Table of contents:
Some of the tastings during the Primeurs Week in Bordeaux offer the opportunity to discover the wines of several appellations of the Bordeaux region and to see that the last vintage was more successful for some and more difficult for others.
Some words about Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux
The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux is an association of 124 châteaux from the 26 Bordeaux appellations that produce fine wines with excellent value for money, located on the left and right banks. The core values of this dynamic association of wineries are to represent the diversity and richness of the Bordeaux vineyards and to produce wines that express the terroir of the region.
The history of the association began in 2002, with the creation of the Groupe Rive Droite de Grands Vins de Bordeaux (a group of châteaux on the Right Bank only). The Groupe Rive Gauche – Cercle Rive Gauche de Grands Vins de Bordeaux, joined it in 2013 (a group of châteaux on the Left Bank only). And in 2017, the two groups merged to form the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, under the common values of Creativity, Quality and Pleasure.
The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux has the following objectives:
- To encourage the development and recognition of châteaux-members through promotions and information campaigns.
- To promote the marketing of wines through contacts with international wine professionals.
- To organise events for wine professionals to familiarise them with the diversity and richness of Bordeaux wines.
- Supporting member châteaux in their new projects.
- Cooperating with the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) to promote the region’s wines abroad.
And the member châteaux undertake to respect the following common values:
- Enhancing the history of the region, which unites them
- Authenticity: Each winemaker produces the wine that represents him, works in the vineyard and in the cellar, and markets his wines with love.
- Ethics in production and marketing – the châteaux are creative, innovative and dynamic
- Respect to their terroir. The winemakers maintain the ecosystem of their vineyards.
- Quality – Châteaux become members of the association after a visit by the commission and a blind wine Tasting. The quality of the wines is then re-evaluated each year.
- Hospitality – professionals and wine lovers are always welcome in the châteaux by their owners
The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux in figures :
- 124 châteaux
- 26 Bordeaux appellations
- 2861 hectares of vineyards
- 95% of the châteaux are involved in technologies that protect the environment
- 78% of châteaux are open to the public
Some photos of Château Montlabert, where the tasting was organised this year
Bordeaux Supérieur and Bordeaux Blanc
White wines – Bordeaux Blanc
Red wines of AOP Bordeaux and Graves
Château Fleur Haut Gaussens, White
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Tasting: aromatic and expressive, with citrus notes (ripe lemon, lemon peel), the palate is dense, with a delicate bitterness and a long floral finish.
Château Penin, White
Blend: 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Gris, 20% Semillon.
Tasting: An unusual organoleptic profile for a white Bordeaux. The bouquet is mainly citrus, ripe and slightly sweet (the wine itself is dry), with notes of lemon, lemon peel, candied fruit, lemon cream and orange. Medium acidity (+) and a grapefruit bitterness in the lingering finish refresh and balance the wine’s profile.
Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Château Côte Montpezat
White : Bordeaux Blanc
Blend : 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gri, 30% Sémillon.
Tasting: A very aromatic wine, with notes of wild flowers, stone fruits and citrus zest. At the same time, it is acidic, fresh and energetic.
Red wines of Fronsac
Blend : 100% Merlot.
Tasting: A full-bodied wine with a rich bouquet, typical of Merlot (black cherry, black plum, mint), it has supple tannins and an excellent concentration.
Château de La Huste
Blend : 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: reserved and closed bouquet, but with the elegance and freshness typical of Merlot 2021. The tannins are firm but integrated, with a long finish.
Château Moulin Haut-Laroque
Blend: 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec.
Tasting: a supple, ripe wine with a lively, fruity attack (black and red cherries, plums, wild flowers). The finish is fresh and the acidity is high, the tannins are dry but well integrated. The wine has excellent ageing potential.
Château de La Rivière
White (Bordeaux Blanc):
Blend: 67% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Sauvignon Gris
Tasting: An expressive wine with typical Sauvignon citrus notes and high acidity. The Sauvignon Gris adds a rich, even slightly oily texture, a lingering finish and aromas of white flowers and tropical fruit.
Blend: 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec
Tasting: Complex bouquet, combining typical aromas of the four grape varieties of the Blend and the barrel ageing (red and black fruits, black plum, flowers – peony, violet, mint and liquorice). The finish is long and elegant, with lively acidity and firm, structured tannins.
