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8th November 2018

Bordeaux 2014 revisited

IMW Bordeaux Tasting 2014 vintage
Five Kings House
6 November 2018

This week, on the morning of the inauguration of this year's fourteen new Masters of Wine (whoopee!), the annual IMW Claret tasting was staged in the heart of London. Featuring the 2014 vintage, which - especially for Cabernet Sauvignon - was a good year, if not perhaps the best ever. I wrote about it here at the time.

I hadn't been for several years (2011, 12, and 13 were not the best vintages, and I had other work commitments). This year, we had the opportunity to taste the wines blind (all except the First Growths). Potential for trip ups, and some 'guess the wine' going on, but a good levelling experience. I have not amended or altered the following scores or notes, other than adding in the names. Some bargains to be had!

1 Pontet Canet

Wonderful aroma of inviting violet and black plum, spicy oak and some savoury depth. Very rich and concentrated with fine tannins and great extract. A really beautiful wine. 18.5

2 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Very concentrated warm oak and coffee spice aromas. Inviting and powerful. Rich and deep.y spicy with great tannins and plush black fruit. Very good wine indeed. 18.5

3 Pichon Baron
Warm oak and spices with clack fruit and some silkiness. Very well made and balanced. 17.5

4 Lynch Moussas
Huge warm spicy oak to scent. Still wrapped up in a layer of deep spicy oak, but with plenty of structure and depth of fruit underneath. Painfully young, but all the elements are there, especially fine fresh acidity. Very good wine indeed. 18

5 Lynch Bages
Juicy sweet fruit with some oak and spices. Juicy aromas. Slightly weedy in the mouth. Dry tannins. Needs time. 17

6 Haut Bages Liberal
Blackberry and bramble fruit aromas. Spices and cocoa. Earthiness. Not hugely complex, but deliciously elegant and well balanced fruitiness to oak to acidity and tannin. 17

7 Grand Puy Lacoste
Closed warm oaky aromas, spices and black fruit. Lacking just a little fruit weight top support the tannin and oak, maybe just too young. 17

8 Duhart Milon
Warm, spicy oak aromas. Lots of plummy red and black fruit underneath. Juicy and well extracted with spices and sweet black fruit. Good fresh acidity, balanced and elegant. Fine 18

9 D’Armailhac
Spices and deep black fruit aromas, some cedar and coffee. Juicy fruit and plummy characters. Rich finish. Deep and classic structured. Very good indeed. 19

10 Croizet Bages
Some leafy green hints to accompany the warm black fruit. Juicy and well structured, if not hugely concentrated. Fresh finish. 17.5

11 Clerc Milon
Sweet blackcurrant aromas, very modern style, very Cabernet. Juicy and deep fruited. Not so much oak. Already approachable. 17

12 Batailley
Rich and exotic nose of black fruit, sweet spices, sweet oak and hugely inviting cedar and briary tobacco aromas. Very concentrated and deeply flavoured. Wonderfully deep and complex wine. Very classy 18.5

Lafite-Rothschild (Not blind)
Hugely oaky aromas with coffee bean, smoke and earthy spice. Very well balanced with elegant tannins and fine acidity, although not a blockbuster. Yet to integrate, with great balanced acidity and elegant fruit. 19

Mouton-Rothschild (Not blind)
Powerful oaky spicy aromas, with plenty of smoke and black fruit. Exotic spices and sweet herbs, with black fruit and warm coffee bean. Very good indeed. 19.5

St Julien
13 Talbot

Dry spices, herbs, some black fruit. Not profound, but inviting. Silky texture, fresh acidity, fine tannins. Good, not hugely complex or long. 16.5

14 Léoville Poyferré
Lots of warm oak and depth, black fruit. Lush, with some coffee-bitter tannins and a rustic edge. Deep and good. 17

15 Léoville Las Cases
Oaky and rich slightly leafy black fruit. Some depth and chocolatey-ness with a slightly edgy green note. 16.5

16 Léoville Barton
Warm spices and sweet oak. Some coffee and black fruit. No green. Inviting. Elegant but rich with profound fruit, silky tannins and a fine elegance. Very good indeed 19

17 Langoa Barton
Deep, plummy spicy fruit and oak. Inviting. Rich and multilayered and deep. Exceptional wine, and curiously approachable, with fine texture and grained tannins. Very good indeed. 18.5

