2015 was a good year for most of the wine world but particularly for Bordeaux. It was sunny and warm and nearly everyone got the chance to make a decent wine from their crop. There are, of course, those wines that outshone others but it was most noticeably a year where producers we don’t tend to think of very often made us stop and take a closer sniff.
Of particular interest are those wines that can be approached young. Five years is about right for getting the optimum amount of age to allow the simpler wines to settle and get the most out of them.
2015 Chateau Senejac Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois £20 per bottle
Senejac regularly falls into the middle ground of good value Bordeaux that occasionally offers something more than the average. 2015 isn’t one of their top vintages but it is definitely one that offers good value, everyday quaffing capabilities. Well balanced with lots of red and black fruit and a touch of acidity on the finish.
2015 Chateau Capbern Saint Estephe Cru Bourgeois £25 per bottle
Chateau Capbern excelled in the 2015 vintage. Owned by the revered Calon Segur the wine making at Capbern is just as well thought through and the 2015 vintage has really highlighted its strengths. We’re not ones for selling wines on the basis of point scoring but, to put this wine into context, it received the same score from Mrs Robinson as Leoville Las Cases and Chateau Montrose from the same year. This is probably a little generous but this is still a very good wine. It’s a classic tasting St Estéphe and packs quite a punch. Lots of dark fruit and a touch of spice with just the right amount of oak. For the price it is exceptionally good value. Although drinking nicely now it will continue to improve over the next 5 – 10 years.
2015 Chateau Petit-Figeac Saint-Emilion £43 per bottle
We tend to tread carefully with second wines as, although some offer good value, others can be poor replicas of the more expensive original. The 2015 vintage from Petit-Figeac surprised us though. A little more rustic than the first wine perhaps but still elegant and complex enough to have its own identity.
Now is also a good time to look at those wines that performed well and would be worth cellaring for another five years. There is plenty of 2015 available so prices are still (mostly) sensible and there is some value to be found.
Graves was the stand out appellation of 2015 where you can pretty much take your pick of the wines and be mostly guaranteed to get a good drop. However there are those that stand out from the crowd.
2015 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan Grand Cru Classe £64 per bottle
Domaine de Chevalier has always offered value thanks to its consistency and the 2015 vintage is very well priced for the quality. Rich in fruit but with a myriad of earthy, mineral notes that come through to provide balance and complexity. This is a vintage that is built to last so is worth keeping for another few years before getting stuck in.
2015 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan £410 per bottle
This is the stand out wine of the vintage. The classic characteristics of this wine and region seem to have been brought into sharp focus in 2015. As a producer they are no stranger to receiving high praise for their wines with several years receiving top marks but the 2015 seems to offer something a little more nuanced. It will need another few years before it truly settles into itself but it will offer a decade, at least, of good drinking after that. It is also well priced, which always helps.