MATTHEW JUKES: 2015 En Primeur Review

April 21st, 2016 @ 10:30am Jonathan Maltus En Primeur 2015, EnPrimeur, MatthewJukes

Le Dôme - Highest Rated Saint-Emilion & Top 10 of Bordeaux

"I am of the mind that this is one of the most important vintages so far this millennium. In time, I am certain that 2015 will be mentioned in the same breath as 2005, 2009 and 2010, because its top wines are blessed with unique characters and compelling flavours."

"I am very taken with the wines and have found more high scores this year than in 2014 by some measure. The best wines are stunningly pure, magnificently focused and exceptionally refined, particularly on the Left Bank where the alcohols hover around the low 13%. There is no doubt that the Right Bank fared very well, with slightly more favourable climatic conditions and the resulting wines are lush and showy, underpinned, once again, by thrilling acidity." - Matthew Jukes

19+ Le Dôme (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(80 Cabernet Franc, 20 Merlot) | 80% new oak. | 14.8% alc. | 1200 cases.

With incredible fruit and exceptional balance, in spite of the dimensions, this is the Cabernet Franc-dominant wine of the vintage. This never lets up in the intensity, purity, drive and intent. This is a staggeringly serious Le Dôme and the complexity of this wine is hard for me to comprehend given only a short time to taste it. The volume and intensity of this wine is amazing, but it is not muscular nor is it excessively oaky. Atypical and maverick but undoubtedly magnificent this is one of the wines of the vintage.

18.5+ Vieux Château Mazerat (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(65 Merlot, 35 Cabernet Franc) | 14.7% alc.

This is a stunningly beautiful wine which revels in its situation sitting between Canon and Angélus. The nose is heavenly and the palate is wonderfully buoyant with amazing texture and a heroic finish. This is without doubt the finest Vieux Château Mazerat of all time. The finish is almost as gripping and the scent. I had to defer tasting Le Dôme for a good five minutes to allow the finish to subside.

17.5++ Les Astéries (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(83 Merlot, 17 Cabernet Franc) | 14.8% alc.

This is the cuvée from the ‘Burgundian Series’ that works best for me because it has the tannin, the scent and also the chalky finish which balances so well with the massive fruit. Superbly well made this is an impressive wine with twenty years ahead of it.

Le Pontet (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(80 Merlot, 20 Cabernet Franc) | 14.7% alc.

Coming from a parcel of Grand Pontet, this is a rather more centred, dark and earthy wine, with deep tones and some wild, hard tannins. This is the most backward and reluctant of the Maltus trio and yet this is a fascinating wine with serious fruit and while the oak is masking some mulberry and plum juiciness it is a brooding creature and it will eventu­ally emerge from it slumber. 17++

17+ Le Carré (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(85 Merlot, 15 Cabernet Franc) | 14.8% alc.

Very refreshing with an intriguing stem and leaf note on the nose, this is perfumed, bright, evocative and pure wine with a slender mid-palate and a more voluble finish which ends dry and tart. It’s easy to think that this might be too stern from start to finish, but the fruit is so attractive that it will win through in the end.

17+ Château Laforge (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(92 Merlot, 8 Cabernet Franc) | 14.7% alc.

There are a few more members of the Laforge orchestra this year in terms of the flavour complexity and there is also more tannin here than I have seen before. This means that it is a slightly bigger wine and one which needs a few more years before one can drink it. With a darker tone and a lovely luxurious nose this is a dark fruit compote wine and there are even touches of mint to freshen it up. A lovely wine and very easy to understand, this is a treat for wine lovers.

17 Château Teyssier (from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(70 Merlot, 30 Cabernet Franc) | 14.5% alc.

This is a rich, luxurious wine with a degree more succulence than normal and a step up in mid-palate feel, too. There is still a nice, cool, grainy finish with decent, refreshing tannins and a long flavour memory. This is an impressive Teyssier and Jonathan Maltus explained that two or three subtle tweaks in winemaking have managed to give him some more depth and breadth in the mid-palate of this wine. Excellent value afforded here.

16.5+ Clos Nardian (Lugaignac - from the JCP Maltus portfolio)

(60 Sauvignon Blanc, 20 Semillon, 20 Muscadelle) | 13.5% alc.

Rather enchanting as always and scented and detailed with fruit and exoticism, the main difference is the finer acidity on the finish. I like it but I am not convinced that it is yet a wine that I fully understand - I need to taste an older vintage one day to see if this crazy cocktail works.

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