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The finest Batailley I have had in many years, the dense purple-colored 2009 exhibits a boatload of tannin as well as sweet, caramelized, black currant fruit intermixed with hints of charcoal, cedarwood and smoke, a full-bodied mouthfeel and the aforementioned high, but sweet, well-integrated tannin displaying no jaggedness. Batailley often requires considerable patience as it can be one of the longest-lived Pauillacs. Atypically for Batailley, the 2009 should be ready to drink in 5-7 years and keep for three decades.Robert Parker | 94 RPA rich yet dry Pauillac that’s now very attractive to drink and has a good harmony in spite of the generous alcohol. Long, supple finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)James Suckling | 93 JSThis wine showed exceptionally well, both at the the Bordeaux 10 Years On tasting in London a few weeks ago and in the Decanter Premium tasting in New York. It’s great value for this level of Pauillac. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 93 DECSmooth black currant fruit with great density as well as superripeness. The wine is charming, while still having a powerful structure. Still a relative value in Pauillac, Batailley is now showing real class.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEThe 2009 Batailley seems a little closed on the nose at first and needs more encouragement than its peers, eventually unfurling with cedar and graphite infused black fruit, slightly earthy in style. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, quite linear and poised with a touch of cracked black pepper on the finish. Excellent. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 92 VM(Château Batailly) The 2009 Batailly has really turned out well and is clearly one of the candidates for sleeper of the vintage on the Left Bank. The nose is deep and classy, as it offers up scents of cassis, tobacco leaf, gravelly soil tones, smoke, espresso and a deft framing of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, medium-full and poised, with fine intensity of flavor, ripe tannins, lovely focus and a fine, classic profile on the long and bouncy finish. This is old school Pauillac in the best sense of the word. (Drink between 2017-2040)John Gilman | 90-91 JGA chewy core of black currant, tobacco and roasted apple wood stretches out through the grip-framed finish. Fresh acidity rides underneath to keep it all lively. A solid version, with a throwback hint. Best from 2013 through 2023.Wine Spectator | 91 WS
Wonderful aromas of currants and blackberries with hints of spices. Full body, with fabulous tannins and a long and creamy texture to the finish. I love the depth of fruit to this. Best ever from here. Great value for the vintage. Try in 2017.James Suckling | 95 JSAlthough this wine has tannins, it's the fruit that shines, with its delicious black-currant flavor and acidity. It is more fine and elegant than it is powerful, a pleasant surprise from Saint-Estèphe in this vintage For medium-term aging.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEDeep garnet colored, the 2010 Ormes de Pez slips sensuously from the glass with seductive blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and kirsch scents plus nuances of candied violets, hoisin, dark chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, it has a fantastic line of freshness lifting all the decadent fruit to a long, energy-sparked finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPA more open, ready to drink and less muscled wine than many others in this lineup, but it valiantly holds its own, and offers a great deal of pleasure at this 10 year window. Ready to drink and welcoming with a fruit character that is a juicy frank blackberry rather than the tight, concentrated cassis that you find in many. A good choice for medium term drinking, with the confidence of the vintage. Drinking Window 2020 - 2038Decanter | 91 DECThe 2010 Les Ormes de Pez has a ripe and fruit-driven bouquet with tons of wild strawberry, cranberry and undergrowth notes, well defined if not quite as complex as its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins. Good acidity, nicely proportioned with a touch of spice on the finish, this constitutes one of the more approachable Saint-Estèphe wines, with the substance to suggest that it will drink over the next 10-15 years. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal.Vinous Media | 91 VMDark and winey, with good damson plum, black currant and mulled spice notes pushed by a tangy iron note and flecks of savory and chalk on the finish. The judicious toast lets the pure fruit drive along. Best from 2015 through 2025.Wine Spectator | 91 WS
