Possibly the “wine of the vintage,” the 2008 boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, camphor, truffles and crushed rocks. With great fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a medium to full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like finish, this prodigious effort over-delivers, even for this phenomenal terroir. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 40-50 years.
This terroir is superbly situated between Beausejour Duffau and Beau-Sejour-Becot, with Angelus within shouting distance. Predominantly Merlot (96%) with Cabernet Franc making up the remaining 4%. Modern, full-bodied, dense and brooding. Black fruits dominate the palate, incredibly pure and high but ripe, well-integrated tannins.
96 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Brane-Cantenac has been on a roll of late, under the watchful eye of Henri Lurton. This latest bottled vintage is superb. The divine, pure blackberry and bilberry bouquet develops touches of graphite in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky-smooth texture and a superb bead of acidity. This is not a powerful Brane-Cantenac, and it is perhaps less austere than I suspected en primeur, but it should drink beautifully over the next three decades. If you have a penchant for traditional claret, it really doesn’t come better than this."
96 Points - James Suckling "So much ripe and sweet tobacco on the nose with currant and blackberry character. Full body, intense tannins with density and beauty. It’s a wine with great structure and panache for this estate. Try after 2024."
93 Points - Neal Martin
The Clos l’Eglise 2006 is showing so well with exuberant dark berry fruit, orange blossom, a touch of star anis and hints of liquorice. The palate is beautifully balanced with ripe, succulent dark cherry, Dorset plum and summer fruit. Like the previous vintage it is silky smooth in texture and very harmonious. This is an outstanding, vivacious Clos l’Eglise that dares run the 2005 close!
The 2009 Doisy-Vedrines exceeded my expectations under blind conditions. It is usually seen as a less refined Barsac predisposed to richness and viscosity, but the 2009 exudes far more tension and elegance than I anticipated. It has a perfumed, floral bouquet with scents of dried honey, melted wax, lemon curd and a touch of lemon thyme. It is beautifully defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with beautiful balance and precision. There is real grace and tension in this Sauternes: very focused and precise though with patently a lot of botrytis towards the mellifluous finish. This is a wonderful Doisy-Vedrines. Drink now-2035+.
Tasted blind at the Sauternes 2011 horizontal tasting. The Château Doisy-Védrines 2011 has a very fragrant, almost floral bouquet with pure honey, quince and yellow flower scents that soar from the glass and embrace you like your favourite aunt. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous texture and superb acidity that really set this Sauternes alight: real tension and a sense of energy here. It just “flows” toward a vibrant, honeyed finish that has only just begun to “motor." This surpasses its showing from barrel and constitutes a magnificent effort from Olivier Castèja and his team.
95 Points - Neal Martin
The 2014 Doisy-Vedrines has a tightly knit, backward bouquet that demands much more encouragement than its peers. The palate is well balanced with a viscous texture, extremely well judged acidity, poised with a beautiful quince and marmalade-tinged finish that lingers in the mouth. Superb. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.
95-96 Points - James Suckling
This has phenolic tension and power with so much dried fruit character from pineapple to mango. Full, medium sweet and lively. Really excellent.
98+ Points - Robert Parker
With loads of minerality, a terrific opaque purple color, and slightly more structure and tannin than either Poyferre or St.-Pierre (and that’s saying something), this is a blockbuster, fabulous Ducru Beaucaillou that should be at its best a good decade from now and last 40-50 years. The proprietor is not alone in thinking this is the finest Ducru Beaucaillou since the 1961. The classic wet rock, creme de cassis, subtle oak and gravelly stoniness of the vineyard come through in this spectacular, full-bodied, gorgeously pure and intense effort. This is wine for the ages.
91 Points - Robert Parker
Another sleeper of the vintage, the relatively evolved, elegant, complex 2008 Haut-Bergey offers up notes of smoked tobacco, cassis, cherries, licorice, Asian plum sauce and spice box. With abundant fruit, an opulent texture and an elegant style, this pretty, medium-bodied, richly fruity wine should drink well for 12-14 years. (Tasted May 2011)