(2024) Made by Château Clinet of Pomerol, but from Right Bank vineyards outside of the appellation, this Merlot-based wine is another I've enjoyed in various vintages. There's a smooth and plush plum and chocolate character on the nose, dark and touched by espresso. It's all about swirling darkness really, but there are delightful little perfumed violet hints. On the palate the creamy, suave depth of the black fruit cashes the cheque promised by the nose: crushed black berries, a meaty and charry edge but well into the background, and a lovely support from the quite richly-framed tannins and acidity. Well-priced. Watch the video for more information.
(2024) The is the second of Château Rauzan-Ségla, the famous Margaux second growth is now under the ownership of the Chanel luxury goods family. The vineyards here are around 95% composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. A very youthful crimson colour, there's a floral touch to the cedar and quite pastille-like fruit. It is very correct; medium-bodied and fresh, with moderate tannins and nicely focused acidity, and the fruit flitting between black and red as I always think befits the appellation. Nicely balanced and satisfying, I'd say this is ready to go.
(2023) A wine I've enjoyed in previous vintages, but arguably this is the best so far. I remember a fabulous dry white from Château Doisy Daëne that I tasted many years ago that so fragrant with peach down elegance, hints of guava exoticism and a juicy, crisp but not aggresive pink grapefruit clarity and acidity. This reminds me of it so much, any barrel ageing adding a subtle sheen of almond, but almost disappearing into the shimmering elegance of the finish. 54% Semillon, 46% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% aged in barrel for six months.
(2023) It's well over a year since I last tasted an early bottling of this 80% Merlot Bordeaux which was aged in both clay amphora and different sized barrels. Then I scored it 89/100 and commented on its smooth and fruit driven character, edged with bloody and gamy notes and spicy black fruit. This bottle shows the gamy side a little more, hessian and dried fruit, and hinting at pencil shavings. In the mouth it remains creamy and juicy, a slick of cassis over resolving tannins and nice cherry acidity.  
(2023) An organic Cabernet Franc from Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux on the eastern edge of the Bordeaux region, it spent six months in older oak barrels. The surprisingly light 12% abv helps give elegance to the nose, with a buoyant fruit character and delicate florals, a little Beaujolais-like for me. In the mouth it is smooth and medium bodied, quite silky really and pleasingly easy to drink. Tannins are sweet and supple, acid is pert but gentle, and the wine drinks very nicely. £17.99 as part of a mixed dozen.
(2023) This wine is the precise colour of Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1. At first a trace of smoke on the nose, but swirl and swirl and this goes. Just the densest sense of pure violets, coiled power on the nose. Huge. And it’s all underpinned by a slab of pure blackcurrant fruit. Very long on the palate, fine tannins. This is up there with the very best I think. (JH). Tasted en primeur so score is provisional.
(2023) The nose jumps out of the glass, offering ripe black griotte cherry, violets – isn’t this property always the most exotic and black-fruited of its peers? In the mouth, very nice entry and lovely texture. Very fine tannins and acidity keeping it fresh and balanced on the long finish. This is a really fine La Conseillante. (JH). Tasted en primeur so score is provisional.
(2023) There’s a very pure, restrained sense of compact power on the nose. This is so much more refined than most of the samples we’ve tried this campaign. Lighter bodied in the mouth than I expected. This is so harmonious; silken. It almost feels like you could drink it now. This is a wine that whispers rather than shouts – reminds me of the 1985 in that respect. (JH). Tasted en primeur so score is provisional.
(2023) 54% CS, 42% M, 4% PV. 14% alcohol. Very dark purple/black. There is a huge nose straight away with massive aromatics. It’s so floral! All the winemakers talk about freshness (boringly, as they all do it and it’s considered an unconditional positive) but this really is like wandering into a meadow packed with flowers. Remarkable! This is lighter in the mouth than I was expecting, with lovely tannins, good length. This is a really elegant Beychevelle with so much charm. This wine makes me smile. (JH). Tasted en primeur so score is provisional.
(2023) Inky purple-black. A fully stacked nose of iris petals, violets and blue-black fruit. Massive but not forced. This shimmers in the glass. Really fine. So harmonious it’s like a perfectly tuned acoustic guitar – it sings, both in the nose and the mouth (in my memory, typing this later, I hear it!). Nothing out of place. Really exciting to think about what this will become. (JH). Tasted en primeur so score is provisional.