Académie des Cinquante Bordeaux visit

Tasted September 20, 2017 - September 23, 2017 by Xavier Auerbach with 652 views

Flight 1 - Tour and Lunch at Château Figeac (4 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Pol Roger Champagne Brut Réserve France, Champagne
91 points
Well aged bottles, red fruit and brioche, silky and fresh, very good intensity and length. A lovely aperitif in the gardens of Château Figeac.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Petit-Figeac France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
88 points
Fresh and transparent, classic and relatively slender style, quite overtly oaky, Cabernets very much to the fore, violets, the phenols seem a bit drying, pure flavours but also a hint of greenness, good length. Needs two years, but will never be a great wine.
Red
2003 Château Figeac France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
91 points
Rich and stable colour, youthful appearance; fresh nose with a touch of warmth, spicy depth, hint of meatiness, redcurrants, peppery lift, mineral depth; fresh and slender style, clearly harvested early but the phenolics are (just) ripe, well-balanced, very gravelly, could do with a more generous stuffing of fruit; finishes well, long and nuanced.
Red
1983 Château Figeac France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
89 points
Impériale. Mature but lively appearance; excellent classic nose, mature and rich but fresh, medicinal, spicy, hint of tea, lovely tertiary development, harmonious and deep; the palate is harmonious and fresh, but it is slightly attenuated and it is becoming fragile, with a slight metallic edge to the acidity; light finish, slightly honeyed, good length. Develops very quickly in the glass, drink up.

Flight 2 - Guided Tour and Dinner at La Cité du Vin (8 notes)

White
2012 Château La Louvière Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
91 points
Lovely balance and elegance, ripe fruit and vegetal notes, seamless, subtle and creamy style, well integrated oak.
White
2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Impressive power and weight, intense and harmonious, tropical fruit, cream, only a hint of vegetables, juicy, subtle oak without any dryness, very good length. Well done.
Red
1999 Château Giscours France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points
Magnum. Gentle style, cedary, lovely aromas, medium weight, mature and slightly thinning, but retains its harmony and delicious soft 1999 red berry fruit, good length.
Red
2009 Château Phélan Ségur France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
91 points
Graphite, firm and velvety tannins, rich fruit and spice, good weight and concentration, a bit monolithic but harmonious, good length. Needs more time, but it should turn out well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
90 points
Pure and primary nose, slightly meaty, nice fruit, nice kiss of oak, just a bit dry in the tannins, lacks weight and power on the palate, falls away a bit on the drying finish. Not impressed. I liked the 2011 a lot better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Juicy and fresh, lovely fruit of blackcurrants and blueberries, floral, pure and fresh style, lacks a bit of weight and power on the palate, well judged tannins, good length.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château La Louvière France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
89 points
Light style, bright and fresh, cherries and violets, nice and well balanced but relatively thin, good length.
Red
2012 Château de Ferrand France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
89 points
Bright and fresh, supple and smooth, juicy and floral, lovely oak, tight and fresh, drying and light on the finish.

Flight 3 - Visit of Château Margaux (1 note)

Red
2004 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
93 points
Decanted for two hours. Attractive and classical nose, red berries, hint of spice, floral lift, noticeable oak, mature and fresh, lovely nuances of earth and tobacco, good depth; silky and supple palate, elegant, even delicate, but displays a certain lack of concentration, tannins are slightly firm for the weight of fruit; the finish is relatively short and light. 92 Second bottle slightly fuller and creamier, but the tannins remain slightly pronounced.