Château La Vielle Cure
Blend: 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: a wine with high acidity and interesting minerality, but at the same time – rich and pleasantly fruity. Moderate tannins and good ageing potential.
Château Moulin Pey-Labrie
Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Malbec
Tasting: The wine reflects the limestone soils of the Canon-Fronsac appellation – refined, with high acidity and pronounced minerality, spicy and tart red fruit aromas. The tannins are medium but firm and persistent.
Red wines of Pomerol
Blend : 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting :Typical Pomerol aromas of plum and cherry, with hints of barrel ageing – caramel and coffee. Deep flavours, powerful tannins with a delicate texture – excellent ageing potential.
Château La Clémence
Blend : 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: an aromatic wine with fruity nuances typical of Merlot (black cherry, black plum, mint) and delicate barrel notes (toast, coffee). This wine has refined tannins and a velvety texture – it will probably take less time than other Pomerols 2021s to become smooth and drinkable.
Château La Commanderie
Blend: 83% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc
Tasting: Expressive bouquet with lively, fruity aromas and marked woody notes. On the palate, it is more reserved, with notes of tart red fruit and a fresh, acidic finish. It is quite possible that the wine will open up with time.
Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: Elegant organoleptic profile with juicy red fruit, floral and spicy notes, an enveloping texture and delicate tannins. Compared to the other Pomerols in this Tasting, this wine seems softer. Good concentration, medium (+)acidity and excellent ageing potential.
Blend : 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: Pomerol with a simple profile, high acidity, structured tannins and a bouquet of tart red fruits. The texture and body are reserved rather than full, but there is a pleasant freshness and bitterness on the finish.
Blend: 73% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: Unusual for Pomerol, the lower than average percentage of Merlot in the Blend and a small amount of Petit Verdot give this wine a complex and concentrated bouquet, with hints of black fruits (black cherry and plum), spices (liquorice, white pepper) and flowers (violet, peony). The taste is more delicate, but with an excellent structure of fine-grained tannins and a long finish with bitterness and smoky notes.
Blend: 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: The nose reveals lively and balanced primary aromas (plum, black cherry, violet) and secondary aromas (liquorice, vanilla). The tannins are a little astringent and the taste is more restrained, but the finish is quite long and the acidity is excellent.
Château Vieux Maillet
Blend: 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: closed aromas with classic nuances of the appellation and the vintage (dark red fruit and acidity). The palate lacks a little concentration to balance the acidity, but the finish is quite persistent. Nevertheless, this wine has a future.
Château Vieux Taillefer
Blend: 100% Merlot.
Tasting: a pleasant and subtle profile with fruit and spice notes, fine-grained tannins, fresh acidity and a persistent finish.
Lalande de Pomerol
Red wines of Lalande de Pomerol
Château de Chambrun
Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: Overall, a classic, balanced profile with typical Merlot notes (black and red cherry, plum), but with a slightly dry finish.
Château Jean de Gué
Blend : 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: fruity and woody bouquet (toasted and smoky notes), aromatic, medium body and fine-grained tannins.
Blend : 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting : Elegant wine with a complex bouquet (fruits, flowers and spices) and powerful tannins. The finish is concentrated and energetic. Excellent wine.
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Red wines of Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Château La Croizille
Blend : 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc
Tasting : The body is quite dense compared to the other Saint-Emilion Grand Cru of the Tasting. The bouquet is distinguished by its ripeness and concentration of red fruits, complemented by spices and woody notes. An overall balanced and rich profile.
Blend : 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting : Harmonious combination of ripe bouquet, woody and smoky notes and fresh acidity. Fine and integrated tannins, long and slightly spicy finish with high acidity.
Château La Grâce Fonrazade
White (White Bordeaux):
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Gris
Tasting: A very unusual white Bordeaux with a golden colour of medium intensity (atypical for young wines), a buttery texture and a hint of sweetness in the bouquet (the wine itself is dry), rich in tropical fruits (lychee, pineapple). Compared to other white wines based on Sauvignon Blanc or its Blend with Semillon and Muscadelle, its acidity is lower (rather medium). Its finish is expressive and persistent.
Blend : 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
Tasting: A balanced wine with a lively bouquet of tart red fruits, medium body, moderate tannins and high acidity. Refined and classic style
Blend: 100% Merlot.