18 Lagrange
Black fruit and spices, some roasted coffee. Rich black fruit, good tannins and acidity in balance. Profound and very good. 18

19 Gruaud Larose
Bright vibrant and juicy black fruit profile. Inviting. Dry tannins, rich fruit. A little simple and monosyllabic, but pleasant. 17

20 Beychevelle
Slightly weedy and rustic, bovril aromas. Powerful black fruit and rich tannins, definitely for the long term, but lacking a certain fruit weight. 16.5

St Estephe
21 Montrose

Plenty of cool leafy black fruit aromas, with some spicy oak. Juicy black fruits with hints of violet. Pleasant and warm, concentrated finish. 17.5

22 Lafon Rochet
Very rich warm oaky scents with powerful black fruit notes. Inviting. Juicy fruit and structure, ripe tannins and depth. Not massively complex, but rounded and well made. 17

23 Cos Labory
Spicy black fruit aromas with some violet and hawthorn. Powerful black fruit flavours. Slightly lacking a fleshiness on the mid palate and finish. 16.5

24 Calon Ségur
Very intense, juicy and inviting black fruit aromas. Concentrated and inviting. Deep and spicy flavours with graphite and smoky spice. Very good wine. 18.5

25 Cos d’Estournel
Super-concentrated and rich spices and sweet black fruit aromas. Very rich and extracted with ripe tannins and juicy black fruit, some spice, smoke and coffee. Very good wine indeed. 19

26 Trotanoy

Juicy sweet fruit aromas, lots of oak, some warmth. A little dried out on the palate, and not hugely rewarding. 15.5

27 Petit Village
Warm earthy oak aromas with some sweet black fruit. Juicy and fresh, good acidity and balance. A little lacking in fruit weight. 16.5

28 Nenin
Powerful sweet black fruit aromas, with warm spicy oak. Good extraction and balance of tannins to acidity and freshness. Very delicious and complex wine, which maintains elegance, despite and reasonable degree of alcohol. 18

29 L’Evangile
Powerful warm spicy oak aromas. Sweet red fruit underneath. Juicy fruit extraction with plum and some bramble. Cocoa hints on the finish. Good. 17.5

30 Lafleur Pétrus
Cocoa dust and roasted coffee aromas. Rich and extracted with black fruit, violets and rose. Fresh and not too alcoholic feeling. Not hugely complex, but delicious. 17.5

31 La Croix de Gay
Warm oak and some slightly green stemmy hints. Black fruit. Elegant and fresh tannins, sweet fruit, warm alcohol. Oaky finish. 17

32 La Conseillante
Very juicy black fruit aromas, cassis and blueberry. Quite vibrant and inviting. Supple tannins and sweet black fruit flavours. Fresh acidity and depth. Good. 17

33 Gazin
Very dry and herby aromas, A little mean and dusty.
2nd bottle: Dry and a little fruitless, but clean(er). Still lacking a certain charm alas. 15

34 Clinet
Sweet and acrid juicy fruit aromas, with some sweet oak and inviting floral touches. Juicy and warm. Very classic and rich style. Good wine. 18

35 Beauregard
Warm creamy and rich oak and fruit aromas, with some black fruits and dry cedar. Good depth and length on the finish. 17.5

St Emilion
36 Trottevieille

Warm oaky and spicy aromas. Cinnamon and toast. Juicy fruit, perhaps lacking quite the depth the nose promised, but very pleasant. 17

37 Troplong-Mondot
Deep packed and rich with spicy oak and plummy fruit. Good extraction and tannic depth and balance. Long slightly rustic finish. 17.5

38 Quintus
Massive sweet black fruit and spicy sweet oak. Juicy spicy extraction with black fruits and concentration. Super rich and warm. 17.5

39 Laroze
Very rich and juicy fruit aromas with sweet spicy oak. Concentrated flavours, warm alcohol, rich tannins and spice. Deep and rich. Good, if a little warm. 17

40 La Tour Figeac
Lots of oak and a slightly green edge here. A little hollow on the palate too. 15

41 Grand Corbin
Markedly pale and mature looking colour. Lightweight and simple red fruit aromas with some roasted coffee and earth. 15.5

42 Figeac
Warm sweet oak aromas with spices and roasted coffee. Inviting. Juicy fruit, creamy texture. Good depth and supple tannins. Well made and very good. 18