Flight 4 - Tour and Tasting at Château Pavie Macquin (6 notes)

Red
2015 Château Puygueraud France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
89 points
Earthy nose with some fruit; lovely stuffing of ripe fruit (black cherries and berries), good balance in spite of 14.5% ABV, lovely freshness, well managed tannins, good length. Very good for what it is, drink now to 2025.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Château La Prade France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
90 points
Lovely lift on the floral nose, red berry fruit, fresh and mineral, hint of earth; mineral and elegant style, belies its 14.5% ABV, slightly tight but with lovely fruit, pure and intense flavours; good resonance and length.
Red
2015 Château Alcée France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
88 points
Solid red wine, pronounced acidity, not as harmonious as La Prade, a bit monolithic but there is good fruit here, needs a few years.
Red
2015 Château Larcis Ducasse France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
94 points
This is a really beautiful wine, very complete, voluptuous and elegant at the same time, expressive already but with some much more in store, delightfully pure fruit flavours, perfectly integrated acidity and tannins will provide the structure for a long life; excellent resonance and length.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Pavie Macquin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
95 points
Much more closed than the Larcis Ducasse, but potentially a more profound wine, with great limestone minerality, layered flavours, so pure it is like chewing on a ripe Merlot grape, an intellectual wine, beautiful tension between freshness and weight, oak is invisible, Cabernet Franc gives a beautiful airy touch, great length.
Red
2015 Château Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
95 points
More matiere and concentration than both the Pavie Macquin and the Larcis Ducasse, wonderful expression of grape and terroir, power and elegance, drive and freshness, stunning velvety tannins, exceptional length.

Flight 5 - Lunch at Château Pavie Macquin (7 notes)

White
2014 Château Les Charmes-Godard Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
89 points
Fresh and lively, the Sémillon and six months ageing on the fine lees give nice "gras", citrus and minerals, juicy and floral, just a hint of wood, good length.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Pavie Macquin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
93 points
Floral and fresh, beautiful ripe fruit, oak spice, balanced and elegant, eminently drinkable already, finely grained tannins, good concentration for a 2012, recognisable pure and refined style, only ever so slightly dry on the finish, excellent length. Better than the bottle I tasted earlier.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Larcis Ducasse France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
92 points
Quite rich and full in style for a 2012, pure fruit and flowers, elegant but curvy, voluptuous but fresh, with well hidden tannins, very good length.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Pavie Macquin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
96 points
This is the superlative degree of Pavie Macquin, remarkably accessible for a 2010, such power and elegance, real concentration but so pure and refined, seamless and relaxed, harmonious and long, has everything. Outstanding.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Larcis Ducasse France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
91 points
Paired with the Pavie Macquin 2010 and clearly overshadowed by it, but a lovely wine in its own right, perhaps on the tannic and dry side, but with lovely pure fruit and freshness, without any harsh edges, good length.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 Château Pavie Macquin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
92 points
Magnum. The second vintage made by Nicolas Thienpont. Unfined and unfiltered (unlike in more recent vintages). Vibrant and fresh, slender and tannic, but has retained its fruit unlike many other 1996s, pure and linear, lively finish, good length.
Red
1988 Château Larcis Ducasse France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
88 points
Magnum. Fully mature appearance; fresh nose in which aromas of forest floor and mushrooms are masking a hint of TCA, lovage; light and fresh but harmonious palate, juicy and supple, slight metallic edge, little or no fruit; light finish, good length.

Flight 6 - Visit of Vieux Château Certan (3 notes)

Red
2006 Vieux Château Certan France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
96 points
Magnum, served straight from the bottle. An entirely classic VCC, still perfectly fresh and quite closed, an almost academic wine, all about texture at the moment, perfect balance, the divine elegance of VCC, but will need a lot of time in this format. Hard to put this into words.
Red
2006 Vieux Château Certan France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
96 points
Marked difference with the magnum, more open and creamy, but shares the same inimitable style and complexity, Cabernet Franc airiness, linear and precise, amazing subtlety and nuance, multi-dimensional, appetising, long. Haute cuisine. Best from 2020.
Red
2009 Vieux Château Certan France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
96 points
A rich and rounded rendition of VCC, ripe but fresh fruit, great presence and potential, but at present without the complexity and nuance of the 2006, velvety tannins, beautifully integrated oak, excellent length. Great wine, quite solaire for VCC, drink from 2024 if you want to go in search of the finer points.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)

Flight 7 - Dinner at Château Haut-Brion (6 notes)

