Just arrived from Bordeaux:
Fronsac, Chateau Bergey Cuvee Tradition 2018 @ R220
From the pretty town of Saillans, the river ambles past Olivier Goujon’s family home bringing minerals to his soils and natural protection from the elements to his vineyard. He harvests his five-hectare property during the night to ensure the fermentation begins when he wants it to and ages in custom built concrete tanks. Concrete is becoming very popular among the richest properties in the region as it offers stability, control and a minute transfer of air. This is a full bodied, 100% Merlot Fronsac which aspires to the Pomerol style of the appellations over the crest of the rolling hills.( It is tucked in between Chateaux Dalem, Haut Carles and Beausejour ).
Haut-Medoc, Chateau Du Moulin 2016 @ R495
The 15th vintage of this 1 hectare property owned by José Sanfins. Tasting back through older vintages of this 400-case production on the plateau of Lamarque in Moulis shows that José is a master of selecting his barrels. The balance of the fruit and oak is just sublime and his work in the vineyard puts some of the richest neighbours to shame. The fruit here is just perfect and the 2016 vintage will be one to keep and savour over the next 15 years. Quite simply one of the finest wines of the appellation. Sat next to Chasse Spleen and on one of the highest plateaux in the Médoc we find the vineyard of Château du Moulin. A moulin – or windmill – must be high in altitude or it is useless so this accounts for the wonderful sun exposure.
Saint-Estephe, Chateau Graves de Pez 2014 @ R445
Owner Maxime Saint Martin is the youngest winemaker in the appellation but is the 3rd generation on this soil. Just as the plateau drops away from Cos d’Estournel, Maxime can be found tending to his vines. The vineyard is situated on some of the finest terroir of Saint Estephe, on the hallowed gravel plateau shared among parcels from Château Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Haut Marbuzet. Winemaking is done in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and the wine is transferred into oak barrels for 12 month of ageing. This enhances the fruit in this wine and there are no hard tannins, rusticity or dryness. The result is a very enjoyable Saint Estèphe. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
Margaux, Chateau Les Vimieres Le Tronquera 2015 @ R799
Just 3 km north of Château Margaux and to the east of Paveil de Luze, stands a hidden 0.45 hectare parcel of 70 year old Merlot vines. They have been in the Boissenot family for longer than anybody can remember and they make 1200 bottles of this confidential wine. Owned by Eric Boissenot who is widely accepted as one of the finest winemakers on the planet. Just sublime and unique in Margaux for its 100% Merlot blend. THE WINEMAKER: When Eric Boissenot is not helping Latour or Lafite towards achieving perfection, he is working his magic on his own 4500 vines.
Saint-Julien, Chateau Moulin de la Rose 2016 @ R755
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
Chateau Moulin de la Rose is, to put it simply, a wine that is made on Grand Cru soils, by an owner who has run Grand Cru properties, from a family that has Bordeaux wine running through its veins and from a consultant wine maker who is responsible for the success of 4 of the 5 first growths. All this at less than the price of most “SECOND WINES” that are released from classified properties. Guy Delon and his extended family own some of the most desired vineyards in Saint Julien, and use the services of consultant winemaker Eric Boissenot, perhaps the finest winemaker in the world. The result is a wonderfully balanced, elegant wine that could be opened now or left to cellar for around 8-10 years.
Pauillac, Chateau Dauprat 2016 @ R535
Gabriel Meffre at Dapraut is the cellarmaster behind Dauprat. His château that stands opposite Ducru Beaucaillou is one of the rare Crus Bourgeois of the appellation. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot.
This is a wonderful parcel of vines sandwiched in between plots owned by Château Latour & Château Lynch Bages. Just half a hectare here and the old vines produce a fabulous fruit. It does not have a winery so it can’t be called « Château » and the terroir here is distinct from the other property in Pauillac owned by the Meffre family: Château Bellegrave. For this reason, the wine for the 3000 bottles produced here is vinified separately, to make this exclusive label for Borderac Crus & Vins. The wine here is elegant with coarse tannins which will harmonize with the fruit over the next 5‐10 years. The name comes from the parcel of vines and every connoisseur should have this in their cellar.
