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.
A masterpiece in the making, proprietor Alain Vauthier’s 2009 Ausone boasts a dense purple color along with notes of powdered chalk, crushed rocks and wild blue, red and black fruits. Extravagantly rich with great minerality, precision and freshness as well as a voluptuous texture (unusual for a baby Ausone), this is an extraordinary wine.
92 Points - Robert Parker
The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 Branon displays chocolatey, earthy undertones intermixed with black currants and Asian plum sauce. Medium to full-bodied, rich, impressively endowed, supple and evolved, it can be drunk over the next 10-12 years.
Made by the same wine-making team as Mouton Rothschild, Château d’Armailhac is released at £310.00 IB per case and receives good scores and reviews.
Suckling: “Refined, pretty and exuberant”, Galloni: “The 2015 d’Armailhac is especially strong this year and is the hidden gem in the Mouton-Rothschild portfolio this year”, whereas Neal Martin says he was “left with a nagging feeling that this is one wine from the Mouton Rothschild stable that left me wanting more”. Jancis Robinson awards 17.5 and Decanter 92...
***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.
93 Points - Robert Parker
This property, which has benefitted enormously from tremendous investments from the Rothschild family that owns Lafite, has turned out a dense purple-colored wine in 2005. Offering broad, expansive, supple and silky tannin as well as loads of Asian plum sauce, blackcurrants, and sweet cherries, this wine is seductive, medium to full-bodied, and luscious. This successful effort from the Rothschilds should continue to drink well for at least another two decades.
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. A little deeper than Carruades. Very light nose indeed. Quite a strong palate impact. Very firm and quite complex. Veering towards St-Estèphe austerity. Admirable restraint. Hums on the finish. I do like this. Suave.75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Inky with black core. Sweeter smelling than the Carruades. Light oak spice. Then cedary and so silky on the palate. Just glides though there's plenty of tannin there. Creamy long finish.
90 Points - Antonio Galloni
A deep, generous wine, the 2012 Duhart-Milon offers lovely depth and resonance throughout. Black fruit, graphite, smoke and licorice are some of the signatures. The 2012 is a bit rustic and rough around the edges, but it has enough depth to drink well for another decade plus.
***Available Summer 2017***
93 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of blackcurrants and sweet tobacco. Wet earth to boot. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Needs three or four years to soften. Try drinking in 2021.
Also from the Vauthier stable comes another Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, this time in the form of Château Fonbel, which quite frankly is a steal and comes highly recommended @ £135.00 per case...
90-92 Neal Martin and 92-93 James Suckling...