Wednesday Wines – Episode 49

Episode 49 – 3rd March 2021

A wonderful selection of 2018 Right Bank Bordeaux

I have recently received a flurry of 2018 Bordeaux to taste for the first time since I looked at many of them (out of the ‘barrel’) at the En Primeur tastings in Bordeaux, in April 2019.   This week, I have picked out a collection of Right Bank wines from two eminent portfolios which are worthy of your consideration.

Vignobles JP Estager Portfolio of estates

2018 Château La Papeterie, Montagne Saint-Emilion

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

What a delightful wine, this is a thoroughly impressive creation and I have not seen it in the UK before but, after a quick internet search and considering the French retail price, it ought to be shipped over here without delay!   Lovely, juicy, sooty and detailed with exuberant fruit and velvety touch, I love its forward-drinking stance and enthusiastic flavours.  17/20

2018 Domaine de Gachet, Lalande-de-Pomerol

50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc

A little slimmer and firmer than La Papeterie with a more linear flavour-trail, this is an earthier style that needs a little time to resolve its tannins.  It looks like it will remain a lighter style.  16+/20

2018 Domaine des Gourdins, Saint-Emilion

70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc

This is another ripe and smooth wine with buoyant fruit and nice weight.  I particularly like the deep, inky colour and forward feel.  16.5/20

2018 Château Plincette, Pomerol

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

Classy and smooth with lovely, even fruit and not too much of an oak imprint, this is a carefully-judged wine and one with a decent amount of flair.  17/20

2018 Château Haut-Maillet, Pomerol

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

With mineral-soaked fruit and fresh spice details, this wine is harder-edged and more tannic than the others in the portfolio.  The fruit is equally firm and so this wine will take a little longer to evolve, but it will work beautifully given time.  17+/20

2018 Domaine de Compostelle, Pomerol (Second wine of La Cabanne)

100% Merlot

Sexy, layered and more exotic than expected, this is a chocolate and plum-soaked wine with a delicious, moreish feel.  This is a superb second wine and it is already approaching its drinking window.  17/20

2018 Château La Cabanne, Pomerol

94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc

The fruit is vibrant and the tannins are particularly active and energetic, but this is a superb wine with obvious grandeur and layers of dark fruit.  It is less obviously exuberant than the second wine and a few of the others, too, but there is an old vine depth here which adds detail and intensity and this makes it the most distinguished of the collection.  17.5+/20

Vignobles K Portfolio of estates

 2018 Château Le Rey, Les Argileuses, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Starting to look rather graceful, but still possessing some grip and tension, this is a rewarding wine with layered fruit and a bite of tension on the finish.  There are certainly more similarities with Burgundy than Bordeaux in the shape and demeanour of this wine.  16.5+/20

2018 Château Le Rey, Les Rocheuses, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

The perfume here is more lifted, spicy and a little prettier than found in Les Argileuses and yet there is a more backward feel on the finish.  It is fascinating to think that this is a Bordeaux, but that there is also so much terroir playing an active role in this wine and this is not something you see every day!  17+/20

2018 Château Haut-Brisson, Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion

90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

This is possibly the finest vintage to date for Haut-Brisson with terrific fruit, fine-grained tannins and a long, finish.  There is a huge potential for this wine and this is a very well-earned score for this great effort.  17.5+/20

2018 Château Tour Saint Christophe, Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

Rather more structured than Haut-Brisson, this is a darker and more imposing wine and there is grand fruit here coupled with superb tension and earthy tannins.   This estate just keeps getting finer and finer as the years pass!  17.5+/20

2018 Château Bellefont-Belcier, Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Emilion

70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Polished and suave, this is a beautifully relaxed wine with juiciness and oak in perfect balance and there is an elite feel throughout.  It is nice to see these wines again, now that they are bottled, and they all show precision and accuracy, as well as honesty, and this makes them all the more valuable.  18+/20

2018 Château La Patache, Pomerol

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

There is less obvious earthiness here than I saw in the barrel sample I tasted two years ago and so I am pleased to announce that the pure fruit is certainly shining through unencumbered! 17+/20

2018 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol

100% Merlot

This is a very easy wine to fall for!  It is drop-dead gorgeous, but the fact that only 3300 bottles were made makes it a jolly difficult one to track down if you want to taste the luxurious fruit and plush, layered excellence in every single sip!   For a tiny property, it is certainly playing with the big boy Pomerols in 2018. 18.5+/20