This afternoon we have seen two significant releases.
The wines of Smith Haut Lafitte were very fine indeed, both red and white showing the calibre of the vintage in the South. The Rouge is £625 and the Blanc £650. The price is extremely competitive both against comparable wines of the vintage and back vintages from their own library. This is an estate on the up and much loved by all the critics – it will only get harder to find.
A BI favourite, a Neal Martin favourite, and one of the most consistently overperforming estates in the whole of Bordeaux, Grand-Puy-Lacoste is something special. Their superb 2015 has now been released at £500 and this is one wine you do not want to miss; it stacks up against the 2010, 2009 and 2005.
The 2015 Haut-Batailley is a tour de force for the estate and more than worth its £300 price tag – with 92-94 points from Neal Martin this could be one of the bargains of the campaign.
This morning, straight out of the blocks post-Vinexpo, post-Cite du Vin, we had the stunning Léoville Poyferré at £570. Didier Cuvelier has once again produced a wine which speaks clearly of the quality of its terroir, with fine, shell-like minerality tucked away beneath layers of ripe, supple, beautifully textured fruit. Whilst the previous four vintages have been plush, succulent and delicious, this boasts all those attributes but with an altogether deeper, more serious, savoury core which helps to create real tension.
We adored the wine, scoring it 94-96 points across the team, with one taster describing it as “the most serious Poyferré in years.” This view was reflected by Antonio Galloni as “simply magnificent” (93-96pts) and James Suckling (95-96pts). The potential for this wine is immense and we thoroughly expect it to settle right at the top, if not above, of the score spreads.
Other releases so far include Gruaud Larose at £485 and Phélan Ségur at £300. The Gruaud is priced in the middle of the spread and we rather liked it, scoring it 92-93+ points. Phélan is right at the top of the spread and looks slightly less compelling in relation to existing physical vintages.
Calon-Ségur was released at £570 – again towards the top of its spread, but certainly one of the best of the St. Estephe's in 2015.
Cantenac Brown is available at £360 – this ia above the top of its spread but it is very close in standard to the legendary 2010 (94 points Robert Parker / 95 points Neal Martin), which trades around £450.
The very impressive Beauregard, now owned by the Cathiards of Smith Haut Lafitte fame, has been released at £360. This is above the top of our spread but the calibre of the wine way exceeds that which has come before at this estate.