(2022) Though part of the Doctors' low-alcohol range, this is farmed conventionally - it's the unconverted 30-odd grammes of residual sugar that give the 9% alcohol and lovely balance. A portion comes from clay in Brancott, the rest from Wairau greywacke stones. Lovely floral notes, it's a ringer for Mosel Riesling, with delicious limey fruit, a sherbetty brightness and pure apple acidity. A touch of phenolic grip just adds some structure around the edges.
(2021) A lot paler and softer in colour than the 15 or 16, a touch of coffee and a little more red fruited compared to the others. This feels more mature in many ways, a little more open and loosely knit but a lovely wine for drinking now, the sweetness of the fruit combined with softer tannins and pert cherry skin tangy acidity gives lots of pleasure and still plenty of bite and structure.
(2021) Again the colour darker and more dense, graphite and Morello cherry, there is polished wood and some truffle, but once again the supple fleshy gloss of this is a different world from the other 1er Crus entirely. Mouthfilling, smoky and rich, there is huge sweetness on the mid-palate, touching into chocolate, before that characteristic freshness and juicy propulsion of the structure drives to a long, elegant and spicy finish. Harvested at an almost unbelievable 9hl/ha, only two tanks were made in 2016 rather than the more normal four or five.
(2021) The depth and solidity of colour is immediately so striking, as is the powerful minerality and meat-stock depth to this. We’ve moved to a darker fruit spectrum, but still vivid and vibrant, immediately suggesting energy. A sweet, concentrated fruit power and energy, positively silky, slicked with vanilla and combining intense, fleshy black fruits with the elegance and precision of the tannins and acids to wonderful effect.
(2021) From the famous terroir of Pauillac, this estate is now owned by its illustrious near neighbour Château Pichon-Baron, and the wine made by the Pichon team. It's predominantly Merlot (68%) from a year when frost reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon yield in particular. It has a deep, saturated and youthful colour, and really quite a lovely nose, some fragrant Sandalwood and spice plays against cassis, with a cool, stony character beneath. In the mouth there is copious and sweet black fruit, lots and lots of mocha coffee barrel supporting (50% new barrels), the tannins truly silky and the acidity giving a nice, tart and savoury plum and cherry skin bite. Really, a young Bordeaux drinking very well, but with a decade of cellaring potential surely. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2021) No whole bunches were included for this pale ruby wine, touched with glowing pale pink on the rim. Spicy, briary and relatively meaty, that floral character is still present, but more on the woodland, spice and savoury, gently meaty red fruit side. Real mouth-filling fruit here, a big, surprisingly sweet and rounded mid-palate with generosity, again the tannins are tight and give a little sandpaper grip along with the juicy acids. An impressive 2017 for sure.
(2021) First a caveat that this was only a sample of Musar, delivered to me in a miniaturised bag-in-box type format, which I did not have a chance to open for a few days after it arrived, so notes and scores taken with that caveat please. It's a remarkably dense and deep young Musar, depth of colour with immediately plummy and smooth aromas, a little cherry lift coming through as well as some smoky, tobacco spice. In the mouth the sheer abundance of fruit is almost shocking: masses of ripe berries and plum again, the underpinning of the creamy and cedary oak, smooth, chocolate-dense tannins and very nice, pert acidity. This is a particularly generous and full Musar vintage, and could well be worth more than my modest 92 point score, which I will update when I have a chance to taste from a freshly opened bottle.
(2020) Great perfume, so much florals, chestnut, game and undergrowth, roasted meats and great juiciness to the fruit. Elegance and sweetness, lots of fruit sweetness and ripe, creamy density, good length. The acid is nicely balanced and the tight tannin gives focus. No UK retail availability. Price and stockist quoted is for a more recent vintage.
(2020) Coffeeish note to this, a very pale. Colour, with warming spices, clove and cinnamon, a depth of autumnal soft fruit. A bit of leafy decaying undergrowth - sweet, ripe, a touch of Demerara sugar, but finesse, good balance, and a long finish. Not the best of these vintages, but in a good drinking place. No retail listing in the UK, so price is for a more recent vintage.
(2020) This wine spends nine months in 100% French oak, 29% new barrels. Nicely handled oak, just adding a little buttery note and some vanilla, a hit of toast, then super fresh and limpid fruit on the palate, lots of citrus against the inherent fruit sweetness, juicy, pear and apple, and a rounding almond and buttery note in the finish. Stockist and price for an earlier vintage at time of review.