I read with interest, but no lack of envy, countless Twitter and Instagram posts of jolly wine critics and writers in Bordeaux tasting the 2015 primeurs last week. The majority have been positive and 2015 looks like being a top vintage in Bordeaux. For all the bashing Bordeaux has been getting in the wine press for its approach to pricing, it still elicits excitement in oenophiles like no other region on earth.
Either my invite got lost in the post or, more likely, I was NFI'd and have some way to go before I am invited to the chateaux of Bordeaux to taste the primeurs. Maybe some day.... (looks wistfully out the window). All was not lost however. To mark the occasion of primeurs week, and with lucky members of the Uncorked team over in Bordeaux, Colin Wills decided to show four of their Bordeaux portfolio in a casual tasting in the shop on Friday.
To ease my disappointment of not being in Bordeaux, I nipped off early from the office and popped round to have a taste. Colin told me the feedback from the team is that "the right bank in 2015 is amazing across the board. The left bank a bit patchier, but the good left bank wines are very good". Sounds promising, but I will wait to see the pricing before I decide to buy. Who am I kidding? Of course I'll buy some!
As for the wines I did get to taste, here they are with my thoughts on them:
Bouscat Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, 2012 (£38.95)
Minerally nose, with a whiff of oak. A mouthful of lemon and pepper, with asparagus flavours on the nervy finish. A very enjoyable, well made wine, but I can think of lots of other white wines I'd rather buy for £38.95. I don't see the value here. When it comes to white wine, my heart lies firmly in Burgundy rather than Bordeaux.
Chateaux Rocher-Bouregard, Pomerol, 2011 (£16.95)
Sweet, creamy dark fruit and floral aromas lead to a medium-bodied fruity mouthful with flavours of olives and brine. Dry, almost saline finish with nice grainy tannins rounding off. Quite long. This is a good value drop and drinking pretty well now.
B de Biac, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux, 2011 (£22.95)
Very dark crimson in colour with dark cherries and kirsch on the nose. Very silky and smooth on the palate, leading to a very refreshing finish. This is a very slick wine and it all comes together well. If I am being picky, its maybe a bit too slick and is lacking a bit of character. Its the sort of wine that might pass you by at a dinner party. It slips down well but won't change your life. Safe.
Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estephe, 2008 (£23.95)
Drinking very well now. Almost porty, dried fruits on the nose. Firm tannins and blackcurrant flavours make for quite a big wine. A hint of well managed oak on the finish. This is a good wine. 2008 is probably the last good value Bordeaux vintage, Uncorked sell the 2009 vintage of the same wine for £29.95, 25% more than the 2008.
I may not have made it to Bordeaux this year, but as this tasting has highlighted there is a treasure trove of Bordeaux wine already on the market and drinking well now, so I shan't be too glum about missing out. But, if anyone from any of the chateaux are reading, just to be clear, I am free for next year's primeurs. Just let me know when you want me.