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Bordeaux 2015 in bottle

Zurich Arvi / Singapore UGCB

Tasted June 1, 2018 by Collector1855 with 2,165 views

Introduction

Swiss wine merchant Arvi hosted this relaxed, high quality walk about tasting with several Chateau representatives present. Overall I walked away very impressed. I was fearing that 2015 produced many wines that were too "warm" and lacked freshness. This was not the case. The wines were fleshy yet balanced and fresh, very appealing. Due to the soft tannins they were a pleasure to taste. A successful vintage, no question.

Flight 1 - Left Bank (42 notes)

Red
2015 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
97 points
Wow, one of the winners of the tastings. A fantastic Pauillac. Very expressive nose of violets, cassis, lovely spice. Polished tannins, sophisticated palate. Don't want to shell out money for Lafite, buy this.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
97 points
Not a big fan of the Pontet Canets between 2000-2009, often too extracted with too little terroir. This one rocked however. Ripe, fleshy, sexy palate with dark fruit, blackberry, pine, complex. Sophisticated mouthfeel, good freshness. A very complete, aromatic Pauillac. More Mouton than Lafite in style. Together with Lynch Bages (wich is more Laifte style) the best Left Bank wine today. If you don't want to shell out money for the Mouton, buy this.
11 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
95 points
Classic bouquet of sandal wood, berries, licorice. Medium bodied palate, polished tannins, new oak, on the modern side. Good but outshined today by the more aromatic and exuberant Lunch Bages and Pontet Canet.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Clerc Milon France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
94 points
Classic, cool, blue fruit, lots of forest aromas. Very good mid range Medoc wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château d'Armailhac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
92 points
Similar aroma profile like Clerc Milon with lots of darker berry tones and pine tree. Tannins and aromatic depth could be a bit more sophisticated.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
98 points
Arvi just opened a new wine bar in Zurich, called Arvino. After the walkabout they showed a preview of the venue and served 2015 Mouton, Mission HB, Cheval Blanc and Evangile there. Great vinotheque, for sure a place I will drop in when in Zurich. TN Mouton: Wow, this wine had it all. Rich, dense fresh and aromatic. Lost of dark fruit, pine, earth, spices. Grippy but polished tannins, freshness. Very impressive. The WOTN for me.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Pape Clément France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
Seems like this wine has recovered from the parkerized phase of over-extraction. I recall a 2010 who came across like a Southern Rhone wine, sold all of my stock and have not had a good Pape after the amazing duo of 00/01. Glad to see a wine of balance here, modern still but all in check. Creamy palate, good acidity, aromas of dark fruit, game, must, very Pessac. Good stuff.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Smith Haut Lafitte France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
The commemorative black bottle cannot distract from the fact that this wine lacks in my view the sophistication of the other "second in line" Pessacs (Haut Bailly, Carmes Haut Brion, Pape Clement, Dom Cchevalier). If it nice for sure, crafted for a more international palate, lots of fruit, lots of oak, a bit pushed as can be felt by the extracted tannins but freshness is there. Good but not great. If you usually drink Napa or Barossa buy this wine or Pape Clement, if Burgundy or cooler region appeals to your palate you are safer with the sublime Domaine de Chevalier or Carmes Haut Brion.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Malartic-Lagravière France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
You think great Bordeaux is expensive/ Try this wine. For many years a very solid performer and sophisticated wine. Lots of pine and dark fruit aromas, vanilla and oak, polished palate. Can be consumed now due to the soft tannins but since it is aromatically still closed it would be a waste. Very good wine with a very good QPR.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
Burgundy in Bordeaux. What a pleasure to taste this subtle, sophisticated wine with deep aromas of red and dark fruit, bred crums, game, forest floor. Impeccable balance, sophisticated mouth feel. 95+
9 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
Polished palate also here, whole cluster notes and good freshness. Good structure, needs some time settle but boy this is polished and aromatically sophisticated. Had it a week later at a vertical dinner and the quality was more than confirmed. Had it again in 2020 and it was even more convincing. Very good freshness, elegant, light yet present with outstanding aromatic persistency. 96+
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
Arvi just opened a new wine bar in Zurich, called Arvino. After the walkabout they showed a preview of the venue and served 2015 Mouton, Mission HB, Cheval Blanc and Evangile there. Great vinotheque, for sure a place I will drop in when in Zurich. TN Mission HB: Very good aromas here. Leather, smoke, musk. dark fruit. The palate was a bit too rich for me, high alc Merlot taking center stage. Not at the level of the best wines today. May come around but will it be as good as the outstanding 2005? 95+
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Palmer France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
93 points
Here we have the first wine that showed over-ripness in the nose, picked too late? Extracted, baroque, filling, don't see this working at the table with food. It is not as bad as Pavie or Troplong Mondot in some of the recent years but clearly passed the mark of balance. Ridiculous price too. Stay away from this.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2015 Alter Ego France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
93 points
Much more balanced than the Chateau Palmer. Lovely freshness, medium bodied. Good drinkability, just not that much aromatic depth.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Lascombes France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
94 points
A lovely surprise of a wine that I had not tasted in quite some time. Lots aroma here, dark fruit, underbush. Modern wine making but in a good way. Lovely.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Brane-Cantenac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
95 points
Jean-Marc Quarin gave this very high notes so I was interested to taste. Usually this cru has good aromatics but is often too thin on the mid palate. Not this one. Great nose, exotic aromas of dark and red fruit, higher pitched, cranberry, orange peel even. Burgudian palate. Sophisticated. A clear buy given the QPR.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
