97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Gosh, this is a serious, evolved Cabernet which comes across older than its physical years. The colour has a dark core running out to brick orange. Contrary to my Shiraz statement concerning ‘old school’ – Well, this is old school but that is far from a negative observation. The oak bounds across the surface with some punch however, the sheer intensity of the fruit and liquorice provides balance. I have been sampling over two days and find day two more satisfying – the bouquet has evolved beautifully with chocolate, camphor, tea leaves, graphite, cigar box, cold steel, liquorice and blood orange dominating. Like the Shiraz, there is obvious freshness which I believe is necessary. The palate mirrors the nose – perhaps a touch more cedar. There’s admirable density and structure – rather muscular and not dissimilar to a Pauillac from Bordeaux. There’s freshness and energy all the way through to the pencil lead finish… Stylistically, fans of the 2005 Robertson of Clare Max V (and there are lots of you), will absolutely adore this wine. The similarities are striking. Drink now to 2030. Decant for 3-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
93 Points - Neal Martin
The 2015 Clerc Milon seems to have tempered the flamboyant aromatics that it displayed out of barrel to manifest a more refined and yet still outgoing bouquet laden with black cherries, raspberry, cedar and freshly picked mint. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, slightly lactic on the entry and with a smooth, almost velvety texture. There is a seam of graphite that becomes more prominent toward the finish, black olive and allspice lingering on the long aftertaste. This is simply an excellent Clerc Milon replete with grace and finesse.
98 Points - Neal Martin
The 2015 Figeac is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc and showed impressively from barrel, the best vintage until the nascent 2016 trotted along. That subsequent vintage should not steal the thunder of the 2015. It has a captivating, very pure and refined bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, graphite and subtle violet scents (the cassis note appears to have dissipated during the élevage). The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, slightly chalky tannin matched with nigh-on perfect acidity. This feels so harmonious and so terroir-driven, exactly as I hoped for when tasting this en primeur. It is going to be a legendary wine for this historic estate and I sincerely hope you have a few bottles nestling in your cellar. Give it 8 to 10 years in bottle.
The 2015 Grand-Puy-Lacoste was an impressive Pauillac from barrel and likewise, it continues to impress in bottle. It has an intense bouquet with blackberry and strawberry fruit laced with cedar and graphite and as I mentioned in my original note, the Merlot component is a little more expressive compared to other vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and well-judged acidity. This feels so harmonious and caressing, very tensile and poised, fanning out wonderfully with a graphite-infused finish that is perhaps more approachable than recent vintages, just a wonderful wine for long-term aging.
96 Points - Neal Martin
The 2015 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has a beautiful bouquet that soars from the glass: blackberry, bilberry, potent graphite scents that lend it an air of Pauillac. I love the precision here and the manner in which it builds and gains momentum with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, good depth and delineation, layers of black fruit infused with graphite. There are certainly semblances to the great 1996 here, the Cabernet Sauvignon remaining in the driver's seat and lending structure and a sense of aristocracy on the finish. This is a serious Pichon Lalande for long-term aging.