43 Corbin
Juicy sweet blueberry and sweet oak aromas. Fresh acidity and good fruit extraction with soft tannins and mild spices. Not complex, but very pleasant. 17

44 Cap de Mourlin
Rich and deep fruit aromas, with some spices and warm raisiny fruit. Lacking a certain concentration on the palate that it promises on the nose. 16.5

45 Canon la Gaffelière
Warm and spicy oaky sweet black fruit aromas. Rich and concentrated. Sweet black fruits, some chocolate and spice. Rounded and approachable. Warm finish. 17.5

46 Canon
Exotic red fruit and floral perfume, with some sweet spicy oak aromas. Creamy and fresh, but lacking a little weight in the mid-palate. Soft finish. 17

47 Belleville
Enormously oaky aromas, with spices and cedar, coffee and sweet earth. Inviting. Rich and warm flavours with sweet red fruits and some jamminess. Rich good length finish. 17.5

48 Bélair-Monange
Coffee-cream aromas, with sweet red fruits and cocoa. Very oaky. Creamy texture and massive fruit extraction and depth. Rich warm finish, but lacking a certain elegance – although a very concentrated and delicious wine. 18

49 Balestand la Tonnelle
Vibrant juicy fruit aromas, with some floral and mild spices. Warm but manages elegance, with a creamy texture and soft fruit extract. Very pleasant. 17.5

Angélus (Not Blind)
Rich warm oaky aromas, spices and coffee, deep fruit and richness. Not the powerhouse expected, but well balanced and soft. 18.5

Cheval Blanc (Not Blind)
Elegant oaky aromas. Plenty of sweet fruit underneath, with elegance and florality, but perhaps lacking a certain depth to the fruit on the back palate. 18.5

50 Rauzan-Ségla

Floral and exotic red fruit fragrance with some sweet oak and spices. Inviting. Juicy red and black fruit flavours with some sweet coffee bran richness. Good. 17.5

51 Rauzan Gassies
Something slightly stemmy and green to scent, alongside plenty of oak. Rich and deep flavours. Lacking a certain depth and palate weight. 16

52 Prieure-Lichine
Warm spicy oak aromas with coffee and roasted black fruit scents. Juicy and deep fruit flavours. Very beautifully balanced and structures. Not a blockbuster but classic and delicious. 18

53 Pouget
Wonderfully exotic scents of wildflowers and sweet herbs with plenty of rich coffee oak to complement. Concentrated and structured with a deliciously fresh acidity and well balanced tannins and fruit depth. A very stylish wine indeed. 18.5

54 Marquis de Terme
Meaty earthy savoury oak aromas. Hints of green and stems, Lacking a little fruit weight) especially after 53). 16

55 Lascombes
Deeply spicy earthy savoury oak aromas. Juicy floral fruit scents. Lacking a certain fruit depth on the mid-palate. 16.5

56 Kirwan
Spicy earthy oak aromas, with black fruit underneath. Geosmin/TCA? Not great (2 bottles) 14.5

57 Giscours
Powerful sweet oak and spices. Earth and cocoa. Rounded soft red and black fruit flavours. Lacking a certain depth on the mid-palate, but rounded and soft. 17

58 Ferrière
Vibrant and floral black and red fruit aromas. Some dry earthy oak. Soft and rounded fresh acidity and balanced tannins. A little rustic on the finish, but very pleasant. 17.5

59 Durfort-Vivens
Some slight leafy green touches to the black fruit. A little confected and unbalanced. 15.5

60 Du Tertre
Deep earthy spicy warm oak scents. Some cocoa dust and coffee. Rich fruit. Delicious and complex, with soft black and red fruits, deep spices, balanced oak, silky texture and depth. Long finish. Very good 18.5

61 d’Issan
Very rich warm spicy earthy aromas. Very inviting and appealing. Delicious depth and extraction of ripe fruits, smoky tobacco complexity, coffee and spices. Very good indeed. 18.5

62 Desmirail
Packed spicy oak aromas with some deep black fruit. Spicy black fruit flavours. Some coffee. Almond milk finish. Good 17

63 Brane-Cantenac
Very deep oaky aromas with spices and some nuttiness. Juicy fruit flavours. Well balanced and delicious if a little simple and one-dimensional. 17