A sexier, riper version of the Leoville Barton but not over the top. More oak and vanilla notes, plush dark fruit, good freshness. Needs time to integrate the oak but given ho amazing the 2005 and 2009 are I am sure this can add a point from here. 95+
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
94 points
Restraint bouquet, classic Medoc aromas of underbush, blackberry. The mid palate struggles to deliver real sophistication though. I often wonder what kind of wine you could make at this estate if you were to pull all levers. Solid but not among the best today.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Château Langoa Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
92 points
Classic nose with very good aromatics, dark fruit and farmyard. THe palate is a bit dilute though. Nose 94, palate 90.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
96 points
This was nice, in the past this cru occasionally suffered from extensive brett but this sample showed non of this problem. May be the cleaned up wine making here as well. That would be great because it is characterful aromatic wine when it is on. This sample was on. Very fragrant, gamey, dark fruit, leather, musk. Oak needs some more time. Will be great after 2025.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
95 points
Dense and dark fruit, brooding, cedar, tobacco, leather. The sophisticated Montrose terroir is already coming through here. Good freshness and acidity but this needs time. After 2030 and will surely add a point by then. 95+
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 La Dame de Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
92 points
Earthy, leafy aromas intermixed with dark fruit. Lovely freshness and tannins also tamed. A bit of a whole in the mid palate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Ormes de Pez France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
89 points
Nose of dark fruit, lots of earth here, fells like the vinified an entire forest with the grapes. Not bad but too rustic for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château La Tour Carnet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
92 points
A lovely wine, lots of forest notes, with blackberry, good mid mouth volume. Tannins could be a touch finer.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2015 Château de Fieuzal France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Nose of dark and red fruit, spicy, deep with mint characteristics. This strikes an excellent balance between rigor and lushness. Fieuzal really made great strides recently and is among the best wines in the 35$ range. Try the astonishing 2009 as well to convince yourself.
Red
2015 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
Nose of red and dark fruit, very good structure and freshness with mint, toast. Classic, proportions long finish. Much better than its white.
4 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
2015 Château Chasse-Spleen France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Moulis en Médoc
91 points
Medium bodied, cedar wood, cassis. On the leaner side without being unripe though. If you like your Bdx with classic proportions try this. Needs time though to settle in. Best after 2023.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Poujeaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Moulis en Médoc
91 points
Similar classic proportions like the Chasse Spleen. Nose of cedar, dark fruit, vanilla. Decent but not grand.
Red
2015 Château de Camensac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
88 points
The nose and color promise lots of blue fruit, the palate is unfortunately a bit green, drying tannins dies in the mid palate. May be it will soften but it is certainly among the weaker wines of this tasting.
Red
2015 Château Cantemerle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
89 points
The aromas here are classic Medoc and pleasant. Tannins soft but the palate feels a bit watery. They should cut the yields I guess.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château La Lagune France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
94 points
Easily the Mest Medoc/Haut Medoc wine of this tasting. Lots of blue fruit, mint, forest, oak. Lush palate, nice finish.
Red
2015 Château Haut-Bages Libéral France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
92 points
This was above my - admittedly low - expectations. Classic Medoc nose, elegant mouth feel, some cedar and lingering spice on the finish
Red
2015 Château Cantenac Brown France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
94 points
On of the stand outs in Margaux of this tasting. Great complexity here in the nose with cedar wood, cloves, dark fruit. Elegant, lush palate. Well done.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Durfort-Vivens France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
94 points
Much better than the terrible 2014 but still a notch below where it should be for a 2eme Cru. The aromas are classic Margaux with cedar, dark and red fruit, cloves but the palate a bit too light in the mid palate.
Red
2015 Château Ferrière France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
91 points
Like the Durfort Vivens, better than its terrible 2014 but still below where it should be. This is a 3eme Cru after all. Fees light and harmless. Aromas are appropriate though.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Giscours France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
94 points
A more serious Margaux here, the tannins are prominent, so this needs time. The aromatic complexity and finish are lovely though. Give this till 2025. 94-95
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2015 Château Malescot St. Exupéry France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
94 points
A modern, sexy style here but not overdone. Dark fruit with oak, soft tannins, sexy mouth feel, good fruit core. Modern for sure but in a good way.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château du Tertre France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
92 points
Dark fruit, earth, vanilla. Medium bodied palate, elegant. Solid but not grand.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Château Beychevelle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
94 points
One of the better Beychevelles I had. Finally the mid mouth works here and is not too watery as so often with this Cru. Also the aromatic complexity works. An elegant, well balanced wine. 94+
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Branaire-Ducru France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
94 points
A very good showing here as well. The wine offers balance and classic proportions. Good freshness, long finish. Excellent QPR here.
Red
2015 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
89 points
Sratching my head here. Rather simple, like a off the mill Chile CavSav. Red fruit, lots of oak, rather watery palate. Yield too high?
Red
2015 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
Classic proportions here as well. Dark fruit, oak, forest floor. Elegant. Give this till 2015 and you will have a classic Paillac experience in your glass. Good QPR

