2015 Saint Emilion Tasting Notes, Over 150 of the Best Wines Rated!


Troplong Mondot wine

2015 St. Emilion has it all going on. Frankly, I could sum this article up rather quickly by just saying, “2015 Saint Emilion Rocks!”

In some circles it is fashionable to say the First Growths of St. Emilion are not equal. Historically, I suppose that argument can be made. But not in 2015. All 4 Premier Cru Classe A Chateaux made incredible wine worthy of their lofty status. They are each stunning in their own way. And make no mistake, each of those estates are knocking on the door of perfection this year! In fact, as you can read in the tasting notes in this article there are 7 chateau with the potential for 100 Pt ratings this year! When add that to numerous stunning wines from Pomerol, it is fairly easy to conclude 2015 is a vintage where the wines from the Right Bank excelled.

If you want to read about 2015 Bordeaux tasting notes for all the other appellations in Bordeaux, please see: 2015 Bordeaux Barrel Tasting Notes, Ratings reports

2015 St. Emilion is so strong, that a few Premier Cru Classe B wines are at the same high level, and other estates are not that far behind. Even more important, there are vineyards that historically have produced nice enough wine, but with 2015 St. Emilion, they made the best wines ever produced in the history of their estate! And if that is not enough to illustrate the quality found in 2015 Saint Emilion, I tasted several chateau that were new to me that are making fabulous wines! Trust me on this point. Tasting hundreds of wines can be overwhelming. Discovering something new really keeps you awake and into your game.

Stylistically, at their best, 2015 St. Emilion wines are flamboyant, sensuous, richly textured, sexy wines with purity, energy, complexity, great character and the ability to age and evolve into special, tasting experiences.

Across the board, 2015 St. Emilion was lucky. Vineyards in the cool clay soils that harvested late made stunning wines. But so did the estates on the limestone plateau, in the gravel soils and properties on the more sandy terroir were also quite successful. That does not mean buyers do not need to be choosy. Some estates pushed the pedal to the metal a bit too far. There are overly extracted wines, and wines that are aging in too much new oak. But generally speaking, the level of quality here is homogenous.

2015 St. Emilion is the product of a hot, dry summer, with drought conditions. April was hot. June was hotter. July was scorching and the lack of water exacerbated those conditions. What made this unique was that this level of heat is usually experienced later in the growing season. That was not the case with 2015. Fortunately, the rains in August arrived in the nick of time, providing enough nourishment to allow the growth cycle to continue. Depending on the terroir and the desires of the growers, picking for the 2015 St. Emilion vintage took place for the majority of estates from the middle of September to the middle of October. However, there are properties that began harvesting earlier, and estates that did not finish until late in October. If you are interested in reading about what took place during the growing season and harvest that helped shape 2015 St. Emilion wines, please read: 2015 Bordeaux Vintage Report

2015 St. Emilion Wines…

2015 Adaugusta – Fresh, soft, ripe, forward and medium-bodied. The wine has easy-to-find charms and soft tannins. This wine is all about the sweet, black raspberry, plum finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Angelus – Dark and inky colored, the hue is laced with purple accents. On perfume smells like you walked into a flower garden overgrown with wild anise and boysenberry brambles. Dense, rich, opulent and incredibly sensuous, this wine caresses your palate and gums with fresh, ripe, fruits and sexy textures. The finish sticks with you for all the right reasons. This is in the same league as the sublime 2005, 2009 and 2010 vintages. Made from a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place from September 20 to October 17. The Grand Vin was produced from 62% of the harvest. 98 – 100 Pts

Angelus Stephane de Bouard

2015 Aromes de Pavie – The second of wine of Pavie is an easy-drinking, medium-bodied, forward-style St. Emilion with sweet, fresh, red fruits, thyme and soft textures. 86 – 88 Pts

2015 Ausone – A luminous hue of ruby ink with a wink of purple, this wine is refined and intense. There is a wealth of sensuous fruits, fresh flowers and the essence of crushed stone. The texture is pure velvet. The finish stays with you like a fragrance in the air, long after she’s left the room. If you cannot afford this stunning wine (and I am in your boat as well) seek out prosperous friends so you can drink their wine. 2015 is a unique expression of Ausone that needs to be tasted at least once. Made from a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.6 and represents 70% of the crop. The harvest took place from September 29 to October 10. 98 – 100 Pts

2015 Badette – Truffle, cocoa, black cherry and earthy notes create the perfume. Made from 95% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, there is a bit too much oak, which might better integrate as the wine evolves. Still, this wine has fleshy, ripe, character-driven fruit and no sensation of heat, even though the wine reached 15% alcohol. 91-93 Pts

