2014 BORDEAUX Notes and Scores

20 MILLE, Bordeaux, 2014
100% Merlot from Jean Philippe Janouiex’ (famed for Croix St. Georges in Pomerol and La Confession in St. Emilion) unique vineyard just to the west of the Dordogne river planted to 20,000 vines per hectare. (10,000 vines per hectare is considered “high density.” This is double.)   Purple red with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Rich and rounded but also more focused than expected. Lots of sweet red and darker red fruit. Lovely. BearScore: 90-92.

AILE d’ARGENT, Bordeaux Blanc, 2014
A blend 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon from the team at Ch. Mouton Rothschild.   Green straw with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Fine expression of Bordeaux Sauvignon with the citrus and and tropical notes accented by the lanolin richness and pear of the Semilllon, all swirled with a liquid minerality and integrated oak. Yum. BearScore: 94-96.

AMIRAL de BEYCHEVELLE (2nd vin de Ch. Beychevelle), St. Julien, 2014  (Will arrive in 2017.)
A blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot aged in all French Oak barrels (25% new).   Purple in in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus-chewy phenolics. Chewy, grapey, rough, young, rustic. Alive. Lots of red and darker red fruit accented with tobacco leaf and a bit of cedar. Grapey in the mouth with notes of stones, gravel, and sand. BearScore: 89-92.

BLANC de LYNCH BAGES, Bordeaux, 2014   (Bottle: $37.71, BtlByCase: $34.57)
From the team at Lynch Bages comes this blend of 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 28% Sauvignon Blanc, and 20% Muscadelle de Bordelaise fermented and aged in barrels with temperature control.   Pale-straw with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity, and scant phenolics. Fresh and vivid with lots of honeysuckle and floral to go with almost sweet citrus and some tree fruit. Alive. Vibrant. BearScore: 92-93.

CARILLON de l’ANGELUS (2nd vin de Ch. Angelus), St. Emilion, 2014
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Fresh and lively with dark and darker red fruit and lots of spice to go with a bit of red floral and earth. BearScore: 89-92.

CARRUADES de LAFITE (2nd vin de Ch. Lafite), Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $124.52, BtlByCase: $114.15)
A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot aged 20% in tank and 80% in oak barrels (10% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Spicy, fresh, lively, classic. Easiest to taste since 2009. Red fruit with tobacco and spice, gravel, dust, integrated oak, a bit of cedar. Delicious. BearScore: 91-94.

Ch. AMPELIA, Cotes de Bordeaux – Castillon, 2014   (Bottle: $10.52, BtlByCase: $9.65)
From François Despagne of Ch. Grand Corbin Despagne fame comes this high value blend of 80% Merlot and 20% older vine Cabernet Franc fermented in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, fresh, even pretty red and darker red fruit, red floral, black pepper, spice, and subtle earth. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. ANGELUS, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $243.36, BtlByCase: $223.08)
A blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc and in all new French oak barrels.   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Big, juicy, dark, succulent supple Bordeaux. Spicy and fresh with supple dark and darker red fruit. BearScore: 94-96.

Ch. BATAILLEY, Pauillac, 2014   (Will arrive in 2017)
A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc.   Red-purple with well formed legs; medium-plus-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics.   Super, classic Paulliac. Lovely pure ripe juicy with red and darker red and a bit of black fruit accented with gravel dust and tobacco leaf and more. Delicious. BearScore: 92-93.

Ch. BEAU-SITE, St. Estephe, 2014 (Will arrive in 2017)
From the team behind Batailley and Lynch Moussas (Borie Manoux) comes this blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 4% Petite Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc from a gravel vineyard overlooking Ch. Calon Segur.   Sensory: Red-rurple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium chewy phenolics. Lovely, pure, classic. Dark and darker red fruit with spice and a bit of green bell pepper Cabernet to go with tobacco leaf. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. BEAUMONT, Haut Medoc, 2014   (Bottle: $12.06, BtlByCase: $11.05)
Planted to 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot grown just south of St. Julien. Aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, softer style offering red and darker red fruit with a bit of tobacco leaf and some dusty gravel. BearScore: 88-90.

Ch. BEAUREGARD, Pomerol, 2014
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with softly balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Juicy rich and ripe with supple red fruit and Pomerol mineral earth. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. BEAUSEJOUR DAUFFAU, St. Emilion, 2014
Now managed by the justly famed Nicolas Thienpont of Chx. Pavie Macquin and Larcis Ducasse, thi si a blend 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium-chewy phenolics. Supple and richer. he terroir is there but the fruit is still coming into focus. Full range red fruit with spice and earth. It is at least excellent and potentially oustanding. BearScore: 91-96.

Ch. BELLEVUE, St. Emilion, 2014
100% old vine Merlot.   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Supple, rich, and ripe with red and darker red fruit. Lovely pure lively feel. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. BERLIQUET, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $29.64, BtlByCase: $27.17)
Managed by Nicolas Thienpont, this is a blend of 75% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple and elegant with mixed red fruit, perfume, earth, and oak. Its all there and the interplay is pretty with a welcome tension in the mouth. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. BEYCHEVELLE, St. Julien, 2014   .   (Bottle: $59.34, BtlByCase: $54.40)
A blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petite Verdot. fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium chewy phenolics. Much more elegant style with softer red and darker red fruit. The spice and dusty gravel are there along with some sweet oak. Classic Beychevelle. BearScore: 92-94

Ch. BOURGNEUF, Pomerol, 2014
85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc fermented in concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak Barrels (33% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Richer and softer with dark and darker red fruit with more earth and a bit of undergrowth. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. BOUSCAUT, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and (quite unusual for the area) 5% Malbec fermented in concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Spicy, peppery, tobacco-scented red with darker red fruit and lots of mineral earth. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. BOYD CANTENAC, Margaux, 2014
From a vineyard planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%ÊMerlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, fermented in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (about 50% new). Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Dusty ripe fresh supple sweet red and darker red fruit with spice and earth and a bit of tobacco to go with dark floral and sweet oak. nicely perfumed. BearScore: 90-92+.

Ch. BRANAIRE DUCRU, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $40.96, BtlByCase: $37.55)
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (65% new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity;medium-plus phenolics. Elegant and even exuberant. Dark and darker red fruit with spice and tobacco along with gravel and dust with sweet oak. Supple but in focus. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. BRANE CANTENAC, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $43.76, BtlByCase: $40.11)
A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc.   Deep purple-red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phnolics. Supple and perfumed with richer red and darker red fruit and spice to go with tobacco and earthier gravel terroir and subtle oak. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. BRISSON, Cotes de Castillon, 2014
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Richer riper denser deeper dark and darker red fruit with some richness and lots of dusty mineral earth. BearScore: 88-90+.

Ch. CALON SEGUR, St. Estephe, 2014   (Bottle: $57.74, BtlByCase: $52.93)
A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-overs. The blend includes 14% press wine. Aged in all new French oak barrels.   Deep-dense-purple with well formed legs. Stains the glass. Dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium plus phenolics. Dark and rich in the glass but elegant and alive in the mouth. Pure, focused, lovely. Darker and darkest red fruit with black fruit and a swirl of mineral gravel. Stunningly good. Delicious. BearScore: 95-97.

Ch. CAMBON la PELOUSE, Haut Medoc, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Very tasty, very cabby. Lots of red fruit with tobacco leaf and a hint of herbs. Dusty, ripe, flavorful.. BearScore: 90-91+.

Ch. CANON la GAFFELIERE, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $56.81, BtlByCase: $52.08)
Stephan Neipperg’s blend of 55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in wooden tanks with both punchdowns and pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (70% new).   Deep-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium plus phenolics. Big and juicy-chewy but just now a bit muted. It all seems to be there but the scale is big and the wine is still a bit disjointed. Dark and darker red fruit. Earth and darker richer roasted spice. BearScore: 92-94+.