White - Sparkling
2007 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année France, Champagne
92 points
Confirms the not entirely laudatory impression from earlier this month. A typically full and rich Bollinger, but with low acidity and energy and very evolved for a ten year old Grande Année. After the rather weighty 2005 and a 2004 that lacked a bit a concentration, this is again somewhat underwhelming. We have to go back to 2002 for a truly outstanding Grande Année.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White
2009 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
Magnum. A blend of 85% Sémillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. Wonderful waxy Sémillon richness, spicy oak, creamy lemon, outstanding purity, tropical fruit, perfect weight, seamless and satiny, amazing depth and length. Delightful now and with potential for another 20-30 years.
White
2009 Château Haut-Brion Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
98 points
Magnum. A blend of 50% Sémillon and 50% Sauvignon Blanc. By some miracle, this has even more depth and complexity than the Mission, rich and honeyed and powerful, perfectly absorbed oak, ripe vegetal notes from the Sauvignon Blanc, seamless, energetic freshness, long and complex finish. Great now, but needs more time to come together and is really all about potential. Drink now to 2050.
Red
2003 Château La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Rich and sunny but not stewed, powerful but fresh, black fruit, pure and floral, good but not excessive weight, tightly coiled, big tannins, even clenched finish.
Red
1999 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
Magnum. This is a very elegant Haut Brion, cedary, floral and fresh, has entered a more gravelly, minerally phase, but retains lovely crushed red berry fruit and freshness, spicy notes, medium body, just the right level of tannic grip, mature finish, very good length. À point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Château Quintus Le Dragon de Quintus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
89 points
Light and bright, fresh and floral, juicy and fresh, light to medium body, cherries and red berries, youthfully tight but relaxed, good length.

Flight 8 - Visit of Domaine de Chevalier (4 notes)

Red
2006 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Double Magnum. A blend of 60% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Lovely nose, expressive, balanced and elegant palate, cedary, early maturity, relatively light body, finely grained tannins, fresh and lively, hint of earth, crushed red fruit, complete finish, note of liquorice, very good length. Very typical for Domaine de Chevalier. Drink now - 2026+.
Red
2016 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
Barrel sample, prélevé le 21 Septembre 2017. Medium crimson, wonderfully fresh and pure nose of cherries, with subtle notes of wood, and a hint of liquorice; amazing marriage of elegance and concentration on the palate, silky and flowing, great purity and freshness, precise and very energetic, nothing out of place, great length.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2006 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Double Magnum. A blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Sémillon. Extremely youthful, tight and mineral, creamy lemon, hardly any oak influence except for a hint of toast, creamy lemon with a hint of butter, only very slightly vegetal, fresh and beautifully balanced, mineral, understated elegance, slightly grippy finish, long. Still needs time to come together, loads of potential.
White
2016 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
Barrel sample, prélevé le 21 Septembre 2017. Fruit explosion on the nose, ranging from apple to ripe pineapple, floral, almost Riesling-like, beautifully balanced, beautifully structured, precise and elegant, pure and mineral, good fruit concentration, oaky finish, excellent length. An outstanding Domaine de Chevalier in the making.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 9 - Tour and Lunch at Château de Fargues (3 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Château de Fargues France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
93 points
Pale golden colour; expressive nose, clean and fresh and with relatively little oak influence, aromas of tropical fruit, marmalade and citrus zest, flowers; juicy and fresh palate, medium weight, lovely stuffing of fruit, medium sweetness, good backbone of bitters, zesty; very good resonance and length. A particularly successful De Fargues, in an elegant style that even flirts with Germany. Very different from e.g. the 2013 and 2011.
Red
2003 Château Branaire-Ducru France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
Sombre colour with some browning at the edges; ripe fruit and freshness, flowers and earth, hints of tobacco and espresso, good depth; nice freshness and balance, no lack of fruit, quite tough (but not unripe) tannins: good length. A successful 2003.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château de Fargues France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
92 points
Medium golden colour; discreet and fresh nose, lemon and marmalade, hint of oak, good depth; powerful palate, lots of weight, adequate acidity (but lower than 2014), velvety, well structured around a spine of firm bitters; lightish finish, good length. A very textural wine, in a slightly difficult phase, needs time to develop its tertiary complexity. Revisit in 2025/2027.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 10 - Visit of Château d'Yquem (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
95 points
A well-balanced Yquem, lovely purity, rich but fresh style, concentrated and complex aromas (acacia honey, confit mandarin zest, apricot, quince, tropical fruit), quite pronounced oak bitters need a few years to integrate, just a little bit too heavy on the palate for real elegance, impressive weight and sweetness, really excellent persistence.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 11 - Dinner with the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux at Château Haut-Bailly (9 notes)