2015 Balestard La Tonnelle – Medium-bodied and softly-textured, this wine displays a wealth of ripe, dark, red fruits, plum and thyme with juicy black cherries in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Barde Haut – Deep, dark ruby in color with notes of flowers, smoke, licorice, black raspberries, plums and just a hint of espresso, this wine is the bejeweled mistress of the house. Rich, round and opulent in texture, the wine feels superb on the palate with a bit of dusty tannin in the finish. 2015 was an early harvest for Barde Haut, taking place September 21 to September 28. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and will be aged in 80% new, French oak barrels for about 20 months before bottling. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Beau-Sejour Becot – Spice, licorice, smoke, flowers and fresh plums create the nose. On the palate, the wine is a long, deep, silky, sexy and sensuous, French kiss. There is an alluring finesse in the tannins and a strong sense of purity in the fruit that is seldom seen. There is no sensation of heat in the wine, even though the alcohol is the highest ever recorded at the estate. This wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 15% alcohol with a pH of 3.6 and aging in 70% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place from October 2 to October 15. There might not be a second wine produced this year as the Becot family is very happy with the harvest and the small amount of wine designated for the second wine is probably too small to bottle separately. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse – This wine is sensuous, silky and lush with richness, freshness, sweetness, minerality and length in the finish. Produced from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.4% with a pH of 3.4. The harvest took place from September 25 to October 25. Beausejour Duffau can be difficult to get a handle at this stage. It’s quite possible this will improve during the aging process. I look forward to seeing this wine again in bottle. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Belair-Monange – This powerhouse is sophisticated, elegant, refined and mineral-driven with stony, red, pit fruit, violets and earth. There is a great concentration of flavor, supple, silky textures with a purity of fruit and dark chocolate in the finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc that was harvested from September 23 to September 30th. 95 – 97 Pts

2015 Bel-Air-Ouy – Medium-bodied with tangy, fresh black raspberries and sweet cherries at its core, this wine has soft tannins leading you to a fresh, red fruit and herb-tinged finish. 87 – 89 Pts

2015 Bellefont-Belcier – With a distinctive floral nose, coupled with truffle, thyme and dark red fruits, this wine is fresh and lush with round, polished tannins in the rich finish. This is a major step up for Bellefont Belcier. From a blend of 68% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, the alcohol reached 15%, with no sensation of heat. The harvest took place between October 1 and October 14. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Bellevue – The essence of a mineral-driven wine, with salty tannins, fresh, dark, plums, juicy, black cherry, anise and chocolate, this wine is silky, crisp and fresh. The wine was made from 100% Merlot. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Bellevue Mondotte – Inky in tint with oyster shell, florals and black and blue fruit perfume, this wine is a bit like Beyonce — incredibly rich, lush, sensuous and polished, with a blast of ripe, dense fruits in the finish. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Berliquet – Loads of fresh, sweet, juicy plums, ripe, black raspberries, minerality, licorice and floral notes. The wine shows freshness, depth and precision I have not tasted before here. Clearly, this is the best vintage ever for Berliquet! The wine was made from blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. 91-93 Pts

2015 Bernateau – Lavish and silky with sweetness to the fruits, soft tannins and loads of fruit in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Cadet Bon – Forward, medium-bodied, and easy to like, the fruit is fresh, ripe and sweet. There is a softness to the texture and a pleasant addition of licorice in the dark plum and cherry finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Canon – The first vintage under the direction of Nicolas Audebert is a knockout! The color is dark and the nose complex. Its floral, stone, boysenberry and blackberry liqueur profile commands your attention. On the palate, this wine is dense, thick, concentrated and focused on layers of fat, sweet, velvet-wrapped fruits. There is an astonishing level of density coupled with length, minerality and purity of fruit in this wine. It’s made with such a high level of artisanship and style, it’s hard not to want to drink it right now! The best way to sum up this wine: it’s an intellectual, sex bomb! Angelina Jolie meets Madame Curie. Made from a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc. 98 – 100 Pts

2015 Canon la Gaffeliere – Deeply concentrated in its color, 2015 delivers a serious escalation of flavor from previous vintages, combined with sleek, silky tannins and a saline minerality. There is a dance of freshness, length and depth in the long, spicy finish. On the palate, this wine is soft yet vibrant with a fresh, sweet, black cherry and red licorice finish. Made from a blend of 55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Cap de Mourlin – Espresso beans, smoke, earth, black cherries and licorice burst out of the starting gate. This wine is polished, fresh, ripe and round with a plum and cocoa finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Chapelle d’Ausone – With 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, it is easy to find floral notes, licorice, black cherry, vanilla and spicy tones. Richly textured with density in the mouth, silky tannins and a sweet blast of ripe, polished fruits that show up in the end note. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Chauvin – Medium bodied with a plethora of fresh, ripe berries, earth, flowers and stone, this wine is the best the estate has produced since Sylvie Cazes took over. There is an attractive softness to the elegant finish. The bottles now have a new label, which history buffs may be interested to know is a redesign of their label from the 1920s. 90-92 Pts

