The Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot. It has a pure blackberry, slightly tarry bouquet that is well defined, a little strict perhaps, but focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin in the mouth, a much more sophisticated Carruades de Lafite than last year with a crisp, nicely poised and lightly spiced finish. This is a decent, satisfying Carruades de Lafite that should be afforded three or four years in bottle.
There seems to be just a little Cabernet in this wine, wonderful lift and sense of clarity, airy even, dark cherries, boysenberry and an odd scent of lime cordial that vanishes after five minutes in the glass. The palate is citrus-fresh on the entry, very pretty and feminine with filigree tannins and touches of fresh apricot and white peach interlacing the cassis and dark cherry fruit towards the finish.
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.
94 Points James Suckling “Extremely floral and fresh with currants, light chocolate and orange peel. Red clay, too. Full-bodied, firm, silky and long with a flavorful finish. Salty undertone. Stones. Really serious. Better in 2021”
94 Points James Suckling
Tasting like a liqueur of rocks interwoven with crème de cassis, espresso roast, toasty oak, and enormous levels of tannin, it is neither out of balance nor astringent. It is a concentrated, backward, impeccably balanced St.-Emilion made with an uncompromising view of the craft of winemaking. It displays superb intensity, a fabulous texture, a foreboding, tannic overlay, incredibly ripe, pure fruit, and perfectly aligned acidity and tannin.
***Available Summer 2017***
93-95+ Neal Martin
This Coutet '14 has a complex bouquet with razor-sharp, minerally, citrus fruit mixed with wild honey and a touch of Riesling-like petrol. The palate is totally convincing. There is a great thrust of rich botrytized fruit sliced through with Coutet’s trademark acidity, despite the spoonfuls of sugar, that lends this such vibrancy and tension. It possesses and almost clinical precision with long persistence on the finish. This is a divine Coutet.
***Available Summer 2017***
From the Vauthier stable comes this Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Château Fonbel, which quite frankly is a steal and comes highly recommended at £105.00 per case... The ’08 is regularly selling at £150.00.
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+.