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Bordeaux 2021 En Primeur

The grand colonnaded barrel cellar at Château Margaux, built in 1815

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Introduction to the 2021 Bordeaux vintage, 2nd May 2022

Last week we were in Bordeaux to taste the 2021 vintage from barrel.  Usually, we take a few days to reflect on what we have tasted and compare our notes, but this year we have no hesitation in saying these were some of the most charming, enjoyable wines we have tasted en primeur in a long time.  We found them to be full of fine, delicate aromas, fresh acidity and in exquisite balance, with alcohol levels often in the 12.5-13.5% range, making them particularly drinkable.  The acidity and tannic structure will also make these long-lived wines and we will probably still be debating their merits many decades from now.

Before our visit, we suggested that the best wines might compare with the best of 2014 and 2017, but we were off by several decades!  A far stronger comparison is with the 1985 and '88 vintages and we were regularly transported to those years when we tasted.  To be more precise, they tasted uncannily like those vintages might have done, had they had all the benefits of modern winemaking technology.

We also wrote before our visit that this is a heterogeneous vintage, with lots of variations between châteaux (small differences in terroir having a great impact on the prevalence of frost and mildew).  This certainly was the case, but overall the standard was higher than expected and the wines did show uniformity in being very typical of both their origins (both château and commune).  There was no clear winner between the left and right bank, but the white wines were notably excellent (indeed, this may well be a "great" year for white bordeaux).

Writing about wine is like writing about music; both subjects are inherently tricky to convey in words and qualitative judgements lose meaning when we try to create hierarchies.  Is 2021 up there with 'great' vintages like 2018, 2019 and 2020?  No, it isn't...hence the critics' scores may not grab as many headlines.  But the wines are SO delightful and novel (in their old-fashioned way) that they made us look at the whole region afresh and left us very excited at the prospect of drinking them.  

The wines listed are châteaux we have offered in previous years.  We may not offer some of these châteaux in the 2021 vintage and other new wines may be added.  Our buying decisions will be based on tasting the wines in cask and release prices.  We can't promise allocations will automatically be offered, but it will help place wines with the customers who would like them.

VIEW THE 2021 BORDEAUX EN PRIMEURS AS THEY ARE RELEASED HERE, WITH FULL NOTES AND SCORES

The Growing Season

Across Europe, spring frosts and a subsequent cool, wet summer (which led to mildew problems) mean that the 2021 vintage will be one of the smallest on record.   The French agriculture ministry predicts that the harvest size across France will be at its lowest level since 1977.

In Bordeaux, as elsewhere, the 2021 growing season began with low temperatures and sustained rainfall.  Catastrophic frosts in the spring meant that, from the outset, volumes were destined to be low.  This will be a “terroir-driven vintage" with important contrasts between appellations and even individual vineyards, depending on the soils, and the way drainage and vine vigour were managed.  In very wet years, the vines can go crazy and produce enormous, super-abundant canopies of leaves, which can draw nutrients and energy away from the fruit.  If further rain then hits in the summer, the abundant leaf canopies promote damp conditions which can lead to mildew, and that was just what happened in June.  The approach taken by individual vineyards to managing mildew and later botrytis will also be key.

Despite these headlines, the individual experiences at each vineyard appear to vary greatly, with some reporting losses of 50%, others just 10%; some beset by mildew and others managing to escape the worst of it.  

RED 2021 Château Angelus 75cl £1,560 per case of 6 Château Angelus
2021 / / 75cl
£1,560 per case of 6
IB
RED 2021 Château Angludet 75cl £276 per case of 12 Château Angludet
2021 / / 75cl
£276 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 D'Angludet exhibits aromas of cherries, cassis, licorice and loamy soil, followed by a medium-bodied, supple and lively palate that's seamless and charming, even if it isn't the most characterful wine this Margaux estate has ever produced. 87-88 points" erobertparker.com (WK)------"The 2021 Château d'Angludet contains less Merlot and more Petit Verdot due to the three-week frost. Daisy Sichel told me that it was aged in 50% amphora this year. It has a relatively light yet well-defined bouquet featuring strawberry and red cherry scents. The palate delivers fine tannins framing the red fruit, quite Burgundian in texture, and hints of graphite, leading to a nicely poised finish. Curiously, the Petit Verdot is quite disguised given the amount used. 88-90 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Mid crimson. Rather alluring ripe nose. Very soft and round. Not a long-distance runner but a true Margaux-style wine for early drinking. There’s even a hint of an ethereal quality about this. GV? 16 points.” JH, Jancisrobinson.com, Apr 2021------'A sterling name in the Margaux appellation, often offering outstanding value in muliple vintages. They have leaned into the vintage charater not trying to fight against it, and what you get as a result is savoury juic red and black fruits, with waves of Margaux-signature florality. 26hl/h yield after frost. 50% amphora, 50% oak barrels. 90 points.' JaneAnson.com (JA) Apr 2022
RED 2021 Château Ausone 75cl £1,500 per case of 3 Château Ausone
2021 / / 75cl
£1,500 per case of 3
IB
RED 2021 Château Ausone 75cl £3,000 per case of 6 Château Ausone
2021 / / 75cl
£3,000 per case of 6
IB
RED 2021 Château Beaumont 75cl £105 per case of 12 Château Beaumont
2021 / / 75cl
£105 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Offering up aromas of sweet berries, spices and loamy soil, the 2021 Beaumont is medium-bodied, lively and nicely balanced, concluding with a discreetly minty finish. The blend is dominated by an unusually high 65% of Cabernet Sauvignon. 87-89 points." Wine Advocate (WK) Apr 2022
RED 2021 Château Beychevelle 75cl £750 per case of 12 Château Beychevelle
2021 / / 75cl
£750 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Branaire Ducru 75cl £370 per case of 12 Château Branaire Ducru
2021 / / 75cl
£370 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 5.5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Open and aromatic on the nose with savoury and dark-fruit notes. Supple and fleshy on the palate. Lacks a bit of density but there’s a structure well in place. Competent rather than stirring. Drink 2026 – 2036. 16 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Well balanced, showcasing the possibliities of the vintage, a little austere in its rose stem and cassis bud character, but it opens up to show finessed blackberry fruit, precisely cut tannins, and has plenty of potential to age. 32hl/ yield, up to 20 month ageing depending on tasting. Tasted twice. 92 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Branaire Ducru was picked from September 24, albeit slowly, until October 14, at 32hL/ha. It has quite an intense, dare I say precocious bouquet of bold brambly red fruit that eventually settles in the glass and turns darker. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and a touch of black pepper and tobacco. Quite a marine-influenced Saint-Julien, it fans out gradually toward the finish and exerts a gentle grip. Though not quite reaching the heights of recent vintages, it represents a true articulation of the growing season and of Branaire-Ducru itself. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Having tasted the 2021 Branaire-Ducru six times over the course of a month and a half, I feel confident in saying that it is a beautiful wine that numbers among the vintage's real successes. Offering up aromas of raspberry coulis and red cherries mingled with notions of rose petals, cigar box and spices, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, with a layered core of fruit, lively acids and beautifully powdery tannins. Why is it quite so good? It isn't because a lot of wine was declassified, as around 60% of the estate's production went into the grand vin this year—a touch more than average. Rather, the key factors seem to be waiting to pick despite an alarming weather forecast; the blend itself, which emphasizes ripe Cabernet and the estate's later-ripening Merlot on clay-limestone soils; and the fact that a partially completed new winery means that Branaire already had fully 63 fermentation vats at its disposal to pick and vinify parcel by parcel. The exact composition is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 93-94+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Branaire-Ducru is sleek, elegant and nuanced. There is more Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the blend than in the 2018-2020 period, when the Merlots were especially successful. As a result, the aromatics are absolutely alluring, but the wine is much less forthcoming on the palate. At 12.9% alcohol, the 2021 is a classically austere Branaire at looks like it will need quite a bit of time to blossom. It is undoubtedly a very pretty wine, even if not fully expressive at this stage. Dark cherry, plum, chocolate, leather and rose petal linger. Tasted three times. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A very pretty wine, showing blackberry and blackcurrant aromas with crushed stone. Medium to full body with layers of fine-grained tannins. Bright and refined. Lots of dark fruit at the end. Solid weight. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Brane Cantenac 75cl £564 per case of 12 Château Brane Cantenac
2021 / / 75cl
£564 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Brane-Cantenac was picked from September 23 until October 7 at a respectable 41.2hL/ha and aged 100% new oak. It has a fragrant nose of dark red fruit, undergrowth, pencil box and light minty scents, understated at first but opening up nicely in the glass (it always requires patience). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and fresh as a daisy, displaying impressive tension. This focused, precise Brane-Cantenac conveys a great deal of harmony. The tensile, graphite finish lingers long in the mouth. While not quite reaching the lofty heights of "peak Brane,” this is a very commendable and quite cerebral wine for the vintage. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"I loved the 2021 Château Brane-Cantenac, and I'd put this up with the top wines in the appellation. Medium-bodied, silky, and pure, with considerable elegance, it has lots of red and black fruits, some floral and herbal, tobacco nuances, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's a quintessential Margaux with its complexity and nuance. 92-94 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Dark plum colour, attractive rich texture, with high aromatics and clear power on the nose. Not exuberant, more red and blue, cool fruits, with purity and power, this has concentration and is one of the best in Margaux in this vintage. Has personality and balance, with curls of black chocolate and liqourice, balacing out the ever-present fresh acidities of the vintage. 100% new oak, 3.63ph. 12.7ph. Harvest September 23 to October 7. 41.2hl/h yield, high for the year, but without dilution which was a potential pitfall of high yields. A potential upscore in bottle. 94 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Brane-Cantenac shows considerable promise, exhibiting a deep bouquet of wild berries, cassis, spices and violets, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and impressively concentrated palate that's framed by powdery tannins, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. This seamless and enveloping wine is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Carmenère and Petit Verdot. Once again, it's derived from the château's best holdings on the plateau of Brane and is maturing in entirely new barrels. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"A medium-bodied, very polished Brane-Cantenac with firm yet fine and textured tannins. Deep and compact core of black fruit, herbs and spices. Pretty licorice and clove notes. Structured and long. 74% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot and 1% carmenere. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Brane-Cantenac notably marries fruit intensity with energy and structure. There is an exotic richness to the 2021 that is impossible to miss. Kirsch, red plum, blood orange, cinnamon, new leather and spice all meld together. The 2021 is bold, sumptuous and alluring. There is certainly a lot to look forward to. The oak needs to fully integrate, but that is what élevage is for. Brane-Cantenac was impressive on both occasions I tasted it. 93-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Calon Ségur 75cl £492 per case of 6 Château Calon Ségur
2021 / / 75cl
£492 per case of 6
IB
RED 2021 Château Canon 75cl £540 per case of 6 Château Canon
2021 / / 75cl
£540 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"71% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Reserved at present. Floral notes as the wine opens. Texturally very elegant, the tannins extremely polished and fine. Compact, concise. Less wow this year but clean and refreshing and enough fruit for ageing. Drink 2028 – 2040. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Canon was picked September 16 to October 6 and matured in 50% new oak for a planned 16-18 months. Around 70% of the vineyard produced the normal yield, which underwent a 50% deselection, yet it still yielded 40hL/ha because the vines did not suffer stress. After mildew, any bunches that showed damage on the stems were removed. Nicolas Audebert told me that there was no concentration or saignée, just a little chaptalization (around 0.5-1.0%, depending on the tank). This has quite a concentrated bouquet of opulent dark cherries, blueberry, violet and just a hint of camphor. The palate is medium-bodied and pliant, with gentle grip, saturated tannins and a judicious touch of spice toward the compact finish. While recent top-flight vintages may well eclipse this Canon, it still stands as a fine addition to the recent roster. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A brilliant wine in the making, the 2021 Canon offers up aromas of cherries, wild berries, licorice, sweet soil tones, raw cocoa, Indian spices and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's immensely refined and seamless, with a lively spine of acidity, ripe tannins and a long, penetrating, intensely saline finish. This beautifully balanced Canon is one of the classiest, most complete wines of the Right Bank in this vintage. Tasted four times. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Gorgeous bright plum colour with violet reflections. The epitome of careful, precise, well-spliced winemaking. Sibling estate Berliquet has perhaps more immediate charm, because there is more power running through it, but this is just elegance and finesse personified. Red cherry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, slate, saffron, oyster shell, they have teased out layers of complexity that were not easy to find in the vintage, and there is length also, with pummice stone salinity scraping across the palate. It's subtle, and it's not at the heights of a 2019 Canon, but this will not be out of place in a vertical of the estate. Tasted twice. 50% new oak, 40hl/h yield, harvest September 16 to October 8. Thomas Duclos consultant. 96 points" janeanson.com------"Dramatic, rich and imposing, the 2021 Canon is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Sculpted red purplish fruit, rose petal, lavender, sage and crushed rocks all race out of the glass. A heady, vertical wine, Canon is endowed with tremendous concentration and class. The aromatics alone are beguiling, but it is the wine's balance that impresses most. Tasted three times. This is such an elegant and regal wine. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A wine full of finesse and class with fantastic length and polish. Medium to full body with ultra-fine tannins that run endlessly down the length of the wine. Blackberry, graphite and spice. Agile and weightless. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Capbern 75cl £202 per case of 12 Château Capbern
2021 / / 75cl
£202 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Focused and direct. Long and linear but juicy as well with fine-grained tannins and a minerally tone that persists. Freshness and balance on the finish. GV? 12.8%. Drink 2027 – 2040. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Offering up aromas of dark berries, plums, spices, rose petals and loamy soil, the 2021 Capbern is a medium to full-bodied, lively and charming wine with beautifully refined tannins and an impressively penetrating finish. It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot that attained 12.8% alcohol. 89-91 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Capbern was cropped at 36hL/ha with a 20-day cuvaison, and matured in 60% new oak for a planned 18 months. It has an attractive, fragrant bouquet of vivacious black and blue fruit, a lovely pencil box element emanating from the Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, respectable weight and acidity and a saline finish. Not the most complex Saint-Estèphe you will find, but commendable for the vintage and thoroughly enjoyable. (12.8% alcohol) 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Capbern is absolutely gorgeous. The aromatics alone are so alluring. A whole range of Cabernet inflections leads into a core of bright red toned fruit. Dried herbs, mint, tobacco, cedar, crushed flowers and red berry fruit grace this exquisite, vibrant Saint-Estèphe. Bright acids perk up the finish. En primeur samples were taken from new barrels only, but the final wine is projected to have 60% new oak. 90-92 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A medium-bodied, firm and very fresh red with crunchy black-fruit and bark character. Tight, fine tannins. Mineral and tea-like quality. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot and 2% petit verdot. 91-92 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Château Capbern is rock-solid, with wonderful cassis and an assortment of both red and blue fruits, supported by plenty of floral nuances. It's elegant and has considerable finesse, ripe tannins, and terrific purity. It shows the more charming, mid-weight style of the vintage, yet it's a solid wine that will deliver the goods. 91-94 points" Jebdunnuck.com
RED 2021 Château Carlmagnus 75cl £110 per case of 12 Château Carlmagnus
