2015 Bordeaux Futures Roundup

After a lovely trip to Bordeaux this month, we wanted to share some insights after tasting over 300 wines. Our trip involved guided tours by negociants and importers, as well as some self-directed time to UGC tastings. 2015 is a very good to possibly great vintage. There are lots of comparisons swirling already to 2005, 2009, and possibly 2010. It's more important to focus on the fact that 2011-2014 were vintages most lovers of Bordeaux just assume forget. Sure, there were some well made wines, but the rising tide lifts all boats. And, in 2015, the repeated refrain from most of the folks we talked to was this: Hot July, cooling begin in August with warming toward the end of August. Some scattered rains which brought relief to the vines, but dried out nicely. Warm days and cool nights proceeded into September with most of harvesting finished by the first week in October. A remarkable vintage because there were no remarkable weather threats.  

The key findings when describing the wines of 2015 en primeur, and indeed, the descriptors most often repeated in our notes were: ripe, soft, integrated, ready, fresh, charming, fruity, precocious, elegant, refined, supple tannins, YUM, outstanding, and delicious.

Many of the critics and experts are especially excited about Pomerol, St. Emilion, Pessac-Leognan, and spots throughout the left bank, especially in Pauillac, St. Julien and St. Estephe. It's clear that the overall impression is very good. Wineries that may be borderline and satellite communities of greater Bordeaux will be markedly improved and savvy shoppers will want to look out for buying opportunities in the $20-35 price range for wines that over-deliver for near term pleasure and potential near term aging.

For us, some of the standout wines of the vintage include:
2015 Ch. Angelus St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe A 99pts
2015 Ch. Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 99 pts
2015 Ch. L'Evangile Pomerol 98-99 pts
2015 Ch. Pavie St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe A 98-99 pts
2015 Ch. Mouton Rothschild 98 pts
2015 Ch. Margaux 98 pts
2015 Ch. Cheval Blanc St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe A 97 pts
2015 Ch. d'Yquem Sauternes 97 pts
2015 Ch. Haut Brion 97 pts
2015 Ch. Cos d'Estournel St. Estephe 96-98 pts
2015 Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac 96 pts
2015 Ch. Montrose St. Estephe 96 pts
2015 Ch. Calon Segur St. Estephe 
2015 Ch. Latour Pauillac 96 pts
2015 Ch. Monbousquet St. Emilion 96 pts
2015 Ch. Canon St. Emilion Grand Cru 95-96 pts
2015 Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan 95-96
2015 Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien 95 pts
2015 Ch. Tropolong-Mondot St. Emilion 1er Grand Cru 95 pts
2015 Ch. Fleur-Cardinale St. Emilion 95 pts
2015 Ch. Pape-Clement Blanc Pessac-Leognan 95 pts
2015 Ch. Duhart-Milon Pauillac 95 pts
2015 Ch. Doisy-Daene Barsac 95 pts
2015 Ch. Monbousquet Blanc 95 pts
2015 Ch. Margaux Pavillon Blanc 94 pts
2015 Ch. Palmer Margaux 94 pts
2015 Ch. Fombrauge St. Emilion Grand Cru 94 pts
2015 Ch. Clerc-Milon Pauillac 94 pts
2015 Ch. Malescot St. Exupery 94 pts