Ch. CANON, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $53.08, BtlByCase: $48.66)
From the same team as Rauzan Segla (Chanel) comes this blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainless steel using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (70% new).   Purple red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple earthy red fruit with darker spice and present oak. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. CANTEMERLE, Haut Medoc, 2014   (Bottle: $25.11, BtlByCase: $23.02)
A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (40% new).   Red-purple in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, lively. Dusty, hints at pencil shavings and spice to go with tobacco and fine red and darker red fruit. Classic left bank red. BearScore: 91-92. (This is one to watch)

Ch. CANTENAC BROWN, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $36.17, BtlByCase: $33.15)
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels ( 60% new).   Deep purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Lovely richness and sweetness of red and darker red fruit with spice and gravelly dust and oak. The perfume is tobacco leaf and dark floral. Delicious. Balanced with a playful elegance. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. CAP St. GEORGE, St. Georges St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $18.18, BtlByCase: $16.67)
From Jean Philippe Janoueix of Ch. La Confession and Ch. La Croix St. Geroges. Purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Big juicy ripe richer spicier darker riper red fruit. Lovely texture and richer flavor. Could be the new flagship of this tiny appellation. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. CAPBERN, St. Estephe, 2014
From the team at Calon Segur comes this 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot blend. Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple juicy but in balance and even elegant wine with lots of freshness and a fine feel. Red and some darker red fruit with spice and oak. Hints at tobacco leaf. Yum..BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. CARBONNIEUX BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014   (Bottle: $28.17, BtlByCase: $25.83)
A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon. 90% of the wine was barrel-fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (25% new) using batonage. The other 10% was fermented in stainless steel tanks. All of the wine underwent a full malolactic fermentation.   Gold-straw in color, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Pure, beautiful ,perfumed, lovely sweet ripe citrus with tropical and some stone fruit. Swirl of minerals and a bit of spice (from the barrels). BearScore: 92-93.

Ch. CARBONNIEUX, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels 40% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. After a lot swirling and bubbling, the fruit began to emerge. The graves terroir and the oak are still primary but there is an emerging sweetness of red and darker red fruit. The fruit is clearly present and the wine is rounding into balance. BearScore: 90-93.   (Bottle: $28.17, BtlByCase: $25.83)

Ch. CARMES HAUT BRION, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $44.96, BtlByCase: $41.21)
A unique blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from this resurgent properety surronded by Urban sprawl.   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Dusty, gravelly-mineral herbal (tobacco and tea leaves) wine with lots of darker mixed red cherry-berry fruit. Rich but almost ethereal with a certain weightlessness in the mouth. The Cabernet Franc really shows. Lots of flavor and character but above all elegant. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. CERTAN de MAY, Pomerol, 2014
Medium-red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Balanced elegant, supple, lots of red and somewhat darker red fruit with black pepper, dark spice, and a bit of earth. BearScore: 90-92.

Ch. CHARMES GODARD, Cotes de Francs Blanc, 2014   (Will arrive in 2016)
An out there blend of 50% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Gris, 15% Sauvignon Blanc barrel-fermented with full malolactic fermentation in all 500 liter (demi-muids) French oak barrels (15% new).   Green straw with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Deep, supple, succculent, juicy white and yellow fruit with spice and richness. Pear and lots of citrus, butter, lime, and mineral clay. YUM. Gives a lot of fancy Pessac-Leognan appellated whites a run for their money. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. CHEVAL BLANC, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $483.12, BtlByCase: $442.86)
A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs (in unique concrete tanks resembling elegant italian vases) and aged in all new French oak barrels.   Medium-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, ripe, juicy, dusty, spicy red offering full range of red fruit with notes of floral, spice, and mineral earth. Finishes sweet and long with a lovely perfume. Delicious. Almost ethereal. BearScore: 95-97+.

Ch. CLERC MILON, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $46.56, BtlByCase: $42.68)
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc with 1% Petite Verdot and 1% Carmenere.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium phenolics. More closed and tight but the mineral-gravel terroir is there as is the red and darker red fruit. Lots of length. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. CLINET, Pomerol, 2014   (Bottle: $60.41, BtlByCase: $55.37)
90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs and aged in (60% new).   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and chewy phenolics. Big and chewy but currently lacking in finesse. Does sweeten up with red and darker fruit but right now this is less elegant than expected. BearScore: 89-92?

Ch. CLOS FOURTET, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $69.07, BtlByCase: $63.31)
89% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Cabernet Franc.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple fresh and juicy with lots of ripe red and darker red fruit accented with dusty mineral terroir and supple oak. Frankly delicious. BearScore: 92-93+.

Ch. CLOS MARSALETTE, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014   (Bottle: $18.32, BtlByCase: $16.79)
70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (30% new).   Straw with good legs; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity. Fresh, lively, supple, fresh and alive. Mostly citrus fruit with hints of tropical and tree fruit accented by a clean mineral component and subtle oak notes. Quite refreshing. Seems ready. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. CLOS MARSALETTE, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $18.72, BtlByCase: $17.16)
60% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc aged ina ll French oak barrels (40% new).   Purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, balanced, fresh, juicy red and darker red fruit with notes of tobacco, gravel, and oak. Already tasty. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. COS d’ESTOURNEL, St. Estephe, 2014   (Bottle: $114.35, BtlByCase: $104.82)
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc fermented in conical stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (80% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Showing lots of mineral and gravel along with red and darker red fruit accented with spice and tobacco and oak. BearScore: 93-95.

Ch. COUTET, Barsac, 2014   (Bottle: $33.77, BtlByCase: $30.95)
A blend of 75% Semillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, and 2% Muscadelle fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (70% new) finishing with over 16% residual sugar.   Gold-straw in color, bright and clear with well-formed legs; very sweet, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity. Richer and more rounded with a sort of candied fruit sweetness to go with spicy oak and gobs of ripe citrus and tropical fruit along with peach and honeysuckle. Rich, pure, and delicious but somehow (despite its richness and sweetness) still quite refreshing and even clean in the mouth. BearScore: 92-94.   (Bottle: $33.77, BtlByCase: $30.95)

Ch. CROIX de LABRIE, St. Emilion, 2014
Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with softly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Big sweet darker red and black fruit. Less extracted than in the past. Lots of character. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. CROIX MOUTON, Bordeaux, 2014   (Bottle: $9.86, BtlByCase: $9.04)
From Jean Philippe Janoueix of Ch. La Confession and Ch. LA Crois St. Georges comes this blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged 20% in barrel (no new oak), 50% in tank with inner-staves, and 30% in neutral tanks.     Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Delicious sweet, juicy red with lots of red and darker red fruit with spice and floral. YUM!. Maybe my favorite Croix Mouton yet. BearScore: 90-91.   (Bottle: $9.86, BtlByCase: $9.04)

Ch. d’AIGUILHE, Cotes de Castillon, 2014   (Bottle: $18.32, BtlByCase: $16.79)
From Stephan von Niepperg, this is the flagship wine of the whole of the Castillon appellation. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Dusty, juicy, ripe, fresh, balanced. Fresh red fruit with some darker red to go with some mineral earth. The fruit is the thing. Yum! BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. d’ARMAILHAC, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $33.77, BtlByCase: $30.95)
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Verdot.     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Dusty-gravel-mineral with red and darker red fruit along with spice and tobacco and a hint of pencil shavings. Tasty. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. d’ISSAN, Margaux, 2014
Deep purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics.   Sweet and balanced with spice and freshness. Dark red fruit with tobacco and spice and floral. Quite tasty. BearScore: 90-92+.

Ch. d’YQUEM, Sauternes, 2014   (Will not be offered until 2016.)
Maybe the wine of the vintage. A blend of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc fermented and aged in all new French oak barrels.   medium-straw with green highlights and well-formed legs; sweet, medium-full-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Elegant, supple, vivid, exuberant. Apricot and orange, honey and floral, candied citrus and mineral, lemon drop, spice. A mineral swirl and ELEGANCE. Stunningly good wine that goes on and on and on … WOW. BearScore: 99-100.

Ch. de FIEUZAL BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon.     Straw with green highlights, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Exotic and fresh with perfume of citrus and tropical fruit. Classic mineral swirl. Delicious. BearScore: 91-93+.

Ch. de FIEUZAL, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Supple fresh red fruit with lots of gravel mineral and fine sweet floral perfume. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. DOISY VEDRINES, Barsac, 2014   (Bottle: $31.1, BtlByCase: $28.51)
A blend of 85% Semillon with the rest mixed between Sauvignon and Muscadelle.   Medium straw gold in color, bright and clear with well formed legs; Sweet, medium-plus-bodied with fresh acidity. Supple, fresh, alive. Vivid fresh lemon and tropical fruit with lemon drops and candied fruit. Delicious. elegant. Compelling.. BearScore: 93-94.