2015 Cheval Blanc – The nose pops with spice, flowers, smoke, plums and cherries. Open your mind to beauty, desire and a bite-your-bottom-lip eroticism. This is what elegant hedonism is all about. This wine is sensuous beyond belief. The fruits feel like French velour on your palate. The wine is incredibly rich, yet light on its feet, which is almost impossible to achieve. Trust me, I drank every last drop of this barrel sample. When the coast was clear, I poured a little more into my glass and drank that too! From a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.35% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. According to Pierre Lurton, there was no Petit Cheval produced in 2015, because, now that the vines have aged, coupled with the extraordinary growing season and harvest conditions, producing a second wine this year did not produce a better Grand Vin. They tried making numerous blends, but the level of quality was never improved! The harvest took place from September 3 to October 10. 98 – 100 Pts

2015 Cheval Blanc

2015 Clos Badon Thunevin – This is the best ever Clos Badon. Licorice, blackberry, smoke and earthy character move in quickly, illuminating this deep ruby beauty. Round on the palate, the wine has a fresh, plump quality of fruit that really works this year. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Clos-de-lOratoire – Fresh, sweet, ripe Blackberries, licorice and chocolate pop from the blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. There is sweetness, plush textures and a mineral-driven finish to top things off. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Clos de Sarpe – Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and filled with fresh plums and sweet, ripe, black cherries, thyme, crushed rocks and flowers, this wine is deep, fresh and long — a grande dame who will age with grace and dignity. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Clos des Baies – Made and owned by Philippe Baillarguet, the cellar master of Chateau Ausone, this blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, offers fresh herbs and ripe, sweet, red fruits. Medium/full-bodied, this wine boasts a polished blast of black cherries and thyme in the finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Clos Dubreuil – Lush, silky, round, rich and extravagant, this wine combines sublime pleasure with carefully crafted structure. Tempting you with blast of fresh, sweet, dark, red fruits and cocoa in the foreplay, this delight leaves you with a rush of dark chocolate in the endnote. From a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, which could change before bottling, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Clos Fourtet – An arousing blend of silky, supple textures, opulent, sensuous fruits, rich, intense flavors, length and purity, this wine is like basking on the sands of St. Tropez with Scarlett Johansson by your side. Smoke, licorice and kirsch liqueur with a strong sense of minerality are right in your face. This dazzler delivers a finish that will roll over in your mind for days. Voluptuously textured, the wine is a blend of 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.70. The harvest took place from September 18 to October 12 and the wine is aging in 60% new, French oak barrels. 96 – 98 Pts

2015 Clos La Madeleine – Mineral-driven with soft, sweet, ripe fruits and polished, silky tannins, this medium-bodied, fresh, evocative wine offers ripe, lush, stony fruits from start to finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Clos Romanile – Medium-bodied with fresh, ripe plums, sweet, ripe cherries, flowers and licorice. This wine is juicy, sweet and should get even better with age. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Clos Saint Julien – From a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and an equal amount of Merlot, this wine pops with floral, stone, plum and black cherry notes. With layers of fruit and ripe tannins, the wine is full bodied, rich, lush and deep, leaving a solid mineral driven impression on your palate. The wine reached 14% alcohol. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Clos St. Martin – 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc produced a wine with sensuous, opulent, silky textures, dense, dark, ripe, sweet fruits and a long, round finish. Like a first date you end up taking home to meet Mama. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Corbin – With notes of truffle, licorice, black plum and rain-soaked earth creating the perfume, this is clearly, the richest, silkiest wine ever made at Corbin. The plush mouth feel has an unmistakable presence of ripe, fresh fruits, purity and length with a touch of clay and minerals in the finish. What I really love about this wine is the darker fruit profile, which can be difficult to find in the sandy soils from this part of the appellation. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol and will be aged in 40% new, French oak barrels. After it’s in the bottle, I would not be surprised to see this score at the top end of the range — and maybe a point higher! 92 – 93 Pts

April St. Emilion Corbin Anabelle Cruse

2015 Cote de Baleau – Blending 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is medium bodied, soft, fresh and forward, with a sweet, berry-filled finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Couspaude – Showing smoke, licorice, espresso bean and dark plums, this wine is fat, forward, lush and low in acid, finishing with dense, dark, plump, red and black fruits, smoke and coffee. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Couvent des Jacobins – Medium-bodied with a floral edge to the stony plums. Give this wine a few years to come together as it should soften and develop quite well. 88 – 89 Pts

2015 Croix Cardinale – Silky, plush and polished with weight, density and freshness, the licorice-covered, spicy fruits and sweet, polished tannins feel and taste great on your palate. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Croix de Labrie – Deep in color with chocolate mint, licorice, spicy black cherries and a hint of truffle on the nose, this wine tastes like a blend of black cherry liqueur and dark chocolate. Silky in nature with the structure to evolve, this is a very nice vintage for Croix de Labrie. The wine is made from 100% Merlot and reached 14% alcohol. 92 – 93 Pts

