When I was first learning wine, I would take notes from various critics on the same wine. I'd find the descriptor or two than ran in each of the notes, and then work to identify that note in the wine I was drinking. Made for some fun AHA moments. And then there were notes that made me scratch my head and wonder if I was drinking an entirely different wine. At least here there is good overlap that there is some sweetness or chocolaty note to the wine. You have 3 of 7 with a chocolate reference. The tobacco/spice/herbs go together a bit for me when looking at these notes. Tobacco has that rich spicy herbal note, and there is enough among the tasting notes to suggest different takes or iterations on that.John Morris wrote: ↑August 16th, 2019, 1:08 pmBack to the topic at hand, here's a great example of why flavor descriptors are pretty useless in reviews. There is virtually no overlap in the flavors the seven critics used to describe this wine. There are a few terms that come up more than once -- "plum," "black currant," "wet earth," "leather," "licorice" -- but only in two of the seven notes. Some describe this wine as red-fruited, some as dark-fruited.
Note, too, the divergent views on where the wine is -- whether it's accessible or needs a lot of time.
2014 Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse
An utterly spellbinding wine, the 2014 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is also one of the unqualified successes of the vintage. Beams of tannin give the 2014 its ample, broad feel. Inky red cherry, blueberry, smoke, leather and tobacco fill out the wine's big frame effortlessly. Layers of intense fruit meld into a huge spine of tannin in a vertical, massively structured Saint-Émilion. So many 2014s are charming and accessible, but this is not one of them. Readers will have to be patient. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Licorice, sweet oak, thyme, flowers, plum and assorted pit fruit [peaches? apricots?] make an entrance. On the palate, the wine has a polish to the tannins, sweetness to the fruit and a stony refinement in the finish. This is a vintage of Beausejour to drink young, while waiting for the 09, 10, 12, 15 and 16 to come around. Very fine for the vintage. - Wine Cellar Insider (Jeff Leve)
This is one of the best examples of this wine that I have tasted, reaching the same heights as some of the biggest names in this vintage, and barely a step down from 2016 - great stuff from these guys this year. It's firm, bright, intense and deep, with salinity, grip and a lovely seam of freshness. It has a really excellent, juicy character and good persistency, with notes of liquorice and dark chocolate. - Decanter
While I wasn’t able to taste the 2015, the 2014 Château Beausejour Duffau-Lagarrosse is fabulous stuff and well worth seeking out. Made from close to 100% Merlot (there’s a splash of Cabernet Franc) and offering classic notes of damp earth, tobacco leaf, blackcurrants, and beautiful minerality, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a terrific core of fruit, and more texture and opulence than most in the vintage. It will keep for 20-25 years. - Jeb Dunnuck
This is full of muscular graphite and tobacco notes, holding sway over a core of slightly exotic mulled fig and warm black currant sauce. A ganache edge lines the finish, but a pure fruit detail echoes longest. This will be exceptional when the elements meld fully. Best from 2022 through 2035. 1,335 cases made. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
So layered with a lovely richness of chocolate, wet earth and spices, not to mention plum character. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Needs five to six years to open, but it’s a structured and beautiful wine already. - James Suckling
Tasted blind. Lively, well-balanced and well-behaved nose. Thick and confident. Lots of length but a bit Oxford marmalade-like. Overall satisfying though. Youthful. - Jancis Robinson
I won't even touch drinking window issues as that, to me, is so profoundly subjective and wine's greatest pseudo-science.
The note that I despise the most here is Jancis Robinson's. Well-behaved nose...thick...well balanced...but then a reference to Oxford Marmalade. First, most US readers probably don't know what that is (me included). So it's a really think orange marmalade made with brown sugar? So is she referring to the texture of the wine or the flavor? If it's thick and sweet, isn't that contradictory with the balance she mentioned? If it smells like orange marmalade, how is that a well-behaved nose? That would be an outlier. I'm lost by her reference.