Saint-Emilion GC, Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe 2014 @ R495
At the end of 2011 Peter Kwok acquired the Chateau Tour Saint Christophe and runs it with his daughter Karen. Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe is the second label of the chateau, which overlooks beautiful dry stone terraces, probably dating back several hundred years, on a chalky-clay terroir. It is located in St-Christophe-des-Bardes at the border of St-Émilion. The vineyard is unique as it is partly planted on narrow terraces and tended in tight rows. The cascading landscape unfolds on the hillside of Cassevert overlooking the St-Laurent valley. The property is home to beautiful centuries-old dry stone terraces on a clay-limestone terroir. About 1.5 km of dry-stone terraces have been repaired by hand, a two-year process. The vineyard, with vines of an average age of 30 years, is orientated south-southwest and benefits from an ideal exposure to sun and perfect natural drainage conditions. Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe is the second label of Château Tour Saint Christophe.
Pomerol, Chateau Prieurs de la Commanderie 2014 @ R730
Here in the Neac area of Pomerol, the property has benefitted from the huge investment of the Fayat family (one of the richest families in France). They have a nose for buying great properties, having purchased Chateau la Dominique in Saint Emilion (the property next door to Cheval Blanc). This remains true here, and this wine has always been harvested and vinified separately from Chateau Fayat in order to keep the expression of this clay gravel terroir. Beautifully fresh and balanced in a great drinking vintage. 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Saint-Emilion GC, Chateau Lafon La Tuilerie 2016 @ R865
Possibly one of the finest, most concentrated and harmonious Saint Emilion Grand Crus you have never tasted. The property is situated next to the original plot of Chateau Valendraud and a stone’s throw from the stunning Chateau de Faugeres owned by the Lalique Crystal Dynasty. A fabulous chalk slope brings the unique freshness to the Merlot and the surrounding forest protects the vineyard bringing biodiversity and stability. 100% Merlot and get it while you can – it was purchased by the aforementioned Chateau Faugères so this is the second to last vintage.
Lalande de Pomerol, Chateau Ferran Les Cotes 2014 @ R490
Situated a stone’s throw from the prestigious Château Latour Martillac, this impressive Pessac Léognan is a full bodied wine offering fantastic value for money and is one not to be missed. The wine is overseen by Pierre Hubert Gory, following his stints at Chateaux Latour and Beychevelle. 65% Merlot 35% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Margaux, Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2014 @ R2315
The Gorce family was already producing good quality wine from these deep gravelly soils in the late 1700s. Such was their wine’s reputation that in 1833 Baron Hector de Brane sold his Château Brane-Mouton – it became Mouton-Rothschild! – to buy out the Gorces. For half a century the vineyard, now Brane-Cantenac, was improved and expanded and the small 17th century château rebuilt more grandly. Then came phylloxera and oidium, and in 1919 the estate was acquired by the consortium that salvaged Châteaux Margaux, d’Issan and Durfort Vivens. Normality resumed in 1925 with the estate’s sale to the great winemaking family of Lurton. Now, Henri Lurton is rebuilding the quality – and has, unusually, redesigned the brand label. Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot Noir 40%, Cabernet Franc 4.5%, Carmenère 0.5%
Saint-Estephe, Chateau Ormes de Pez 2014 @ R1210
To date the estate is owned by the Cazes family, also owners of Château Lynch-Bages. For many years the vinification took place at Lynch-Bages, but the cuvier and chai of Ormes-de-Pez were modernised before the 1981 vintage. After a long period of management by Jean-Michel Cazes, he has been succeeded by his son Jean-Charles Cazes. The vineyard area, divided into two blocks north and south of the village of Saint-Estèphe, extends 33 hectares (82 acres), with the grape varieties of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot.