2021 / / 75cl
£110 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Cheval Blanc 75cl £395 per bottle Château Cheval Blanc
2021 / / 75cl
£395 per bottle
IB
RED 2021 Château Clerc Milon 75cl £342 per case of 6 Château Clerc Milon
2021 / / 75cl
£342 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot, 1.5% Carmenère. Cask sample. More restrained aromatically than some this year. Dark fruit and savoury nuance. Palate solid and firm with plenty of freshness. Tannins present but well rounded, tightening on the finish to give some persistence. Pleasantly dry finish. Pauillac muscle but in a low key form. Drink 2028 – 2040. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Sappy, concentrated, powerful, this is a wine that has a lot of power naturally and in a vintage like 2021 (and with higher Cabernet Franc and higher Carmanère than the past few years), it runs the risk of being austere. Certainly you feel a sterner character than over the past few years, but there is flexibility in the tannins, and well-worked blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Will benefit from fattening up through the mid palate over ageing, because all the elements are here. 55% new oak. 57IPT. 3.73ph. Caroline Artaud technical director as of this vintage. Strong candidate for upscore in bottle. 92 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Château Clerc Milon is based on 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Carmenère and Petit Verdot. It has more pure cassis and graphite as well as medium bodied richness, ripe, polished tannins, remarkable purity of fruit, and a great finish. 93-93 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2021 Clerc Milon is a success, bursting with aromas of blackberries, cassis and plums mingled with violets, tobacco leaf and nicely integrated new oak. Medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, it's deep, fleshy and complete, with a rich core of succulent fruit, beautifully polished tannins and a long, sapid finish, it's a compelling, characterful wine that transcends the vintage. 92-94 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Clerc Milon is gorgeous. Beams of tannin lend energy and direction to an alluring Clerc Milon that marries fruit density with a classic sense of structure that is quite appealing. 92-94 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"Polished and well-structured red with a medium body and firm but creamy and broad tannins. Perfumed already, with sandalwood, blackberry and currant character. Crushed stones. Tea leaves, too. Firm and solid to the end. Very solid for the vintage. 59% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot, 10% cabernet franc, 1.5% carmenere and 1.5% petit verdot. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Clos L'Eglise 75cl £654 per case of 12 Château Clos L'Eglise
2021 / / 75cl
£654 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Cos d'Estournel 75cl £858 per case of 6 Château Cos d'Estournel
2021 / / 75cl
£858 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Dark and reticent with a touch of cassis as the wine opens. Linear and firm with a rich but fine tannic frame. Solid through the mid palate and on through the finish. Structured and with plenty of matière. Well within itself so room to develop. 12.7%. Drink 2030 – 2050. points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Cos d'Estournel has an attractive nose, more complex than the Pagodes (as you would expect), graphite and subtle cigar box scents permeating the black fruit and the Cabernet Sauvignon more expressive at this stage vis-à-vis the Merlot. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. One of the most velvety Cos d'Estournel wines I have encountered at this stage, though linear and strict on the saline finish. This is old-school in some ways, and a bit grumpy in its youth – a wine that will oblige cellar aging. A Saint-Estèphe for the patient among you. (12.74% alcohol) 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A firm red with solid, compact tannins. Medium to full body with plenty of blackcurrant, pencil-lead and graphite character. Compact and structured throughout, with a firm finish. Linear and muscular tannins at the end that are very formed and curated. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Cos d'Estournel is very promising, offering up rich aromas of dark berries, plums, exotic spices, loamy soil and rose petals, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless palate that's impressively vibrant and concentrated, with powdery tannins, bright acids and a long, penetrating finish. Only 53% of the production made it into the grand vin, and the blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Technical director Dominique Arangoïts reports that Cos was spared by frost and coulure at flowering, harvesting between September 23 and October 4, and fermenting a touch hotter than has been the case in recent years, at around 28-29 degrees Celsius. 94-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Cos d'Estournel is a wine of real breadth and volume. It is also quite a departure from recent vintages in that strong Cabernet aromatics are very much front and center. Cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, menthol and licorice lend notable complexity to the bouquet. I expect the 2021 will need time to be at its best. Cas is usually much more alluring in its youth than the reticent but hugely promising 2021. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"This vintage, which can be overly straight and austere, benefits from the house style of Cos, where they are happy to add a twist of gourmet glamour, and I am seriously impressed with this wine. It showcases the successful sides of a cool vintage in spades, with bitter black chocolate, cool blue fruits, lemongrass and turmeric and black pepper spices. 55% new oak. 3.79ph. 53% of overall production is for the 1st wine, the rest in Pagodes. Easily one of the wines of the vintage. 96 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château d'Armailhac 75cl £391 per case of 12 Château d'Armailhac
2021 / / 75cl
£391 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Fragrant nose with brambly fruit and floral notes. Fresh, fruity and sapid on the palate with grainy tannin in behind. Lacks intensity but zest and energy to compensate. More for the medium than long term. Drink 2026 – 2035. 16 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 d'Armailhac, aged in 50% new oak, is the first vintage to be vinified in the new winery, which was completed a month before the harvest. It has quite a strict bouquet, tight and focused, with broody dark berry fruit, pencil box and tar, quite classic in style. The palate is harmonious and smooth with fine tannins, just the right amount of acidity and a sapid finish that lingers in the mouth. Residual graphite notes linger after the wine has exited. Very fine. (13.0% alcohol). 90-92 points" points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Reminiscent of a modern-day version of this estate's delicious 1999, the 2021 d'Armailhac is a terrific wine bursting with aromas of wild berries, cherries, exotic spices and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, it's fleshy and enveloping, with melting tannins and an ample core of sweet, succulent fruit. This is a pleasure-bent wine that will offer a broad drinking window. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"First year with the new cellar at Armailhac, and a new technical director, as Lucie Lauilhé has replaced Jean-Paul Paultert, with Paultert retiring after 29 years in the post (Lauilhé was only present for harvest and blending, 2022 will be her first full year). There are big plans for this property, but in 2021 it is playing things a little safe, with juicy balance, delicate tannins, plenty of grip and precision to the raspberry and blackberry fruits, but a little soft on the finish. There is due to be a 2nd wine in the future, which will help with concentration, but the signature of 2021 is evident here. A little more Cabernet Franc, after poor fruit set with the Melrot. 3.73ph. 50% new oak, 60IPT. Tasted twice. 92 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château Duhart Milon 75cl £336 per case of 6 Château Duhart Milon
2021 / / 75cl
£336 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesInky depth to colour, deep plum, cassis, graphite and cedar aromas, suggesting excellent concentration, but more taut on the palate than the open nose suggests, with excellent refinement, polish and linearity to the tannins (more so than we have encountered elsewhere so far). Impressive depth, but at the same time the overall impression is of a balanced, medium-bodied wine. The relationship to Lafite seems more evident than in previous years. RKL "81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot. Cask sample.------"Last time there was this much Cabernet was 2000 (but that was another vintage altogether…). Crimson hue but lighter at the rim. Pencil shavings and cassis notes. Upright and linear with a certain amount of drive but a little light in heft and structure. Could improve if it fills out in the bottle. 16+ points." Jancisrobinson.com (JL) May 2022------"The 2021 Duhart-Milon is a potent, brooding wine. Dark fruit, herbs, licorice and incense fill out the layers nicely. The oak still needs time to come together, but that is what élevage is for. The 2021 is a serious Duhart. Whether or not it will acquire a bit more charm remains an open question. 90-92 points." Vinous.com (AG) Apr 2022------"Incorporating fully 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Duhart-Milon unwinds in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, cigar wrapper and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, lively and persuasively concentrated, with beautifully refined tannins and a long, penetrating finish, it's a classy, serious wine that reflects all the progress this estate has been making over the last decade. (91-93+ points). William Kelley, Wine Advocate------"Precise and finessed black fruits here right from the first moments, this is high Cabernet Sauvignon, lovely black savoury fruits that suit the slighly serious feel of Duhart. Expect precision, strict tannins, straight lines, plenty of freshness but without the rusticity that you could find in older Duharts. About 15% press wine after careful extraction and a short maceration. A little more old school Duhart than we have seen over the past few years, but thoroughly enjoyable. 1st year organic conversion, 30hl/h yields. 93 points." Jane Anson.com (JA), May 2022
RED 2021 Château Enclos Tourmaline 75cl £295 per case of 3 Château Enclos Tourmaline
2021 / / 75cl
£295 per case of 3
IB
RED 2021 Château Feytit Clinet 75cl £540 per case of 12 Château Feytit Clinet
2021 / / 75cl
£540 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Gazin 75cl £660 per case of 12 Château Gazin
2021 / / 75cl
£660 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Giscours 75cl £485 per case of 12 Château Giscours
2021 / / 75cl
£485 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Very dark purplish crimson. One of the first 2021s I have encountered that could be described as heady. Then has masses of both fruit and freshness on the palate with no excesses even if clear delineation. Very clean and brisk without being austere. Quite a success! This wine seems to have made a virtue out of the freshness of 2021. Drink 2026 – 2040. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Giscours is matured in 50% new cak from nine cooperages. It has a very well-defined bouquet of blackberry, briar, graphite and light tobacco aromas, plus a touch of lavender in the background. Very pretty. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Not a deep or powerful Giscours, but elegant and poised with a long tail on the finish. It doesn't try too hard and the result is a delicious, refined Margaux wine. A great success in a tricky year. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Attractive bright plum in colour, this has a waves of flavour that offset the slightly bitter tannins that come in on the finish. Damson and black cherry fruits, liqourice root, rose stems and grilled cedar. 38hl/hyield. 93 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Giscours is immensely promising and shows just how far this important estate has come in the last few years. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cassis, dark berries, cigar wrapper, violets, sweet forest floor and burning embers, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with terrific depth at the core, ripe tannins, lively acids and a long, penetrating finish. With wines like this, we're back to a level of quality that Giscours hasn't routinely attained since the 1970s! The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot; and even if by the standards of the last decade, that isn't a particularly elevated percentage of Cabernet, this is nonetheless a very Cabernet-driven wine in style. Tasted six times. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Very precise and focused with tight, sleek yet firm tannins, framing a fresh core of black fruit, gravel and tobacco. Crushed stones and tea leaves, too. Savory and medium-bodied. Driven and linear. Lots of cabernet character. Chewy tannins. Rather muscular. But polished texture. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot and 3% petit verdot. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Giscours is fabulous. In fact, the 2021 is one of the best Giscours in recent memory. Silky and impeccable in its balance, the 2012 possesses magnificent elegance that brings out its pedigreed personality. Rose petal, lavender, spice, gravel and black cherry all come together, framed by silky tannins that wrap it all up. The 2021 is less aromatic than most recent vintages, but the depth here is considerable, as is the potential. Taste two times. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Gloria 75cl £314 per case of 12 Château Gloria
2021 / / 75cl
£314 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Always a wine that manages to find itself on the right side of ripe, and the right side of exuberant and even in 2021 you will recognise those two skills here. This is bright, cheerful, carefully placed, enjoyable stuff with liqourice and bitter chocolate, First year organic, Jean Michel Comme consultant. Harvest September 27 to October 9.  91 points."  Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, Apr 2022------"The 2021 Gloria is the first vintage where the vineyard farming has moved to organic viticulture (though there are no plans for certification.) It was picked from September 27 to October 9, stopping for 5 days between the Merlot and Cabernets, with a large percentage (14%) of Petit Verdot from a massal selection. It has a very pure and perfumed nose thanks to the contribution of the Petit Verdot. The palate is medium-bodied and quite dense for the vintage, displaying fine body and weight, gentle grip and a touch of graphite toward the finish. Very fine.  91-93 points."  Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022------"Charming and extroverted, the 2021 Gloria bursts with aromas of cassis, cherries, sweet berries, fresh mint and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's a lively, seamless wine that wears its heart on its sleeve. This blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc seems likely to emerge as a sleeper of the vintage. Tasted four times.  90-92 points."  William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 2022------"I like the firmness and polish to this, with medium body, creamy tannins and a delicious finish. Racy and refined.  92-93 points."  James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022
RED 2021 Château Gruaud Larose 75cl £742 per case of 12 Château Gruaud Larose
2021 / / 75cl
£742 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Gruaud Larose was picked from September 23 until October 7, finishing with the Petit Verdot, and stopping several times to wait for ripeness in certain plots. It was matured in 95% new oak for a planned 18 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon clearly dominates the nose, the black fruit, graphite and touches of tobacco lending it a Pauillac like allure. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but quite firm tannins that frame the graphite-infused black fruit. Quite direct, and in some ways a no-frills Gruaud Larose, though that is not meant pejoratively. Classically styled claret - no more, no less. (12.55% alcohol). 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Clearly Cabernet dominant, savoury with an attractive tannic frame. Should be accessible relatively early for a classified St Julien, but will age for a good few decades as there are plenty of well-textured tannins. Attractive floral notes give a gentle aromatic welcome, and the feel is elegant and finessed on the opening beats, with rose stems, raspberries, loganerries, white pepper, slate and liqourice. They have done a great job here, in the last year of organic conversion. 95% new oak. 94 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Gruaud Larose is very impressive, exhibiting deep aromas of wild berries, cherries and cassis mingled with hints of licorice, violets and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's impressively rich and layered, with lively acids and ripe tannins, it concludes with a pure and penetrating finish. Classically balanced and intensely flavored, it's an elegant, beautifully made wine that is well worth seeking out. Three beautiful parcels of recently planted Cabernet Sauvignon, situated on deep gravel ideally adapted to this variety but hitherto planted with Merlot, make a contribution to the blend this year; but that's only one of the factors that explain why Gruaud has produced a 2021 that looks set to rival or surpass even recent and more propitious vintages such as 2018. The blend is fully 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by 12% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, and it checks in at 12.5% alcohol. Congratulations are in order for technical director Virginie Sallette and the entire team at Gruaud Larose! Tasted twice. 94-95+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com
RED 2021 Château Haut Batailley 75cl £460 per case of 12 Château Haut Batailley
2021 / / 75cl
