighty complexity.
Blend: 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Sémillon
Find out more about Bordeaux 2015, and keep up to date with the most recent releases, on bbr.com.