Ch. du DOMAINE de l’EGLISE, Pomerol, 2014
A 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (40% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple juicy, more serious but still lively and even pretty Pomerol offering mostly red and darker red fruit with some spice and earth. Yum. BearScore: 92-94.   (Bottle: $27.77, BtlByCase: $25.46)

Ch. DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $107.19, BtlByCase: $98.26)
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (all new).     Deep-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Grand vin indeed. Darker red and a bit of black fruit with dusty stony gravel and classic Cabernet tobacco and spice. Complex, complete, and delicious. Lovely integration. BearScore: 93-97.

Ch. DUHART MILON, Pauillac, 2014
55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot aged in French Oak barrels (50% new).     Purple-red with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Dusty, juicy ripe. More richness than expected with a fine rich feel in the mouth. Dark and darker red fruit with subtle spice, tobacco, and earth. Quite well integrated already. BearScore: 92-94.   (Bottle: $57.74, BtlByCase: $52.93)

Ch. FERRIERE, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $28.97, BtlByCase: $26.56)
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Fresh and lively with supple red and darker red fruit. Elegant style and good flavor. Classic Margaux but not yet really integrated. BearScore: 90-91+.

Ch. FIGEAC, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $81.72, BtlByCase: $74.91)
A unique for St. Emilion blend of 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc grown an a gravelly terroir next to Ch. Cheval Blanc fermented in wooden vats using pump-overs and finished in the tanks with submerged caps and aged in all new French oak barrels.     Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Elegant, ripe but not overly rich with lots of dark and darker red (and only red) fruit accented with gravel-mineral terroir, sweet oak, dark spice, and more. Complex and compelling but not at all heavy. Commands interest. BearScore: 93-95+.

Ch. FILHOT, Sauternes, 2014
Gold-straw, bright and clear with well formed legs; sweet, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Delicious, citrus and tropical fruit with honey and honeysuckle. BearScore: 90-92+.

Ch. FOURCAS BORIE, Listrac, 2014
From Bruno Borie and his team at Ch. Ducru Beaucaillou comes this off-the-beaten-path (Listrac) blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a surprising 15% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).     Deep-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Delicious, pure, elegant, not at all rustic (as Listrac often is) with fresh Merlot fruit and enough Cabernet-oak-terroir complexity to make it really interesting. Quite tasty. BearScore: 90-91+.

Ch. GISCOURS, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $38.56, BtlByCase: $35.35)
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot fermented using pump-overs in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Fine richness with earth and oak accenting the darker and darkest red fruit. Notes at coffee, tobacco, and warm spice round out the perfume. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. GLORIA, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $29.77, BtlByCase: $27.29)
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-overs in stainless steel tanks and aged in French oak barrels (45% new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with Freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Riper, richer, style with lots of softer red dark and darker fruits with a bit of tobacco and spice to go with richer warmer earth. Modern, easy to appreciate style. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. GOULEE, Medoc, 2014
From the Cos d’Estournel team comes this 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc northern Medoc blend aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Juicy, rich, a bit extracted with lots of darker red and black fruit. BearScore: 89-90+.

Ch. GRAND CORBIN DESPAGNE, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $22.98, BtlByCase: $21.06)
The flagship wine of St. Emilion’s northeastern “Corbin” district, François Despagne offers this blend of 75% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon (grown on Pomerol-like terroir) fermented in concrete tanks using pumpovers and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple and with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Richer, riper, slightly more rustic style St. Emilion but still with a certain elegance. Evolving to show red and darker red fruit with notes of earth and oak and refreshing spice. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. GRAND PUY LACOSTE, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $53.08, BtlByCase: $48.66)
François Xavier BorieÕs blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (75% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Maybe bigger than expected but not less elegant. Fine balance, focus, and feel. Red, dark, and darker fruit with gravel-dust-mineral, spice, tobacco leaf, a hint of dark red floral, and oak. Complete. Delicious classic Pauillac. A best buy of the vintage. BearScore: 93-96+.

Ch. GRAND VILLAGES, Bordeaux, 2014
From the owners of Ch. Lafleur, this is an 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc from Mouillac (near Fronsac).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet ripe and juicy with a purity of red fruit and warm spice to go with an indeterminate mineral note. BearScore: 89-90+.

Ch. GUIRAUD, Sauternes, 2014   (Still working on this one.)
A blend of 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new). Gold-straw with green highlights, bright and clear with well-formed legs; sweet, medium-bodied with fresh acidity . Fresh and alive with lovely ripe citrus and melon, tropical fruit, apricot. Candied lemon and lemon drop fruit with a hint (only) of honey and a swirl of mineral. Delicious. BearScore: 92-93+.

Ch. HAUT BAGES LIBERAL, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $32.04, BtlByCase: $29.37)
75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot fermented using pump-overs in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (40% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple and juicy. Lots of fresh red and some black fruit. Dusty gravel. As good HBL gets. BearScore: 91-93+.   (Bottle: $32.04, BtlByCase: $29.37)

Ch. HAUT BAGES MONPELOU, Pauillac, 2014
From the same team as Ch. Batailley and Ch. Lynch Moussas comes this 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc Pauillac blend.   Red purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Classic basic Pauillac offering red and darker red fruit with gravel-mineral and tobacco leaf. BearScore: 90-92.

Ch. HAUT BAILLY, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot fermented in Stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Elegant and balanced heading toward ethereal. Maybe still a bit closed but with some patience shows red, dark, and darker fruit with gravel-earth, spice, and hints of tobacco and pencil shavings. Integrated and complete. BearScore: 91-93.   (Bottle: $59.34, BtlByCase: $54.4)

Ch. HAUT BATAILLEY, Pauillac, 2014 (Bottle: $32.17, BtlByCase: $29.49)
A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot fermented in Stainless steel using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Lovely, fresh and alive with pure focused dark and darker red fruit accented with gravel, dust, and integrated supple oak. Complete. Elegant in the mouth but with a quiet thrill. Delicious. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. HAUT BRION BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014
A blend of 32% Sauvignon Blanc and 68% Semillon.   Straw with green highlights, bright and clear with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Richer and riper with more of everything. An absolute swirl of mineral and terroir mixed with pure ripe citrus and tropical fruit with hints of pear and peach. Delicious. Stunningly good. BearScore: 96-99. (I didn’t buy this for Spec’s as we have virtually no white wine customers at this price level but the wine is all that and more.)

Ch. HAUT BRION, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $323.28, BtlByCase: $296.34)
The first of the First Growths, this blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc was fermented using pump-overs in stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (80% new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. More subtle and elegant. Layered. Dust and spice. Dark and darker full range red fruit with tobacco and dark floral, pencil shavings, oak, and gravel-mineral terroir. What starts as a bit of bell pepper resolves to darkest red and even a bit of black fruit. Commands your interest. Everything you want it to be. BearScore: 96-99.

Ch. HAUT MADRAC, Haut Medoc, 2014
From the team of Chx. Batailley and Lynch Moussas comes this 55% Cabernet Sauvignon – 45% Merlot. (an Haut Medoc from within the village of Pauillac between Batailley and Lynch Moussas).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, dusty, gravelly, Cabby tasting with red fruit and tobacco leaf. Classic. BearScore: 89-90+.

Ch. HAUT VIGNEAU, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Will arrive in late 2016 or early 2017)
From Eric Perrin of Ch. Carbonnieux comes this 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot (from a vineyard adjacent to Carbonnieux)blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-over and aged 50% in tank and 50% in oak barrels (half new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Classic mineral and fruit wine with dark and darkest red fruit, dusty gravel earth, spice, and a hint of tobacco. BearScore: 90-91+.

Ch. HOSANNA, Pomerol, 2014
Medium-red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple and alive with dark red fruit and spice to go with oak, earth, and a hint of herbs. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. l’ETOILE de SALLES, Lalande de Pomerol, 2014
From Guillaume Thienpont (son of Vieux Ch. Certan’s Alexandre Thienpont) comes this 80% Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in used VCC barrels.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, subtle, balanced, elegant but holds the interest. Offers red fruits and floral with a bit of spice. Has some exotic notes. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. l’EVANGILE, Pomerol, 2014 (Bottle: $116.82, BtlByCase: $107.09)
82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs in concrete tanks and aged in all new French oak barrels (90% from Ch. LafiteÕs cooperage).     Purple-red with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Serious richness and weight yet it retains its necessary elegance and finesse. Darker and darkest red fruit with dark Asian spice and dusty-mineral terroir. Delicious. BearScore: 93-95.   (Bottle: $116.82, BtlByCase: $107.09)

Ch. l’IF, St. Emilion, 2014 (On offer soon)
From Ch. Le Pin’s Jacques Thienpont and his cousin Cyrille Thienpont (son of Nicolas Thienpont) comes this blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc (grown an the estate adjacent to Ch. Troplong-Mondot) blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, dusty, dark and darker red fruit with dark warm spice and a hint of herbal to go with oak and dark red floral. BearScore: 92-94+.