2015 Dassault – Plush, ripe and forward, this wine serves up a modern-styled blend of juicy, chocolate-covered cherries, licorice, espresso bean and smoke with soft, round textures. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Daugay – This wine begins with fresh, vibrant, sweet, dark red fruits dusted with cocoa and fennel and finishing with crisp, ripe, red and black plums. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 de Candale – A forward and dapper charmer with supple textures, soft, round and fruity with a nice blast of licorice, black cherry and espresso in the finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 de Ferrand – Medium-bodied with crisp, bright, fresh, spicy — almost tangy — red fruits with coffee bean and thyme accents. 87 – 89 Pts

2015 Destieux – Licorice, juicy, sweet, black fruits and salty, polished tannins give this wine freshness and sweet, ripe fruits from start to finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Edmus – A medium-bodied, floral-tinged wine with elegant, sweet, dark red fruits, soft textures and a fruity finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Faugeres – Round, fat, juicy, sweet, ripe, dark red fruits, cocoa, anise, smoke and plums are made even better with the lushly textured mouth feel, silky tannins and sweet, ripe, polished fruits in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Faurie de Souchard – Medium-bodied with the unusual essence of seaweed added to herbal, cherry nose, this wine shows an oak and cherry finish. 86 – 88 Pts

2015 Ferrand Lartigue – Medium/full bodied, lush and round, with a profile of ripe, fresh, plums, licorice, espresso and smoke that should approachable early. 89-91 Pts

2015 Figeac – This wine displays the darkest hue of any Figeac vintage I recall seeing. The nose, with its floral, gravel, tobacco, earth and spearmint profile, is a real treat. On the palate, the wine offers a fresh, vibrant blast of perfectly ripe, sweet, blackberry, boysenberry, plum and a dash of cocoa. The tannins are silky with good concentration, freshness and purity of fruit. Interestingly, the wine does not seem like it’s going to last on your palate, but it surprises you, as it just keeps going and going until morning, with a sweet climax of juicy plum, licorice and cigar wrapper notes. Clearly, the best Figeac in years. From a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 28% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The wine will be aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 18 months. The picking took place September 21 to October 15. The Grand Vin was produced from 65% of the harvest. 95 – 97 Pts

2015 Fleur Cardinale – It’s the texture that reels you in and rolls you over. A lavish, satiny cloud of luscious fruits, flowers, coffee bean, juicy plum liqueur and sweet black cherries coated in chocolate keep you involved with this wine. Concentrated, rich and round, the wine was produced from a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.47, the wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Fombrauge – Spice box, flowers, licorice, smoke and black raspberries create the nose. In the mouth, this wine is supple, flashy and round, with loads of spicy, smoky, dark red fruits and espresso beans that carry through. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Fonbel – Blending 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Carmenere and 5% Petit Verdot, this medium bodied, forward wine shows soft, black cherry and spicy notes with the freshness coming in at the end. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Fonplegade – Forest floor, truffle, smoke, licorice and sweet, ripe plum and cherry notes, this wine is sensuous, silky and packed with fresh fruits and crushed rocks that leave you with an elegant sensation of just-picked, sun-ripened cherries. Harvested from September 18 to October 6, the wine was made from a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.5. This is the first vintage for Stephane Derenoncourt at the estate. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Franc-Mayne – Polished black raspberries, licorice, vanilla and espresso in the opening notes , this wine has more body than in previous years, plus a better depth of flavor and more freshness in the finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Godeau – A medium-bodied, sweet, fresh and soft-textured wine with notes of licorice, espresso, dark smoky fruits and a little spice to liven things up. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Gracia – Made from a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is even more opulent than usual. Fresh, round, long and deep with fleshy blackberries, licorice and plums, this is a graceful goddess of a wine that plays on the palate in the most pleasing of ways. The harvest took place from October 10 to October 19 and the wine will be aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Grand Mayne – Silky, plush, concentrated and showing a lot more depth than I ever recall tasting at Grand Mayne, this wine has lush, polished curves for tannins, a wealth of sensuous ripe berries and licorice and a splash of liqueur in the finish. From 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Grand Pontet – Loads of dark chocolate, ripe, juicy plums, cherry and floral notes, this wine is polished with silky textures and a sweet, fruit-filled finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Grand-Barrail-Lamarzelle – Medium-bodied with a core of fresh, ripe red plums, thyme and cherry notes, this wine is soft, forward and ends with ready, sweet, red berries. 86 – 88 Pts