Tasting: fresh profile, with a bouquet of tart red fruits (raspberries, red cherries, red currants), but the tannins are too young, rather dry and astringent.
Blend : 72% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc
Tasting : Ripe fruit aromas (black cherry, black plum, red currant). The taste is expressive and predominantly fruity, with firm tannins that are softened by a full body.
Château Pas de l’Ane
Blend: 72% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting : Pure, fruity bouquet with interesting floral nuances, thanks to the almost one-third share of Cabernet Franc in the Blend. Medium body and high acidity.
Château Patrice Querre
Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: a ripe Merlot, despite a difficult year for this variety, with its typical notes of black cherry, black plum and even prune, refreshed by mentholated notes. The taste is quite different from the aroma – the acidity is high, the body is medium, which gives the wine freshness and balances its rich bouquet.
Château Rol Valentin
Blend : 78% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec.
Tasting :Round body, deep and ripe bouquet, pleasant, fine and integrated tannins. Expressive aromas of black and red fruits, spices (cloves, liquorice, pepper).
Blend : 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting :Light and elegant bouquet of red fruits with a high acidity. The finish is fresh and persistent, but a little bit drying, with strong, not yet integrated tannins.
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Red wines of Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Blend : 66% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: the attack is fruity and open, but the finish is restrained and acidic, with powerful tannins. Good ageing potential.
Blend : 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Tasting: discreet aromas, but the palate is strong, with a powerful body and noticeable tannins, giving this wine excellent ageing potential.
Château Grand Corbin-Despagne
Blend: 75% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: A bright bouquet with typical characteristics of the three grape varieties (red and black cherry, blackcurrant, floral notes). Powerful body with a long and rich finish with woody and spicy notes. A promising wine
Château La Marzelle
Blend: 74% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 9%.
Tasting :Pleasant and balanced bouquet with fruity, spicy and woody nuances. Expressive and deep bouquet, but with a dry finish.
Château de Pressac
Blend : 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Carmenère, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec.
Tasting: complex bouquet, with fruity and floral notes, characteristic of the grape variety in the Blend, as well as spicy notes, obtained during barrel ageing. Balanced and full-bodied profile with integrated tannins.
Blend : 85% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: Elegant toast and spice notes with rich fruit flavours. But the tannins and finish are a bit drying.
Blend : 80% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot.
Tasting :Ripe and juicy aromas, balanced taste with medium (+)acidity and fine but powerful tannins.
Blend: 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: an elegant profile, enveloping flavours and a rich finish with velvety tannins. The bouquet has notes of blackcurrant, unusual for wines of the appellation, combined with black cherry, plum, liquorice and a smoky aroma.
Vieux Château Palon
Blend: 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting: the smoky and spicy notes are the first to appear on the nose, but they are in harmony with the fruity bouquet. The flavours are pleasant, full-bodied and fruity, with dry tannins on the finish.
Château de Barbe Blanche
Blend : 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting : Typical profile for the Right Bank with notes of red and black cherry, plum, subtle aromas of spices (clove, liquorice) and delicate nuances of barrel ageing.
Château de Lussac
White (Bordeaux Blanc) :
Blend: 64% Sauvignon Blanc, 23% Sémillon, 13% Sauvignon Gris
Tasting: juicy and rich bouquet, but well-balanced, combining notes of stone fruits (peach, apricot) and citrus fruits (lemon, zest). Surprisingly elegant and long finish, with a pleasant bitterness and high acidity.
Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Tasting: supple and refined wine with notes of ripe red fruit (red plum, red cherry). Excellent development potential
Château La Rose Perriére
White (Bordeaux Blanc) :
Blend: 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon, 5% Muscadelle
Tasting: expressive, buttery texture, tropical fruit notes, high acidity, and a long finish with a pleasant bitterness.
Blend: 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec
Tasting: pronounced oak notes, but the fruit notes in the bouquet are also lively. The acidity is particularly noticeable on the dry finish.
Médoc et Haut-Médoc
White (Bordeaux Blanc):
Blend: 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon.
Tasting: typical Sauvignon Blanc notes – with a delicate herbal character and a lively bouquet of citrus, peach and passion fruit. An energetic wine with high acidity.