Saint-Julien, Chateau Lagrange 2014 @ R1867
Grapes have been grown at Chateau Lagrange, St.-Julien, for over 600 years. A Third Growth in the Classification of 1855, it is the largest classified growth in the Medoc with 113 hectares under vine. It was acquired in 1983 by Suntory, the Japanese wine and spirits conglomerate, which has spared no effort or expense in extensively replanting and renovating the estate. The property is planted with 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 28 percent Merlot and 7 percent Petit Verdot. Chateau Lagrange has one of the larges plantings of Petit Verdot in Bordeaux, and often uses more of this grape variety in the blend than other chateaux. Today, Chateau Lagrange is under the direction of winemaker Bruno Eynard, who has been at the estate since 1990.
Margaux, Chateau Giscours 2012 @ R2175
Located on a beautiful 300 hectare estate, the 83 hectare Giscours vineyard is located in the famous Margaux appellation. Though the estate was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1330, it was not until 1847 that Count de Pescatore laid the cornerstone of the remarkable chateau that now overlooks the vines. Giscours’ quality was confirmed by its inclusion as a Third Growth in the 1855 classification.
The estate was purchased by Nicolas Tari after World War II. He made major investments in modernizing Giscours. In 1995, Eric Albada Jelgersma acquired the right to grow vines and make wine on the estate. He continues to lavish the care and attention that are necessary to maintain Giscours’ standing as a world-famous great growth.
Saint-Julien, Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2015 @ R2137
Château Branaire is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Branaire is also the name of the main red wine produced by this property and which was classified as one of the ten ‘Fourth Growths’ (Quatrièmes Crus) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Although the actual château is located on the southern border of the appellation, across from Château Beychevelle, the vineyards of the estate are spread throughout Saint-Julien. In total, the vineyards cover 50 hectares (about 120 acres). The majority of plantings are devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), followed by Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (4%). The vines average 35 years of age and are harvested by hand. 2015 Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Saint-Emilion, Chateau Monbousquet 2016 @ R2098
A neglected property by 1945, it was bought by Daniel Querre who began thorough restorations of the vineyards and buildings, continued by his son Alain Querre. In the following years Monbousquet became one of the best-known non-classified wines of Saint-Émilion. In 1993 Monbousquet was acquired by the Parisian supermarket owner Gérard Perse, who later bought Château Pavie, Château Pavie-Decesse and Château La Clusière. Consultancy is provided by the oenologist Michel Rolland. The estate was elevated to Grand Cru Classé in the Saint-Émilion classification of 2006. The vineyard area extends 32 hectares with the grape varieties of approximately 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the Grand vin Monbousquet there is a typically an annual production of 8,300 cases.
Saint-Julien, Chateau Gloria 2015 @ R1519
Château Gloria is an unclassed Bordeaux wine from the Saint-Julien appellation. The winery is located in the central part of France’s Bordeaux wine region Haut-Médoc, in the commune of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle. Regarded as a well-made wine with the best characteristics of Saint-Julien, it is estimated by many to be on a par with the classed growths. A relatively young estate, Château Gloria was founded and assembled by Monsieur Henri Martin who established the reputation of Gloria within the space of a generation. With the first acquisitions of 6 hectares (15 acres) of vines in 1942, and purchase of the chai of Château Saint-Pierre, Martin added to the estate over the years with land bought from the surrounding classed estates, including châteaux Saint-Pierre, Beychevelle, Léoville-Poyferré, Gruaud-Larose, Léoville-Barton, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Lagrange and a Saint-Julien property of Duhart-Milon, making up its present size.
The estate was included in the proposal by INAO to revise the 1855 classification, and subsequently became listed in the private classification of Alexis Lichine. The current proprietor of the estate is Martin’s son-in-law, Jean-Louis Triaud. The vineyard area extends 48 hectares (120 acres), with the grape variety distribution of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit The vineyard area extends 48 hectares (120 acres), with the grape variety distribution of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit verdot.