It has been a quiet start to the week for En Primeur. Whilst it was a French holiday yesterday – hence no releases – the looming Vinexpo event in Hong Kong (from the 24th to 26th May) is an opportunity for many of the Bordelais to 'test the waters' of the hugely important Asia market; as a result, we think many Chateaux will wait until after this festival has finished before releasing their wines.
The Sociando Mallet is a divisive one, with a wide spread of scores between James Suckling and Meal Martin; existing vintages including the 2010 can also be bought for a very similar price.
The 2015 Marquis de Terme represents something of a 'coming of age' for this estate – the 2015 is clearly their best wine to date and as such doesn't really merit significant price comparisons with previous years. £300 for a wine from the prime vintage region of Margaux – rated 92-94 by Neal Martin and 94-95 by James Suckling – seems a pretty decent buy.
This afternoon we have seen the release of the red/white pair from the up-and-coming Pessac-Leognon estate Latour Martillac.
The La Tour-Martillac Rouge has a solid reputation, somewhat coming of age in 2009 with a 93pt score. The 2015 is at least on a par with this, scoring 92-94 from Neal Martin and 93-94 from James Suckling. It's certainly a very inexpensive way to put a wine from this high-achieving 2015 commune into your cellar.
However the white has really grabbed our attention. We have long been fans of dry white Bordeaux and whilst 2015 is making its reputation as a red vintage, there are some superb whites especially from 'down south'. La Tour-Martillac Blanc is just one of these, a superbly rated white at a very reasonable price: Neal Martin gives it 93-95 points and describes it as "a fabulous white Bordeaux from the estate, certainly one of the best that I have ever encountered." Likewise James Suckling calls it a "brilliant and intense white" (94-95pts). Indeed it is Neal's second highest rated dry white from the vintage and even outscores the famous La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc! This is a pretty smart buy that would make its owners very happy indeed...
Late in the day we have seen the release of the bijou Pomerol La Cabanne which, at just £228, looks an intriguing prospect. With very good scores from Neal (92-94), James (94-95) and Jancis (17/20), a brand-spanking new winery and a new 'zero suplhur' approach (we are asking more questions!) this is worth keeping an eye on.