St. Julien had a few releases this afternoon: the biggest name is arguably Talbot at £400, a classically-styled claret which always delivers much better from bottle than from barrel. We also have Gloria at £285 and Saint-Pierre at £420.
The critically acclaimed Bellevue (St Emilion) is now available at £320. With 93-95 from Neal and 96-97 from James Suckling, it's great value if you like your wines in the fuller St. Emilion style. Same owner and winemaking as Angélus.
We had a quiet start to the day, a chance to catch one’s breath, followed by a rush of quality from the Right Bank.
Another superstar from the extended Thienpont family (Nicolas in this case, cousin of Jacques of Le Pin fame) the 2015 Larcis Ducasse was released at £480 and is, in the words of Antonio Galloni, “One of the stars of the vintage”. Antonio gives it 94-97 and it is also scored very well by James Suckling (98-99) and Neal Martin (94-96). From superb terroir just along the hill from Pavie, sporting a blend of limestone, clay and sandy soils, Nicolas Thienpont and his associate Stephane Derenoncourt have arguably produced the best Larcis since the 2005: rich and powerful yet lithe and expressive, it shows the very best of St. Emilion without the over-extracted heaviness which has dogged so many estates in previous years.
One of the top performers in 2015 is the superb Pomerol Clos L’Eglise, which was released at £590. Situated between Clinet and L’Eglise Clinet on Pomerol’s prized-plateau, owners Hélène and Patrice Garcin-Lévêque have really found their stride in this vintage. They have been gaining significant ground over the past few years and their efforts have culminated in a very fine 2015 which scores 94-96 from Neal Martin.