1995 and 1998 classed growth Bordeaux

Château Haut Bages Monpelou (Pauillac) Cru Bourgeois 1995 – £116.23
Very attractive nose of toasty new oak, coffee and blackcurrant. Good cabernet character on the palate with more blackcurrant, cedar and spice in the finish. Quite long.

Château Batailley (Pauillac) 5th growth 1995 – £185.36
Opaque ruby red. Nice earthy nose, fruit is subdued. High tannins and acidity on the palate but good fruit too. Black cherry and liquorice over a layer of plummy flavours. Oaky tannins prominent in the finish. Still very dry and tannic. Needs time. Very good.

Château Trottevieille (St-Emilion) Premiere Grand Cru Classé 1995 – £264.08
Firm fruit on the nose. Nice combination of edgy black fruit and plummy, meaty depth. Quite leafy in a nice way. Terrific concentration of fruit on the palate. Very pure and well-balanced. Excellent length. Very good indeed.

Château du Domaine de l’Eglise (Pomerol) 1995 – £189.63
Medium/dark ruby. Spice-box aromas over soft, jammy fruit. Very lush and mouthfilling with bitter chocolate richness yet good structure with balanced tannins and acidity. Nice peppery finish which is long. Very good.

1998 barrel samples

Château Batailley (Pauillac) 5th growth 1998
Gorgeous crimson/purple. Beautifully creamy, softly textured fruit on the nose. A purity of blackcurrant fruit and already a cloak of soft tannins drying the finish. Seems foursquare but very approachable and ripe.

Château du Domaine de l’Eglise (Pomerol) 1998
Very spicy nose. Terrific tightly-wound core of fruit: blackberry, plums, plum-skins. High tannins but great concentration of fruit. Considerable weight and a long, spicy, black-cherry finish. Very promising indeed.