Flight 2 - Right Bank (16 notes)

Red
2015 Château Figeac France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
94 points
"Figeac is back" has recently been shouted across the hills of Libourne after the demise of under-performing family patron Thierry Manoncout who sat on one of the best vineyards in Bordeaux only to produce a sub-standard wine. Thank god, and finally, most Bordeaux collectors said. So, the big question is: Is it back? Is it really better? Is the new generation really grinding it out in or did they just put some make-up on to the same grape quality by hiring blending Champion Michel Rolland? After having tasted this wine, I say: The jury is still out. TN: Aromatic nose of earth, forest, cool mint tones. The palate is on the leaner side with very present tannins and acidity. Not really a charmer but then again Figeac often needs some time to settle. No greenish notes, that is for sure. Will be good, but great? Many wines showed better today than this. Final judgement withheld. 94-96
4 people found this helpful Comments (11)
Red
2015 Clos Fourtet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
94 points
A wine that often suffered from over-extraction. Seems like they realized this style is passé. A lovely wine we have here, dark fruit, polished palate, medium complexity and finish.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
97 points
Arvi just opened a new wine bar in Zurich, called Arvino. After the walkabout they showed a preview of the venue and served 2015 Mouton, Mission HB, Cheval Blanc and Evangile there. Great vinotheque, for sure a place I will drop in when in Zurich. TN Cheval Blanc: Lots of pine notes here, blackberry, minty notes as well, tannins much grippier here. Good freshness, the alcohol stays well in the background. Very demanding to taste though at this stage. Will surely due to the pedigree and depth. Will be great but needs time.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
94 points
Lots of freshness here, lots of tannins too, slightly dry finish, they pushed this a bit probably but given the amount of fruit it will probably find a structural balance in a few years. I wished for a bit more complexity. Hard to judge. 94+
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Ronan by Clinet France, Bordeaux
92 points
A very nice surprise. May co-taster and myself were scratching our head how lovely this 15 bucks bottle was. Light on its feet, Burgundian palate, elegant with gamey notes to the dark fruit. Why buy off the mill supermarket wines from new world if you can have a terroir wine like this for the same price.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Gazin Pomerol France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
93 points
Plenty of sweet wood, licorice, earthy notes here. I like the nose. The palate cannot fully follow up, a bit too thin for a score in the mid 90ies. As so often from this estate a decent but not a grand Bordeaux.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Nenin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
No matter how many times I drink Chateau Nenin I cannot get impressed. This wine just lacks terroir and aroma. Blind this could be a lovely but ind the end harmless Merlot from anywhere. Is it the site? the clones? the viticulture or the wine making? Don't know and by now, don't care.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château La Conseillante France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
97 points
Holy cow, what a nose! Someone has fermented a ton of violets with the grapes here. The palate is to dream of too. This estate always made good wine and the new lady in charge of wine making here, Marielle Cazaux, seams to be off a good start. Surely this is on the richer side with 14.5% Alc but the combo works. A sensual wine. If you like this Cru try the outer worldly 2005 as well.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château L'Evangile France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
96 points
Arvi just opened a new wine bar in Zurich, called Arvino. After the walkabout they showed a preview of the venue and served 2015 Mouton, Mission HB, Cheval Blanc and Evangile there. Great vinotheque, for sure a place I will drop in when in Zurich. TN Evangile: An impressive wine crafted here by the Lafite team. Rich and ripe for sure but the freshness is there as well. God aromatic depth as well. Outshined by a few wines today but very good still.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
94 points
Lots of dark fruit, toast, bred, vanilla. Oak treatments dominates at the moment but there is lots of fruits underneath. Good freshness and long finish. 94-95
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Dassault France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
94 points
Not a fan of Dassault so this was a nice surprise. The wine is on the lighter side for a right banker, but I like the elegance here. Blue fruit, mint aromas. Great wine for food as well.
Red
2015 Château La Gaffelière France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
90 points
The main word I wrote down here was "rustic". The structure somehow does not work too well. May be this will come round. Aroma 92, Palate 88
Red
2015 Château La Tour Figeac France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
93 points
Nose of blueberry, measured extraction, loveley mid mouth and finish. A well, made, balanced wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Valandraud France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
96 points
This showed much better than in a recent master class. The wine is lush and sexy with lots of aroma around dark fruit, toast, vanilla, blueberry. The structure and freshness is well proportioned. I see now why JL Thunevin mentioned that this is one of his favorite vintages.
Red
2015 Château Le Bon Pasteur France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
95 points
Not a fan of this wine usually but boy, this was a good showing. Lots of dark fruit, vanilla, soft and complex on the palate. Long finish.
Red
2015 Château Rouget France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
87 points
Ouch, this smells and tastes like half wine half asparagus juice. When went wrong here given the warm vintage? Very unpleasantly green. An off bottle?