Attractive, modern style with assorted, ripe summer berries, layered with upbeat, toasty oak. The palate is fresh and gently muscular tannins serve this wine well. Try from 2022.James Suckling | 93 JSThere are two second wines from this estate. The 2016 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is slightly more Cabernet Sauvignon-based and sees 60% new French oak. It’s also deeply colored, offers classic Pauillac aromatics, and possesses a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, backward vibe that’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDThis is fleshy and caressing in feel, letting warm plum sauce and cassis notes roll along, lined with pretty violet and anise accents. There’s a light tug of earth through the gently toasty finish, but this is pretty much all fruit and is ready to go. Drink now through 2030. 7,667 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WSThe 2016 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is quite powerful and dense. Aging, and specifically, the barrel regime of 18 months in oak (60% new) has left the 2016 with a heavy toast/torrefaction quality that at present overpowers the dark fruit and Cabernet aromatics the wine showed from barrel. Frankly, I liked the 2016 more en primeur.Vinous Media | 91 VMThis is closer to the signature of the grand vin than that of the Tourelles de Longueville as it comes from soil with a higher gravel content. It represents 30% of production. Beautiful, rich dark purple in colour from a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot, a more classic interpretation of a Médoc second wine than Les Tourelles. This is gorgeous, with a sense of restraint behind the deep, plump fruit. 18 months in 60% new oak reinforces the silky tannins. I like this very much.Decanter | 91 DEC
Based on 59.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30.8% Merlot, and a whopping 12.3% Petit Verdot (this cuvée accounts for 21% of the total production of the estate), the 2018 Le Pauillac De Château Latour is impressive, and certainly an outstanding wine. Classic crème de cassis, violets, menthol, and complex floral notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant wine. It continues to open up beautifully with time in the glass and I suspect will keep for 15 years or more. The best third wine out there? I’d say unquestionably.Jeb Dunnuck | 91-93+ JDFirm, very silky and driven with blackberry and currant. Medium to full body, chewy texture and a lightly austere finish. Chewy and polished third wine of Latour.James Suckling | 91-92 JSThe 2018 Le Pauillac de Château Latour is a blend of 56.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30.8% Merlot and 12.3% Petit Verdot. It has 14.1% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 76. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bold notes of black cherries, black raspberries and dark chocolate giving way to notions of blackcurrant pastilles, potpourri and cinnamon toast. Medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing with plush tannins and loads of mineral sparks accenting the fruits, it finishes with a skip in its step.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPThe 2018 Pauillac de Latour has an opulent bouquet of intense black cherries and veins of blue fruit, showing moderate definition; perhaps the 2017 has a little more. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. There is a lot of puppy fat on this Pauillac de Latour, and an almost lascivious finish. Fine.Vinous Media | 88-90 VM
Blackberries, cherries, sesame and salted-chocolate notes. Peach stones, too. It’s medium-bodied with silky, creamy tannins. So juicy and pure. 88% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 2% cabernet franc. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Delicious now.James Suckling | 93 JSThe 2019 Les Plantes is the new, young-vines wine from Durfort-Vivens. It offers notable depth to match its creamy, succulent personality. Drink this over the next few years, while the dark red fruit remains vibrant. There’s so much character here.Vinous Media | 91 VMVery bright and bursting through on the nose which shows a soft perfume and red summer fruit aromas. Wow - juicy, bright and energetic. Not massive in structure, but clear summer berry fruit, lift and verve. Measured extraction achieves soft tannins, fruit pulp and bright juice. Lively and easy to drink. From young vines and 2019 is the first vintage.Decanter | 90 DEC
Bernard Magrez’s 2019 Les Grands Chênes is seriously impressive. Deep, layered and complex, the 2019 is full of character. Sweet red cherry, tobacco, mint, new leather, licorice, cedar and iron all take shape in the glass. The long creamy finish. There is a lot of wine here, especially for the money. In a word: fabulous! Antonio Galloni | 93 AGA seductive nose, full of richly scented black fruits with some herbal elements. This has great texture, really coats the mouth but you get the rich blackcurrant with just a hint of sweetness coming through alongside quite a powerful menthol element that gives freshness. The two need a bit more time to integrate and soften but this has really good bright but cooling energy from the acidity so will be excellent in time. (Drink between 2024-2035)Decanter | 92 DECFalling under the Bernard Magrez lineup of wines and from a site in the Médoc, the 2019 Château Les Grands Chênes offers a beautiful, classic bouquet of red and black currants, cedar pencil, dried flowers, and a hint of tobacco. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, it’s beautifully balanced, has ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s certainly in the same league as the 2018.Jeb Dunnuck | 89-91 JDWild raspberries, blackberries, cloves, bark and tea leaves on the nose. Medium-bodied with firm, fine tannins. Earthy and a little austere with a tight finish. Better in 2024.James Suckling | 91 JS
