SAINT EMILION 2014
Chris Kissack The Wine Doctor
Those that really impressed me included Château Tertre-Roteboeuf, Château Cheval Blanc, Le Dôme, Château Figeac, and Château Pavie, admittedly a curious mix of châteaux, terroirs and styles. One feature that binds all but one of them is that they feature larger than average proportions of Cabernet Franc. Two of them also feature gravel soils; perhaps, despite my conclusion that limestone was probably an advantage in 2014, perhaps variety trumps terroir in this appellation? Château Tertre-Roteboeuf and Le Dôme of course have it all, limestone, talented winemakers and lots of Cabernet Franc in the case of the latter, as does Château Pavie.
Other very good wines came from Château Angélus, Château Beauséjour, Château Pavie-Macquin and Vieux Château Mazerat. Honorable mentions should also go to Château La Dominique, Château Larcis Ducasse, and there are a number of wines from the Jonathan Maltus portfolio worthy of consideration in this vintage.
Ratings and Tasting Notes
Le Dôme 2014:
A perfumed nose, peony and rose mixed with coffee bean, tobacco and oak spice. The palate is very elegant, fresh, pure, balanced, with a supple blanket of fruit, textured but with good harmony, lovely ripeness and freshness to it, with a firm jacket of ripe, medium-grained tannins at the end. Beautifully poised, really quite elegant, fresh, with a delightfully relaxed harmony. Vanilla pod, coffee bean, and a wave of dried and gently rolling tannins in the finish. Very attractive.
Vieux Chateau Mazerat 2014:
rom the Maltus vineyard right next-door to Le Dôme. Some slightly warm and macerated fruit on the nose, perhaps a little smudged, especially compared to the bright perfume of Le Dôme, tasted alongside. It is much purer and well defined on the palate though, showing a fine freshness and texture, a real step up from Les Astéries. It has not only texture but also good energy, with lots of grip and acid freshness. A lovely complexity here, shaped by the barrel to some extent, with tobacco and wood-spice. A very attractive wine overall, very pure, very fresh and cool. So very well done. 17/20
Les Astéries 2014:
A delightfully perfumed style, fresh and bright, with dried blackcurrant and cranberry character, laced with coffee bean and tobacco. There is a brightness and minerally freshness here, and that comes through on the palate, which shows a supple substance, fresh and pure, with lovely grip running through the finish. Rather more restrained than some vintages in terms of texture and weight, overall very polished and refined. A top result.
Le Carré 2014:
The élevage here was in 80% new oak, for approximately 15 months. Dark and spicy fruit aromatics, dried cherry, dried cranberry too, laced with coffee bean. This is textured, slightly more plush than some other Maltus wines tasted alongside, fresh and pure, rich, with a balanced structure. A slightly chalky edge to the tannins, very ripe style though. Good balance, fine freshness and spiced oak in the finish, where it feels a touch peppery. Lovely charm and harmony here.
Château Teyssier 2014:
The élevage was 12 months in barrel, including 10% new oak. The entry-level big-volume cuvée from Jonathan Maltus. An interesting desiccated fruit character on the nose. Warm, macerated, with a lightly roasted edge. A delicate palate, some degraded fruit, nicely textured, with a chalky tannic backdrop, a touch of cigar and tobacco oak. Some spice in the finish. A nice touch of Cabernet Franc perfume on the nose. This is accessible now, ready to go, but it will hold its own for a few years yet.