2015 Grand-Corbin – The best ever from Grand Corbin, this wine offers a delicious profile of licorice, lush, dark, black raspberries and cocoa-covered plums. Sweet, fresh, silky and with a bolder depth of flavor than in previous years. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Grandes Murailles – Floral notes paired with lilies, smoke and kirsch on the nose, this is one of those great value wines from St. Emilion that combines a forward, supple style and sweet, fresh, lush, black raspberries with a sensation of minerality on the finish. Produced from 100% Merlot, the wine reached 14.8% alcohol. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Guadet – Showing more depth than in previous vintages, this wine delivers supple textures and a spicy, smoky espresso and thyme-infused, red berry character. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Haut Brisson – The first vintage made with their new parcels, and they no longer produce a reserve wine has created the best vintage of Haut Brisson ever made! The wine is deeply colored with a spicy, smoky, floral and dark cherry profile. On the palate, the wine is sweet, elegant, fresh and delivers a succulent mouthful of juicy plums and a hint of bitter chocolate in the finish. The reduction in the amount of new, French oak barrels used for the aging process has added a lot more freshness and energy to the wine. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Haut-Sarpe – Chateau Haut-Sarpe has kicked up their game by bringing in Hubert de Bouard to consult. Showing a lot of color for the estate, this wine is fresh, medium bodied and stony with ripe, red fruits in the soft finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Haut-Segottes La Dame – A new discovery for me, this wine is mineral driven with flowers, licorice and juicy, ripe plums. Silky and rich, this is going to be a great wine to watch. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Jean Faure – With 50% Cabernet Franc in the blend, the wine combines ripe, dark cherries, plum, licorice and fresh flowers along with round, plush textures and a fresh, sweet, fruit and spice filled finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Jean Voisin – Another new finding for me, this wine shows a lot of character and richness with its dark plums, chocolate and licorice profile. With sensuous tannins and a ripe, fruit-filled finish, the wine was made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Because this is a new wine just added to the consultancy of Hubert de Bouard, prices should be quite reasonable — at least for now. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 La Bienfaisance – Flowers and black raspberries, this wine is medium bodied with a sweet, red berry, softly-textured finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 La Clotte – This could be one of the steals of the vintage. There is more density and sweetness in the fruits than I have ever seen at this estate. The texture is fat and plush, the wine has purity and finesse coupled with weight, intensity and character. There is a real depth of flavor here. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 La Commanderie – Medium-bodied, forward, fresh and fruity, with sweetness in the attack and soft, elegant tannins in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 La Confession – Using 71% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol. Silky, round and polished with a sweetness to the dark red fruits, licorice, espresso and spring flowers, coupled with velvety tannins, this a quite a charmer. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 La Dominique – Combining smoke, tobacco, flowers, black raspberries, wild cherries and earthy notes in the nose, this wine is concentrated with lush, sweet, fat, juicy fruits with an extremely pleasant sense of purity of fruit that feels delightful on your palate. There is a strong depth of flavor with black cherries, licorice and chocolate in the finish. This is the best vintage produced from La Dominique yet. From a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14% alcohol. The harvest took place from September 18 to October 7. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 La Gaffeliere – Softly-textured, with polished, tannins and a spicy core of dark red fruits, flowers, licorice, earth, juicy, fresh plums and minerality. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 La Marzelle – With good color, the wine opens with black licorice, earth and dark chocolate-covered berries. Silky, elegant and supple with weight and density, the fruits are ripe, fresh and polished. With Jean-Luc Thunevin helping, this wine has really kicked it up another notch in just a few years! 92 – 94 Pts

Stephan Neipperg La Mondotte

2015 La Mondotte – Inky in color, in fact this is completely opaque. On the nose, the wine overflows with licorice, blackberry liqueur, figs and cocoa. Rich with surreal intensity, the wine both soothes and excites your palate to get to know it on a more intimate basis. The freshness, purity and concentration levels found here are almost off the charts! This is the real deal. The finish stays with you for more than 60 seconds! The beautiful girl who you don’t want to go home. Blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH 3.5. This could be the best wine ever produced at La Mondotte. 98 – 100 Pts

2015 La Serre – With a distinctive floral and red berry nose, this medium-bodied wine is elegant, fresh, soft and sweet, with a lingering, spicy cherry note. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 La Tour Figeac – Elegant in all the right ways, combined with freshness, thyme, smoke and ripe, red fruits blended with black plums, this wine serves up a soft, sweet, silky, medium bodied, finesse styled, cherry finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 La-Fleur-Morange – Made from plus-sized, ripe, dark red fruits, black licorice, espresso and plums, this wine is concentrated, supple and long with freshness and fruit that carries all the way through. It is amazing to think that this wine was made from fruit harvested from vines that are over 100-years old! 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Laforge – Using 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, this wine shows a spicy, stony, earthy, silky character, with ripe, dark fruits and a spicy, anise-filled finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Laniote – The wine starts off with a sweet plum note but the finish shows some dryness and herbs in the endnote. 85 – 87 Pts

2015 Larcis Ducasse – Flowery with stones, licorice and dark red fruits on the nose, there is concentration combined with power, elegance and grace. Not big, but rich, sensuous and mineral driven. The fruits are ripe, spicy and fresh. The luscious finish really keeps on going. Produced from a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.52% alcohol with a pH of 3.42. The harvest took place from September 28 to October 12. Usually priced quite fair, this stunner is a wine to look for during the futures campaign. 96- 98 Pts