£460 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"This is setting out a serious stall, with depth through the palate and a sense of lively momentum. Cabernet dominant, with savoury fruits that are just a little short on the finish, rose stems, raspberry leaf, whispers of violet and peony and a ton of slate and pencil lead giving the Pauillac character. 70% new oak. 40ha now in total, after extra planting of the vineyard. 91 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Haut-Batailley is matured in 70% new oak for a planned 16 months. There is a large gap between this and the Verso, this Grand Vin displaying far more delineation and complexity, furnished with quite disarming estuarine-tinged black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a little chewiness on the entry, certainly one of the more saline Pauillac wines that I have encountered, and a structured, classically styled finish. For Bordeaux lovers looking for old-school claret. (13.12% alcohol). 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a charming, medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine evocative of cassis, sweet berries, pipe tobacco and pencil shavings. Supple and succulent, with an ample core of fruit and ripe, powdery tannins, it will likely take on additional depth with further élevage. Significant replanting of fallow parcels is underway at this Pauillac estate, but those vines are currently relegated to the second wine, the Verso of Haut-Batailley. 90-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a few steps up from the second wine. Dark and ample in feel, with broad shoulders, the Grand Vin possesses notable depth and intensity right out of the gate. Black cherry, plum, licorice, spice and leather race across the palate. Readers will find a Pauillac of power and depth that are typical of the southern part of the appellation. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Haut Brion 75cl £2,550 per case of 6 Château Haut Brion
2021 / / 75cl
£2,550 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"50.3% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.7% Cabernet Franc. 48 hl/ha. Cask sample. Bright crimson-purple. Fragrant berry-fruit notes as the wine opens. Smooth and refined on attack, the mid palate full and generous swathing powerful but integrated tannins. Impressive length and drive. Quite a powerhouse for such a complicated year. Huge potential. 13.8%. Drink 2032 – 2055. 18 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"A classical balance, reflecting a vintage that is fairly strict in its aromatic expression, exceptionally successful on this spot. Soft cassis bud, rose petal and rose stem, subdued power that gently builds over the palate. Unquestionably a different architecture to Haut-Brion than over the past few years, and there is a sculpted feel to the cassis and bilberry fruits, still with concentration and weight through the palate, expertly constructed. Feels like a window to the past, and is delicious. Harvest September 13 to October 8, with no Petit Verdot used this year. 73% new oak. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Haut-Brion has a more extravagant, charming bouquet compared directly with the La Mission at the moment, offering copious blackberry, black truffle, undergrowth and menthol scents. The palate is very well balanced, harmonious and poised, with fine-grained tannins and an almost pixelated finish. This Haut-Brion seems to have reveled in the cooler growing season, and at 13.8% alcohol, there is almost a degree less than recent vintages. Jean-Philippe Delmas has fashioned a contender for wine of the vintage. 95-97 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"As with the Clarence, the 2021 Château Haut-Brion is a darker, richer, more powerful wine. Currants, smoked black cherries, graphite, chocolate, and tobacco notes all define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a straight, focused, beautifully precise mouthfeel, gorgeous yet substantial tannins, and a great finish. It's going to hit maturity in 7-8 years and have 30 years of longevity or more. The 2021 is mostly Merlot, checking in as 50.3% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11.7% Cabernet Franc, hitting 13.8% alcohol and resting in 73% new French oak. 95-97 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2021 Haut-Brion is all class, all finesse. Naturally the overt intensity of recent vintages is replaced by a more understated style in 2021. Silky tannins caress a core of dark cherry/plum fruit. Hints of lavender, new leather, cloves and menthol gradually open. The trademark Haut-Brion aromatics are going to need a number of years in bottle to develop. The 2021 is hardly a blockbuster, and yet in many ways it is so primary. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A candidate for the title of wine of the vintage, the 2021 Haut-Brion unwinds in the glass with aromas of rich red and black fruit mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, licorice, black truffles, loamy soil and burning embers. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's elegant and multidimensional, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and ultra-refined tannins. Combining the classical proportions of the vintages of two decades ago with the viticultural and winemaking of today, it's a timeless classic in the making, but it's difficult to find an obvious analogy with an older vintage. When pressed, Jean-Philippe Delmas suggests a superior version of the 2014 vintage, and to me, a more concentrated, serious version of the 2012 vintage also comes to mind. What is clear, however, is that this is one of the real high points of 2021. The blend is 50% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc, and it attained 13.8% alcohol—a percentage point or so lower than in 2020 or 2019. 96-98 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"A very structured young Haut-Brion with blackberry, blackcurrant, black-olive and mushroom character. Medium to full-bodied with a driving balance of firm and ripe tannins and gorgeous fruit. 50.3% merlot, 38% cabernet sauvignon and 11.7% cabernet franc. 97-98 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château La Chenade 75cl £156 per case of 12 Château La Chenade
2021 / / 75cl
£156 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"100% Merlot. Cask sample. Meaty and savoury with a touch of hedgerow fruit. Some leafiness on the palate, otherwise supple, succulent and round. Slight bitter edge and sandy tannins on the finish. 15.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The precision that you find so often in the Durantou family estates is fully on display here, with carefully placed redcurrant and raspberry fruit and gentle waves of campfire smoke. A little soft through the mid palate, but all in balance. No frost or mildew, giving yields of 45hl/h. Sandy gravel soils, harvest September 23 to October 1. Noémie Durantou winemaker. 88 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 La Chenade was picked between September 24 and October 1 and this year is pure Merlot. Again, it is simple but clean and well-defined on the nose of brassy red cherries and crushed strawberry fruit. The palate is balanced with vivacious red fruit. It pulls up a tad short, but there is still plenty of flavor and freshness here. Fine. 87-89 points" Neal Martin, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 La Chenade, from vineyards in Lalande de Pomerol that were saved from the frost, offers up rich aromas of berries and plums mingled with loamy soil and spices. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and seamless, it's built around powdery tannins and lively acids. 89-90 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 La Chenade is a soft, supple Lalande de Pomerol loaded with charm. Succulent dark cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate and spice are nicely pushed forward in this attractive, easygoing 2021. La Chenade is all Merlot this year, as the Franc was used for the Cruzelles. 90-92 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château La Conseillante 75cl £942 per case of 6 Château La Conseillante
2021 / / 75cl
£942 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Château La Conseillante showed beautifully, and while it's not going to match the all-time greats here, it's a quintessential, elegant, seamless Pomerol in the making. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as a spectacular nose of pure cassis, ripe tobacco, damp earth, and ample floral nuances, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, beautiful overall balance, and a great finish. It's a remarkable effort in this challenging vintage. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, still aging in 70% new barrels, that hit 13.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.6. 93-95 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Lovely, balanced and linear with seamless, fine tannins that are soft and creamy. Medium-bodied. Very attractive berry, light walnut and violet character. Long finish. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"Flavoursome, sculpted, successful, this is rippling with violet and rosebud aromatics, followed by raspberry and black cherry fruits. It maintains momentum through the mid palate with a creamy texture and gourmet touches of liquorice root, cocoa bean and precisely-expressed slate minerality. Harvest began the latest ever, on September 28 through to October 12, 39hl/h yield, almost exactly average for the property (the average in Pomerol this year was closer to 29hl/h), from 9.77ha of vines in production, 3.6ph, 70% new oak with 3% amphora and 3.5% press wine. A successful showing for the 150th vintage of the estate from director Marielle Cazeaux. Michel Rolland consultant. 95 points" janeanson.com------"A superb effort that transcends the challenges of the vintage, the 2021 La Conseillante offers up a beautifully perfumed nose of wild berries, raspberry coulis, violets, exotic spices and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's a sensual, seamless wine that's deep and layered, structured around supple tannins and lively acids. Perfumed and penetrating, the 2021 isn't the most powerful wine this estate has produced, but it brilliantly exemplifies the rare structural elegance and almost Burgundian aromatic range that so often set this great estate apart from the rest of the Pomerol appellation. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 95-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 is a super-classic La Conseillante the likes of which has not been made here in a very long time. A Pomerol of vibrancy and tension, the 2021 bristles with energy from start to finish. All the elements are so well-balanced. Aromatic and delineated, with terrific drive, the 2021 is so impressive in the early going. Dried herbs, licorice, mocha, cassis and blackberry open beautifully. The 70% new oak is already nicely integrated. To be sure, the 2021 is nervy and taut, as most wines are in this vintage. But it's all there. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The 2021 La Conseillante was picked the latest in memory, from September 28 until October 8, at 39hL/ha, and matured in 70% new oak. It comes in at 13.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.6. The beautifully defined bouquet offers blackberry, bilberry and light iris petal scents, just a suggestion of black truffle coming though with time. The harmonious palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and lightly spiced red fruit. There is a very subtle ferrous note, lovely depth and grip on the finish, and a persistent aftertaste. A beautiful La Conseillante courtesy of winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team. 95-97 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château La Lagune 75cl £315 per case of 12 Château La Lagune
2021 / / 75cl
£315 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Pretty nose with what appears to be a good concentration of fruit. Pure and precise on the palate, the tannins smooth and rounded. Compact and harmonious with adequate mid-palate fruit and length on the finish. Bravo. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 La Lagune was picked from September 23 until October 12, from a biodynamically run vineyard due for certification in 2023, and matured in 50% new oak. It suffered a little frost damage at the beginning of the season but very little mildew. The Cabernet was deleafed and yields controlled (30hL/ha) in order to achieve ripeness. This has plenty of brambly red berry fruit on the nose, along with wild strawberry and tayberry; sous-bois and freshly rolled tobacco scents unfold with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly austere opening, modest depth, noticeable acidity and peppery red fruit toward the finish, which leaves a residual bitterness on the aftertaste. Maybe a little rustic after preceding vintages, this will just need to fill out during élevage. 89-91 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Love the beatiful sappy blue fruit that runs through the glass here, and there is character and depth through the palate. Silful winemaking with a feeling of precision, and an impressive tannic frame that holds things in place even while the fresh acidities splice through the fruit and brings things to a finish a little abruptly. 30hl/h yield. Tasted twice. 91 points" janeanson.com------"A pretty middle-weight, the 2021 La Lagune offers up inviting aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with hints of licorice, loamy soil, raw cocoa and cigar wrapper. Medium-bodied, ample and succulent, it's fleshy and seamless, with an ample core of fruit, bright acids and melting tannins. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, it checks in at a modest 12.5% alcohol. Tasted four times, twice at the château. 90-92 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 La Lagune is a gorgeous, super-expressive wine. The aromatics alone are beguiling. Deep and beautifully layered in the glass, with striking layers of nuance, the 2021 is a knock-out. It should age gracefully for many years to come. 90-92.5 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château La Mission Haut Brion 75cl £1,350 per case of 6 Château La Mission Haut Brion
2021 / / 75cl
£1,350 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"47.9% Merlot, 45.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.3% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. A mix of refined power and elegance. Deep crimson hue. Fragrant dark fruit and cassis notes as the wine opens. Texturally very fine with plentiful tannins that are coated and smooth. Lovely freshness accompanied by persistence and drive. Great balance. Plenty of potential. 13.4%. Drink 2030 – 2050 17.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is blessed with an ethereal bouquet, subtle touches of wilted iris petal and truffle infuse the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, perfectly judged acidity, quite compact on the mid-palate with linear and correct finish. Not the most charming La Mission Haut-Brion. You could argue that it is slightly "aloof", yet intuition tells me it has something up its sleeve for later on. Patience necessary. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Lots of sea-salt, iodine and purple-fruit aromas and flavors to this. Turns to bark and forest floor. Powerful. Full-bodied and muscular. 47.9% merlot, 45.8% cabernet sauvignon and 6.3% cabernet franc. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Château La Mission Haut-Brion checks in as a blend of 47.9% Merlot, 45.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc that hit 13.4% alcohol and is still resting in 27% new French oak. Graphite, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and gorgeous cassis and violet-tinge blue fruits all define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a vibrant, elegant mouthfeel, terrific tannins, and one hell of a great finish. It's a softer, rounder, more layered wine than the Haut-Brion, with a little more sexiness, yet both are utterly brilliant wines. 94-96 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, sweet spices, cigar box and licorice, the 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is full-bodied, lively and seamless, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit framed by bright acids and supple, powdery tannins. This charming, sensual rendition of La Mission is a blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, attaining 13.4% alcohol. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Plenty of classic La Mission finesse and balance, touches of cloves and velvety tannins, this is surpremely balanced and elegant, with pummice stone minerality. It is a little taut on the finish in its tannic structure and no question majors more heavily on the cool blue fruit character than we have seen with this property in recent years. Seriously enjoyable, a total masterclass in cool climate fruit delivery. Easy to recommend. 73% new oak, harvest september 20 to October 8. No frost impact here and very little mildew, meaning the overall yield was up to 47hl/h, extremely generous for the vintage. 97 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château La Petite Eglise 75cl £410 per case of 12 Château La Petite Eglise
2021 / / 75cl
£410 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Lafite 75cl £2,950 per case of 6 Château Lafite
2021 / / 75cl
£2,950 per case of 6
IB
RED 2021 Château Lafon Rochet 75cl £300 per case of 12 Château Lafon Rochet
2021 / / 75cl
£300 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Château Langoa Barton 75cl £355 per case of 12 Château Langoa Barton
2021 / / 75cl
£355 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Bright plum in colour, this is skilfully expressed, austere but present red cherry and blackberry fruits, strict tannic structure that opens through the mid palate to allow some juice and sandalwood smoke to run through the fruit. This has less of the exuberant depths that we have seen in Langoa in recent vintages, a little more old school overall, but will age, and has appellation signature. 60% new oak. Technical director François Brehant, consultant Eric Boissenot. 92 points." JaneAnson.com (JA) Apr 2022------"Analysis shows 13.03% alcohol. It has a well-defined bouquet with expressive Merlot this year. Hints of blood orange/orange sorbet percolate through the red fruit. It has a skip in its step. The palate is medium-bodied with a taut and fresh entry. Plenty of sapidity here. Oyster shell tinged with a well-defined and quite persistent finish. Lovely length, this is quite a gorgeous Saint Julien that will age beautifully in bottle. 91-93 points." Vinous.com (NM)------"The first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, the 2021 Langoa Barton is immensely promising, offering up aromas of cassis, cigar wrapper, loamy soil and black truffle, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless palate that's deep and complete, its vibrant core of fruit framed by ripe tannins and lively acids. It's a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times. 92-94 points." Wine Advocate (WK) Apr 2022
RED 2021 Château Laroque 75cl £240 per case of 12 Château Laroque
2021 / / 75cl
