TEYSSIER AWARDED 100 POINTS BY NEAL MARTIN, 2015
Nonetheless - very much in catch up mode - we were as relieved as the next man to see that he rated LE DOME in his top ten Saint Emilion’s for the 2014 vintage, and the rest of the portfolio followed pretty swiftly after that. Neal has been coming here for the past 16 years and, when I say here, Bordeaux, I include here (as in here). So it is great to see the success that he’s made with THE WINE ADVOCATE. These are seriously big shoes to fill, as they say in Yorkshire.
His general comments included this insight – “Jonathan's wines have changed in recent years. They have been toned down since the "noughties," reeled back in, though they remain on the modern side of the spectrum. His approach is quite militant in some ways. Whereas many winemakers uphold terroir as the be all and end all, Jonathan's wants to realize his aims in the glass and essentially work things backward so he can figure out how to get there”.
Without sounding as though OCD exists at CHATEAU TEYSSIER, he may be right………..
LE DOME 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“The Le Dôme 2014 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot picked on 17 October, the highest vintage of the former since 2008. It has a well-defined bouquet with hints of bell pepper infusing the black fruit, light flinty scents in the background, plus a touch of black truffle lending it a slight Pomerol-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with good acidity and a silky texture. This is one of the more elegant vintages of Le Dôme that I have tasted at this juncture with a extended length that lingers in the mouth long after the wine has exited. The season favored Cabernet Franc on the Right Bank and this has the highest percentage, so there is a foundation for a great Saint Emilion. Maybe I would have opted for a shorter cuvaison to gain more precision on the finish, nevertheless, this should give 15 to 20 years of drinking pleasure, possibly longer.”
VIEUX CHATEAU MAZERAT 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“The Vieux Château Mazerat 2014 is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc that touches Angélus and Canon in places. Now here we have fine mineralité on the nose, the Cabernet Franc (planted in 1947) really imparting the complexity into the aromatics, lending a sense of energy. Returning to my glass after 10 minutes the aromatics really start to motor with hints of dark chocolate joining the chorus line. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, a keen line of acidity, a pleasant symmetry and a pleasant touch of tart cherry on the slightly rigid finish. Afford this several years in bottle to mellow.”
LES ASTERIES 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“The Les Asteries 2014 is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc populated with 90-year old vines on limestone soil, alongside younger vines that Jonathan Maltus planted when he acquired the vineyard around 2002/2003. It has one of the most complex sets of aromatics from Maltus, with blackberry, boysenberry and limestone scents that are clearly more terroir-expressive than La Carré. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and, tensile in the mouth, it is quite sappy towards the finish. This is a very fine wine.”
LE CARRE 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“Jonathan "Le Dôme" Maltus's Le Carré 2014 comes from a clay-limestone parcel that is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc matured in 80% new oak. The bouquet is attractive and handles the wood well: blackberry, violet and a touch of smoke coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth tannin, quite harmonious on the mouth with a slight citric note towards the finish that feels a little linear at the moment. This is a good Saint Emilion, though I have a preference for Maltus's Les Asteries this year.”
CHATEAU LAFORGE 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“The Château Laforge 2014 is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, which Jonathan Maltus sees as an expression of the three terroirs that constitute this cru. The 80% new oak comes through on the nose, but it is deftly integrated with the plush black cherry and blueberry fruit, lending a smear of vanilla across the top. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, velvety smooth with lascivious black cherries, a little grainy in texture with fine acidity, though it needs just a little more precision towards the finish. This will be interesting to revisit once in bottle.”
CHATEAU TEYSSIER 2014, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
“The Château Teyssier 2014, which according to Jonathan Maltus is the biggest brand in Saint Emilion at 15,000 cases, comes from vines on the plain, mainly from 25-hectares on sandy soil adjacent to Monbousquet, and this year consists of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Matured in 20% new oak, there are red cherries and kirsch scents on the nose that is nicely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, simple but balanced with a little hardness towards the finish that should mellow throughout its élevage. This will drink well for 4 to 5 years.”
LE NARDIAN 2014 Lugaignac, Bordeaux Blanc Sec
“The Le Nardian 2014 (formerly Clos Nardian until someone noticed there wasn't actually a wall around it, not that this has stopped a lot of winemakers), a blend of 20% Sémillon, 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Muscadelle cropped at three bunches to the vine that totals 10 barrels. The vines were planted five years ago and proprietor Jonathan Maltus believes that this is the first that he has got right. It has an attractive mirabelle and pear-scented bouquet that is nicely defined, the 50% new oak nicely integrated. The palate is crisp on the entry with good acidity, a slight waxiness to the texture with yellow plum and a touch of nectarine on the finish. Quite distinctive–you might actually think this was a wine from the Jura, and I mean that in a good way.”