Grands Crus de Bordeaux 2014 tasting
To anyone who loves high-end Bordeaux, the last few years have not been kind - not since the 2010s have we tasted wines from a great year.
2014 is not a great year, but it is one of the better lesser years - if that makes sense.
The wines on show at this UGC tasting were fairly substantial, supple and complex.
That they are largely drinking nicely now may be as a result of stylistic decisions in the vineyard or cellar, or simply a reflection of the vintage.
With limited time, I focused on getting round the reds, but I tried one white and, as a final treat, a few of the stickies.
Overall, Margaux and Pomerol showed well - and Barsac.
The two wines scoring a VGI are Lynch-Bages and the sticky Suduiraut.
White - Pessac-Leognan
Domaine de Chevalier complex, aromatic ripe gooseberry and guava; leesy-creamy and substantial. Long and deft. Very Good.
Pape Clement ripe, plump and spicy with dried herbs; supple and long. Very Good.
Smith Haut Lafitte fresh, full, supple; poised and adept with berries, splice and earthiness. Long. Very Good.
Figeac supple, adept, fresh and harmonious. Plump and long with dark cherry fruit, coffee and spice. Very Good.
Troplong Mondot fresh, supple, harmonious and long with bramble fruit, earthiness, green herbs and spices. Very Good.
Beauregard fresh, intense and focused with red and black cherry fruit, spice. Adept and poised. Very Good.
Le Bon Pasteur earthy animal and spice; bramble fruit. Fresh, focused and precise. Very Good.
La Cabanne pure, minty dark fruit. Supple, poised and focused. Good.
Chasse-Spleen lightweight, red-berry fruited; harmonious and well-executed. Good.
Belgrave plump, supple and full; inky pencil shavings, blackcurrant and spice with lovely tannins. Good.
Cantemerle inky pencil shavings, dark fruit, spice; plump and supple. Dense and concentrated. Very Good.
La Tour de By ripe red and dark fruit, spice; fresh and supple. Good.
Angludet complex earthy-coffee-cherries; focused, expressive and full. Supple and harmonious, lovely texture. Very adept. Very Good.
Brane-Cantenac ripe, spice, full, supple and substantial with a fresh core. Very Long. Very Good.
Labegorce red-fruited with green herbs; spicy, full and supple but less substantial. Good.
Marquis de Terme fresh berry fruit and spice; supple, harmonious. Long and plump. Good.
Lynch-Bages dark core, still tightly wound; focused and pure. Substantial. Expressive bramble, minty and spice emerging. Very Good Indeed.
Lynch-Moussas inky pencil shavings, bramble fruit, sweet spice. Supple and harmonious. Expressive with freshness and plumpness.
Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande fresh, focused earthy minerality; substantial and long. Very Good.
Phelan-Segur fresh, bramble fruited with spice. Supple, pure and harmonious. Adept and long. Good
Sauternes & Barsac
Bastor-Lamontagne fresh overripe peaches. Good.
Climens complex, lightly roasted peaches with freshness; substantial and long. Very Good.
Doisy Daene peaches in butter with spice; lanolin and beeswax. Very Good.
Guiraud fresh, overripe peaches. Good.
Rayne Vigneau ripe, substantial, spiced overripe peaches with lanolin and beeswax. Just not quite as elegant as Suduiraut. Good.
Suduiraut complex roasted peaches in butter with spice; oily, waxy, unctuous nectar. Very adept. Very Good Indeed.
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Cru Bourgeois 2014