2015 Larmande – Medium-bodied, soft, fresh and round with a sweet, polished red berry center. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Laroque – Medium/full bodied, with a luscious texture that sets off the floral, licorice, cocoa and dark cherry personality, this wine is easy to like and drink, ending with rich textures and loads of sweet, fresh black cherries, fennel and cocoa. With David Surie as the new director, it is easy to see the improvements in just one vintage. And you know, the best is yet come! 90-92 Pts

2015 Laroze – Kicking off with espresso, licorice, smoke and plums, this wine is medium bodied, soft, spicy and easy to drink. 88-90 Pts

2015 Le Carre – With 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, this wine shows a depth of color, sweet, ripe, fruit and sensuous textures along with length and precision. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Le Chatelet – Medium-bodied, forward and showing much more ripeness and fruit than usual with its licorice and black cherry personality. 86 – 88 Pts

2015 Le Dome – Chocolate-covered black raspberries, ripe, juicy, smoky plums, crushed stone and cherry liqueur really makes an excellent impression on your palate. There is length, purity and fat, supple textures to be savored. This wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot reaching 13.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.85. The harvest took place from October 2 to October 6. 94 – 96 Pts

2015 Le Jurat – Medium-bodied, fresh and mineral driven, the blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon offers plums, cherries and espresso notes. 87 – 89 Pts

2015 Le Prieure – Easily the best vintage of Le Prieure ever produced, this wine shows a silky charm, freshness in its plum and black cherry core and soft tannins in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Les Angelots de Gracia – Fat, lush, juicy and fresh with polished, sweet, ripe fruits, length and freshness, this is the best vintage of Angelots de Gracia I’ve ever tasted. Made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 94 Pts

2015 Les Asteries – 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc produced a rich, polished, plush, ripe wine with silky tannins, concentration, ripe fruits and minerality. The wine reached 14.8% alcohol with no sensation of heat. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Lif – Pure, rich and sensuous with velvet textured tannins, dream-like intensity and perfectly ripe fruits, this wine has the feel of newly spun silk, the texture of cashmere and the purity of plums and cherries just picked off the vine. Not much is made as the production is only 400 cases — give or take. With luck, there is only 399 cases remaining, as I want one! 96 – 98 Pts

2015 Louis – Polished, silky, round, dark red fruits, licorice and espresso in a tasty, forward style. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Lucia – Ripe, lush, fat, rich, black cherry liqueur notes paired with licorice, cocoa and cassis, this wine has supple textures and sweet, vanilla-tinged, black fruits in a low acid, modern style. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Lusseau – Medium/full-bodied, sweet, soft, ripe, dark red fruits, smooth tannins and a fresh, cherry and licorice finish that sticks with you. This will show well young. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Lynsolence – Oaky but with loads of sweet, plump, juicy, dark berries, licorice and espresso. The fat textures are perfect for the ripe, stony fruits. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 MagrezFombrauge – Using 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, this wine is deeply colored, expressing smoke, licorice, black raspberries and plum jam. On the palate, the wine is lush, rich and concentrated, with opulent textures and a wealth of earthy, black cherries and sweet, boysenberry jam. The wine is powerful, fat and round, yet fresh and balanced. The wine is aging in a combination of 100% new, French oak barrels and terracotta jars that range in size from 200 liters, up to 450 liters. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Mangot – Blending 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc produced a black cherry, earth and dark fruit-oriented wine with a soft, round, forward approach, making it a tasty, fun wine to drink in its youth. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Mangot Todeschini – Made from their best four hectares of vines, this wine made its debut with the 2008 vintage. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and a surprising 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is fruity, tannic and packing a punch. Give this structured, Left Bank look-alike some time in the cellar to develop as the tannins are quite high. It could be much better with 3-5 years of bottle age. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Monbousquet – Medium-bodied, round-textured and packed with licorice, spicy black raspberries and a strong oak presence. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Montlabert – Medium-bodied, sweet, fresh, soft, ripe and forward, this blast of chocolate-covered black cherry and licorice should be quite nice on release. Displaying more depth than usual, this is the best vintage for Montlabert yet! 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Moulin du Cadet – The first vintage for the new owners, the Lefevere family is a big step-up in quality. With a tradewind of lush, ripe, dark berries, licorice, oak, round textures and minerality, this wine delivers sweet, ripe fruits from start to finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Moulin Saint Georges – Juicy kirsch, vanilla bean and black raspberries with earthy tones quickly move to the elegant side of the style range. Sophisticated in texture, with sweet, fresh, silky black raspberries, that move to plums and cherries in the earthy, fresh, finish. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc create the blend, now aging in 85% new, French oak for the next 18 months. The harvest took place from October 2 to October 10. 90 – 93 Pts