Ch. la CONFESSION, St. Emilion, 2014 (Bottle: $25.64, BtlByCase: $23.51)
A blend of 69% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc fermented in a mix of concrete and wooden tanks using pigeage and pumpovers and aged in a mix of all French oak barriques and “cigars” (60% new).   Sensory: Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Fine rich juicy ripe red and darker red fruit St. Emilion with freshness and focus. Accents of oak and earth and a bit of forest floor. ItÕs all there and it is coming together nicely. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. la CONSEILLANTE, Pomerol, 2014
78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc fermented in Stainless steel tanks using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (75% new).   Medium-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, riper, richer, darker red fruit with spice and more earth. Lots of depth and a bit of rusticity. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. la CROIX du CASSE, Pomerol, 2014
Red-Purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Toasty, juicy ripe red and darker red fruit and new oak. A little obvious and easy maybe but pure pleasure in the mouth. A friendly puppy of a Pomerol. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. la CROIX St. GEORGES, Pomerol, 2014 (Bottle: $39.9, BtlByCase: $36.57)
95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc (the Cab Franc is 12,000 vines per hectare) from a vineyard that touches Le PIn and part of Vieux Ch. Certan aged in all French oak (40% new wood), 50% in cigar barrels and 50% in traditional barriques.   Red-purple well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Red and darker red fruit with earth, oak, and spice. Sounds like less than it is but it is in fact really tasty with a fine feel in the mouth. BearScore: 92-93+.

Ch. La DAUPHINE, Fronsac, 2014
The first time I have visited this very impressive property. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Rich and ripe with sweeter, darker red and some black fruit with some rusticity and a bit of funk. Good but not what I am looking for in Bordeaux. BearScore: 88-90.

Ch. La GRAVES a POMEROL, Pomerol, 2014
Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple and fresh with red and darker red fruit along with a welcome herbal note, some darker but still mineral earth and a bit of oak. Very nice flavor development. BearScore: 91-93+.

Ch. LA MISSION HAUT BRION BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014
28% Sauvignon Blanc and 72% Semillon.   Straw in color, bright and clear with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Lots of focus and lots of mineral lots of mixed tropical, ripe citrus, stone (peaches) and tree (pear) fruit. Fresh and alive. BearScore: 94-96. (I didn’t buy this because of the price but the wine is an undeniable WOW.)

Ch. la MISSION HAUT BRION, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $196.74, BtlByCase: $180.35)
A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (80% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. A real “Wow” wine. An elegant, complex mouthful of dark and darker red fruit with a swirl of dusty-gravel-mineral, supple oak, and notes of tobacco and warm herbs, spice, and a hint of pencil shavings. Delicious.. BearScore: 95-97+.

Ch. la POINTE, Pomerol, 2014   (Bottle: $28.97, BtlByCase: $26.56)
A blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc grown right where Libourne stops and Pomerol begins. The vineyard has lots of sand to go with some clay. Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet and fresh and rich with red fruit and a bit of spice. Bight and pure with great freshness. Maybe the fruit is from the clay and the fresh elegance from the sand. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. la PRADE, Cotes de Francs, 2014
From the Thienpont family. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Richer and bigger but not as fresh or elegant as its sibling Puygueraud. Dark red fruit and a bit of spice with more earthiness. BearScore: 88-90.

Ch. LABEGORCE, Margaux, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics.     Sweet red and darker red fruit with a bit of gravel and hints of tobacco leaf and herbs. Subtle red floral perfume. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. LACOSTE BORIE (2nd of Grand Puy Lacoste), Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $21.11, BtlByCase: $19.35)
A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainless steel using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Soft but dusty dark and darker red fruit with supple oak and spice. Fine purity and focus. Very well integrated; of-a-piece. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. LAFITE ROTHSCHILD, Pauillac, 2014 (Bottle: $420.3, BtlByCase: $385.27)
A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 % Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs in a mix of oak and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (100% new), all made at LafiteÕs cooperage.   Red-purple with well formed legs; medium-plus-bodied with freshly-balanced-acidity. Lovely fresh, lively flavorful Lafite. Classic juicy ripe red and darker red fruit. Lots of tobacco and gravel-minera-dust terroir. As is often the case with Lafite, the wine leans toward an ethereal weightlessness. Delicious. BearScore: 95-98.  

Ch. LAFLEUR GAZIN, Pomerol, 2014
Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweeter riper and richer red and darker red fruit with spice and a lingering liquid minerality. BearScore: 90-92.

Ch. LAFLEUR PETRUS, Pomerol, 2014
Medium-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Frsher and sweeter red and darker red fruit with spice and oak over mineral-clay earth. Delicious. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. LAFLEUR, Pomerol, 2014
A blend of 44% Merlot and 56% Cabernet Franc.   Red-purple well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Offers sweet supple red fruit but with both power and elegance. There are notes of mineral-clay, oak, and a bit of dried leaf. Lovely flavor and feel. Complex and complete. BearScore: 94-96.

Ch. LAFON ROCHET, St. Estephe, 2014
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petite Verdot aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Good clean St. Estephe but more restrained. Still plenty of red fruit with distinct Cabernet and gravel notes. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. LANESSAN, Haut Medoc, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Dusty gravel terroir notes with red and darker red fruit and notes of tobacco. BearScore: 89-90.

Ch. LANGOA BARTON, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $40.43, BtlByCase: $37.06)
54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 12% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple richness but mineral-gravel terroir keeps it focused. Lots of dark and darker red fruit. Notes of earth, tobacco leaf, black pepper, and more. BearScore: 90-92.

Ch. LAPLAGNOTTE BELLEVUE, St. Emilion, 2014 (Will arrive in 2016)
A blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc (which includes a few Cabernet Sauvignon vines) fermented in concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Lovely fresh delicious dark and darker red fruit with purity and elegance. Earth and spice. Easy to like. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. LARCIS DUCASSE, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $49.09, BtlByCase: $45)
Nicolas ThienpontÕs perfumed blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak 500 liter barrels (60% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Supple, rich, and ripe but still elegant and with a nice perfume. Complex mixed red fruit. Layered flavors with subtle earth and a welcome warmth. BearScore: 92-94+.

Ch. LASCOMBES, Margaux, 2014
Deep purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Pretty but starts a bit dilute before it gains in intensity. Pretty is the operative word with lighter but sweet red fruit and a perfume of earth, tobacco and spice. Very Margaux. BearScore: 90-02.

Ch. LATOUR a POMEROL, Pomerol, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, dark and darker red fruit. The fruit is dominant but there is accompanying mineral, earth, and oak, spice and a welcome hint of herbs. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. LATOUR, Pauillac, 2014
A precise blend of 89.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.2% Merlot, 0.6% Cabernet Franc and 0.3% Petit Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in all new French oak barrels.     Red-purple with well-formed legs; Dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenols. Supple lively, more elegant, more harmonious. Lovely red and darker red fruit. Chewy but not painful. Everything fits. Ample tobacco leaf and gravel terroir to go with all that fruit. Delicious. BearScore: 95-99. (Will not be sold as a future – look for it in ten or more years.)  

Ch. le CONSEILLER, Bordeaux, 2014   (Bottle: $11.06, BtlByCase: $10.14)
100% Merlot grown in clay soils, fermented in stainlesssteel tanks and aged 50% in barrels (no new oak) and 25% in tanks with inner-staves and 25% in inert tanks.   Purple-red with well formed-legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. More supple and sweet than expected. Juicy, ripe, fresh. Red fruit and spice with floral and a bit of earthiness. Very nice. BearScore: 90-91+.

Ch. Le CROCK, St. Estephe, 2014   (Bottle: $18.45, BtlByCase: $16.91)
A 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Petite Verdot blend aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple and lively with lots of fresh red and darker red fruit. Tobacco, mineral, gravel. No green-ness. Supple feel. Lovely. BearScore: 90-92.