£240 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Deep crimson hue. Dark and racy on the nose. Good depth of succulent mid-palate fruit. Plenty of polished tannin providing drive and persistence. A little chalkiness but nothing abrasive. Ambitious and with potential. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Laroque has upped its game in recent vintages under David Suire. It was cropped between 1 and 15 October at 41hL/ha, and matured in 50% new oak. It has a refined bouquet with brombly red fruit, light undergrowth and mineral scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain innins, poised and again, mineral-driven thanks to its limestone soils. This latest release continues that fine run of form but will be more approachable than recent vintages. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A medium-bodied, elegant and fresh red with fine and silky tannins. Fresh acidity. Balanced and perfumed already with vibrant raspberry, blackberry and bark notes. Very citrusy. Linear and bright. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Laroque is very promising indeed, and winemaker David Suire and I agree that it is likely to surpass the estate's 2018 vintage in quality. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, plums and cherries, framed by a discreet patina of new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, with excellent concentration, lively acids and ripe, melting tannins. A blend of 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, it represents 45% of the estate's production and derives from vines more than 50 years old. 92-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Laroque is a standout. Bright and racy, with tremendous persistence, Laroque stakes its claim as Saint-Emilion's brightest rising star. Bright limestone accents run through a core of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint and white pepper. There is a linear intensity to Laroque that is hugely appealing. Technical Director David Suire fashioned a gem. Don't miss it. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf 75cl £790 per case of 6 Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf
2021 / / 75cl
£790 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Less overblown than some years but recognisable house style. Rich and gourmand with mouth-filling red fruit, the toasted oak present but integrated. Fine, silky tannins and reasonable length. Early-drinking pleasure but should age a bit as well. (JL) 13.5%. Drink 2027 – 2038 16.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"It's a brave estate that makes 100% 1st wine in the 2021 vintage, but Tertre Rotebeouf is perfectly placed on south-facing slopes, with obsessive attention to detail in the vineyard from the Mitjavile family. One to look out for, this has rich aromatics, a touch of reduction, fleshy black cherry, smoked earth, powerful liquorice bud, rose petals and clove spice, expanding through the mid palate. Works both in terms of the estate signature and in showcasing the potential of the 2021 vintage for sculpted but still concentrated wines in the right spots. Brilliant stuff. No crushing of the grapes here but full destemming, no cold soaks, 16% press wine, 100% new oak. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Tertre-Rôteboeuf was tasted directly from barrel à la Bourgogne. (Why don't more châteaux do this, if logistically convenient?) It has a comparatively less explosive, gourmand bouquet compared to vintages that I have tasted at this stage in recent years, featuring dark berries, hints of blueberry, iris flower and an underlying mineralité that only surfaces after 3–4 minutes in the glass. The harmonious palate is an absolute stunner. It delivers brilliant delineation and purity, one of the most energetic Tertre-Rôtebouefs that I have encountered, and a dash of black pepper on the finish. I have to confess: I had to have a sneaky sip of this. 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Le Tertre Roteboeuf is extremely promising, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, mulberries and plums mingled with subtle hints of spices, raw cocoa, espresso roast and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, it's deep and concentrated, with a layered, sensual mid-palate that's supple and lively, concluding with a long, expansive finish. This is just the sort of vintage that François Mitjaville excels in, and it is worth a special effort to seek out. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com
RED 2021 Château L'Eglise Clinet 75cl £1,250 per case of 6 Château L'Eglise Clinet
2021 / / 75cl
£1,250 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Busy and complex with dark fruit, camphor and spice notes. Juicy fruit and a real concentration of velvety tannin. Honed and long with plenty of freshness. Well constructed from beginning to end. 14%. Drink 2030 – 2045. 17.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Rich and precise on the nose, and here you see why austerity in tannic structure can be a rather beautiful attribute - carved, careful, precise, coming through as energy and potential rather than forbidding. Not as dense as the 2018 or 2019, think instead of the intellectual 2017 but with more depth to the tannins. Blueberry, bilberry, loganberry, violet flowers, slate, earth, mandarin zest and incense. Harvest September 27 to 29, no chaptilisation, 75% new oak. 95 points" janeanson.com------"A deep, serious wine, the 2021 L'Eglise Clinet unwinds in the glass with notions of wild berries and plums mingled with dark chocolate, sweet loamy soil, warm spices, violets and black truffle. Full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's rich and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, lively acids and plenty of ripe, powdery tannin that nods to its origins in a sector of Pomerol capable of producing some of the appellation's most structured, long-lived wines. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 93-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked September 27–29, a rapid harvest within three days; winemaker Noëmie Durantou told me she wanted to beat the forecasted rain that would have diluted the fruit. Raised in 75% new oak, this has a less concentrated, mineral-driven bouquet that bides its time, offering nuanced pine cone scents with aeration. The palate is clearly built around elegance, with its finely chiseled tannins and wonderful crushed stone notes. Perhaps a more streamlined l'Eglise-Clinet, showing wonderful precision. This Pomerol never tries to outdo its limitations or ape previous vintages, lending it an intangible sense of honesty. Beautiful. (14.0% alcohol) 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Medium-bodied with very fine-textured tannins. Delicious sweet and salty and mineral character. Blackberries, violets, cloves and dark olives. Peaches, too. All focused, fresh and in balance. Long, seamless finish. 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc. 97-98 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Léoville Barton 75cl £669 per case of 12 Château Léoville Barton
2021 / / 75cl
£669 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"St Julien’s location next to the river Garonne saved it from the worst of the frost, and this is one of the best wines in the appellation. It has energy and plenty of depths of fruit to work through, with powerful spice notes of clove, white pepper and turmeric, with the fresh acidities in the cassis and bilberry fruit turned into a prop for propelling things forward through the palate. And even if all this wasn’t the case, this is a wine to buy in 2021 in memory of Anthony Barton, long-term owner and Bordeaux legend, who died in January 2022. 60% new oak. Tasted twice. 94 points." JaneAnson.com (JA) Apr 2022------"The 2021 Léoville-Barton was picked from 27 September until 7October, matured in 603% new oak. The alcohol is 13.12%. It has a clean and pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and hints of shucked oyster shell: focused and very well delineated, classic in style. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry, very well-knit with beautifully integrated oak. Crisp acidity with the perfect amount of tension on the classically-styled finish, this Léoville Barton demonstrates the advantages of their brand new cellar (even though the reception was not finished in time!) I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar. 93-95 points." Vinous.com (NM) Apr 2022------"A terrific success, the 2021 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of blackcurrant, wild berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's concentrated and tensile, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and all the class that an elevated percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon growing in deep gravel can provide. It's the first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, and I suspect that contributes to the ultra-refined quality of tannin this year. The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times. 93-95 points." Wine Advocate (WK) Apr 2022
RED 2021 Château Léoville Las Cases 75cl £975 per case of 6 Château Léoville Las Cases
2021 / / 75cl
£975 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"Less restrained than usual at this stage, the nose fresh and fragrant with floral and berry-fruit notes. More elegance than power, the tannins present but finely honed and the fruit expressive. Structured, so potential but not a muscular year. 17+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Plenty of fruit on display here, with waves of cassis, blackberry and bilberry along with the more typical of the vintage redcurrant and blueberry, savoury and full of juice, along with cloves, black pepper, slate and graphite. There is a power here, and estate signature, but the austerity that you often find in young Las Cases is really dominant in the architecture and character of the wine right now, and you will need patience over ageing for it to soften. 85% new oak. A strong candidate for upscoring in bottle. 94 points" janeanson.com------""The 2021 Léoville Las Cases was picked from 28 September until 8 October and includes just 5% Merlot from the northern sectors of the vineyard due to coulure. They found that increased percentages of Merlot did not contribute to the blend. Matured in 85% new oak, it has an intense nose with black fruit, graphite and light iris flower aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, quite a potent marine influence at play, almost briny (perhaps accentuated by the changeable weather on the day of my visit). Very impressive in terms of depth and backbone/grip with iodine and oyster shells towards the finish, this is a cerebral Las-Cases that will demand patience. Then again, name me a vintage of Las-Cases that doesn't! Alcohol here is at 13.20%.  94-96 points."  Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Léoville Las-Cases is classy, nuanced and so expressive. There's gorgeous depth, and yet the 2021 is not as explosive as it has been in the recent past. That's not a bad thing, not at all. Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc comprise fully 95% of the blend in a Las Cases that is beautifully persistent from start to finish. It's a wine that has one foot in its rich, historical past, and the other very much in the more modern style of contemporary vintages. There is so much to look forward to.  94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"One of the wines of the vintage, the 2021 Léoville Las Cases is reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 1999 and 1996—only better. Offering up incipiently complex aromas of cassis, plums and dark berries mingled with loamy soil, cigar wrapper and exotic spices, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with superb amplitude and concentration, velvety tannins, lively acids and a long, penetrating finish. Uniting classicism and charm, it exemplifies how a great terroir, exigent agronomy and meticulous winemaking can deliver greatness even in a less propitious vintage. It's a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and a mere 5% Merlot this year, checking in at 13.2% alcohol.  95-97 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com 
RED 2021 Château Léoville Poyferré 75cl £215 per case of 3 Château Léoville Poyferré
2021 / / 75cl
£215 per case of 3
IB
RED 2021 Château Léoville Poyferré 75cl £430 per case of 6 Château Léoville Poyferré
2021 / / 75cl
£430 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Deep, bright colour. Attractive nose with dark-fruit and floral notes and a creamy edge. Rich and round on attack with ample substance and a juiciness to the fruit. Tannins plentiful but fine and integrated. Grip and persistence on the finish. Clear potential. 13% Drink 2030 – 2046. 17+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Léoville-Poyferré was picked from 28 September until 12 October at just 24hL/ha and matured in 80% new oak, the remainder second-fill. It has a high-toned, concentrated bouquet with iodine-infused black fruit, becoming floral in the glass with scents of crushed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with Poyferré's trademark velvety smooth tannins. Fine depth, though clearly not as ostentatious as the previous three vintages, it is a more streamlined Poyferré, though that renders the wine well-balanced. There is just a dash of black pepper on the finish, though it just misses a little persistency on the aftertaste. But overall, a fine Saint-Julien that should give many years of drinking pleasure. 13.0% alcohol. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Léoville Poyferré shows considerable promise, wafting from the glass with aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with spices, licorice and petals, framed by a deft touch of creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, it's a polished, charming wine with a pretty core of fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with a penetrating finish. It's a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 93-94+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Léoville-Poyferré is classy and polished right out of the gate. All the classic Poyferré signatures come through, but in miniature. The 2021 impresses with its pliant fruit, silky tannins and fine balance. To be sure, the 2021 is a smaller-scaled wine than the norm here over the last few years, but that is the charm of this vintage. Inky dark fruit, pencil shavings, licorice and menthol build into the super-expressive finish. Tasted three times. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The top wine, the 2021 Château Léoville Poyferré is a beauty and certainly makes the most of the vintage. Based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14% alcohol (with an IPT of 78 and a pH of 3.85), its dense purple hue is followed by a rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied Saint-Julien that has terrific purity of fruit, notes of cassis, violets, and spicy wood, ripe tannins, and remarkable overall balance. It brings more richness and depth than most in the vintage and is unquestionably going to offer tons of pleasure over the coming 20-25 years. 94-97 points" Jebdunnuck.com
RED 2021 Château Les Carmes Haut Brion 75cl £650 per case of 6 Château Les Carmes Haut Brion
2021 / / 75cl
£650 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. 45% whole bunch. Cask sample. Deep purple-crimson hue. Lively and fresh with spicy, smoky notes on the nose. There’s a lushness to the ample fruit but lift and freshness as well, the plentiful tannins upright and integrated. Again, lots of energy and drive with just that bit more concentration than Le C. Clean, dry finish. Vibrant and harmonious. 13.5%. Drink 2028 – 2045. 17+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Inky colour, enticing texture and aromatics, accomplished construction with no drop of density through the mid palate. They use reductive techniqes during ageing so you always have to give Carmes time in the glass to open up (even after En Primeur, when in bottle), and you are richly rewarded by a bit of patience, with damson, black cherry, rich chocolate, liqourice, smoked earth, mandarin peel, rose bud and mouthwartering acidities. This has tension and subdued power, and is a successful interpretation of the vintage. 42hl/h yields, same as 2020, no frost, no mildew, no coulure. Harvest as in Sauternes; with three passes through the vineyard at harvest. No chaptilisation. Harvest September 23 to October 1. 3.6ph, 45% whole grape, only 5% less than last year. 70% new oak, 20% large sized still new but 1800 litres, and 10% amphoras. A potential upscore in bottle. 94 points" janeanson.com------"I'd put the 2021 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Based on 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Merlot, aging in 80% new barrels, it offers a brilliant perfume of plum and black raspberry fruits supported by lots of spice and exotic floral notes. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a rounded, expansive mouthfeel that's rare to find in the vintage, terrific mid-palate depth, moderate acidity, and a great finish. It's a singular, brilliant Pessac that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 20-25+ in cold cellars. Enough can't be said about the quality and passion being brought to this estate by winemaker Guillaume Pouthier, and this is an estate readers need to be purchasing. 93-95 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion includes 45% whole bunch, the same as the previous vintage with 70% new oak, 20% in new 1800-litre foudres and some in amphora. Interestingly, the whole bunch contribution is less evident here compared to the Le C des Carmes, more assimilated with touches of flint and graphite infusing the mineral-rich black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with firm grip on the entry, plenty of crunchy black fruit infused with graphite, cracked black pepper and cedar underlying marine influences. With a of freshness on the saline finish, tensile with an almost penetrating minerally aftertaste, this will deserve 5-7 years in bottle. 13.5% alcohol. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This is a special wine for the vintage with a wonderful and impressive tannin texture that melts into the wine, giving softness and finesse. Medium-bodied, showing a solid core of fruit with beautiful, focused cassis, blackberry and crushed-stone character. The unique terror of this estate, which is surrounded by houses in a suburb of Bordeaux, has produced a gorgeous wine in this difficult vintage. 45% whole bunches. 40% cabernet franc, 35% cabernet sauvignon and 25% merlot. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com------"A brilliant and intensely individual wine, the 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion shows immense potential. Wafting from the glass with aromas of rich berries and plums mingled with notions of raw cocoa, loamy soil, rose petals, burnt sage and vine smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, vibrant and seamless, with a deep, dynamic core of fruit and a long, penetrating finish. Transcending the limitations of the vintage, it wouldn't surprise me were this wine ultimately to surpass the 2019 and 2020 in quality. It's a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot that's maturing in 70% new oak and the rest in 15-hectoliter foudres. Tasted twice. 94-97 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Technical Director Olivier Pouthier crafted one of the wines of the vintage at Les Carmes Haut-Brion. The 2021 possesses mind-blowing intensity and stunning persistence. Bright red-fleshed fruit, blood orange, mint, dried flowers and exotic spice caress the senses as the 2021 shows off its sheer allure. I don't think I have ever tasted a young Carmes with this level of precision. The blend is 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, aged in 70% new oak, 20 % new foudres and 10% in amphora. As always, Les Carmes sees some whole cluster, 45% in 2021, an unusual technique in Bordeaux, but one that works so well here. The 2021 is a magical wine. That's all there is to it. 96-98 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Les Cruzelles 75cl £210 per case of 12 Château Les Cruzelles