2015 Pavie – Opaque in color, this wine is dense, fat, rich and packed with mouth-coating fruits. The wine stains your teeth and palate and leaves you with waves of sweet, luscious, intense, pure black fruits. There is a touch of heat, but there is such a wealth of fruit and the berries are so pure, thick and sweet, it’s barely noticeable. I’d like to be as rich as this wine! For fans of Pavie, this will provide fodder for debates as to which vintage of Pavie is the best. My money is on the 2015, but the owner thinks it is the 2010 –this high-class conundrum will definitely bring about great tastings in the years to come! 98 – 100 Pts

2015 Pavie-Decesse – Like its big sister wines, this is dark ruby in color with stone, boysenberry, licorice and floral scents. The wine is deep, concentrated and lushly textured, ending with crushed rocks and dark red fruits. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Pavie-Macquin – Dark ruby in color with a floral, boysenberry nose, this wine is complicated by licorice, espresso bean and cherry blossoms. Pure silk and minerality on the palate, the velvety fruits are fresh and clean.. This wine was made from a blend of 84% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet, reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.38. The harvest took place from September 29 to October 17. 95 – 97 Pts

2015 Peby Faugeres – No shy wallflower of a wine here. This attention-seeking beauty is packed and stacked. This is a brick house of a wine filled with layers of velvet-textured, ripe, sweet black fruits, silky tannins, boysenberry jam, smoke, espresso, licorice and cocoa. The wine coats your palate and stains your teeth. 96 – 98 Pts

2015 Petit-Figeac – From 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc comes a medium-bodied, licorice, cherry and earthy wine with freshness, soft, sweet fruits and early drinkability. 86 – 88 Pts

2015 Petit-Gravet – Using 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, this wine is deep in color, mineral driven with a rich, plush quality that you never see in Petit-Gravet. Full-bodied, concentrated and the ability to age. If you’re a fan of Cabernet Franc, this is a wine you should make sure you taste. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Pierre de Lune – Medium-bodied with a focus on its fresh, soft, ripe plums, flowery essence and supple textures. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Pindefleurs – A forward styled wine that is dominated by red fruit with a spicy, earthy character in its cherry finish. 85 – 87 Pts

2015 Poesia – Mineral driven on the nose and on the palate, this wine blends sweet, elegant, silky fruits with ripe tannins and good purity of fruit in the finish. The wine is structured to age and develop and will need some time in the bottle before it’s fun to drink. From a blend of 30% Cabernet Franc and 70% Merlot, the wine is aging in 80% new, French oak barrels. 90 – 93 Pts

2015 Pressac – With a good depth of color, this wine shows more polish and depth than usual. Ripe, dark, juicy, sweet plums and licorice at its core, this ends with freshness and a silky mouth feel. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Puy-Blanquet – Medium-bodied and light in color, this wine is more interesting on the nose. A floral, black raspberry and licorice fragrance on a light, bright, red berry palate. 85 – 87 Pts

2015 Quinault LEnclos – Licorice and fresh kirsch are the first things you notice, but the silky, polished texture is what really turns your head. This is pure, fresh, fun to taste and easily the best Quinault L’Enclos ever produced. The wine is a blend of 69% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Quintus – Jean-Philippe Delmas is clearly getting the hang of things at Quintus. With a deep ruby color, this wine combines elegance, freshness and purity of fruit. The tannins are refined, the textures are supple and there is no sensation of heat, even though the wine is quite high in alcohol. Produced from a blend of 76% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc, the harvest took place from September 23 to October 9. The wine reached 15.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.52. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Quintus Le Dragon de Quintus – Medium-bodied with a forward, sweet, ripe, spicy cherry core, soft textures and an open personality. 87 – 89 Pts

2015 Ripeau – The first vintage from the new owners shows a nice dark color, rich, supple tannins, sweet, lush, juicy fruits and chocolate-covered plums in the finish. This clearly marks a rebirth of the estate. 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Rocheyron – Luscious, fat, rich and concentrated, this velvety-textured wine has ripe, soft fruits and a smoky, espresso bean, licorice and black cherry-filled, earthy finish. This project, headed by Peter Sisseck and Silvio Denz, is really starting to take off. Round, fat, juicy, sweet, ripe, dark red fruits, cocoa, anise, smoke and plums are made even better with the lushly textured mouth feel, silky tannins and sweet, ripe, polished fruits in the finish. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Rol Valentin – Elegant, fresh, soft and sweet with a medium-bodied, raspberry and cherry-tinged profile that should drink great on release 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Saintayme – Produced from 100% Merlot, this Denis Durantou wine delivers licorice and black cherry notes with round textures and a supple, forward, medium-bodied, charming quality. This will provide nice, early drinking pleasure. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Sanctus – Elegant, fresh, sweet and ripe with silky tannins, this wine has plum, cherry, licorice and espresso character and ends with supple textures in the finish 91 – 93 Pts

