99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "We decanted the full suite at 4:00pm on Wednesday 10 February with round one of my sampling taking place the following day at 10:30am. Demure and beguiling are the best, two words to describe the bouquet. I am fascinated by the perfume which offers the full spectrum of ‘marine’ influences ranging from salinity to sea kelp, to hot oyster shell melded perfectly with cold stones, iron ore, black liquorice to milky earl grey. The palate is extremely well poised and ineffably pure. Despite the wine’s muscularity, this still manages to provide such grace and femininity which I find beguiling. Clearly this beauty is finely chiselled, agile and perfectly controlled despite its fleshiness. I love the whispers of white pepper which linger for an age. Ripe, black fruits tinged with orange rind flood the palate. Totally effortless, sensual, precise and without fault. An astonishing wine and one that will provide fifty years of pleasure. I cannot wait to resample in six months. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Petit Verdot can rarely stand on its own, but Craneford’s 2004 is an inky/blue/purple-coloured offering displaying notes of incense, liquid minerals, black fruits, and damp earth.
93 Points - James Suckling
95 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Malartic-Lagravière has a wonderful bouquet of perfumed, mainly red fruit laced with potpourri, black olive tapenade and light brine-like aromas - a bouquet full of personality. The fresh, harmonious palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity and just the right amount of salinity toward the loam-tinged finish. Bon vin from the Bonnies."
97 Points - James Suckling "A stunning red with currants, blackberries, roses and violets. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and polish and finesse to the powerful tannins. A real stunner. Better than 2015. Take a serious look at it, beginning 2024."
95 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Malescot Saint Exupéry has a well-defined bouquet of ample red currant, cranberry and strawberry fruit laced with rose petal and hints of graphite. There is something almost Saint Julien–like about the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, graphite-infused black fruit, and quite linear and poised, but it conveys a genuine sense of energy and tension toward the classic finish. A magnificent Margaux."
94-96 Points - Neal Martin
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2011 Pontet Canet has a voluptuous bouquet with saturated dark cherry fruit, creme de cassis and a touch of blueberry with underlying minerality. It is exuberant, almost ostentatious at first, but it begins to calm down with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm structured cloaked by layers of ripe black fruit infused with minerals and graphite. It is a quite a strict Pontet Canet underneath what is a hell of a lot of fruit for a 2011. The finish is composed with a touch of citrus fruit towards the finish. Amazing that such a good wine comes from 90% of the crop. Tasted April 2012.
94-96 Points - Neal Martin "There is certainly great purity and terroir expression on the nose: blackberry, briary and background scents of fresh raspberry and cold stone. The definition is very impressive. The palate is interesting – quite different from the previous vintages. I love the tannins here – very fine but lending the Pontet-Canet great backbone It is utterly harmonious but I feel more understated, perhaps more controlled than recent vintages. The finish is much more introspective – a Pauillac politely informing you to go away and wait before bottling before making any judgement! This is a divine Pontet Canet - very succinct."
97 Points - James Suckling "Aromas of blackberries, red and dark plums, cedar and gravel, as well as red flowers and brown-leaf tea. It offers a very sleek and powerful array of ripe dark fruit and a very plush, focused and elegant bed of fresh, fine and powerful tannins. Plenty of aging potential, this is still quite tight. A blend of 55 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 35 per cent merlot, five per cent cabernet franc and five per cent petit verdot. Try from 2024."
96 Points - James Suckling
Lots of blueberry, hot-stone, slate and walnut aromas. Terracotta, too. Iodine. Full-bodied, round and dense with layers of fine tannins. Lovely depth and intensity. Extremely long and focused. Needs three or four years of bottle age just to start. Try after 2024.