Bordeaux Reds [3-'15s, & 3-'16s]

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted December 14, 2019 by srh with 27 views

Introduction

Ea of these had been tasted at LEAST once previously.

Flight 1 (6 notes)

Red
2015 Le Saint-Estephe de Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
“3rd Wine of Château Montrose, blended from wines from younger vines & lees wines; It meets the same
 uncompromising quality standards as Château Montrose & La Dame de Montrose. 46% Merlot, 38% C.S., 15% C.F., & 1% P.V. harvested from 9/15 - 10/8/15 from a terroir of gravel over clay subsoil, & [typically] matured for 12 mos with 15% new oak;”

N: CLOSED; Earth atop ripe berries, poss choc? Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it morphs into a LONG, very, VERY slightly puckerish finish with a swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '22, poss '23, then at least approaching its 10th. My EXC, & could be more... eventually? WS (1/1/18). [This vendor's $27.95 is as good as anyone of wine-searcher.]

Note: 1st tasted on 11/16/19
Red
2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
60% C.S. & 40% Merlot from gentle slopes with soils of gravel atop smaller, quartz pebbles, then sand & limestone. Supposedly aged in 20% new FR oak; 6,667 cases made.

N: CLOSED; Blk cherries & blk olives with notes of pyrazines; Intensity lurking?

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it transitions into the LONG, BALANCED finish with hints of pending swtness to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '23 (poss longer?), then a candidate for its 15th? NICELY done! My EXC, & I can see the poss of more down the line! 94 pts Vinous (Galloni), 93-95 WE (barrel), 93 WA (Martin, 04/17), 92 ea Vinous (Martin, 01/19) & Suckling, 91 ea Dunnuck, Decanter (Anson), & Jeff Leve, 90 ea WS & Jeannie Cho Lee (4/15/17) , and 17/20 Jancis Robinson! [This vendor's $33.95 is now $1 < wine-searcher's lowest.]
Red
2016 Château Faugères France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Typically, 85% Merlot, 10% C.F., & 5% C.S. [though this vintage may be 80-M & 15-CF], from "vines ave 35 yrs old, planted in a limestone plateau (asteria limestone subsoil) dating back to the upper Oligocene, and a limestone & clay slope (limestone soil on clay-limestone molasse) dating back to the upper Eocene and Oligocene; Vats filled by gravity, cold prefermentary maceration, temperature-controlled wooden conical vats, 50% of the malolactic fermentation in new barrels, slow vatting over a period of 3 wks. Aged 14 mos (50% in new FR oak barrels, 50% in 1 wine barrels);"

N: Closed; A melding of RIPE berries & vanilla with notes of pyrazines; Intensity lurking?

P: LM body; RNDISH entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker as it works its way into & through the LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '22, then drinking through '27, poss longer? My EXC-; [This vendor's $49.95 now puts it toward the bottom of the TOP 1/2 of wine-searcher's postings.]

Note: The Ch's site has an EXTENSIVE list of reviews (pro *&* con) SHOULD anyone be interested. ;) Also, 1st tasted on 8/10/19, when I was *significantly* > impressed.
Red
2015 Château Domeyne France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
"The vyds, comprised of 40% C.S. & 60% Merlot, with an ave age of 40 yrs, cover 8.3 ha & surround those of Chateau Calon-Segur. They rest on the ridges & plateaus of Saint-Estephe’s well-draining soil, composed of clay & limestone." Typically, "Hand picked with winemaking done in traditional Bordeaux style, in s/s & thermo-regulated vats. Fermentation on skins for 19-23 days, ff'd by aging in oak barrels for 12 mos (25% new)."

N: CLOSED; Earth & RIPE berries? Intensity lurking?

P: Med, poss LM, body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it morphs into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '22, then drinking through '26. My EXC-, arguably higher for QPR. 93 pts Suckling & 16.5+/20 Jancis Robinson. [This vendor's $26.95 is now $5 < the lower of wine-searcher's 2 postings.]

Note: Also tasted on 6/8, 8/3, & 9/14/19, today’s note being most like that of 9/14, at least with respect to the wine’s structure.
Red
2016 Les Pagodes de Cos France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Can include grapes from Marbuzet Vyd, young vines, &/or declassified Cos d’Estournel; The ’16 is 50% C.S., 46.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, & 0.5% C.F. which was supposedly picked 9/26-10/15/16 from vines ave 35 yrs old — & represents 55% of the total harvest. Aged in FR oak barrels (35% new); 18,333 cases made.

N: CLOSED; Not much at all; Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it transitions into a very LONG, BALANCED, potentially elegant finish with a tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '22, poss '23, then perhaps at least approaching its 15th? 13% ABV; My EXC, higher eventually? 94 pts Suckling, 93 ea with "Editors’ Choice" WE (5/1/19) @ $45 & Jeff Leve (2/8/19), 92 ea WA, Decanter (Anson), & Vinous (Martin), 91 ea Vinous (Galloni) & WS, and 17/20 Jancis Robinson! [This vendor's $49.95 puts it toward the bottom of the TOP 1/3 of wine-searcher's fairly skewed postings.]

Note: Also tasted on 9/14 & 11/30/19, today’s note being more like that of 11/30, at least with respect to the wine’s underlying structure.
Red
2015 La Réserve de Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
4,583 cases made; 70% C.S., 22% Merlot, & 8% C.F.; 13.0% ABV;

N: Fragrant cherries (blk?) with notes of pyrazines; Intensity lurking

P: LM, poss Med, body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it fairly seamlessly evolves into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '22, poss '23, then drinking through the end of the decade? My EXC/EXC+, the higher eventually (particularly with respect to QPR). 93 pts Suckling, 91 WS, 89 Vinous (Galloni), & 16/20 Jancis Robinson. [This vendor's $34.95 is as good as anyone on wine-searcher.]

Note: Also tasted on 1/26, 2/9, 2/23, 6/29, 8/24, & 9/14/2019. Moreover, the ONLY reason I'll likely NOT purchase this is that I decided to splurge for its 2nd growth "parent" instead. ;)
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