Pop's Wines & Spirits

Ted's Blog - 2014 Red Bordeaux

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There is no better vintage of Red Bordeaux to buy right now!

I was in Bordeaux in early April to taste through Barrel samples of the 2016's (Another Great Vintage: 2014, 2015, 2016 All Excellent) at the Chateau's of First Growths, Super Seconds and several favorites.

2014 (Here now) is the best vintage since 2010 and the prices are much lower than the 2015's (Arriving Spring 2018) and 2016's (Arriving Spring 2019).

Here are 6 standouts at all price levels.

 
Great wine doesn't have to cost a lot!

Ted Clark, Fine Wine Consultant, May 15th, 2017

                                                            

Value doesn't get much better than a Durantou made wine... This guy spends more time with the vines than with humans... meaning he is not much of a people-person... We all have faults... but who cares when its great wine we all want to enjoy!

Having been to his Pomerol (L'Eglise-Clinet) winery twice and meeting and tasting with Denis Durantou, here's a review I fully agree with...

94 Points - Tim Atkin MW:
"Denis Durantou is rightly excited about the quality of this wine in 2014 because it's superb (and great value). Chalky, mineral and fresh, with hints of Asian spices, toasty oak and plump black fruits underpinned by a sappy, almost saline brightness. Hard to believe it's only a Castillon."

A steal of a Value, tastes 2-3 times the price.

2014 Chateau Montlandrie, Castillon Cotes De Bordeaux, Denis Durantou, 750ml
$30.79 - Good Wine Stores
$27.71 - Pop's Single Bottle Price
$24.63 - Pop's Mixed Case Price
$277.11 - Pop's Case Price


Next door, Ronan Labourde is crafting small quantities of world class Pomerol - Chateau Clinet. Ronan is always fun to visit. A big red carpet from the door all the way to the street. Red shutters. Red is the Clinet color. He makes 2 new inexpensive wines "Ronan by Clinet" worth seeking out, but today's thunder belongs to his stellar 2014 Pomerol - Extremely Limited!!

The 2014 Chateau Clinet Pomerol is a must purchase. This winery is on a roll!

94+ Points Vinous
"The 2014 Clinet is powerful, deep and enveloping. Black cherry, smoke, graphite, chocolate and French oak give the wine its intensity and gravitas. Hints of lavender and violet develop in the glass, adding lovely aromatic nuance, but the 2014 remains a big, imposing wine in need of cellaring. This is impressive juice. Tasted two times." (AG) (2/2017)

2014 Chateau Clinet, Pomerol, 750ml
$83.90 - Good Wine Stores
$75.51 - Pop's Single Bottle Price
$67.12 - Pop's Mixed Case Price
$755.10 - Pop's Case Price


Margaux did very well in 2014. Here's a gem:

96 points - James Suckling
"Dark currants and berries with walnuts on the nose. Follows through to a full body, integrated tannins and a gorgeous finish. Exciting. Wow." (2/2017)

2014 Chateau Malescot-St. Exupery, Margaux, 750ml
$57.79 - Good Wine Stores
$52.01 - Pop's Single Bottle Price
$46.23 - Pop's Mixed Case Price
$520.11 - Pop's Case Price


Speaking of Favorites... I love Pichon Baron in Pauillac. Finally, they have an outstanding Red Bordeaux for All of us to enjoy under $40!!! Same Winemaker, Same Property, Purely a selection process.

Les Griffons de Pichon Baron has a pure, direct character. The blendís grapes come primarily from gravelly plots of land near the Gironde estuary, a beneficial environment for Cabernet Sauvignon. Les Griffons offers a vigorous, fresh tasting experience. It is full-bodied and bursting with energy. It can be cellared for over 20 years, or enjoyed right away.
 

92 Points - The Wine Advocate
"The Les Griffons de Pichon Baron 2014 comes from terroir that is close to the Grand Vin in style, composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot that is aged in 60% new oak. It has a pretty "bud" of a nose: violets and cassis infused with cedar, nicely defined and actually quite sensual. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin and purity. This is clearly superior to their alternative second wine, Les Tourelles. This is well worth seeking out as it should represent good value."

2014 Chateau Les Griffons de Pichon Baron, Pauillac, 750ml
$48.75 - Good Wine Stores
$43.87 - Pop's Single Bottle Price
$39.00 - Pop's Mixed Case Price
$438.75 - Pop's Case Price


In the early 1800's Chateau Haut Bailly was selling for more than Chateau Lafite Rothschild. A true story.

There is nothing like visiting an old Chateau and learning the details of the vineyard. On my most recent visit, Estate Manager Veronique Sanders gave us a tour of the vineyards. Since they were planted so long ago, all the varietals are planted next to each other in each row. A Cabernet vine, next to a Merlot vine, next to a Carmenere vine... you get the idea... Up until 1998, they would decide when the grapes were ripe and pick the whole vineyard all at once. After 1998, they decided to identify each vine and put a colored ribbon on it... All the Cabernet vines got red, all the Merlot got Orange, all the carnerere got green... and so on for the other grapes. Harvest each grape by type and ripeness. MUCH More laborous... but the quality of the wine Dramatically increased... and is much of the reason it now scores mid 90 Point reviews almost every vintage.

Here's the 2014 - Extremely Limited!!!

96 points Vinous
"The 2014 Haut-Bailly has turned out beautifully. Dark, sumptuous and expressive, the 2014 exudes depth and finesse. Ample and resonant on the palate, with striking depth, the 2014 possesses exceptional balance and class. Hints of smoke, tobacco and licorice infuse the deep, creamy finish." (AG) (2/2017)

2014 Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, 750ml
$101.89 - Good Wine Stores
$91.70 - Pop's Single Bottle Price
$81.51 - Pop's Mixed Case Price
$917.01 - Pop's Case Price


The highlight of my most recent visit to Bordeaux... a dinner AT Chateau Cheval Blanc. WOW! In case you are unaware, they are owned by LVMH which also owns Chateau D'Yquem, the greatest dessert wine on the planet. What a dinner... They started with a White Bordeaux, made by Cheval Blanc but not imported. Next a 2014 Petit Cheval, then 2012 Cheval Blanc, 2004 Cheval Blanc (Served Blind), 2000 Cheval Blanc and 1975 Cheval Blanc (Served Blind). I was able to guess the 2004 but guessed 1966 on the older wine.

Here's the 2014 with a very awesome price.

97 points Wine Spectator *** Collectibles ***
"
This has dreamy aromas already, with notes of Lapsang souchong tea, smoldering cigar and cold charcoal wafting up from the core of dense yet supple currant, fig and blackberry preserves. A loamy edge thumps through the finish, giving this an addictive, head-bobbing bass line. Best from 2026 through 2040." (JM) (3/2017)

2014 Chateau Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion, 750ml
$562.46 - Good Wine Stores
$421.85 - Pop's Red Tag Sale Price
$5062.14 - Pop's Case Price



   

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