2015 Bordeaux Vintage Assessment and Tasting Notes
“The Great and the merely good….”
The day we flew back from Bordeaux a colleague said to me that he had felt a greater sense of satisfaction and optimism last year than this year. I had some empathy with his comments having been battling with my own thoughts on whether we were tasting a great Bordeaux vintage or just a very good one.
It is, I guess, about expectation. With the 2014's, against a rather skeptical set of early media reviews, we were pleasantly surprised to taste a vintage with some very promising wines. Given the early pronouncements from the Bordeaux media machine, for the 2015s only the finest barrel samples would measure up.
In 20 years of tasting Bordeaux en primeur I don't think I have ever concluded an en primeur tasting week with this question still in doubt in my mind. Great vintages indelibly mark your memory with certainty - vintages such as 2000, 2005, 2009 & 2010. So, on balance, I guess the answer must be "no", 2015 is not universally a 'great' Bordeaux vintage.
But such is the complexity of this question, and it is probably a futile one anyway, as we know there are no great wines only great bottles so the idea of extending this generalization to the breadth of an entire Bordeaux crop is surely inappropriate.
What we can categorically report is that some estates have produced monumental wines in 2015, and unique wines which will delight Bordeaux lovers sooner than they might have expected. Also this is a vintage which will show significant gains from barrel aging, and lift many wines from very good to great. There is much to be optimistic about but selection remains key.
94-95/100 James Suckling - Château Haut Brisson is located on the limestone plateau of Saint Etienne de Lisse and the gravelly hilltops of Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens and spreads over 22 hectares. The property benefits from a diversity of terroirs of ideal exposition enjoying maximum...
93-94/100 James Suckling - Château La Patache is a small estate, but its terroir, unique, is very qualitative with soils that boast huge variety and complexity, including fine gravels with iron-rich clay in the subsoil. The vineyard is 3,5 hectares spread over nine plots with 1 hectare...