2021 / / 75cl
£210 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Outstanding for the year. Lovely, floral notes on the nose and density on the palate. A velvety texture to the plentiful tannins. Full and long from beginning to end. Doesn’t miss a beat. 13.5% Drink 2026 – 2036 16.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Les Cruzelles is showing considerable promise, wafting from the glass with aromas of plums, sweet spices, wild berries and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, layered and impressively deep and concentrated, with lively acids and a saline finish, it's a terrific effort and as usual a benchmark for what is possible in Lalande-de-Pomerol. The 2021 is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. 89-91 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Gunsmoke reduction, clears quickly, and this is a successful interpretation of the vintage, with cooling and precise savoury blue fruits, and a whisp of violet aromatics. Fine tannins, well balanced, working with an unsual blend because higher levels of Cabernet Franc than normal. 45hl/h yields from early-ripening terroir. Look out for it. Harvest September 23 to 30. 91 points" janeanson.com------"This vintage, Noemie Durantou decided that one lot of Cabernet Franc was so good that she took it out of La Chenade and blended it into the 2021 Les Cruzelles. It has a lovely nose with blackberry, redcurrant, undergrowth and hints of bell pepper, that Cabernet lending more complexity. The palate is very well balanced with good depth and freshness, spicier than usual with a persistent finish. This would be my pick for Durantou if their Pomerol wines are out of reach. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Les Cruzelles is gorgeous. A high amount of Cabernet Franc in the blend lends notable aromatic presence and complexity. All the elements are so well balanced Naturally, the 2021 doesn't have the body of some recent years, but this style is so appealing. Rose petal, sage, mint, sweet spice and crushed raspberry fruit all grace this wonderfully nuanced wine. The 2021 is a bit shy. All it needs is time to emerge. 91-93 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Lynch Bages 75cl £510 per case of 6 Château Lynch Bages
2021 / / 75cl
£510 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Lynch Bages is a brooding wine. Black cherry, leather, spice and menthol add to its decidedly somber personality. It will be interesting to see how the 2021 develops during élevage. Today, the 2021 comes across as dark and heavy, with the oak not fully integrated, and less of the suave finesse that is perhaps the key Lynch Bages signature. 92-94 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"This is impressive, reduction on the first nose but it clears to show gentle smoked oak, bitter cocoa beans and liqourice, giving balance the the fresh acidities that stud the blackberry and raspberry fruits. This is powerful, with a structure that feels similar to the 2014 or the 2008 - a little subdued and austere, but with ageing potential. A high tannin index of 90IPT. Harvest September 27 Lynch through to October 9. One of the best in Pauillac, finishing up with chewy tannins. 94 points" janeanson.com------"The second vintage vinified in the Cazes family's new winery, the 2021 Lynch-Bages unwinds in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, sweet berries, loamy soil, black truffle and cigar wrapper, framed by nicely integrated new oak. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's a serious, layered, powerful, youthfully structured wine that will come together beautifully with maturation in barrel. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Lynch-Bages, picked at 34hL/ha and matured in 75% new oak for a planned 18 months, has an outstanding bouquet, beautifully-defined and sensual, a mixture of black and blueberry fruit, very fragrant. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, good body and density, quite precise with a tensile finish. This fans out nicely on the finish. A very classy Lynch Bages with echoes of Jean-Michel Cazes' classics from the late eighties. 13.14% alcohol. 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This is really cool to smell, with lead pencil shavings, iron filings and oyster shells. Blackcurrants, too. Full to medium body with layers of firm tannins, but a dusty and powdery texture, too. Lovely finish. 67% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Malartic Lagraviere 75cl £343 per case of 12 Château Malartic Lagraviere
2021 / / 75cl
£343 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Sweet, ripe nose even if a little austere on the palate. Tannins have been well managed but the acidity can’t help dominating the fruit. Just a little note of sourness and lack of fruit depth on the sudden finish. Drink 2027 – 2040. 15.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Malartic Lagravière was picked from 29 September to 19 October at 45hL/ha and matured in 65% new oak. It has a taut and linear bouquet: blackberry, pencil shavings and light estuarine scents. The palate has a ripe entry, quite sharp acidity, modest weight with a linear and correct finish with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I suspect this will drink well for up to 15 years. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A blend of fully 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the 2021 Malartic Lagravière offers up aromas of sweet berries, plums, burning embers and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and powdery palate that's impressively concentrated, refined and elegant. It's a fine effort from an estate on the rise. 90-92 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Impressive texture and clever construction, with structure and power, delivering aniseed, fennel, blueberry, raspberry, liqourice and cocoa bean. Harvested from the end of September through to October 19, allowing the Cabernet to get to a good ripeness, and you can feel it in the overall structure of the wine. 42.25hl/h yield, tasted twice. 92 points" janeanson.com
WHITE 2021 Château Malartic Lagraviere Blanc 75cl £236 per case of 6 Château Malartic Lagraviere Blanc
2021 / / 75cl
£236 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"89% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Sémillon. Cask sample. Notes of green vegetation on the nose. Then an attractive fruitiness on the palate. Already attractive, even if not one of the most complex white Pessac-Léognans. An early developer? Impressively persistent. Drink 2023 – 2028. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Malartic Lagravière Blanc shows promise, bursting with aromas of lime zest, fresh mint, grapefruit and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and nicely concentrated, it's a taut, intensely flavored wine that concludes with a long, saline finish. 90-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Malartic-Lagravière Blanc was picked from 15 to 24 September with less Sémillon due to frost (11%) and matured in 50% new oak. Clean and precise on the nose, this unfurls nicely in the glass, taut and mineral-driven. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity, lively and beautifully balanced, just the right amount of salinity with a cohesive and lingering finish. This is an outstanding white Pessac-Léognan. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"White peach and pear, juicy texture, powerful, great quality with linen and slate texture though the palate and an expertly mouthwatering finish. Tasted twice, excellent quality. 94 points" janeanson.com------"This is very framed and beautiful. Tannin tension, in a very fine and polished way. It’s full-bodied, yet agile and almost weightless. Long and persistent with great finesse and structure. 89% sauvignon blanc and 11% semillon. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Malescot St Exupery 75cl £444 per case of 12 Château Malescot St Exupery
2021 / / 75cl
£444 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Mid to dark crimson. Sweet, seductive nose. Very gentle tannins which lurk rather than dominate. A wine that really does taste like a young wine – and a young Margaux at that – that will blossom. Dry but not too drying finish. Neat. Very classic claret with sufficient but not excessive ripeness. Though there is nothing remotely flashy about it and I may be being too generous with my score; its charms are quite subtle. And it’s not especially concentrated. A ‘fluid’ wine… Some may criticise it for its lack of weight. Drink 2027 – 2042. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Malescot Saint Exupéry has quite a high-toned bouquet with black cherries, blueberry and violet aromas, exuberant compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity, quite focused yet there is just a little dryness and abruptness on the finish. That might be remedied during its élevage so let's see how this turns out. I was anticipating a bit more from this excellent Margaux estate, but maybe it will meliorate in barrel? Not beyond possibility. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Malescot St. Exupery is a terrific effort, offering up aromas of sweet cassis and plums mingled with notions of licorice, espresso roast and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's impressively layered, with a sweet core of fruit, ripe tannins and lively acids. The dramatic style of the château has worked very well with the cooler, later-maturing vintage. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 92-94 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Malescot St. Exupéry is another terrific wine from a property that has been trending towards finesse. The 2021 represents another step in that direction, helped by the vintage, of course. Red cherry, iron, blood orange, spice, tobacco and cedar build as this mid-weight, savory Margaux shows off its considerable charms. Pretty floral top notes accent the finish. Tasted two times. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A tight and focused young red with redcurrant and blackberry character. It’s medium-bodied with racy and fine tannins and a linear, focused finish. Lots going on, yet it’s tight and energetic. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Margaux 75cl £2,550 per case of 6 Château Margaux
2021 / / 75cl
£2,550 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes“Vivid fruit, raspberries and bilberries, cassis bud, saffron and graphite, full of energy and classicism, showcasing what can be achieved in the vintage. Harvest through to October 14. 36% of the overall production. 3.64ph, Tannic index of 73, the same level as in 2019 and a litttle less than 2018 and 2020. Philippe Bascaules director, Eric Boissenot consultant.  95 points.”  Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, Apr 2022------“...clean and precise on the nose, much more discrete than the outgoing Pavillon Rouge and unfolds like a temptress in the glass. Intense dark cherries, hints of blueberry and trademark crushed violets then start to billow, all exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky smooth veneer that does a good job disguising the structure underneath. Surprisingly plush given the growing season, the concentration is very impressive with no hard edges. It's a very Margaux-like Château Margaux insofar that it could not come from any other appellation.  94-96 points.”  Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022------“… a little closed and broody to start, with notions of tar, licorice, fertile loam, and truffles leading to a core of fresh blackcurrants, juicy blackberries, and black raspberries, plus a touch of iron ore. Medium-bodied, the palate has wonderful intensity with a firm, fine-grained texture and plenty of freshness to support the tightly knit black and red berry flavors, finishing with loads of energy and shimmer. The first wine represents 36% of the crop this year and it came in with a phenolic index (IPT) of 75. 2028-2058.  95-97 points.”  Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022------“...clearly one of the finest wines of the vintage. Offering up a deep bouquet of raspberries, wild blueberries and plums mingled with sweet spices, violets, licorice and hints of cigar box, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with terrific depth at the core and beautifully refined, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, floral finish. Combining the vibrant flavors and moderate alcohol (13.1%) of a vintage of the last century with all the precision of the present in extraction and élevage, it is a timeless classic; and lest that be mistaken for a euphemism for a lack of concentration, note that the wine is analytically as high in polyphenols as the brilliant 2019. Representing only 36% of the estate's production, the 2021 is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.  95-97+ points.”  William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 2022------“A Margaux with beautiful depth and grace and wonderfully well-placed, refined tannins, showing presence and a soft texture. They caress your palate. Full-bodied, yet tight and extremely long. Seamless. 87% cabernet franc, 8% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.  97-98 points”.  James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022
RED 2021 Château Margaux - Pavillon Rouge du Margaux 75cl £828 per case of 6 Château Margaux
Pavillon Rouge du Margaux
2021 / / 75cl
£828 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. 30% of the production. Cask sample. Floral notes with an attractive purity to the fruit. Firmly structured with the tannins well integrated in the fruit. Freshness and length on the finish. Demure but should age. 13.1%. Drink 2027 – 2038. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Pavillon Rouge continues the trend of more Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in the final blend as the vines planted 20 years ago reach maturity. Aged in 50% and 60% new oak, it has a very well-defined bouquet with perfumed black fruit, crushed violet and a touch of blood orange. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, rounded and fleshy to the point that you could almost run down the famous driveway and drink a bottle. Quite persistent on the finish. Very fine. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Pavillon Rouge is soft, sensual and open-knit, all qualities that make it an absolute delight to taste today. A burst of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, leather and sweet spice gives the 2021 its upfront appeal. There's lovely energy and brightness underpinning it all. Soaring aromatic top notes add allure, making it impossible to resist a second taste. 91-93 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"Aromas of plums, raspberries and sweet spices introduce the 2021 Pavillon Rouge, a medium to full-bodied, velvety and vibrant wine that's impressively rich and mouthfilling, revealing a deep core of fruit framed by powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, saline finish. The blend is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, and Philippe Bascaules observes that parcels planted 20 years ago and destined for the grand vin when they're a bit older are increasingly making the cut for Pavillon Rouge. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------" A nicely rounded young red with fine tannins that are polished and poised. Medium body with a solid center-palate and a creamy finish. Shows wonderful ripeness and beauty. 73% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Meyney 75cl £234 per case of 12 Château Meyney
2021 / / 75cl
£234 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Cask sample. Excellent depth of flavour and ripeness. Sappy with no skinniness. Really no sign that this was a difficult vintage. Complete. Fresh with ripe tannins dominated by vibrant, ripe fruit. It even has some impressive persistence. It’s not super-ripe but is certainly ripe enough. Drink 2027 – 2042 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Offering up aromas of cassis, blackberries, spices and creamy new oak, the 2021 Meyney is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with lively acids, powdery tannins and an impressively rich, textural profile for the vintage. It's a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot. 89-91 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"This has tannins, grip and plenty of character. Majors on blueberry and raspberry fruit, dips through the mid palate but enjoyable, one to look out for, with smoked caramel notes from the oak. Tasted twice. 44hl/h yield. Harvest September 24 to October 8. Anne la Naour technical director. Hubert de Bouard consultant. 91 points" janeanson.com------"A pretty wine with currant, cherry and some spices, such as nutmeg. Subtle this year. Medium body. 91-92 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Meyney has a lovely bouquet with floral-tinged red berry fruit, opening nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh red berry fruit laced with oyster shell and spice. Fine build towards a menthol-tinged finish, winemaker Anne La Nour has conjured a very commendable Saint-Estèphe from a tricky growing season. If release prices match your wallet, I'd stick a case (or two) in the cellar. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Montlandrie 75cl £178 per case of 12 Château Montlandrie
2021 / / 75cl
£178 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Plenty of chalky lift, the acidity present but matched by fruit and tannins. Wild terroir note just about tamed. Lively finish. Will need a little patience and to be matched with food. 14%. Drink 2027 – 2033 16 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Montlandrie, the Durantou family's Lalande de Pomerol, was picked between 30 September and 8 October, matured in 50% new oak. A mélange of red and black fruit on the nose, light liquorice and freshly-rolled tobacco scents surface with just a few swirls. The palate is well structured and focused, fresh and displays well-integrated oak, though perhaps Les Cruzelles as a little more panache at this early stage. 89-91 points" Neal Martin, RobertParker.com------"A blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Montlandrie exhibits aromas of rich berries and cherries mingled with loamy soil, spices and potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, lively and incisive, it's nicely concentrated, with fine depth at the core and a bright, saline finish. Its Côtes de Castillon origins mark this out as the most tensile, mineral wine in the Durantou portfolio. 90-92 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Kicks off with the knife-edge austerity of limestone, with a delicate frame and oyster shell salinity, opening to peony floral aromatics and gentle raspberry fruits. Tight overall in its construction, needs to soften over ageing. 50% new oak, harvest September 30 to October 7. 92 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château Montrose 75cl £680 per case of 6 Château Montrose
2021 / / 75cl
£680 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"53% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. 12% press wine. Cask sample. Dark and minerally through and through. Good fruit concentration. Hint of barrel but integrated. Velvety attack, the tannins dense but finely framed. Long, cool finish. Evident potential for ageing. Drink 2030 – 2050. 17+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Montrose is very clean and precise on the nose. You could almost describe it has clinical, crushed stone infusing the black fruit and briar. It is not as intense as the previous two vintages, which is to be expected, though the Cabernet Sauvignon is expressive. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine acidity; a Monrose that is very tensile and focused. Moderate grip and volume, this is a more slimline version of recent vintages, a reflection of the growing season. Maybe it just misses the bravura finish that one has almost come to expect from this estate, yet it has the potential to become an aristocratic, classic Montrose. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This has depth on the palate, inky purple with grilled almond, fennel, cassis, blackberry, bilblerry, waves of fruit set against strong, austere tannins that give excellent structure but not a lot of generosity. This is a serious, signature Montrose that is not an early drinker. Juicy on the finish, one to recommend. 55% new oak. Pierre Grafeuille has come on board as director since March 1, and will be taking over fully from Hervé Berland as of October 1. 95 points" janeanson.com------"A brilliant achievement, the 2021 Montrose is reminiscent of a purer, more precise, modern-day version of the estate's 1996. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of blackcurrants, pencil shavings, sweet loamy soil, black truffle and nicely integrated new oak, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with terrific depth at the core, lively acids and a seamless, harmonious profile. Exhibiting beautifully refined tannins and an impressive sense of completeness, it's a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot—standing out as one of the few top wines of the vintage that actually includes more Merlot and less Cabernet than in recent years. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 is a fine choice for Montrose fans who want to drink the Grand Vin without waiting for decades. I imagine the slightly high amount of Merlot also helps in giving the Grand Vin a measure of suppleness that is rarely found in Montrose. Gentle extractions bring out gorgeous purity in the fruit. Scorched earth, licorice, rose petal and blood orange develop in the glass, followed by a kick of Montrose structure on the finish. The 2021 is not an especially typical Montrose, but it is an undeniably attractive wine. The 13.1% alcohol has not been seen here in years. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A very classy and refined Montrose with excellent length and a compact, medium-bodied palate, showing fine, silky tannins and a fresh, bright finish. Lots of currant, blackberry and tar at the end, as well as some graphite. 62% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Mouton Rothschild 75cl £1,275 per case of 3 Château Mouton Rothschild
2021 / / 75cl
£1,275 per case of 3
IB
Tasting Notes"89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Blackcurrant and cranberry notes indicate the dominance of Cabernet in the blend. Meaty but fresh on the palate, the tannins silky and dense. Plenty of substance here, the fruit generous, the tannins firm, providing length on the finish. Rich, within the context of the vintage, but fresh at the same time. Looks to have staying power. (JL) 13.1%. Drink 2030 – 2050. 17.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild marks a return to the classic style of this First Growth after three hot vintages. Unsurprisingly, the Cabernet Sauvignon takes control and expresses cigar smoke and graphite aromas. This is very well defined, yet examining the wine over several minutes, I was searching in vain for that "magic touch" exuded in recent vintages. The palate is beautifully-knit, quite edgy on the opening, comparatively slender and markedly sapid. Unapologetically linear on the finish, it is as if the growing season snipped off the frills that defines a great Mouton-Rothschild. This is a very fine First Growth, yet I hope it just gains a bit of weight and, to use a more accurate word, "presence", during the remainder of its barrel maturation. 13.1% alcohol 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Jewel-ruby in colour, crystalline reflections. This is less exuberant than a usual Mouton, more of a classic Pauillac with intensity and depth through the palate. Plenty of grip and length, with rich layers of raspberry and blackberry fruits and curls of gunsmoke, liqourice and cocoa bean, giving hints of a more generous wine that should be released further over ageing. Focused and supple. 100% new oak. 3.73ph, 59IPT, 41hl/h yield. Harvest September 25 until October 6. The first vintage where it was Jean-Emmauel Danjoy from beginning to end, after Philippe Dhalluin's retiremement. 41% of overall production in Mouton. Strong candidate for an upscore in bottle. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a potent, tightly wound Pauillac that will need a number of years to come together. Driving in its intensity, with searing tannins, the 2021 comes across as a bit severe today, with less of the charm and sensuality that is such a Mouton signature. That said, I was not thrilled with the quality of either of the two samples of the Grand Vin I tasted. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a terrific wine in the making, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cherries and wild berries mingled with notions of violets, espresso roast, pipe tobacco and mint. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's a layered, enveloping wine that's ample and concentrated, with succulent acids, melting tannins and a long, resonant finish. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.1% alcohol, this is a demonstrative, sensual Mouton that's the fruit of extreme selection, and that may well make my score seem conservative with further élevage. Bravo to the talented Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy and his team. 95-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"A firm and compact Mouton with a powerful tannin frame for the vintage, yet it remains fine and precise as it opens to a velvety texture. Black fruit with tar, pencil lead and tobacco. Driven and firm. A little angular and tight at the moment. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 1% cabernet franc. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Mouton Rothschild 75cl £2,550 per case of 6 Château Mouton Rothschild
2021 / / 75cl
£2,550 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Blackcurrant and cranberry notes indicate the dominance of Cabernet in the blend. Meaty but fresh on the palate, the tannins silky and dense. Plenty of substance here, the fruit generous, the tannins firm, providing length on the finish. Rich, within the context of the vintage, but fresh at the same time. Looks to have staying power. (JL) 13.1%. Drink 2030 – 2050. 17.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild marks a return to the classic style of this First Growth after three hot vintages. Unsurprisingly, the Cabernet Sauvignon takes control and expresses cigar smoke and graphite aromas. This is very well defined, yet examining the wine over several minutes, I was searching in vain for that "magic touch" exuded in recent vintages. The palate is beautifully-knit, quite edgy on the opening, comparatively slender and markedly sapid. Unapologetically linear on the finish, it is as if the growing season snipped off the frills that defines a great Mouton-Rothschild. This is a very fine First Growth, yet I hope it just gains a bit of weight and, to use a more accurate word, "presence", during the remainder of its barrel maturation. 13.1% alcohol 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Jewel-ruby in colour, crystalline reflections. This is less exuberant than a usual Mouton, more of a classic Pauillac with intensity and depth through the palate. Plenty of grip and length, with rich layers of raspberry and blackberry fruits and curls of gunsmoke, liqourice and cocoa bean, giving hints of a more generous wine that should be released further over ageing. Focused and supple. 100% new oak. 3.73ph, 59IPT, 41hl/h yield. Harvest September 25 until October 6. The first vintage where it was Jean-Emmauel Danjoy from beginning to end, after Philippe Dhalluin's retiremement. 41% of overall production in Mouton. Strong candidate for an upscore in bottle. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a potent, tightly wound Pauillac that will need a number of years to come together. Driving in its intensity, with searing tannins, the 2021 comes across as a bit severe today, with less of the charm and sensuality that is such a Mouton signature. That said, I was not thrilled with the quality of either of the two samples of the Grand Vin I tasted. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a terrific wine in the making, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cherries and wild berries mingled with notions of violets, espresso roast, pipe tobacco and mint. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's a layered, enveloping wine that's ample and concentrated, with succulent acids, melting tannins and a long, resonant finish. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.1% alcohol, this is a demonstrative, sensual Mouton that's the fruit of extreme selection, and that may well make my score seem conservative with further élevage. Bravo to the talented Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy and his team. 95-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"A firm and compact Mouton with a powerful tannin frame for the vintage, yet it remains fine and precise as it opens to a velvety texture. Black fruit with tar, pencil lead and tobacco. Driven and firm. A little angular and tight at the moment. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 1% cabernet franc. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Mouton Rothschild - Le Petit Mouton 75cl £1,020 per case of 6 Château Mouton Rothschild
Le Petit Mouton
2021 / / 75cl
£1,020 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes“Representing 40% of the total volume, a little more than usual, the 2021 Le Petit-Mouton, is aged in 50% new oak. A very cabernet nose with conspicuous graphite scents infusing the black fruit, a little earl grey in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy opening, not amazingly complex but well balanced with fine tannins and just a pinch of black pepper on the finish. Classic in style, it should give 15-20 years of drinking pleasure. Drink 2025 – 2040. 90-92 points.” Neal Martin, Vinous Apr 2022------“Since Mouton-Rothschild itself this year derives exclusively from the two plateaus that always make up the core of the blend, the 2021 Le Petit Mouton benefits from the inclusion of parcels that often make it into the grand vin. Exhibiting aromas of crème de cassis, mint, cigar wrapper, violets and espresso roast, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with a rich core of fruit, powdery tannins, succulent acids and a persistent finish. Characterful and beautifully made, I wonder if I'm being a little severe with my score? 89-91 points.” William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 2022------“The 2021 Le Petit-Mouton is a powerful wine, but not quite the charmer it can be. There's good fruit density, but the tannins are a bit severe. I imagine at least some of that is attributable to the relatively high percentage of cabernet in the blend. Overall, the 2021 comes across as a bit severe, though. Drink 2028-2036. 91-93 points.” Antonio Galloni, Apr 2022
RED 2021 Château Ormes de Pez 75cl £220 per case of 12 Château Ormes de Pez
2021 / / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Ormes de Pez exhibits aromas of cassis, licorice, warm spices and toasty new oak, followed by a medium-bodied, lively and nicely concentrated palate built around rich, powdery tannins that will round out with further maturation in barrel. Produced by the Cazes family of Château Lynch-Bages, it shows promise. 90-91 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Ormes de Pez is matured in 45% new oak. This has a fragrant nose, very well defined, in fact, perhaps more sophisticated than the Haut-Batailley at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, a little powdery in texture, touches of graphite towards the almost Pauillac-like finish. A stylish Saint-Estèphe, this is recommended. 13.13% alcohol. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This has punch and mouth-watering juicy acidities. Cheerful, enticiting, blackberry and loganberry fruits, and all is in place to add on further depth over ageing. There is rusticity that speaks of the vintage, but it is charming and this is easy to recommend. Another great vintage at Ormes de Pez, one of the value wines of the year. 45% new oak. 93 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château Palmer - Alter Ego de Palmer 75cl £330 per case of 6 Château Palmer
Alter Ego de Palmer
2021 / / 75cl
£330 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Less Merlot than usual due to mildew and frost. Attractive nose with dark-fruit and floral notes. Expressive fruit on the palate, lively and fresh with a refined texture. Tannins present but rounded. Finishes on a dry, chalky note. 16.5 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Alter Ego has quite a penetrating bouquet with an accentuated marine/oyster shell aspect that combines with the vivid blue and black fruit the palate is medium with crunchy black fruit, certainly a more structured Alter Ego than usual with a fine line of acidity and graphite/cedar notes furnishing the finish. This all require some bottle age, but it should mature extremely well. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Alter Ego de Palmer is a somewhat unusual blend, in that it's fully 60% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, the estate's Merlot having suffered in the April frosts. Exhibiting aromas of cherries, sweet berries and plums mingled wit hints of spices and pencil shavings, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and polished, with a charming, seamless profile founded on beautifully refined structuring tannins. Tasted twice. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Deep plum in colour, with silky cassis and plum fruits on the attack. This is savoury, with sappy acidity that is mouthwatering rather than biting. This isn't exuberant and doesnt have huge flesh to the fruit, but it is a truly enjoyable and engaging wine that is one of the '2nds' of the vintage. More black fruit in this than the Palmer in many ways. Higher Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than usual after frost affected the Merlot, giving it more of a classical Margaux balance than you find in most vintages of Alter Ego, which tends to be generous. 3.76ph. 93 points" janeanson.com------"Palmer's 2021 Alter Ego is fabulous. Dense and rich in the glass, with positively explosive energy, the 2021 dazzles from start to finish. A rush of dark cherry, plum, spice, blood orange, menthol and licorice infuses the palate with tremendous intensity. Hints of rose petal and pomegranate appear later to round things out. The 2021 possesses tremendous textural richness that is evident from the very first taste. The aromatics alone are especially present today. 92-94 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Pavie 75cl £1,392 per case of 6 Château Pavie
2021 / / 75cl
£1,392 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Pavie was picked at 33hL/ha from 28 September until 12 October and matured in 75% new oak, the rest one-year. Team Pavie decided to wait to pick the Cabernet until after the rains just prior to harvest. This is clean and precise on the nose, the Cabernet components (48% of the blend) imparting graphite and light cedar aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins that frame layered limestone-infused black fruit, quite vibrant and conveying a sense of energy towards the finish. This has the most persistency of Gérard Perse's wines, and whilst I do not hold it up as the greatest Pavie in recent years, it is clearly top of the tree among his portfolio this year. Superb. 14.14% alcohol. 93-95 points." Vinous (NM)) Apr 2022------"Successful, with concentration and power managing a full extraction without bitter edges. Enjoyable cassis, blackberry, with fresher acidities coming through in mandarin peel and white peach. 75% new oak, full on Pavie signature, with plenty of oak caressing, but overall excellent quality. Harvest September 28 to October 12. No chaptilisation, the powerful south-facing slopes coming in extremely handy in 2021. 94 points." JaneAnson.com (JA)------"Deep black and blue fruit with cocoa and tar character. Compact and full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins that are very textured and interwoven into the wine. This has a lot of structure to go a long way. Yet it remains in balance with finesse. 52% merlot, 30% cabernet franc and 18% cabernet sauvignon. 95-96 points." James Suckling------"The 2021 Pavie is a wine of tremendous potential. Naturally, it shows the more mid-weight style of the year and yet there is plenty of depth as well as energy that starts to emerge with a bit of time in the glass. Bright saline notes shape the wine while extending the finish and adding so much drive. The 2021 is shaping up to be a very special wine. All it needs is time. 95-97 points." Vinous.com (AG)