Blend: 49% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% – Petit Verdot
Tasting: the bouquet reveals the freshness of tart red fruits, the body is medium, the tannins are moderate and integrated.
Blend : 59% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: full-bodied, fruity, spicy, a little bitter, with high acidity and a persistent finish.
Blend : 52% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Tasting: red and black cherry, red plum – a ripe bouquet with pleasant acidity, soft spiciness and a lingering finish.
Château Lestage Simon
Blend: 80% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: Floral notes are lively on the palate and on the nose, which then develop into fruit and spice notes. The finish is long, but with dry tannins.
Blend: 49% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: Elegant bouquet of flowers and fruit, supple and fine tannins, good concentration and persistence in the mouth.
Château de Villegeorge
Blend : 28% Merlot, 67.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: Elegant wine with a bouquet of red fruits, with hints of liquorice and pronounced tannins.
Château Cap Léon Veyrin
Blend : 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: the bouquet shows red and black fruits, sweet spices and high acidity. Pleasant and classic
Château Le Coteau
Blend: 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: the bouquet with notes of ripe red fruits, spices and woody notes. The tannins are supple and integrated, but the wine profile is full-bodied and rich.
Château Haut-Breton Lagaudire
Blend: 20% Merlot, 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.
Tasting: expressive aromas of blackcurrant and ripe red fruit, a full-bodied wine with pronounced but integrated tannins.
Château La Tour de Bessan
Tasting: remarkably fruity aromas with characteristic liquorice notes. The bouquet on the palate is simple and closed for the moment
Château Dutruch Grand Poujeaux
Blend : 43% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Tasting : Subtle bouquet with acidity of red fruits, accentuated by hints of menthol and oak notes.
Blend : Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon.
Tasting: a full-bodied wine with a medium/medium body (+) and a round and buttery texture. The bouquet is predominantly citrus, but very varied (lemon, lemon peel, candied fruit, red orange). At the same time, the wine has a long finish and medium acidity (+), with a slight bitterness, which balances the richness of the wine.
Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot.
Tasting: A well-balanced classic Bordeaux, with a bouquet of tart red fruits, fine woody notes (toasted, smoky), medium body and fine-grained tannins. Excellent structure and persistent finish.
Château de Cérons
Blend : 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon Gris
Tasting : Ripe profile, with juicy stone fruit notes (apricot, peach) and lively but harmonious oak nuances (vanilla). The body is round and enveloping, but a medium acidity (+) and a grapefruit bitterness counterbalance the richness of the bouquet.
Blend: 45% Merlot, 55% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting: subtle profile with a bouquet of red fruits and woody nuances, the body is medium and the tannins are pleasant, not drying
Blend : 48% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot
Tasting: The wine is characterised by a deep colour and a rich, ripe, varied bouquet with fresh red fruit (red and black cherries, strawberries). At the same time, the wine has a firm tannic structure, is quite acidic and slightly dry on the finish.
Blend: 43% Sauvignon Blanc, 56% Semillon, 1% Muscadel.
Tasting: a wine with lively and intense aromas, rich flavours (candied fruits, peach, apricot, wild flowers) and high acidity, which refreshes the finish.
Blend: 28% Merlot, 72% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting: the bouquet shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon notes (blackcurrant, black plum) with harmonious and integrated woody notes (smoke, toast, coffee), a firm tannic structure and a persistent finish. Excellent development potential.
Grand Enclos du Château de Cérons
Blend : 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon.
Tasting: expressive bouquet of ripe stone fruit, citrus and flowers, with a pleasant bitterness and strong acidity.
Blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting: harmonious profile, compared to Château Cérons – more reserved, but more complex and delicate. The tannins are fine, but pronounced.
Château Roquetaillade La Grange
Blend: 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 60% Semillon, 20% Muscadelle.
Tasting: an atypical Blend of 20% Muscadelle (a variety that is rather difficult to cultivate) gives the wine an interesting bouquet with pronounced floral notes (lime blossom, acacia) and an elegant citrus flavour.
Blend: 40% Merlot, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting: A powerful, yet refined wine with fine tannins, a long finish and a pure fruit bouquet. Excellent ageing potential.
Red wines of Graves
It was also possible to taste other vintages of Château Montlabert