(2016) Deep and full, a little richness. There is a red plum fruitiness to this, but then there is a tight structural element too, grippy from the tannins, but also a cassis and cassis skin bit of grip and tension, the wine staying lively and focused, the sweetness reasserting in the finish. Delicious in the end.
(2016) Fragrance here, the lovely combination of creamy and tobacco notes with a tight, refined fruit quality. The palate has a little meat and chewy tannic structure, but there is good freshness again. Not at all heavy, showing a nice drinkability but there is some depth and weight here too, savoury and nicely balanced.
(2016) A nice perfume here, before a big sour cherry and black plum skin grippy palate, that big raft of sour flavour is lovely against the touch of chewy tannin and the little chocolate richness of the barrel. Long, fresh, tannic at this stage.
(2016) A sense of ripe gaminess to this 2012, with meaty, smoky notes from the oak, but also a ripeness to the fruit. Lovely fruit sweetness comes through, the first wine of this five-wine tasting where the sweetness of the fruit is winning against the tannic heft of the structure, finishing on sweet fruit and spice. Plenty of sour cherry acidity to freshen the finish too.
(2016) Nice, quite light colour with some transparency. A gentle earthiness and light leafiness. Lots of cherry character, lots of raciness and elegance, dry with a grippy tannin structure, but a nice little rounding of oak and good acidity – indeed the acidity drives this and gives it potential longevity.
(2016) There's a nice red liquorice stripe to this, with a hint of meatiness too, but yet again the house style of deep and luxurious oak character and plush fruit is there. Not quite so rich and full on the palate as the Faizeau, very dry and nicely in balance, and I like the 'quieter' quality of the oak, though admittedly it does not quite have the mouth-filling presence of the Faizeau. Not stockist and price quoted at time of review is for the 2011 vintage.
(2016) Similar aromatic to the 2011, though the sandalwood exoticism replaced by a slightly deeper, slightly richer and Christmas cake spiciness. Very good cassis ripeness. On the palate it has delicious lick of acidity and firm tannins that give it real structure and a bit of grippy persistence. Delicious and long, with a lovely balance.
(2015) A blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, this comes from a family estate stretching back five generations and is also from the superb 2009 vintage. This teeters on the brink of over ripeness aromatically, almost reminiscent of a Coonawarra Cabernet with its eucalypt mint and bloodiness, but the sweet cassis powers through. On the palate it is spicy and plummy, perhaps just a touch more drying than when I last tasted it a year ago, but the finish comes together really nicely, powerful, concentrated and substantial for a steak or roast beef.
(2015) An estate whose wines I have always rated highly, though this is a first tasting of their 2003, a very good and very hot and ripe vintage in Bordeaux. Despite that, alcohol is modest at only 13% and this has game and dried blood characters mingling with the sweet black fruit and all sorts of spicy nuances. It certainly has that gamy character that some will like more than others, but for me it is archetypal mature Bordeaux, and so elegantly harmonious on the palate, the savoury and medium-bodied, very gastronomic build of the wine with enough fruit and a freshness to the finish.
(2015) Around two-thirds Merlot to one-third Cabernet Franc in this proper, meaty and gamy claret, where this is possibly a touch of brett - though it could be the bloody and peppery nature of the Cab Franc coming though. Cool and well tempered palate, lots of sweet black fruit at the core of this, but wrapped in a framework of tannin and acidity and buttresed by coffeeish, toasty oak. Ends quite stylish and authentic.