64 Boyd-Cantenac
Deep rich chocolatey oak aromas. Spices, some coffee and rich black fruit. Just a hint of greenness on the mid-length finish. 16

Margaux (Not Blind)
Lots of sweet oak and spices, with exotic spices and floral aromas. Black fruit. Elegance and power, with very fine tannins and spices. Delicious and complex, while retaining elegance. 19

Haut Médoc
65 de Camensac

Simple sweet red and black fruit aromas. Well made but a little simple with grippy rustic tannins. Good finish. 17

66 Cantemerle
Juicy jammy fruit aromas, with plum and redcurrant. Clean and fresh with good balance and structure and some depth. 17.6

67 Belgrave
Earthy meaty savoury fruit aromas with some spicy oak. A little greenness and rusticity, but pleasant. 16

68 Domaine de Chevalier

Spices and cedary oak aromas with some dried black fruit. Cassis and sweet plum. Warm alcohol. Complex and very delicious indeed. Very good wine. 19

69 Smith Haut Lafite
Dry cedary oak aromas with some smoke and spice. Coffee and deep fruit. Juicy and fresh acidity, medium tannins and dry fruit finish. 17.5

70 Olivier
Intense and slightly stemmy black fruit aromas with plenty of spicy oak. Concentrated and spicy, but perhaps just a little warm and extracted. 17

71 Malartic Lagraviere
Juicy black fruit and sweet oak aromas. Sweet oak flavours and rich, warm cocoa and spice character. Rich balanced finish. Good 18

72 La Mission Haut Brion
Very intense liquorice and sweet spice aromas, violet and warm oak. Rich and concentrated with deep fruit, spicy oak, ripe tannins and great balance., Has the PL warmth, but manages everything well. Delicious wine. 19.5

73 Haut Bailly
Warm, chocolatey oak and deep fruit scents. Inviting. Juicy and delicious, but very much in the shade of W72. 17

74 de Fieuzal
Juicy violet fruit and sweet oak aromas. Fresh acidity and delicious fruit, elegant and stylish without being a monster. Very good. 17.5

75 Bouscaut
Rich and warm oak aromas with spices and powerful black fruit. Juicy and delicious with balanced acidity and tannins, but not hugely profound. Fresh finish. 17.5

Haut-Brion (Not blind)
Massively oaky with huge earthiness and coffee bean spice. Very rich and concentrated with warm alcohol and deep fruit. Very spicy long finish. Great 19.5

Sauternes and Barsac
76 Haut Peyraguey

Very broad botrytis and sweet oak and barley-sugar aromas. Lime. Fresh acidity and very clean and balanced. Delicious 17.5

77 Sudhuiraut
Powerful spicy oak aromas, vanilla and pear. Creamy unctuous texture, warm alcohol burn, enough acidity, but very rich and honeyed. 17.5

78 Rieussec
Lemon meringue pie and cream aromas. Plenty of oak and sweet spices, some fresh lime balance. Complex very rich finish. 17

79 Lamothe
1 corked. 2 Musty and earthy aromas, some honeyed fruit. 14.5

80 Lafaurie-Peyraguey
Fresh linseed and honeyed ginger aromas. Lime freshness and balanced oak. Well balanced and delicious. 17.5

81 La Tour Blanche
Plenty of oak and cream aromas. Sweet honeyed pear and peach flavours. Warm and big flavours and depth. 16.5

82 Filhot
Warm earthy oaky aromas. Rich very sweet citrus fruit flavours, fresh mid-length finish. 16.5

83 Doisy-Vedrines
Complex honeyed marmalade and ginger aromas and flavours. Very rich and well balanced with freshness and creamy honeyed fruit. Very good indeed. 18.5

84 Doisy Daëne
Stewed lime and fresh pineapple fruit aromas and flavours. Good balancing acidity and freshness, rich nectarine palate. 17.5

85 Coutet
Warm apple pie pastry and oak aromas. Some cinnamon and ginger. Ripe fruit and spicy oak. Honeyed, creamy and super-rich 19

86 Climens
Very rich oaky scents. Warm alcohol and rich creamy oak flavours with pastry and baked lime. 18

d’Yquem (Not blind)
Huge botrytis and oak aromas with vanilla, ginger, spice and candied fruit. Creamy and succulent with baked key-lime pie and spices, ginger and lime marmalade. Very intensely sweet, with enough lifted balancing acidity to cope. 19



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