Sweet berries and plums with some rose-petal and stem undertones. Full-bodied with round tannins and delicious fruit, with a light vanilla undertone at the end. Drink after 2023.James Suckling | 91 JSThe 2019 Noaillac retains the superb bouquet from barrel, featuring blackberry and bilberry fruit, ripe and generous, while maintaining fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Classic in style, and a little fleshier than before, with black pepper and cedar on the finish. An excellent Noaillac.Vinous Media | 91 VMThe 2019 Noaillac is showing better than I perceived shortly after bottling. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of minty red berries, cassis, pencil shavings and loamy soil, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and elegant, with an attractive core of fruit, refined tannins and a penetrating finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP
The 2019 Poitevin has a perfumed, floral bouquet with more red fruit than I observed from barrel, showing fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, very cohesive and harmonious. There’s just a touch of graphite on the finish. Stylish, top-notch Poitevin.Vinous Media | 91 VMThe 2019 Poitevin is performing better than it did when I tasted it earlier this year, when I suspect it was still shut down after bottling. Opening in the glass with attractive aromas of orange zest, sweet red berries, petals and spices, it’s medium-bodied, lively and elegant, with lovely purity of fruit and nicely integrated structure.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP
The Grand Vin 2019 Château Rauzan-Ségla is beautiful, and it seems this estate can do no wrong since 2015. A more elegant, ethereal, complex Margaux, it has a perfumed and complex style in its red, blue, and black fruits as well as notes of white flowers, chalky minerality, and exotic spices. Haute couture at its finest and seamless, medium to full-bodied, perfectly balanced, and just stunning any way you look at it, it already offers pleasure today yet will easily have 30 years of prime drinking.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2019 Rauzan-Ségla has turned out brilliantly, unwinding in the glass with fragrant aromas of cassis, blackberries, violets, rose petals and sweet soil tones. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and concentrated, it’s deep and layered, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and a long, perfumed finish. This is a sensual, elegant Rauzan-Ségla from Nicolas Audebert and his team.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPMineral edged nose full of violet floral notes and blackcurrants, such delicacy. Gorgeous mouthfeel, the texture standing out straight away - filling, rich and round, dense and juicy - really delivering a punch of ripe, cherry fruit, covering the cheeks in chewy but crushed velvet like tannins. Creamy notes come through and then the spice, liquorice menthol flavours arrive and dominate giving a cool, fresh, rippling minerality towards the finish. Power and precision. Really a wine of two halves, the first juicy and alive the second half deep, dark and seductive. Excellent character, still restrained not showing everything but offering a glimmer of glamour that will shine through more over time. 100% biodynamic from 2020, should be certified by 2024.Decanter | 96 DECSubtle and complex aromas of sweet berries, rose stems and lavender with some sandalwood. Medium-to full-bodied with beautiful depth of fruit, creamy tannins and lots of chocolate and berry character. Yet, it’s tight at the end, showing beautiful depth and length. So structured. Try after 2027.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2019 Rauzan-Ségla is surly and backward on the nose despite aeration. Gravelly black fruit, sous-bois and touches of seaweed emerge with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, fleshy and smooth, a dash of white pepper and cedar towards the shelled finish. This is one bottle that desperately needs more aeration to show its capabilities - one for long-term cellaring. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.Vinous Media | 93+ VMOffers a very elegant core of red and black currant and damson plum fruit that glides through with silky structure for support, while light mulling spice and incense notes infuse the finish. A rather understated style, but sneaky long and very refined. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2034.Wine Spectator | 93 WS
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