Ch. Le PAPE, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
From the team at Ch. Haut Bailly comes this 25% Cabernet Sauvignon – 75% Merlot blend fermented in stainless steel using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple pure, red and dark red fruit with tobacco and spice. Gravel and dust with oak but the fruit is the thing. BearScore: 90-92. (I’m still working on getting this one.)

Ch. le PIN, Pomerol, 2014 (Will offer soon.)
A 100% Merlot wine fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all new French oak barrels.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Pure and focused. Fresh. Complex mix of full range red fruit with warm pie spice and warm mineral earth. Utterly sweet with fruit and beautifully perfumed. Pure pleasure in the mouth. BearScore: 95-99.

Ch. Le THIEL, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
100% Merlot aged in all French oak (30% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Pure fresh red and some darker red fruit. Bright and lively. Fresh in the mouth with just hints of earth and oak. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. LEOVILLE BARTON, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $60.41, BtlByCase: $55.37)
A 13.5% alcohol blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Brighter and fresher but still rich with lots of red, dark, and darker red fruit to go with gravel earth, tobacco leaf, and spice. Hint of pencil shavings. BearScore: 91-94+.   (Bottle: $60.41, BtlByCase: $55.37)

Ch. LEOVILLE las CASES, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $129.67, BtlByCase: $118.87)
A 13.8% alcohol blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels. (85% new). 6.8% of the blend is press wine.   Deep-purple-red in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium chewy phenolics. Vivid red and darker red fruit in precise focus. Hints at coffee and spice along with a liquid gravel minerality. Most enjoyable young Leoville las Cases in years. Seems more like the other Leovilles than in most years – and that is a good thing. BearScore: 93-96.

Ch. LEOVILLE POYFERRE, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $60.94, BtlByCase: $55.86)
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (80% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Lots of darker but still fresh red and darker red fruit. Notes of tobacco leaf, gravel, dust, sweet dark floral, and warmer spice. BearScore: 92-95+.

Ch. les ORMES de PEZ, St. Estephe, 2014 (Bottle: $24.18, BtlByCase: $22.16)
Blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petite Verdot (all cropped ate 32hl/ha.) fermented in stainless steel tanks with pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (45% new).     Red-purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Complete, delicious, supple. Lovely red and darker red fruit with good richness and development. Still tastes of St. Estephe with a note of tobacco leaf and a not unwelcome hint of bell pepper. BearScore: 90-91+.   (Bottle: $24.18, BtlByCase: $22.16)

Ch. LYNCH BAGES, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $81.98, BtlByCase: $75.15)
A blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petite Verdot fermented in Stainless steel tanks using both pump-overs and “rack-and-return” (delestage) and aged in all French oak barrels (75% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Fine classic red and darker red with a bit off black Cabernet fruit. notes of gravel and oak with a hint of tobacco leaf. Supple, lovely feel. Easier to drink and like than in recent years. BearScore: 90-93.   (Bottle: $81.98, BtlByCase: $75.15)

Ch. LYNCH MOUSSAS, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $29.77, BtlByCase: $27.29)
From Borie Manoux (Batailley, Beau-Site, etc.). A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon with 21% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (55% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Delicious. Plenty of dark and darker red fruit with tobacco and gravel and present oak. Riper and rounder in a more modern style than its sibling Ch. Batailley but still very Pauillac. BearScore: 91-92+.

Ch. MALARTIC LAGRAVIERES, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014
Straw ith green highlights, bright and clear with good legs; almost dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity. Sweet fresh fruit with lots of ripe citrus and sweet tropical fruit. Delicious. Very easy to drink and like. BearScore: 91-93+.

Ch. MALESCOT St. EXUPERY, Margaux, 2014
Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Hints at dark coffee. Sweet with darker red and some black fruit. Dark floral and mineral but dark earth. Bigger, richer style. Not especially Margaux like. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. MARGAUX, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $323.28, BtlByCase: $296.34)
A 13.2% alcohol blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot (with a combined yield of 35hl/ha) fermented in a mix of older oak and newer stainless steel tanks, all using pump-overs, and aged in all new French oak Barrels.     Deep purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Big and flavorful but still pretty. Darker red fruit with tobacco leaf and spice to go with darker floral perfume. The Cabernet comes through in the end. Delicious. Already a delight in the mouth. Pushes all my buttons. BearScore: 96-99.

Ch. MAUVESIN BARTON, Moulis, 2014   (Bottle: $323.28, BtlByCase: $296.34)
A blend of 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 53% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (no new barrels).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, fresh, and juicy with lots of red and dark red fruit and a bit (OK, more than just a bit) of earth. Fine weight and feel. BearScore: 89-90+.

Ch. MEYNEY, St. Estephe, 2014
Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Dusty and fresh with spice and tobacco leaf and lots of sweet dark and darker very Cabby red fruit layered over gravel mineral. Yum. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. MONTROSE, St. Estephe, 2014 (Bottle: $112.36, BtlByCase: $102.99)
A 13.7% alcohol blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).     Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Richer, riper, more dark and darker red fruit with lots of gravel-and-dust terroir and more oak notes along with classic Cabernet Sauvignon tobacco leaf. BearScore: 91-93+.

Ch. MOULIN RICHE, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $20.18, BtlByCase: $18.50)
A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, and an astounding 20% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all seasoned French oak barrels (none are new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, richer style St. Julien with lots of rounder dark and darker red fruit with warm spice, tobacco, and dusty gravel earth. Integrated and complete. BearScore: 90-92+.

Ch. MOUTON ROTHSCHILD, Pauillac, 2014
A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Bigger, dustier, riper, more “new world” (as expected) with dark and darker red and even some black fruit layered over gravel-mineral terroir notes and accented with tobacco and pencil shavings, dust, and a bit of dark floral. BearScore: 94-97+.   (Bottle: $325.52, BtlByCase: $298.4)

Ch. NENIN, Pomerol, 2014
A 13.8% alcohol blend of 68% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc aged in all French oak barrels (30% new).   Deep-purple with red highlights and well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Bigger but still supple and still fairly fresh with darker and darkest red and some black fruit. Earthy with a bit of undergrowth. Richer and more powerful. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. PAVIE MACQUIN, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $54.62, BtlByCase: $50.07)
Nicolas Thienpont’s flagship blend of 85% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc with 1% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in a combination of concrete tanks and wooden tanks using both pump-overs and punch-downs and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Deep-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium plus phenolics. Supple, fresh, lively with dark and darker ripe red fruit and dark warm spice accented with some earth and more oak. Quite delicious and very approachable. BearScore: 93-95+.

Ch. PETIT VILLAGES, Pomerol, 2014
72% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in all French oak barrels (65% new).   Purple red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Lots of lovely red fruit with spice and subtle mineral earth. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. PETRUS, Pomerol, 2014
A 14.5% alcohol. 100% Merlot fermented in concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all new French oak barrels.   Medium-red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Earthy rich and complex with dust and dark and darker red fruit with spice and black pepper, terroir and oak. The elements are all there but this was frankly hard to evaluate this early on. BearScore: 94-98.

Ch. PHELAN SEGUR, St. Estephe, 2014   (Bottle: $32.17, BtlByCase: $29.49)
A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon with 36% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new) with half of the barrels from Taransaud.     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Fresh, dusty dark red fruit with tobacco leaf, gravel-mineral, oak, and spice. Complete and integrated. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. PIBRAN, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $27.11, BtlByCase: $24.85)
The team at Ch. Pichon Baron is responsible for this unusual (for Pauillac) blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in stainless steel tanks with pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, softer, almost right bank style red. Red fruit and spice with some subtle mineral earth. Good red but as atypical for Pauillac as Figeac is for St. Emilion. BearScore: 89-90.

Ch. PICHON BARON, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $89.71, BtlByCase: $82.24)
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-pvers and aged in all French oak barrels (80% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium plus phenolics. Deep and flavorful with classically Pauillac gravel-terroir notes and dark red fruit accented with tobacco, dust, and spice. Delicious already. BearScore: 92-94+.

Ch. PICHON LALANDE, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $89.07, BtlByCase: $81.65)
Blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-chewy phenolics. Very rich and juicy-ripe with lots of dark and darker red fruit accented with spice and oak and gravel-mineral terroir notes. Still elegant but more open and much easier to taste young than in many years past. BearScore: 93-95+.

