TN Some impressions on Bdx14: tasting in NYC

Below, a few notes from my tasting of Bordeaux 2014 from bottle, as the UGCB toured NYC this month.

As I explain in my blog, the vintage is underrated in many ways - somewhat unjustly in the shadow of 2015 (especially when it comes to the northern Médoc), and it offers excellent (relatively speaking, for Bordeaux, of course) value for money. And, yes, the whites are excellent.

Although I spoke to some merchants, at least here in the Washington D.C. area, who say that some crus - including Beychevelle for example - are now costing as much as 50% more wholesale because “the Chinese are back and buying” …

So if you have merchants who still have 2014 stocks that had been purchased as en primeur, you may want to consider buying them before any replacements could likely cost merchants more money. Having said that, the pound exchange rate is worse now than it was back then, so ...

In no particular order of preference :

2014 Château Giscours – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
I really like Giscours from bottle, as among the best Medocs I tried at this tasting: balanced, fruit driven and fresh, with a floral finish. Give it time in barrel to let is sing properly. (92 pts.)

2014 Château Rauzan-Ségla – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Here we have a second growth worth its pedigree. Much finesse, opulence and floral aspects that are packaged in a precise and linear fashion at this very early stage. A promising wine of excellence. (93 pts.)

2014 Domaine de Chevalier – France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
This proved the promise from barrel, hitting the higher end of my score range when tasted en primeur. Really lovely because at once smoothly textured, elegant, nuanced and substantial. There is a long and lingering finish that beguiles. Great Graves indeed. (94 pts.)

2014 Château Olivier – France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
This is my style of Graves and underrated in my opinion, as it conveys a smooth and elegant style, more refined than rich, with pleasing palate sap and a long finish. Nice! (91 pts.)

2014 Château Canon – France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
A superb wine that more than fulfills my impression from barrel. Fine grained tannins and a multi-layered feel on the palate, that is smooth and nuanced in flavor, combining floral freshness with ripe fruit driven opulence and finesse. Long and subtle finish. Bravo! One of the very best reds tasted today, if not the best. (94+ pts.)

2014 Château La Pointe – France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Well, well, well. Possibly one of the very best La Pointes I have tried. Smooth, rich and nuanced, and better than the barrel sample. (91 pts.)

2014 Château Léoville Barton – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Somewhat like the Pichon Baron, this is powerful and certainly tightly wound. In 2014, the Langoa is clearly more elegant at this very early stage. But there is much substance to the palate and Barton is notorious for taking a bit of time before being ready to drink. I like the full body and the grain of tannin which is very fine. Long finish. (94 pts.)

2014 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
This was fantastic from barrel and it fulfills its promise in bottle. Such gorgeous perfumed aromatics of bright fruit, and a delicious lip smacking juiciness on the mid palate lead to a long and lifting finish, displaying excellent verve. Bravo! (94 pts.)

Cheers!
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Thanks for your interesting notes and thoughts Panos.

Do you think it will be an early drinking vintage like say 2011? And what previous vintage would be the best template...bearing in mind of course that no two vintages are identical?
 
Thanks indeed for the notes. Funnily enough I was looking at the 2014s that the Wine Soc have left over from the EPs last night. Picked up a case of the Rauzan-Segla for £188.
 
Very nice, thanks Panos. I'll just cross-post the thread link here to my own impressions from the Toronto stop.

TN - UGC In Toronto--2014 Vintage

I'm becoming more and more dejected that I didn't try the GPL which most have deemed particularly fine. The Pape Clement Blanc was the star of the show for me, though, with Talbot and Kirwan right up there for the reds.

Mike
 
Greetings Ian.

Speaking generally, I think 2011 has quite a bit of tannin that needs to be resolved, so I am not sure how early it would be in fact. It also has high acidity. And while 2014 also has rather high acidity, it has smoother tannin than 2011, generally speaking, making for a more amicable balance.

Both vintages are darn good for dry whites, but I give the edge to 2014.

We had a 16-vintage vertical of Montrose earlier this month in Washington DC with Herve Berland, the director, and the 2008 was pure and focused and quite smooth enough even if very young at this stage. I recall enjoying the 2008 at 2011 Vinexpo in June in Bordeaux and really liked it. Like 2014, 2008 was underrated by many critics, but 2014 seems like a better version of 2008, with more opulence and evident ripeness that may not be "dark" fruit ripe, but certainly red fruit and cooler blue fruit ripe.

Tim, that is quite a nice deal.
 
Very nice, thanks Panos. I'll just cross-post the thread link here to my own impressions from the Toronto stop.

TN - UGC In Toronto--2014 Vintage

I'm becoming more and more dejected that I didn't try the GPL which most have deemed particularly fine. The Pape Clement Blanc was the star of the show for me, though, with Talbot and Kirwan right up there for the reds.

Mike

Nice to read you Mike! Looking forward to your notes :)
 
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