White - Sparkling
2005 Thienot Champagne Brut Millésimé France, Champagne
91 points
Tight and mineral style, very fresh and youthful, clearly lots of Chardonnay in the blend, flowers, orange and pear, tart lemon, hint of nutty evolution, good intensity and length.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château Filhot France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
91 points
Elegant weight, good intensity, honey and apricot, nice balance, classic style, typical elegance, good length.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Doisy-Daëne France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
87 points
Very deep orange gold colour; caramelly, lacks elegance and acidity, drying bitters, light flavours, short.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2008 Château Nairac France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
89 points
Very light and fresh style, light botrytis, elegant, apricot and mango, good length.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2007 Château Guiraud France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
90 points
Full and rich style as per usual, has lost a lot of its fruit, not excessively oaky or caramelly, but low on energy and acidity, decent finish.
White
2012 Château La Louvière Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Pale white gold, green reflections; expressive and harmonious nose, fresh and mineral, vegetables, lemons and cream, just a hint of oak; balanced and elegant, creamy texture, energetic and seamless; very good length.
Red
1995 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
91 points
Mature but lively appearance; classic Pauillac nose, cedar, gravel, mint, red meat, red berries, hint of forest floor; medium body, harmonious and well integrated, good acidity and minerality, beautifully resolved tannins still provide grip; good length. Fully mature, drink now - 2020.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Haut-Bailly France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Youthful appearance; classic Haut-Bailly style, harmonious and seamless, ripe fruit and spice, high quality oak, medium body, floral lift, firm but finely grained tannins, lovely purity in the ripe fruit (red and black berries), charming and well delineated, very good length. Maintains a perfect balance between all elements. Very good today but will really shine from 2020.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2007 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
90 points
Rich golden colour; deep and spicy nose, honeyed and quite developed, not a lot of fruit, floral note; sweet and juicy style, a little loose and low in acidity; light finish, good length. Not a great vintage for Suduiraut, drink up if you have it.
4 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 12 - Visit of Châteaux Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton (3 notes)

Red
2012 Château Mauvesin Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Moulis en Médoc
87 points
Relatively dry and earthy style, moderately tannic, not much weight of fruit, hint of liquorice, decent length. Somewhat old-fashioned, assez bien.
Red
2011 Château Langoa Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
An elegant and refined Saint-Julien, medium body, classical style, black and red berry fruit, liquorice, cedary oak, no excessive dryness in the tannins, well- balanced and relaxed, good length.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
This is a classically styled Léoville Barton, quite approachable because of its primary fruit, perfectly integrated oak, lovely acidity and purity of fruit, impeccable balance, violets, medium body, hint of liquorice, charming in a masculine way, excellent length. Will age effortlessly for three decades and I don't think it will close down.
6 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 13 - Lunch at Le Lion d'Or (3 notes)

White
2015 Château Ferrande Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves
88 points
Succulent Sémillon fruit, oak spice, good fruit, solid but rather monolithic, good length. Needs a few years.
White
2010 Château Ferrande Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves
89 points
Has developed nicely, good ripe fruit, oak spice, much more minerality and definition than the 2015, cantaloupe melon, lemon cream and flowers, perfect weight (12.5% ABV), good length.
Red
2007 Château Langoa Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
Magnum. Sombre colour; mature and attractive nose, lovely black fruit, mineral freshness, oak spice, sous-bois, good depth; supple and fresh palate, lovely terroir typicity, medium body, good stuffing of fruit (without the customary 2007 hole in the middle), nicely resolved tannins still provide grip, fresh and well balanced; complete finish, good length. A very successful 2007 - makes the most of its Merlots.
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