Ch. PLINCE, Pomerol, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Spicier with a mix of red and darker red fruit. Has a distinct mineral-earth note. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. PONTAC LYNCH, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $89.07, BtlByCase: $81.65)
From a well-located (surrounded by Chx. Margaux, Rauzan Segla, Palmer, and dÕIssan) if smaller estate comes this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petite Verdot grown on a mix of sand and gravel yielding 40hl/ha fermented in concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Delicious right up front. Lovely pure and pretty red fruit with a fine Cabernet character offering tobacco, spice, sand, and gravel. This is a personal favorite. BearScore: 91-92+.   (Bottle: $20.12, BtlByCase: $18.44)

Ch. PONTAC PHENIX, Haut Medoc, 2014   (Will arrive in 2016/17)
The 2nd wine of Ch. Pontac Lynch combined with another vineyard she owns a lttle further north in the Haut Medoc, this is 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in all second use barrels.   Red-purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, still fresh, all red fruit with some tobacco, earth, and gravel. Not delicate but still pretty. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. PONTET CANET, Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $89.71, BtlByCase: $82.24)
A biodynamically-grown blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petite Verdot fermented in a mix of wooden and conical concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in a mix of 35% concrete amphoras, 50% new French oak barrels and 15% 2nd use French oak barrels.   Red-Purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, alive. Darker red and a bit of black fruit with mineral-gravel, subtle oak, and tobacco leaf. Pure, fresh and delicious. BearScore: 95-97.

Ch. PONTOISE CABARRUS, Haut Medoc, 2014   (Bottle: $11.12, BtlByCase: $10.20)
A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernets Franc (based on plantation) grown on the northern Haut Medoc estate in St. Seurin de Cadourne (north of St. Estephe) fermented in temperature controlled concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (1/3 new). .   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Dusty-fresh and juicy with dark and darker red fruit along with tobacco leaf and spice. Incredible value. BearScore: 91-92.   (Bottle: $11.12, BtlByCase: $10.2)

Ch. POTENSAC, Medoc, 2014
A 13.25% alcohol blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot aged in all French oak barrels (30% new).   Deep-purple-red that stains the glass with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Pure red fruit with even a hint of cranberry. I can appreciate it but it is really not my style. BearScore: 88-90.

Ch. PUY BLANQUET, St. Emilion, 2014
Purple-red in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Dusty-fersh red fruit with notes of spice and earth. BearScore: 88-90.

Ch. PUYGUERAUD Blanc, Cotes de Bordeaux – Francs, 2014   (Will arrive in 2016.)
A 13% alcohol blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc with 45% Sauvignon Gris (picked in three passes through the vineyards) fermented and aged all in stainless steel tanks with no malo-lactic fermentation. (Sample is a finished bottled wine bottled March 20th.)     Green straw and with good legs; dry, medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and scant phenolics. Lovely pure fresh ripe citrus and a bit of tropical fruit with notes of sweet pear and lime and a bit of mineral-earth. DELICIOUS. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. PUYGUERAUD, Cotes de Francs, 2014   (Bottle: $12.46, BtlByCase: $11.42)
Owned by the Thienpont family and managed by Nicolas Thienpont, Ch. Puygueraud offers this terroir-driven blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec fermented in stainless steel using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet and delicious with freshness and life. Dark and darker red fruit with some spice and earth. Exuberant. Vivid. BearScore: 91-92.   (Bottle: $12.46, BtlByCase: $11.42)

Ch. QUINAULT l’ENCLOS, St. Emilion, 2014
69% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Cabernet Franc aged in all French oak barrels (50% new) (2/3 in 500 liters barrels and 1/3 in used Cheval Blanc barrels).   Medium-red-purple well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, elegant, juicy, almost sweet ripe red and darker red fruit with spice and a hint of herbs. Delicious. BearScore: 93-95.

Ch. QUINTUS, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $91.04, BtlByCase: $83.46)
Owned and made by the Domaine Clarence Dillon (Haut Brion) team, this 69% Merlot with 31% Cabernet Franc (cropped at 25.1 hl/ha) grand vin blend (representing only 23% of the estate’s production) was fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (35% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Supple, ripe, richer dark and darker red fruit with lots of mineral earth and oak. Delicious. Rounded, easy to drink and like. This is easily the best wine I have had from this estate. BearScore: 92-94+.

Ch. RAUZAN SEGLA, Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $53.08, BtlByCase: $48.66)
A 13.5% alcohol blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium plus phenolics. Very tasty. Bigger and darker with red and darker red fruit with spice, gravel, mineral and tobacco. Black floral perfume. Rich but still elegant. BearScore: 92-93+.

Ch. RIEUSSEC, Sauternes, 2014   (Bottle: $57.74, BtlByCase: $52.93)
A blend of 90+% Semillon with the remainder Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle de Bordelaise fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Gold-straw with green highlights and well-formed legs; very sweet , medium-full-bodied with fresh acidity; scant phenolics. Offers peach, apricot lemon, lemon drop, candied citrus, honey, and citrus peel. DELICIOUS and reviving. Brilliant in the mouth. Alive. BearScore: 94-98.

Ch. SAINT PIERRE, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $43.36, BtlByCase: $39.75)
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. The elements are there and the red fruit is present but tastes more herbal and less modern. Still tasty but maybe better next year. BearScore: 88-91?.

Ch. SENEJAC, Haut Medoc, 2014   (Bottle: $12.19, BtlByCase: $11.17)
A 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petite Verdot blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet, supple, succulent red and darker red fruit with spice and tobacco, gravel, and a hint of pencil shavings. Delicious, pretty wine. BearScore: 91-92.

Ch. SMITH HAUT LAFITTE BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014   (Bottle: $80.12, BtlByCase: $73.44)
A 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris blend fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Straw with green highlights bright and clear with well-formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Supple but still fresh with lots of mixed less-and-more ripe citrus along with pear, peach, and a bit of tropical fruit accented with liquid mineral and supple oak. complete and satisfying. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. SMITH HAUT LAFITTE, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $62.54, BtlByCase: $57.33)
A 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Verdot blend fermented in a mix of stainless steel and wooden tanks using punch downs (pigeage) and some pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (65% new) most of which is coopered on site at SmithÕs own cooperage.     Red-purple with with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple and fresh with lots of full range red and darker red fruit accented with tobacco leaf, spice, gravel, and oak. Delicious. Sweet and alive in the mouth offering real excitement. BearScore: 94-96.

Ch. SUDUIRAUT, Sauternes, 2014   (Bottle: $57.74, BtlByCase: $52.93)
95% Semillon with 5% Sauvignon Blanc picked in 5 passes with only perfectly rotten grapes picked each time fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Gold-straw with well-formed legs; sweet, medium-plus-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Offers honey, pear, peach, apricot, candied citrus, lemon drop, and ripe lemon. Already delicious. The mineral and balance are there and the oak is integrating in. Yum. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. TALBOT, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $41.09, BtlByCase: $37.67) (revised)
A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Dark and darker red fruit. Spice and tobacco with gravel and dust. Hints at pencil shavings. Perfume on the end. Classic stuff. BearScore: 91-93.

Ch. TOUR SALVET, Haut Medoc, 2014
A mid-Haut Medoc (Cussac to be precise) blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc fermented in temperature-controlled, epoxy-lined concrete tanks and aged 40% in concrete tanks and 60% in French oak barrels (25% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, balanced and fresh with red and darker red fruit accented with gravel-dust terroir and tobacco. Fantastic value. Yum. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. TOUR St. BONNET, Medoc, 2014
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petite Verdot.   Purple-red in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity; medium plus phenolics. Bigger, richer, chewier with lots of dark and darker red fruit. Supple, fresh, juicy. Yum. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. TRIMOULET, St. Emilion, 2014
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, lots of spice and clean, somewhat perfumed red fruit. BearScore: 89-91.

Ch. TRONQUOY LALANDE, St. Estephe, 2014
From the team at Ch. Montrose comes this 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 56% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petite Verdot blend aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple with sweet red and darker red fruit accented with spice and tobacco. The dust and gravel are present but it is more mineral and the fruit is the thing. BearScore: 90-91.

Ch. TROTANOY, Pomerol, 2014
Medium-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple but fresh, very tasty complex red fruit with a swirl of dark spice and dusty mineral earth. Complete and integrating if not yet integrated.BearScore: 93-95.