Flight 3 - Whites (14 notes)

White
2015 Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
A zesty, fresh and spiced SauvBlanc here similar to New Zealand style, Semillon grape takes a back seat here I guess. Some bee wax, honey in the nose as well. Probably as good as any SauvBlanc I had. With sea food.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2015 Château Pape Clément Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Another great wine here, very different to the Malartic La Graviere. This is much denser, with honey suckle, more Semillon I guess. Good freshness. With Cheese, not sea food I would take this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Château de Fieuzal Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Another well made wine. Excellent balance between freshness and mid mouth volume. Grassy notes as well as creamy elements. Style wines in the middle between the racy Malartic La Graviere Blanc and the opulent Pape Clement Blanc. Kudos, one of the best dry whites in this walk about.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
A grassier, citrus style here as well, close to the Marlborough type. Excellent freshness and energy. Medium complexity. Up there with Pape Clement Blanc in quality but I preferred this style wise.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2015 Y de Yquem France, Bordeaux
94 points
Lots of aroma here, a bit too fruity for me, almost Kabinett style, is this fully dry? Hard to place. Overall very nice, albeit not grand.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château Doisy-Védrines France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
94 points
Lovely aromas of honey, smoke. On the sweeter side for my palate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
100 points
As we were about to walk out my friend convinced me to try the Yquem. I am no fan of sweet wines and rarely drink then but then, hey Yquem for free, who could say no? Thank god - what an beguiling wine we would have missed! Squares the circle with amazing sweetness and racy acidity. Some much aroma as well already. Honey, floral, saline. Best Yquem I ever had, better than 2001 and 2009. As said, I am no sweet wine drinker but 100 points where 100 points is due. Congratulations Yquem team.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
White
2015 Château Carbonnieux Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
This was really nice. Mineralic, racy acidity, good volume and not as grassy as some other ones.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
Very much in the grassy, SauvBlanc style. Fresh racey, lots of lime flavors.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
91 points
A bit simple compared to others, grassy, fresh, racy. Reminds me of a Marlborough SavBlc.
White
2015 Château La Tour-Martillac Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
89 points
Among the more simple white wines of this tasting. Foursquare with lime, grass, New Zealand commercial style.
White
2015 Château Olivier Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
91 points
Fresh, grassy, lots of gooseberry, good but a bit simple.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château de Fargues France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
94 points
Medium gold. On the sweeter side especially after the racy Guiraud. Honey lemon, quince, honey. Complex finish
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château Guiraud France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
96 points
Just like last year on the UGCB tasting, a more than worthwhile glass to finish the event. This wine was very mineralic, fresh, flinty for a Sauternes. Excellent interplay between acidity and sweetness. Not too sweet.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Closing

Great tasting. Great vintage. Cheaper than 2009/10 on release but quality wise very near.

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