This week was Bordeaux 2014 week. I wanted to get a better idea of how they are coming along, after trying the 2015s.
Château Citran - Haut-Médoc
Dark fruit on the nose, with a hint of red cherry, plus leather and hay. In the mouth, the usual silky elegance that Citran specialises in, some decent red charry flavours but a little muted midpalate, with a hefty green streak on the finish. Not the best Citran I’ve ever tried. Anyway, at 9 euros I’m not complaining. 87 pts
Chateau Cruzeau - Pessac-Léognan
From the A.Lurton stable, like la Louvière. Quite a deep nose of blackberry and blackcurrant, with cigar box and hints of blueberry. Much the same impressions on the palate, quite rich but very civilized, the usual Cruzeau chunkiness tempered by a fair amount of classical elegance. Hints of green on the finish but altogether more convincing than the Citran. Very good value at 8 euros. 90 pts
Domaine de Galouchey Le Vin de Jardin - VDF
Like the 2012, this has an enticing bouquet of redcurrant and cranberry, with a little blackberry and leather, then a decent attack of blackcurrant and blackberry, but unlike the 2012, it then rather peters out, with somewhat muted waves of redcurrant and wild strawberry, and a slightly green finish. Quite attractive, but nothing special. It cost me 18 euros at auction, which was already a lot, and at the normal price of 25€, not very good value. 85 pts
Château Hanteillan - Haut-Médoc
Rather disappointing. Hanteillan was one of the CBs I cut my teeth on when I started buying Bordeaux and I’ve always been a fan since.
The nose wasn’t great - good notes of blackcurrant and dark cherry, but something green in the background. The attack followed suit with much the same sensations - the fruit simply isn’t ripe enough, leaving a rather clumsy, coarse aftertaste. Just about drinkable but no more. This is the third bottle so I’m concerned for the remaining four - the comparison with a Clos Du Jaugueyron Haut Médoc 2014 just underlined how poor the Hanteillan was.
Clos du Jaugueyron - Haut Médoc
The previous bottle I opened had been a bit green, but this was back to the normal level. Quite an intense bouquet of raspberry and wild strawberry, with even a few spring flowers in the background, then a bright, incisive attack of fresh, crisp raspberry, broadening out into blackcurrant flavours before the wild strawberry hits the long, elegant finish. Tremendous stuff, this is CC level so at 17 euros, great value. 91 pts
Réserve de la Comtesse - Pauillac
Very attractive aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant and pencil shavings, then an arresting attack of red fruits, mainly cherry and redcurrant, before creamy blackcurrant takes over, filling the palate gloriously before gliding effortlessly to the long, elegant finish. A little green pokes its head up from time to time, but otherwise very enjoyable and at 36 euros, I would definitely go back for more. I’ve had bottles of PLL in the past that I enjoyed a lot less. 92 pts
Before visiting Pichon Comtesse this summer, I had only tried La Réserve a couple of times and had not been impressed, but like the 2019 I tried, this would seriously challenge some Pauillac CCs at around the same price.
Obviously this is only a snapshot of Bordeaux 2014 and I’m not drawing any conclusions (not that my opinion is important anyway), but it doesn’t seem to be a good Cru Bourgeois vintage. I was expecting crisp fruit, but not as much green. There’s a clumsy coarseness that reminds me of 1994s and some 2004s. I’ve no doubt that the CCs will be more convincing but I won’t be buying any more of the lesser lights, apart from La Réserve and Clos du Jaugueyron.