2015 Sansonnet – Opulent, fleshy, ripe and sweet, the palate is painted with super sweet, ripe berries, dark chocolate and cherries. From a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, this is the best vintage of Sansonnet yet. I know I’ve said it before, but this time I really mean it! 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Simard – Plummy with crisp berries, fresh, bright cherries, licorice and cocoa with a splash more cherry in an olive tapenade-tinged finish. 87 – 89 Pts

2015 Soutard – Flowery with fresh, vibrant, sweet black raspberries, licorice, espresso, soft tannins and an approachable personality. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 SoutardCadet – From a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the debut vintage for this wine pops with fresh flowers, licorice, dark, juicy plums and cocoa. The wine ends with dusty tannins and sweet, ripe berries. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Tertre Roteboeuf – Earth, truffle, smoke, herbs and truffle. The wine shows an earthy, saline, stony quality concentration of ripe, dark plums with round powerful, tannins. This is perhaps the deepest, darkest vintage ever produced at Tertre Roteboeuf. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, The harvest took place from October 11 to October 12, making this one of the last estates in St. Emilion to harvest. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol. 94-96 Pts

2015 Teyssier – Blending 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc produced a wine with a fresh, sweet, lush, plum character, weight and density and a black cherry and licorice-tinged finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2015 Tour Saint Christophe – From a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, there is a good depth of color in the glass. Oyster shell, boysenberry, espresso and cherry blossoms create the nose. The wine is fleshy, fat and rich with density and opulent textures. This showy wine is the best example produced since the new owner, Peter Kwok, took over the estate. 93 – 95 Pts

2015 Trianon – With the aid of Hubert de Bouard, who was recently brought on as the consultant, this wine has really upped its game. Juicy, ripe, lush, sweet dark cherries, round, plush tannins and a blast of chocolate-covered black cherries in the finish make this work! 90 – 92 Pts

2015 Troplong Mondot – With a beautiful, inky hue, this wine explodes with smoke, blackberry liqueur, dark chocolate, truffle and cherry blossoms on the nose. Liquid silk does not begin to describe the texture, but it’s close. If that does not work, molten velvet is my next stab at describing this wine. Powerfully concentrated with density and opulent textures that really bring this to a new level. For my delicate friends across the pond, do not let this scare you off. Everything is in balance. But be prepared for a grand carnival of true self-indulgence. Produced from a blend of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 15.5% alcohol. The harvest took place September 30 through October 21. 98 – 100 Pts

2015 Trotte Vieille – Licorice, sweet cherries, flowers and bitter chocolate open the nose. On the palate, this wine is plush, polished and fruity with freshness and character. The wine was produced from a blend of 49% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. If this puts on a bit more weight during the aging process, it could easily merit a higher score. 90 – 92 Pts

Valandraud Murielle Andraud

2015 Valandraud – Inky in color, with purple accents through to the rim, this wine has an amazing effect on your mouth and your mind with its concentrated display of sensuously textured, ripe, dark plums, spice, smoke, licorice, incense and espresso bean. Silk, purity and freshness create the finish. Using 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5%, Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached a pH of 3.6. The harvest took place October 1 to October 12. 96 – 98 Pts

2015 Valandraud 3 de Valandraud – Vanilla bean, coffee, licorice and black cherries on the top, with freshness to the fruit and a lingering, polished, fennel and plum finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2015 Vieux Chateau Mazerat – Showing a mineral-driven personality with a distinctive, stony edge, this wine has saline tannins, silky textures and real density in the finish. This is a wine to age. 92-94 Pts

2015 Villemaurine – Ripe, jammy berries, lush, fat, rich, sweet, opulent fruits and a luscious finish that lingers with the essence of pure black fruits and truffle are right there, from start to finish. 92 – 94 Pts

2015 Virginie de Valandraud – Luscious, ripe fruits, supple textures and a blast of rich, juicy, sweet plums and oak get your attention and hold it there. 90 – 92 Pts

2015 YonFigeac – Medium-bodied with saline tannins, this wine, with its fresh, red fruits and thyme, is going to be nice to drink on the early side. 86 – 88 Pts

Even though we covered many of the dry, white Bordeaux wines in our 2015 Pessac Leognan report, we will publish an additional article on all the 2015 white Bordeaux wines, and the sublime, sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac next week. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.


    • Jim… I think many, if not most 2015 St. Emilion wines will be fairly priced. Not at the super high end level, but hopefully for the majority of the wines, prices will be allow room for consumers. When did you become such a Right Bank hound? I am loving it!!!

  1. Jeff thanks so much on all the in depth notes of the 2015 Bordeaux…i couldn’t wait for the St Emilion’s, Corbin, Barde Haut and hope to try Canon, what a job you have done a wonderful job on all them. I love the treasures of previous article Cote de Castillon, Fronsac, Joanin Becot, d’Aiguihle, Clos Lunelles.
    They ever so traditional yet modern Margaux’s d’Issan & 2nd wine Blason, Labergorce, Brane Cantenac…..
    Wow wow wow….thanks thanks thanks….

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