RED 2021 Château Phelan Ségur 75cl £372 per case of 12 Château Phelan Ségur
2021 / / 75cl
£372 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Cask sample. Deep purple. Deep flavours on the nose – intense! Drier, perhaps more ‘serious’ than de Pez. Fully ripe flavours but still quite youthful with marked tannins on the end. Real drive here as well as length. And a dry, almost drying, finish. Not flattering but true to the appellation. Drink 2029 – 2045. 16.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Attractive, carefully-extracted damson and black cherry fruit with austere tannins. This is a little drying on the finish, and is clearly impacted by the issues of the vintage, after a series of truly brilliant years at Phélan Ségur. Harvest September 29 to October 13. IPT 85. 55% new oak. 90 points" janeanson.com------"Tasted on numerous occasions, the 2021 Château Phélan Ségur (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) makes the most of this challenging vintage and offers terrific purity in its cassis fruit as well toasted spice and violet notes. It has some background oak, medium-bodied richness, good mid-palate density, and outstanding length. 91-93+ points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Unfurling in the glass with aromas of dark berries, plums and cherries mingled with notions of rose petals, pipe tobacco, sweet spices and loamy soil, the 2021 Phélan Ségur is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with impressive depth at the core, ripe tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, saline finish. Concentrated and well-constructed, this is a serious wine with a bright future ahead of it. It's a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Tasted five times, twice at the estate. 92-93+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Phélan Ségur has an attractive bouquet of blackberry, raspberry and dried rose petal scents, quite fragrant and appealing even at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit, fine tannins, well-judged acidity and quite a tensile finish. This is very promising, though it will need four to five years in bottle. It might represent one of the best values for money… depending on the release price, of course. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Pichon Lalande 75cl £804 per case of 6 Château Pichon Lalande
2021 / / 75cl
£804 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot. Cask sample. Characteristic elegance but the Pauillac character still evident. Fragrant nose with dark-fruit and floral notes and just a hint of chocolate. Persistent fruit through the mid palate with finely edged tannins. Well structured with good energy and drive, the finish persistent. Balanced and harmonious. Drink 2028 – 2042. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande needs more coaxing from the glass than previous vintages. Blackberry, juniper and iris flower scents reluctantly unfold, though tasting a second glass, I found the nose more forthcoming. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. The Cabernet is in the driving seat, imparting black fruit, a touch of graphite and chimney soot. Edgy, with a structured and quite serious if slightly short finish. A cerebral proposition for serious Pauillac lovers. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This is really spicy with peppercorns, cloves and Chinese spices, especially on the finish. Blackcurrants, too. Medium-bodied, firm and polished with a long, intense finish. 88% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc and 2% merlot. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com------"This estate is one of the most dynamic in contemporary Bordeaux, so it's no surprise that the 2021 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a terrific wine—though its a very atypical blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot, cropped at a derisory 15 hectoliters per hectare, hints at what a challenging year this was in the vineyards. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of wild berries, blackcurrants, iris, licorice, black truffles, cigar wrapper and sweet soil tones, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and a supple but serious profile. It will see 60% new oak and, in all likelihood, a classical élevage of fully 18 months. 94-95+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"One of the gems in the vintage is the 2021 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a Cabernet Sauvignon-heavy blend that includes 10% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Merlot, aging in 60% new barrel. Yields here were devastated due to mildew and poor flowering, and the final wine comes from a horrific 15 hectoliters per hectare. The final alcohol hit 13%, and it has a healthy pH of 3.69 and an IPT of 75. In addition, a fair bit of press wine was used this year. Regardless of the numbers and technical data, the wine is brilliant and offers a pure, seamless, medium to full-bodied style carrying notes of dark currants, liquid violets, graphite, and chalky minerality. Possessing ultra-fine tannins, beautiful mid-palate depth, and a great finish, it's going to benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and be a long-lived Pauillac. It's another incredible success from this team. 94-96+ points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Let's start with the good. The 2021 Pichon Comtesse is epic and certainly among the great wines of this vintage. Sadly, the coulure and mildew in the first year of organic farming plus dehydration at the end of the growing season took with it fully two thirds of the crop. In other words, there's not much wine to go around. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, yet clocking in at 12.9% alcohol, the 2021 is beautifully layered and totally sensual from the very first taste. Hints of red fruit, flowers, mint, white pepper and dried savory herbs develop with a bit of coaxing. The Cabernet Sauvignon, at 88%, is very high by historical standards. Quite simply, the 2021 is a tour de force from Technical Director Nicolas Glumineau and his team. If there is one wine readers will absolutely jump on en primeur it is Pichon Comtesse. Should the bottled wine turn out as well as this sample, pricing is likely to jump materially because of the tiny production. Don't miss it. 96-98 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Pontet Canet 75cl £445 per case of 6 Château Pontet Canet
2021 / / 75cl
£445 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Purple-crimson hue. Dark, dense and rich with a brush-stroke of vanilla oak. Broad across the palate on attack then prominent tannins on the finish. Certainly, chalky, dry and chewy. Elévage should help. Awkward at present but hopefully will pull together. 13.1%. Drink 2027 – 2038 16+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Pontet Canet is quite perfumed on the finely delineated nose of blackberry, briar and pressed iris flower, a touch of inkwell coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a pinch of white pepper on the entry and gentle grip. Not as enormously deep as other vintages, as you would expect, but it displays a fine bitter edge and a graphite-infused finish. This should drink earlier than other vintages yet has the substance to mature in bottle. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, RobertParker.com------"Offering up wild, exotic aromas of blackberries, cloves and Indian spices mingled with notions of rose petal, bruised orchard fruit and cherry pit that evolve rapidly in the glass, the 2021 Pontet-Canet is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a layered mid-palate and refined tannins that assert themselves on the firm, saline finish. Always one of the Médoc's most singular, idiosyncratic wines, it will be interesting to see how it performs in bottle. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 is the most classically Pauillac Pontet-Canet I have tasted in modern times. Medium in body, with striking aromatic presence, the 2021 screams with character. Grilled herbs, incense, leather, lavender and plum open with a bit of coaxing, all framed by beams of tannin and bright, salivating acids that give the wine shape and real sense of direction. There's a bit more Petit Verdot in this year's blend, and that comes through in the wine's intensely savory profile. Aging is 50% in new wood, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old barrels. The 2021 was impressive all three times I tasted it. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"Bright berry red in colour, nuanced blackberry and loganberry with bitter black chocolate notes from the first attack. Lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud. This was the third vintage with mildew pessure, but the team are now experienced, and I can attest to seeing the vines during harvest and remarking on how healthy they looked, with no-till farming helping concentration. Plenty of tannins give structure and are shot through with sinew and juice, this is an impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet, with Pauillac typicity. Harvest 24 september until 12 October. 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year barrels, 15% press (aged in the amphora). 95 points" janeanson.com------"Plenty of blackberry and blueberry with wet earth and crushed stone. Some spice,tobacco and lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with layered tannins and brightness. Fine and chewy at the end. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Rauzan Ségla 75cl £360 per case of 6 Château Rauzan Ségla
2021 / / 75cl
£360 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Cask sample. Pretty solid crimson. Much more complex nose than the Rauzan-Gassies. Sweet start and very polished tannins. A saline note adds interest. No sign of oak. The finish is impressively long and interesting without any dryness nor any excess of acidity. Very well judged and very Margaux though the opposite of concentrated or flashy. Complete and already relatively accessible. Drink 2026 – 2042. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com------"A firm and linear wine with crushed stone and some citrusy acidity, Medium body, creamy tannins and a fresh finish, Lively at the end. Currant, blackberry and fresh tobacco in the aftertaste. 75% cabernet sauvignon. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com------"One of the undeniable successes is the 2021 Château Rauzan-Ségla, which emerges from yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare and is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. It has remarkable depth and density as well as classic aromas of cassis, tobacco, spicy oak, and subtle floral notes. These all carry to a medium-bodied, concentrated 2021 with polished tannins and a great finish. It's one classy, seamless, elegant Margaux that will drink well right out of the gate yet keep for 20 years. 93-95 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Representing around 44% of the estate's production (more or less as usual), the 2021 Rauzan-Ségla unwinds in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, blackberries, loamy soil, dark chocolate and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively concentrated, it's layered and seamless, with a sweet core of fruit, powdery tannins, lively acids and an impressively penetrating finish. The Rauzan team opted to ferment Merlot rather cooler than normal this year to moderate extraction. Tasted six times. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"According to Nicolas Audebert, the 2021 Rauzan Ségla has a reduced proportion of Merlot, as a consequence of which it was felt that the Petit Verdot crowded out the final blend and was thus demoted to the Deuxième Vin. Matured in 60% new oak for an intended 18 months, it has a surprisingly opulent bouquet with conspicuous Merlot that has the hubris to vie for attention with the Cabernet. Very pure and well-defined, this gains intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very finely chiseled tannins, displaying disarming purity and poise. Minerally on the finish, with just the faintest hint of dark chocolate on the aftertaste. Precision, precision, precision. (13.0% alcohol) 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Rauzan-Ségla is absolutely gorgeous. It offers up scents of graphite, savory herbs, licorice, chocolate and plum, all beautifully lifted by strong Cabernet Sauvignon inflections Naturally, the 2021 doesn't have the mid palate richness and overall intensity of recent years. Readers will find a tightly wound Margaux that balances classic structure with modern-day precision. I can't wait to see how it ages. Tasted four times. 94-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
WHITE 2021 Château Rieussec - R de Rieussec 75cl £220 per case of 12 Château Rieussec
R de Rieussec
2021 / / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Following on from the redesign of the main Rieussec wine last year, next up is the dry white, with a clean-lined label that does a good job of reflecting the crisp, pared down flavours that you are going to find in the bottle. Everything here is about accentuating the crisp, chiselled flavours that Sauvignon Blanc can deliver in cooler vintages such as 2021 - and the challenges of the year were far less of an issue for white wines that don't need the same period of dry weather before harvest. Insead this is delicate, with gentle floral aromatics, but with grip and length in the glass. Thoroughly enjoyable. Olivier Trégoat consulting winemaker. 93 points" Janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château Roc de Cambes 75cl £260 per case of 6 Château Roc de Cambes
2021 / / 75cl
£260 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Open and expressive. Dark fruit and toasted notes but with a chalky lift. Gourmand fruit on the palate but chalky tannins again in behind. Seductive house style but in a minor key. Drink 2027 – 2036 16+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Roc de Cambes has another quite Burgundy-like bouquet, a mélange of red and black fruit, very well defined, perfumed and pure. The caressing palate has good weight, a uncommon sense of rondeur for a 2021, and pliant, filigreed tannins on the finish. I think the 2021 vintage really suits the Roc de Cambes. A wonderful wine. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Roc de Cambes is shaping up beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of sweet berries, wild plums, rich cassis, pipe tobacco and espresso roast. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and textural, it's a rich, sensual wine with an elegantly muscular profile, its structuring tannins largely concealed by succulent fruit. Seamless and penetrating, it's an especially elegant rendition of this superb clay-limestone terroir in the Côtes de Bourg. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Roc de Cambes is fabulous. It possesses terrific depth and intensity from start to finish. Black cherry, plum, licorice, smoke, tobacco, incense and dried herbs build effortlessly in the glass. All the elements are beautifully balanced. The 2021 is so appealing today, but it clearly offers considerable potential for the future. 92-94 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Saintayme 75cl £135 per case of 12 Château Saintayme
2021 / / 75cl
£135 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes100% Merlot. Cask sample. Round, aromatic and gourmand. Chalky freshness and tannins. Lighter weight but pleasure in the fruit and freshness. 16 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The Durantou family's 2021 Saintayme derives from soils rich in large stones in Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse. Offering up aromas of sweet blackberries, licorice and spices, it's medium-bodied, lively and charming, with a fleshy core of fruit and fine, powdery tannins. 88-90 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Beautiful juice here, cool, measured, reserved, precise blue fruit and gunsmoke reduction, with sinew and just a touch of swagger. Harvest September 28 to October 11. 92 points" janeanson.com
RED 2021 Château Smith Haut Lafitte 75cl £545 per case of 6 Château Smith Haut Lafitte
2021 / / 75cl
£545 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Dark crimson. Some ripe red fruit on the nose. Polished tannins and there is energy here. This sample seems to have a more convincing core than yesterday’s sample tasted at the château. Good level of interest and detail here. Even if the level of acidity is higher than usual and the tannins obviously took some taming. Sweeter than some. Drink 2028 – 2042. 16.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 22 to October 14, and matured in 60% new oak. It has an open, expressive bouquet of blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco and subtle crushed rock aromas, well-defined though obviously not as flamboyant as the previous three vintages. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and mineral-driven, with fine tannins, a touch of chalkiness, and hints of seaweed on the estuarine finish, even though it lies a few kilometers from the Gironde! Classic in style, and maybe a little austere for some on the finish, yet it feels long in the mouth. Fabien Teitgen and his team have overseen a superb Smith Haut-Lafitte, even though I suspect that it will not reach the heights of the 2010 or the 2016. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A brilliant wine, the 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte offers up aromas of blackberries, violets, coniferous forest floor and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and impressively multidimensional, with good concentration, beautifully refined tannins and notable purity of fruit, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. The fruit of a severe selection, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is testament to the Cathiard family's unwavering commitment to quality. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"This is a cool climate savoury vintage where the best wines offer clarity of flavour and precision, and you are given a masterclass here in how to do that effectively. Well balanced and succulent architecture, plentiful blackberry, cassis and black cherry fruits, cracked pepper, sage, liqourice, crushed rock, campfire smoke, elongated tannins. This will fatten up over ageing, because has all the elements in place to ensure it does so gracefully, the triumverate of tannins, acidity and fruit. Harvest September 22 to October 14. 60% new oak. 23hl/h yield. 95 points" janeanson.com------"Lots of clove, black-licorice and cigar-box character. Already perfumed. Medium body with fine, chalky and precise tannins. Lead-pencil shavings. Well framed and structured with a fresh, lengthy and spicy finish. Extremely long and intense. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. From organically grown grapes. 95-97 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte is fabulous. Rich and explosive in the glass, the 2021 possesses tremendous intensity, much of that the result of low yields of just 20-22 hectoliters per hectare, about half of what is typical here. The tannins are a bit firm today, but there appears to be more than enough fruit behind all of that structure. Vivid aromatics further suggest all the 2021 needs is time. I can't wait to see how it ages. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Château Talbot 75cl £472 per case of 12 Château Talbot
