L'été meurtrier ? Non, pas vraiment.

A wine summer report

My ranking is based on a five star (or anything) system: five is the top of the world, needless to say very few wines get there, and not every year. Four is excellency, three very good, two interesting (if not too expensive), one is insufficient. And zero… well zero is exactly what it means!

For more details see my previous post

Unfortunately, this report is uncomplete; after all, I was on vacation!

Spain red

Viña Ardanza, La Rioja Alta Reserva 2008 : ***

My regular favorite, for twenty years, among normally priced spanish wines. I like that it is not black and very high in alcohol, that it still maintains freshness and does not crush your stomach! Rich and pleasant, good to drink now, do not hesitate: it is a real bargain.

Rioja Marques de Murrieta, Reserva 2010 : *

Unlike the previous one, I found this wine heavy and not so pleasant. Maybe we should wait for some bottle age before judging. As of today, not my taste.

Burgundy white

Saint-Aubin Créot 2010, Marc Colin: ***

So good value that there is nothing that compares. Still fresh and young, but very good now. Drink or store, if you can resist the temptation. That was unfortunately my last bottle from that vintage!

Chablis “V.V. les Vénérables” 2013, La Chablisienne : ***

The week before I tasted the 2007 (in magnum) and was not enthusiastic, so when the opportunity arose to try another vintage I jumped on it. This 2013 is a fantastic price-quality ratio, a very good wine, and very well produced to ensure the drinkability in its young age. Perfect now, drink up to five years, not more.

Savigny-Lès-Beaune Vergelesses Henri Boillot 2008 : ***

One of the more affordable wines from Boillot, it bears its distinctive style in every vintage, with subtle balance between fruit and acidity, and the ability to age. This 2008 is now perfect and at its peak. Drink now with haste and delight !


Chassagne-Montrachet Bernard Morey 2014 : ***

Although still very young, this Chassagne from one of the members of the vast Morey family is one of the best I have yet tasted in Chassagne. I will keep tasting it for the years to come but I was positively overwhelmed with pleasure at this discovery.


Côtes-du-Rhône red

Saint-Joseph, Pierre Gonon 2010 : **+

When I tasted it on site, I was so impressed that I bought several cases, most of which I drank too early, but I could not resist, so impressive was the wine. I then stored my last case at the end of the cellar, and forgot about it. So, after four years, I must admit that I was not as enthusiastic as before. It is very good still, but maybe in a transition phase. Hopefully! I will now keep storing them further. Drink, or wait, I do not know…

Côte-Rôtie « Blonde du Seigneur » Vernay 2011: ***

A good wine, but an expensive one. Although pleasant and soft, easy drinking, it was slightly disappointing, short, closed. The complexity is there, so maybe we shall just wait and see. Next tasting in three years!

Châteauneuf-du-Pape « cuvée de mon aïeul » Usseglio 2000 : *+

Not bad, but as a special selection it should be above that. Even if the vintage is average (in that case why make a special selection?) it is no excuse for the poor performance. It remains rather pleasant, but not to be remembered. Drink now or rather five years ago!

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos des Papes 2003 : ***+

A very good, easy drinking wine, with depth and length, perfectly balanced. Lacks maybe complexity to reach four stars, but close. Drink now.


Bordeaux red

Château Olivier 2001 : **+

Very good, great price vs quality, perfectly balanced. A very good choice. Drink now.

Château Carbonnieux 2001 : ***+

Tasted the next day from Château Olivier, it is deeper and more fragrant. An expressive nose, a mellow first sip and a long finish.Close to the perfect wine in this price category. Drink now with no haste.

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1995 : ***+

A great wine, it is not quite ready to drink now. But the structure is there : tannins, a still powerful nose, dense richness and a long lasting after taste. Grand, but better in five years.

Château Gruaud-Larose 1989 : ***

In the magnificent 1980 decade, Gruaud has produced their best wines ever (as they are doing now again). The 86 is a particular star in this constellation (see my 1986 Médoc tasting report, on ) but the 89 is a very good and more affordable choice. Very deep in colour, with strong tannins, it is almost ready to drink now. Not a very long finish, but excellent as it is. Start to drink now.

Château Léoville-Poyferré 1996 : ***+

I am convinced that this wine has the four star potential but I find it still closed, as with many 96s from Médoc and Graves. As it is now, it is already very good, but I think another ten years will be better. I will let you know then ! Drink now once, then in 5, then in 10 years.

Special category : 2015 rosé

2014 had been a nightmare in terms of rosé, I was eager to check the new vintage. Comparatively, it is better as a whole. I find most wines more balanced, with more finesse. Still, some wines come too strong, as it is supposed to be a summer wine.

*** Provence Château Miraval, Gascogne Domaine de Pellehaut, Rioja Marquès de Riscal : all very good wines, Pellehaut maybe not quite as good but a great price quality ratio.

** Pétale de Rose, Ramon Bilbao, Puech-Haut : good wines, well in their respective roles of easy-drinking wines