Ch. TROTTEVIELLE, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $51.75, BtlByCase: $47.44)
A 40% Merlot, 58% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon (all cropped at 25 hl/ha) blend aged in all new French oak barrels.   Red-purple well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Elegant, subtle, supple, and complex with pure sweet red and darker red fruit accented with earth and spice. Integrated and complete. BearScore: 92-94.

Ch. VIEUX CLOS St. EMILION, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $12.66, BtlByCase: $11.6)
A 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec (40-50 year old vines) blend fermented in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Purple-red with well-formed legs; medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple fresh darker red fruit with some earthy richness and a sandy elegance with a subtle oak component. BearScore: 89-90+.

CHAPELLE de POTENSAC, Medoc, 2014
A 13.2% alcohol blend of 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 70% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc aged in all French oak barrels (10% new).     Dense-purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Fresh and easy to get at with bright red and a bit of dark red fruit accented with mineral earth and some tobacco-spice. BearScore: 89-91.

CHEVALIERS des LASCOMBES, Margaux, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Richer and a bit deeper than expected with dark and darker red fruit along with warm dark spice, gravel, and oak. Finishes a bit dusty. Maybe more St. Julien in style than Margaux. BearScore: 89-91.

CLOS de l’ORATOIRE, St. Emilion, 2014   (Bottle: $28.44, BtlByCase: $26.07)
A 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend fermented in open topped wooden vats with pigeage (punching down) and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Deep-purple with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Classic if a bit muted initially. Everything is there but maybe it has been a little slow in coming together. Dark and darker red fruits begin to show along with notes of oak and earth. Finally some perfume. BearScore: 90-92?.

CLOS du MARQUIS, St. Julien, 2014   (Bottle: $41.09, BtlByCase: $37.67)
A 13.5% alcohol blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc fermented using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new ). The final blend contains 8.6% press wine.   Purple well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Richer and more focused with a fresher feel and more complexity in its range of red, dark, and a bit of darker red fruit with spice and mineral-gravel. BearScore: 91-93.

CLOS FLORIDENE, Graves Blanc, 2014
55% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon.   Straw colored, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium light-bodied with fresh acidity. Fresh simple easy to drink and easy to like white offering citrus and a bit of tropical with a classic Graves mineral swirl. BearScore: 90-91+.

CONNETABLE de TALBOT (2nd vin de Ch. Talbot), St. Julien, 2014
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot fermented in Stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (15% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Earthier, richer more basic style of St. Julien. Darker red and even some black fruit. BearScore: 88-90.

COS d’ESTOURNEL Blanc, Bordeaux Blanc, 2014
66% Sauvignon Blanc, 34% Semillon fermented and aged in all second use French oak barrels.   Sensory: Straw with green highlights, bright and clear with well formed legs; medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics.   A swirl of mineral with lots of ripe citrus and tropical fruit. Supple but still very fresh feel with lots of fruit. Excites the palate. BearScore: 92-93.

DOMAINE de CHEVALIER BLANC, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014   (Bottle: $81.72, BtlByCase: $74.91)
A 75% Sauvignon Blanc with 25% Semillon blend fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new) and a unique oak “egg.”   Straw in color, bright and clear with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Supple, fresh, alive. More elegant than anything but with lots of lemony citrus and some tropical fruit to go with peach and a hint of pear. It’s minerality keeps it focused. Pure, focused, and delicious. BearScore: 94-95.

DOMAINE de CHEVALIER, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $46.56, BtlByCase: $42.68)
A 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in a mix of stainless steel and concrete tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple red and darker red fruit with spice and tobacco, mineral earth, and subtle oak. ItÕs all there. Complete. BearScore: 93-95.

DOMAINE de LA SOLITUDE, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc fermented in stain less steel tanks using pump-over and aged in all French oak barrels (15% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Fresher red and darker red fruit with gravel-mineral and tobacco leaf. BearScore: 89-90.

DUO de CONSEILLANTE, Pomerol, 2014
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc aged in all Fench oak barrels (65% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Clean and focused red fruit. Simple and fresh and even a bit tart. BearScore: 87-88.

ECHO de LYNCH BAGES (2nd vine de Ch. Lynch Bages), Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $30.57, BtlByCase: $28.02)
A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using both rack-and-return and pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (none new).     Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, classic (if a bit muted just now) Pauillac offering red and darker red Cabernet fruit with classic Pauillac gravel. BearScore: 89-91.

La CHAPELLE de la MISSION (2nd of La Mission Haut Brion), Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $47.09, BtlByCase: $43.16)
A 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Rich and focused with big mineral-gravel-dust and big dark and darker red fruit. Spice and a bit of tobacco and a hint of warm herbs. Big and delicious. BearScore: 92-93+.

L’ESPIRIT de CHEVALIER (2nd wine of Dom. de Chevalier), Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014 (Arriving in 2016)
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Straw in color, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Fresh and focused with more citrus but a bit of tropical fruit along with a classic swirl of mineral. BearScore: 90-91.

L’ESPIRIT de CHEVALIER (2nd vin de Dom. de Chevalier), Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014 (Arriving in 2016)
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc fermented in stainles steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, fresh, lively with brighter red and some darker red fruit accented with dusty oak-earth-mineral. BearScore: 90-91.

La CHAPELLE d’AUSONE (2nd vin de Ch. Ausone), St. Emilion, 2014
Purple-red in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Red and darker red fruit with sweet dark spice and good freshness. The mineral-earth and oak are present but not yet integrated. BearScore: 90-92.

La CHAPELLE de la MISSION (2nd of La Mission Haut Brion), Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014 (Bottle: $47.09, BtlByCase: $43.16)
A 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Rich and focused with big mineral-gravel-dust and big dark and darker red fruit. Spice and a bit of tobacco and a hint of warm herbs. Big and delicious. BearScore: 92-93+.

La CLARTE de HAUT BRION, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014   (Still working on it.)
Effectively the second white wine of both Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion, this blend of 66% Sauvignon Blanc and 34% Semillon echos its fancier half-siblings.   Straw in color, bright and clear with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Lovely pure richer than expected with swirl of minerals supporting ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors with hints of pear, peach, and floral emerging. Lovely stuff. BearScore: 91-92+. (Not yet bought but working on it.)

La CROIX de BEAUCAILLOU, St. Julien, 2014
Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet red and a bit of black fruit in a more open style. Integrated mineral and oak. Easy to drink and appreciate. BearScore: 90-92.

La DAME de MONTROSE (2nd vin de Ch. Montrose), St. Estephe, 2014
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, 5% Petite Verdot fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (30% new).   Purple-red in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Elegant classic Cabernet-tasting red with gravel minerality under red fruit with tobacco leaf and spice. BearScore: 90-91.

La DAME de TROTTEVIEILLE (2nd vin de Ch. Trottevieille), St. Emilion, 2014
Red-purple in color, and with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium phenolics. Richer and juicy with lots of riper red and some black fruit and warm earth. Deep and satisfying. Yum. BearScore: 90-92.

La MONDOTTE, St. Emilion, 2014
Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Big and juicy ripe with depth and lots of flavor. Red fruit and spice. More balanced and fresher than expected. Yum. BearScore: 94-95+.

La PARDE de HAUT BAILLY (2nd vin de Ch. Haut Bailly), Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014   (Bottle: $21.78, BtlByCase: $19.97)
A 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 56% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs. and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple gravel-earth and oak with dark and darker red fruit and warm spice. Rounded in the mouth with a richer feel. BearScore: 90-92.   (Bottle: $21.78, BtlByCase: $19.97)

La VIOLETTE de MANOIR de GRAVOUX, Cotes de Castillon, 2014
90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Purple-red with well-formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Bright and fresh and with red fruit, red floral, mineral, and spice. Lovely, lively feel. BearScore: 90.

Le CLARENCE (2nd vin de Ch. Haut Brion), Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014 (Bottle: $73.73, BtlByCase: $67.58)
An 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. More elegant and classic with well integrated dark and darker red fruit over gravel-mineral and tobacco-spice. BearScore: 92-95.

Le CLOS des CARMES HAUT BRION, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014
From the team at Carmes Haut Brion but from a different vineyard located several miles away. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon blend fermented using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Clean and modern with fresh dark and darker red fruit accented with gravel-dust terroir. BearScore: 91-93. (This is not being released as a future but will be available in 2017.)