2021 / / 75cl
£472 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Open and aromatic with blackcurrant and mineral notes. Palate unusually seductive at this stage, the fruit supple and tannins finely honed. Some grip and drive on the finish. Medium-bodied and compact, if not quite the depth of a top year. Drink 2028 – 2038. 16+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"The 2021 Talbot, the Saint-Julien stalwart now under the aegis of Jean-Michel Laporte for several years, was picked from September 27 to October 11 at 44hL/ha and matured in 60% new oak, the alcohol registering 12.8%. It has a clean, focused and correct bouquet, hints of blood orange and graphite surfacing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple entry. This feels cohesive and smooth, delivering moderate depth and a touch of licorice toward the finish. I would have just liked a little more on the aftertaste. (12.8% alcohol) 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This feels old school in the best way, a nod to the classic vintages of the past, with concentration and structure, powerful but savoury and sculpted cassis and blackberry fruits, curls of bitter black chocolate and spice. Great quality. 44hl/h yield, and a natural 12% alcohol, really leaning into the vintage, successfully so. 92 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Talbot is promising, exhibiting aromas of wild berries, cherries, cigar wrapper and sweet spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety palate that's bright and seamless, with an enveloping, charming profile despite analytically rather high levels of polyphenols. This is a fine effort that reminds Jean-Michel Laporte of the 2001 vintage in style—though the 2021 will benefit from all the improvements that the last two decades have witnessed at this address. Tasted four times. 91-92+ points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Talbot is impeccable. Soft and inviting, the 2021 is absolutely charming. Red-fleshed fruit, blood orange, mint and spice are front and center. Although pretty easygoing in style, the 2021 is beautifully balanced and is not penalized by some of the rougher edges that have been an issue in the past. If the 2021 is an indication of where the estate is heading, that direction appears to be quite positive. 91-93 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A fruity and attractive 2021 with currant and berry aromas and flavors. Hints of citrus. Medium body. Fresh finish. 92-93 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 Château Tour Saint Christophe 75cl £138 per case of 6 Château Tour Saint Christophe
2021 / / 75cl
£138 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"Vignobles K is on a roll, with a series of great vintages, and there is clear depth to the fruit, heavy on the limestone salinity, enjoyable pumice stone minerality, and a push and pull between tannins and acidity. The signature of the vintage comes through in a sharp finish as the acidity kicks in, emphasising the austerity, but this is a successful wine. Emmanuelle Fulchi D’Aligny arrived from Château Angélus as technical director in March 2022. 91 Points." Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux------"The 2021 Tour Saint Christophe has turned out very well, delivering aromas of cherries and sweet berries mingled with hints of loamy soil and sweet new oak. Medium to full-bodied, pure and lively, it's elegantly muscular, with powdery tannins and a penetrating finish. 90-92+ Points." William Kelley, Wine Advocate------"The 2021 Tour Saint Christophe is perfumed and high-toned on the nose, featuring blueberry and raspberry fruit mixed with violet and iris flower. The palate is well balanced with sappy black fruit, gentle grip, impressive balance and a correct, quite linear finish. Stylish and with good ageing potential. It should end up at the top of my banded score. 90-92 Points." Neal Martin, Vinous------"The 2021 Tour Saint Christophe is terrific. Naturally, the 2021 doesn’t have the breadth of previous vintages. Instead, there is a sense of energy running through the 2021 that is compelling. Dark fruit, leather, gravel, incense and mocha all meld together nicely. Once again, Tour Saint Christophe is a star for the appellation for its quality and value. Tasted two times. 91-93 Points." Vinous (AG)
RED 2021 Château Troplong Mondot 75cl £850 per case of 12 Château Troplong Mondot
2021 / / 75cl
£850 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. 47 hl/ha. Cask sample. Deep colour. Floral notes with an attractive density of fruit. Finely structured, velvety tannins providing the framework. Minty freshness as well, the finish chalky. Balanced with all the components in place. 13.5%. Drink 2027 – 2042. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Aymeric de Gironde, who without exaggeration has revolutionized this Saint-Émilion estate, told me that in 2021, the Troplong Mondot comes exclusively from the heart of the original vineyard, mainly on molasse soils. It was picked from September 17 to October 18, unusually finishing with the Merlot, and has 13.5% alcohol without any chaptalization or saignée. The focused blackberry, raspberry and iris petal scented nose is very delineated, yet more reserved than recent vintages. (A second sample at the château had a little more chutzpah.) The palate is medium-bodied with firm, slightly chalky tannins and a fine bead of acidity that imports liveliness and verticality. This Troplong-Mondot is imbued with a palpably mineral-driven finish. I am full of admiration for this cerebral wine, though I wager that it will need several years in bottle. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The natural density that they have at Troplong was extremely helpful in a vintage like 2021. This is a little more reserved than a typical year, but very much delivers signature power. Expect gunsmoke, fern and raspberry leaf alongside cherry pit and saffron salinity, black cherry fruits, rosebud, anis, fennel spice, all with the powerful and concentrated signature of limestone. I was here on the last day of harvest, and I remember how healthy the grapes were. This is the first vintage where the cellar has been completely finished, moving from 20 to 42 tanks. No chaptilisation (but the natural 13.5%abv is extremely rare at this late ripening property, and a real indication of how long it took for sugars to climb in this vintage). 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Troplong Mondot shows considerable promise, exhibiting aromas of plums and wild berries mingled with notions of sweet spices, rose petals, vine smoke and raw cocoa, followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless palate endowed with impressive intensity and texture. Built around beautifully refined, powdery tannins and lively acids, it concludes with a long, mouthwateringly saline finish. Macerations here were long but gentle, including a long cold soak before fermentation, and the blend, after much deliberation, is 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Tasted four times. 93-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"Lovely density here with a solid center-palate of fruit and fine tannins. Medium body. Underlying salinity and oyster-shell character in the finish. Well defined. Grows at the end. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2021 Troplong Mondot is shockingly raw and untamed, but in the very best sense of those terms. A wine of energy and pure power, the 2021 is going to need a number of years to be at its best, but it is certainly very impressive in the early going. The 2021 clocks in at 13.5%, which has not been seen here since the 1990s. The 2021 is not an easy wine to taste at this stage, as it is not fully formed. I won't be surprised if the 2021 turns out even better than this note suggests. It is a dazzling wine by any measure, and a far cry from the wines of decade ago, when the malolactic fermentations were often not finished when en primeur samples were presented! Superb. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2021 Domaine de Chevalier 75cl £560 per case of 12 Domaine de Chevalier
2021 / / 75cl
£560 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Deep purplish crimson. Savoury nose with something more complex than just fruit. Good density and depth though still a little oak evidence (hardly surprisingly). Tingly finish. Polished tannins. Really quite fine and not lacking anything. Bone dry and on the refreshing side but it really doesn’t taste like a wine from a less-than-successful vintage. Good weight and balance in the mouth. Refreshing but not austere. Drink 2028 – 2045. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Inky purple in colour, powerful aromatics. Chevalier is often an estate to turn to in challenging vintages, and is proving its mettle here. This is another league from much of 2021, extremely impressive in quality. Clove, saffron, turmeric, leather, complex layers of flavour that unroll slowly and get a sense of momentum building. The fingerprint of 2021 comes through in the savoury black fruits and austere tannins that need more filling out over ageing, but this is exceptional. 30hl/h yield. In organic conversion. 94 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier was picked from September 28 until October 15 at 30hL/ha. Tobacco- and sous-bois-infused black fruit unfurl with a sense of assuredness on the nose, the best example, a third bottle toward the end of my tastings, being the most delineated. This has energy rather than horsepower. The palate is medium-bodied with pencil-lead-infused black fruit and a slightly powdery texture, certainly the most saline in recent years, leading to an almost Pauillac-inspired finish. Stylish and classic Domaine de Chevalier. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A true success in the vintage is the 2021 Domaine de Chevalier from the team of Olivier Bernard. Based on 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it was harvested between the September 28 and October 12. It will spend 18 months in a mix of new and used barrels. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and focused, with the style of the vintage front and center, it has gorgeous cassis and darker fruits, notes of tobacco and violets, ripe tannins, a great mid-palate, and outstanding length. It's up there with the top wines in the vintage. 93-95 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier is full of promise, bursting with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, bay leaf, licorice, potpourri and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, its velvety attack segues into a lively, layered core, concluding with a long, nicely defined finish. Olivier Bernard doesn't think that this will surpass his 2018, but I tend to disagree. The 2021 is a blend of fully 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 93-95 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier was terrific both times I tasted it. Potent and driving, the 2021 dazzles with Cabernet Sauvignon intensity in its aromas, flavors and overall structure. Graphite, spice, menthol, spice, rose petals, mocha and flowers run through a core of red/purplish fruit. The Blanc gets most of the attention at Domaine de Chevalier, but these days I find the red more complete and more interesting. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"A medium-bodied DC with a pretty core of ripe fruit that shows licorice, blackberry and some currant character. Spice box, too. Very long, with fine tannins and plenty of energy. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com
WHITE 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - Domaine de Chevalier 75cl £433 per case of 6 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc
Domaine de Chevalier
2021 / / 75cl
£433 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Sémillon. Cask sample. Restrained, as it always is, on the nose. Though on the palate there’s a certain blossomy opulence. And impressive persistence. Based on how this wine tastes and the track record of the château, this should be a real long-distance runner… Minerals and citrus and a light lanolin character with great undertow and interest. But still pretty youthful and unformed. Drink 2025 – 2045. 17+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Impactful from the first moment, reinforcing the success they have had in both colours in the vintage. So much flavour and texture, with lemongrass, gunsmoke, orange peel, pineapple, mango, slate, apricot pit, offering grip and length. Tasted several times and it always delivered juice, control and excitement. One of the wines of the vintage. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is shaping up brilliantly, bursting with aromas of citrus oil, gooseberries, crisp stone fruit, white flowers and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, it's a concentrated, textural wine that displays terrific cut and tension, allying racy acidity with chalky, structuring dry extract. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc dazzles from start to finish. Bright, sculpted and sizzling with saline-infused vibrancy, the Blanc offers a beguiling mix of citrus, floral and mineral notes, delivering tremendous flavor intensity with no excess weight at all. There is a feeling of airiness and precision here that is simply mind-blowing. Readers will find a Blanc of tremendous pedigree that evokes the great vintages at this property. There was some variation in samples, but barrel samples are especially finicky at this stage, especially whites. This is a tremendous showing. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"I always love the white from this estate, and they've certainly hit a home run in 2021. Based on 75% Sauvignon and 25% Semillon that will see 18 months in 35% new barrels, it offers a vibrant, vivid bouquet of ripe limes, crushed citrus, and chalky minerality, which turns more salty and subtly marine-influenced on the palate. With terrific concentration, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish, it's one of the focused, pure, racy whites that still brings density and depth. Bravo. 95-97 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, picked September 13–23 at 40hL/ha, has a captivating, complex bouquet of yellow flowers, white peach, wet limestone and just a faint hint of elderflower in the background. The taut palate is well-balanced with a superb line of acidity. Conveying tangible energy from start to finish, this builds in the mouth toward a persistent finish that fans out gloriously. One of the best Domaine de Chevalier whites that I have tasted in 20-plus years. 95-97 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"This is always an impressive white, with a lengthy, layered and compact palate. Lots of dried lemon, clove, fennel, green-apple and cedar. Flint and toast, too. Medium to full body. Very long. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon. 98-99 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2021 La Dame de Montrose 75cl £310 per case of 12 La Dame de Montrose
2021 / / 75cl
£310 per case of 12
IB
RED 2021 Vieux Château Certan 75cl £1,368 per case of 6 Vieux Château Certan
2021 / / 75cl
£1,368 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"...Rich, racy and aromatic with floral notes to the fore. Old-vine intensity, something not always evident this year. Smooth, elegant texture with fine, persistent tannins. Sweetness to the fruit on attack then fresh and driven on the finish. Good potential. 13.2%. Drink 2029 – 2050. 17.5 points." James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com------"This has a classic structure, wet stones, smoked earth, plenty of sappy redcurrant and cassis fruits, graphite and subdued power, will easily age for 15 to 20 years. The emphasis is on graceful structure rather than exuberant fruits, but it has clarity and complexity, and the most beautifully drawn out finish. Skilful winemaking. No chaptilisation, 65% new oak, 3.63ph. Harvest September 24 to October 6. 95 points". Jane Anson------"...wafts from the glass with lovely aromas of violets, rose petals, sweet wild berries, exotic spices, orange rind and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's an elegant, fleshy wine with a bright core of fruit, ultra-refined tannins and a precise, saline finish. Despite its almost Burgundian finesse, this Pomerol's remarkably penetrating, perfumed finish gives the lie to any notion that it's in any way lacking in intensity of flavor. As is almost invariably the case, Vieux Château Certan is one of the finest wines of the appellation this year. 94-96 points." William Kelley, Wine Advocate------"...a VCC defined by its Cabernets; Guillaume Thienpont told me they used all they had. "I would have blended more if we had more vines," he quipped. The nose unfurls with air to reveal graphite-infused black fruit, touches of undergrowth and tobacco – quintessential VCC aromatics. The palate is beautifully balanced with exquisite definition, not powerful and certainly not opulent, yet built around finesse, precision and charm. It seems to grow in stature in the glass. Pure class. 95-97 points." Neal Martin, vinous.com------"Medium to full body with a supple, textured and firm tannin structure. Velvety and perfumed with fragrant notes of flowers, cloves, plums and raspberries. Broad and layered. Very supple and evolving. Opens on the palate. 77% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon. 96-97 points." James Suckling------"The 2021 Vieux Château Certan is a spectacular tour de force from Alexander and Guillaume Thienpont. What a wine. Vibrant and magnificent in its precision, the 2021 races across the palate, revealing seemingly endless layers of nuance over time. Dark blue/purplish fruit, cinnamon, new leather, graphite, lavender and crushed rocks all build effortlessly. The Cabernets are dialed up in 2021 and that comes through in the wine's flavor profile and overall feel. The purity of the flavors is just mind-bending. Harvest took place between September 25 and October 4. The blend is 67% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Readers who can find the 2021 should not hesitate, as it is truly magical. 96-98 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com

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