Top Bordeaux Picks


Bordeaux en primeur is a strange game for the trade - so much time is devoted to it yet merchants struggle to make 10% on the in bond price which with currency swings and cost of transport often means selling claret as futures is an act of charity.  But however much we grumble, everyone enjoys great Bordeaux and most will set aside funds for a good vintage (despite the percentage dropping, it still makes up 80% of most investment portfolios), and we'd rather you spent it with us than elsewhere.
 
Being a very good vintage, 2015 will be a protracted campaign (unlike 2013 and 2014) and whilst there has been a flurry of releases recently the Bordelais seem happy to tease this one out, like enjoying a successful West End transfer after a couple of "limited run" disappointments.
 
As promised we have not bombarded you with every release but judiciously waited for those which we particularly rate and below is a quick recap of those from the last fortnight that we think are worth serious consideration.  For consistency we've also included a couple of examples of those we have not recommended because we don't think the price has made them as compelling.
 
Château Langoa Barton 92-93JS, 93TA: £171 In Bond /case of 6
Old school, patrician, cool, calm and collected - the David Niven of Saint Julien.  Not showy but consistently pleasurable and always exceptional value.
Alter Ego (de Palmer) 94-95JS: £240 In Bond /case of 6
A personal favourite but also the best scored in a decade, this is as sumptuous as it gets yet with more discernible back-bone.  At 23% less than the release price of the less well rated 2010, not one to miss.
Château Pape Clément 97-98JS 95-97WA: £312 In Bond /case of 6
"Best young Pape Clément I have tasted" (James Suckling) "…one of the best wines this estate has produced since the 14th century" (Neal Martin) and 45% less than the release price of the similarly-scored 2010.  Stylistically 2015 is also a more elegant wine than other blockbuster vintages from the chateau and the new oak better integrated.
Château Guiraud 96-97JS: £156 In Bond /case of 6
Sauternes always get overlooked at en primeurs and its staggering that such a good and good value wine - 97-point, First Growth for £26 a bottle(!?!) doesn't command more attention.  Everyone should have 6 of these in the cellar to forget about for five years and dust off for dinner parties over the next two decades.
Château Teyssier 91-92JS 4.5/5 stars Decanter: £52 In Bond /300cl bottle
Still the best value 2015 release so far - and now Jonathan has offered us a special run of double magnums - "perfect for shooting parties" he suggested.  Everyone should have a few of these bad boys for weddings, parties or thirsty guests.
 
We didn't go for:
Clos du Marquis
Tough call as we love this wine but at £195/6 it's the most expensive vintage on the market in a decade and I'm not sure I see the benefits of buying it EP at this price.
Clerc Milon
At £240/6 this is not bad value BUT price is still driven by residual interest from the Asian market and it’s the same price as 2010 which is higher scored.