After a recent spell of so-so vintages, Bordeaux’s annual 2015 En Primeur campaign is looking to give wine merchants the world over a lift. With many wines from 2012, 13 and 14 still not sold from the en Primeur campaigns, a decline from Asian markets and a mistrust in the en Primeur system, the Chateaux are sitting on considerable stocks of wine. So what does 2015 have in store for us?
2015 Bordeaux Vintage Report
In a nutshell it was a hot one. Even budburst in early April, consistent flowering into June all went well, then the heat arrived. The hottest day was 29th June, and July was the hottest on record. Rain in late July saved the vintage from 2003’s excessive heat and subsequent jammy and baked wines.
More rain in the Northen Medoc communes of Margaux and Pessac-Leognan ensured these look the pick of the left bank. The right bank’s Merlot also came in excellent condition. Check out Gavin Quinney’s full report here.
James Suckling comments that “2015 is indeed a fantastic year, producing rich and opulent reds with ripe and velvety tannins. The wines have a lot of “wow” factor….” and “The 2015s don’t seem to have the powerful, structured tannins of the 2010 or the flamboyance of the 2009. I think a comparison to 2005 or 2000 might be better.”
Here are a couple of key releases to date:
2015 Ch. Pontet-Canet
Château Pontet-Canet is owned and run by Alfred and Michel Tesseron. Pontet-Canet’s 78 hectares of vineyards adjoin those of Mouton Rothschild and are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot (32%) and Cabernet Franc (5%).
A magnificently ripe, sturdy, smoky claret. The ’15 Pontet-Canet has the cedary Pauillac characteristic, pleasingly silky tannins, and tremendous balance. Creamy blackberries and a precise shape, lead to a fruit-dominant finish that tingles in the mouth. It needs some bottle age.
It’s also 13.6% higher in price than 2014 and has caused quite the stir. read more here.
94-96/100 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
2015 Ch. Léoville Barton
From being a solid mid-league performing 2ème Cru Classé to one of the most exciting and scintillating wines in St. Julien. 2015 Ch. Leoville Barton sees a concerted step up in quality, there is a balance, coolness and poise that sees it as one of the best Leoville Bartons made in recent years. However despite it’s “outstanding’ reviews is it too expensive at 33.7% up on 2014? Check out Liv-Ex
(94-96)/100 Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
2015 Ch. Giscours
I’ve never been a huge fan of CH.Giscours, despite its heritage and huge appeal across the wine world, however that’s about to change. 2015 by all account is a belter. With Neal Martin stating, “Having tasted the 1961 and 1970 Giscours just a few months ago, I wager that the 2015 will be the best since the 1961.” A big call, but one that’s winning friends across the industry.
94-96 points Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
2015 Ch. Batailley, Pauillac
A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. Most importantly it’s cropped at 48 hl/ha driving further quality from this 5th growth. Improvements have led Ch. Batailley to launch a second wine in 2015. The grapes in the second wine would previously have been included in the Grand Vin, and this highlighter the drive in quality. The new, more severe, selection of grapes has to be applauded and should ensure that Ch. Batailley maintains this high standard in years to come.
(93-95)/100 Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate