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.
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.
96-98 Points - Neal Martin
The Grand Vin was picked between 21 September and 4th October for the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc picked on 6th October. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc (aged in 80% new oak) it has Burgundy-like minerality and purity on the nose that is taciturn at first, but blossoms nicely in the glass whilst maintaining a sense of restraint and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with very pure fruit and a silky texture. The acidity is extremely well judged, the Cabernet Franc lending this wine just a touch of edginess. There is sublime focus on the mineral-laden finish. One day, Denis Durantou will make a wine that does not merit a stream of superlatives. But that day seems a long way away. Tasted April 2013.
92-94 Points - Robert Parker
95 Points - Neal Martin
The 2014 L’Eglise-Clinet has a gentle, understated bouquet at first that takes time to open, eventually offering black fruit, melted tar, truffle and bay leaf aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, rather masculine and thickset at the moment, lightly spiced towards the finish. Much like the Vieux-Château-Certan, this is a little awkward in a blind setting however, it clearly meliorates in the glass and I keep on having to up my score. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.
98+ Points - Robert Parker
Another spectacular effort from L’Evangile, the 2010 is a close rival to the 2009 and should be fascinating to compare with that vintage over the next 30 or so years. Stunningly rich and black/purple in color, the 2010 L’Evangile offers up the tell-tale floral note as well as black raspberry jam intermixed with cassis and kirsch. There are also ethereal floral notes and a hint of background oak. The pH is slightly above average (3.7 versus the pH of 4.0 that the 2009 and 2000 possessed). This is a massive, rich, very impressive L’Evangile, and readers should take note of the “+” in my rating, which could certainly push this wine way up there. Remarkably, I was shocked when I learned that this wine was aged in 100% new oak, as the oak is a background element in this blockbuster l’Evangile. Forget it for 3-5 years, and drink it over the following 30-40.