Le DRAGON de QUINTUS (2nd vin de Ch. Quintus), St. Emilion, 2014
A blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc (cropped at 25.1 hl/ha) fermented using pump-over in a mix of wooden and stainless steel vats and aged in all French oak barrels (33% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Richer, riper, and frankly better than expected. Dark and darker red fruit with some spice and plenty of mineral earth. BearScore: 91-92+.

Le MARQUIS de CALON (2nd vin de Ch. Calon Segur), St. Estephe, 2014  (Bottle: $23.4, BtlByCase: $21.45)
A 14.7% (now) alcohol blend of 64% Merlot with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in conical steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (now 50% new oak but may be reduced to 33% new for the final blend ).   Sensory: purple with well formed legs (stains the glass); dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Bigger sweeter style red with lots of sweeter higher alcohol Merlot dark red and black fruit. Still has freshness and even some elegance.. BearScore: 90-92.

Le PETIT HAUT LAFITTE, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014 (not offered as a future)
80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).   Straw in color, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Still fresh but much richer white with more weight and density. Citrus and a bit of tropical with some pear and a hint of peach. BearScore: 90-91.

Le PETIT HAUT LAFITTE, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2014 (not offered as a future)
One of two “2nd vins” of Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte, this is a 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot blend fermented in stainless steel tanks using both punch downs and pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Delicious easy access with red and darker red fruit with warm spice and gravel-mineral earth accented with subtle oak. BearScore: 90-92.

Le PETIT LION (2nd vin de Leoville las Cases), St. Julien, 2014
This little lion is a 13.4% alcohol blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 57% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc fermented in wooden tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (30% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Fresh gravelly red fruit with spice and dusty oak. Good but lighter and made in a fresher style. Easy to drink and like. BearScore: 90-91.

Les FORTS de LATOUR (2nd Vin de Ch. Latour), Pauillac, 2014
A precise blend of 71.4% Cabernet Sauvignon with 28.6% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels (45% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; medium-full-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Big and juicy with lots of spice and freshness. Red and darker red fruit with tobacco and earth and evident oak (sample from new barrel). BearScore: 93-96. (This wine will not be released for 7-8 years and is not offered as a future.)

Les GRIFFONS de PICHON BARON, Pauillac, 2014 (Will arrive in 20
A new more Cabernet-oriented (as opposed to the more-Merlot oriented les Tourelles) 2nd wine of Ch. Pichon Baron, this is a 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot blend fermented in stainless steel tanks with poumpovewrs and aged in all French oak barrels (60% new).   Purple-red with well formed legs; , medium-bodied with balanced acidity medium-plus phenolics. Dusty and cabby with lots of red fruit and a bit of tobacco to go with dusty gravel and oak. BearScore: 91-92+.

Les HAUTS de LYNCH, Haut Medoc, 2014
From the team at Chx. Lynch Moussas and Batailley, this is an Haut Medoc blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. A bit of green bell pepper with lots of pretty red fruit and some spice, oak, and gravel. Almost St. Estephe in style. Delicious and easy to drink. BearScore: 89-91.

Les HAUTS de SMITH, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2014
A 2nd vin de Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc was fermented and aged in all French oak barrels (20% new).   Pale-straw in color, bright and clear with good legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-chewy phenolics. Clean mostly citrus fruit with lots of mineral. BearScore: 88-90.

Les PAGODES de COS (2nd vin de Ch. Cos d’Estournel), St. Estephe, 2014
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot fermented in conical Stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics.   Red and darker red fruit with a swirl of mineral-gravel terroir to go with tobacco and spice. BearScore: 91-92+.

Les TOURELLES de LONGUEVILLE (2nd vin de Ch. Pichon Baron), Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $29.11, BtlByCase: $26.68)
A 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petite Verdot blend that constitutes on of two 2nd wines (the other being Òles Griffons de Pichon BaronÓ). Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Mostly red and darker red fruit with bit of green bell pepper to go with gravel and spice. Still tight and fairly closed. May get a lot better. BearScore: 89-91.   (Bottle: $29.11, BtlByCase: $26.68)

PAUILLAC de Ch. LATOUR, Pauillac, 2014
(the 3rd wine of Ch. Latour) 50.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42.3% Merot wit the rest in Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot all fermented in stainless steel tanks with pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (13.4% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-plus-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics.   Lovely texture and feel with sweet and already delicious red and darker red fruit. Tobacco and spice with gravel-dust earth. BearScore: 92-93.

PAVILLON BLANC du Ch. MARGAUX, Bordeaux, 2014   (Bottle: $131.47, BtlByCase: $120.52)
100% Sauvignon Blanc barrel-fermented using batonage in all French oak barrels (25% new).   Green straw with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Citrus and tropical fruit swirled with mineral and supple spicy oak. Thrilling in the mouth. Vivid. Almost salty in its minerality. Utterly delicious. Best Pavillon Blanc ever? BearScore: 95-98.

PAVILLON ROUGE du Ch. MARGAUX (2nd vin de Ch. Margaux), Margaux, 2014   (Bottle: $105.7, BtlByCase: $96.89)
A 13.5% alcohol blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 1% Petite Verdot fermented in a mix of wooden and sainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Deep purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Sweet, pretty, ripe but focused red fruit with perfumed red floral and a bit of tobacco leaf. Lovely, pure pleasure. Elegant and alive. Maybe the best Pavillon Rouge to date? BearScore: 92-95.

PENSES de LAFLEUR, Pomerol, 201469% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple, soft, lively fresh. Full range red fruit with spice and freshness. BearScore: 91-92.

PETIT MOUTON (2nd vin de Ch. Mouton Rothschild), Pauillac, 2014   (Bottle: $107.46, BtlByCase: $98.51)93% Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Merlot. Fermented using pump-over in a mix of wooden and stainless steel tanks and aged in all French oak barrels.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium-plus phenolics. Bigger, juicier, riper, more forward style with lots of dark red and darker fruit accented with tobacco leaf, spice, and black pepper over a foundation of gravel-dust-mineral. BearScore: 91-94.   (Bottle: $107.46, BtlByCase: $98.51)

PETIT CHEVAL (2nd vin de Ch. Cheval Blanc), St. Emilion, 201452% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc fermented in concrete tanks (that look like enormous Italian vases) using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (50% new).   Medium-red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple and sweet with riper dark and darker red fruit but still with freshness and elegance. Has a nice mineral earthiness. Delicious. BearScore: 91-93+.

PETIT FIGEAC (2nd vin de Ch. Figeac), St. Emilion, 201444% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, with 6% Cabernet Franc fermented in wooden vats using pump-overs (finishing with submerged caps) and aged in all French oak (35% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Supple mineral-gravel. The Cabernet Really comes through. Lots of freshness and gravel to go with the dark and darker red fruit. Elegant and ethereal. Yum. BearScore: 91-92+. (Not yet purchased but working on it.)

RESERVE de la COMTESSE (2nd vin de Ch. Pichon Lalande), Pauillac, 201459% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. Fermented in stainless steel tanks using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels(25% new ).   Sample from new barrel. Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium phenolics. Lovely, pure, fresh, focused red and a bit of darker red fruit with spice, tobacco, gravel. BearScore: 90-92.

S de SUDUIRAUT, Bordeaux Blanc, 2014A “Dry Sauternes” from Ch. Suduiraut, this is 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc.   Straw with well formed legs; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity. Very drinkable with citrus and perfume and ots of mineral. Most drinkable and enjoyable S yet. Has a bit of Sauternes richness and softness but the freshness is there. BearScore: 90-92.

SEGLA (2nd wine of Ch. Rauzan Segla), Margaux, 2014 (Will arrive in 2018)A 13.5% alcohol blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot fermented in stainless steel tanks using using pump-overs and aged in all French oak (25% new). In 2014, Segla represents 60% of the production of the chateau.   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Lovely pretty, pure. vivid. Red fruit with red floral and a nice bit of spice. Hints at tobacco and gravel. BearScore: 90-92.

VIEUX Ch. CERTAN, Pomerol, 2014   (Bottle: $139.46, BtlByCase: $127.84)Alexandre Thienpont’s masterpiece blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in oak vats using pump-overs and aged in all French oak barrels (70% new).   Red-purple with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics. Supple, more elegant than its weight would indicate. Fresh full range but riper red fruit with spice and floral, earth, and oak. Pure and precise. Delicious. BearScore: 95-99.

 

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