- Item #: i_346030Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96Wine Spectator: 94-97James Suckling: 94-95ROBERTPARKER.COM 94-96 POINTS: "The 2015 Coutet comes with 153 grams per liter of residual sugar at 13.8% alcohol. It has a fragrant bouquet with acacia honey, citrus scents and a touch of melted butter, all very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive purity, those limestone soils imparting the acidity that defined this Barsac, and lending great precision and tension on the live-wire finish. This is a wonderful Coutet that feels energetic - a compressed spring coil that will drink earlier than the likes of Climens or de Fargues, but has the DNA to age gracefully over 25-30 years"
VINOUSMEDIA 90-94 POINTS: "The 2015 Coutet is nicely lifted, gracious and understated. Candied apple, Jolly Rancher and exotic flowers are all nicely balanced in this attractive, mid-weight Sauternes. This is a very pretty Barsac built on aromatic nuance and bright, salivating acidity." -- Antonio Galloni
WINE SPECTATOR 94-97 POINTS: "Vibrant, with a singed almond frame sprinting along, this offers nectarine, white peach and star fruit notes. Mirabelle plum and pineapple details echo through the finish. Very long, boasting terrific range. Score range: 94-97" –JM
JAMES SUCKLING 94-95 POINTS: "A Coutet with great depth and fruit. So much dried tropical fruit character, bright acidity and fruit sweetness. Vivid and clean."
- Item #: i_353383Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 95JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "The nose is redolent with ripe plums and dark cherries, as well as abundant red and purple flowers and a faint, blonde-tobacco edge. The palate delivers an ultra-rich and flavorful palate with polished, sinewy tannins that will carry this wine for some time to come. Freshness and balance, finishing taut and youthful. Full of promise, this is one of the finest recent releases from here."
- Item #: i_346038Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96Wine Spectator: 93-96James Suckling: 96-97ROBERTPARKER.COM 94-96 POINTS: "The 2015 Guiraud, tasted in two occasions, has a sumptuous bouquet with scents of wild honey, apricot and a faint smear of marmalade. The palate is fresh and tensile on the entry, brimming with energy with impressive energy towards the blood orange and quince-tinged finish. This is a stylish, suave Guiraud that should age beautifully in bottle."
VINOUSMEDIA 90-93 POINTS: 'The 2015 Guiraud is classy, nuanced and understated. Scents of orange peel, crème brulee, pineapple, mint and sweet spices give the 2015 much of its aromatic lift and intrigue. Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 has quite a bit of depth, but avoids being heavy. There is so much to like here." -- Antonio Galloni
WINE SPECTATOR 93-96 POINTS: "Very expressive, with nectarine, mirabelle plum, green plum and white peach notes melding well, backed by a pronounced honeysuckle edge. Shows excellent range, with power in reserve. Score range: 93-96" –JM
JAMES SUCKLING 96-97 POINTS: "This is really something. I have never tasted a Guiraud like this. This is full-bodied yet so fresh and incredibly crisp and lively. Spicy and energetic. Fantastic acidity!"
- Item #: i_345892Bottle Size: 750MLThe estate is situated on the same plateau as Saint Emilion and Pomerol and sits on the second highest point in the Gironde at 110 meters above sea level (approximately 350 feet). The vineyards are planted to a number of red varieties, including Merlot (85%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Cabernet Franc (7%) along with a touch of Malbec and Carmenère. The exclusive white variety is Semillon. The soil type varies but is principally a mix of clay, silex and limestone, with very high acidity levels. The average age of the vines is 50 years and no synthetic treatments have ever been used at the estate, which is certified biodynamic. Harvest is manual, the grapes are entirely destemmed and the cuvaison is long, continuing for two to four weeks. Only indigenous yeast is utilized, no chapitalisation is done nor is SO2 used during the fermentation. The “elevage” of the Le Puy wines is done according to the lunar rhythm. The two essential red cuvées of the estate, “Emilien” and “Barthelemy” are raised in barrel for 24 months. The wines are neither fined nor filtered before bottling. Jean-Pierre Amoreau and his son, Pascal, oversee the vineyards and vinification.
- Item #: i_346031Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91-93James Suckling: 93-94Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France and also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxiemes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The estate was purchased by Francois Borie in 1941 and has remained in the family since then. The family also owns other estates, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Haut-Batailley.
Today the estate is managed by Bruno Borie; Wine Spectator touched on what an individual he is in this article from 2006 (note that Bruno has since married and is a proud papa!):
"Since taking control of Ducru-Beaucaillou, the famed second-growth chateau in Bordeaux's St.-Julien appellation, in January 2003, Bruno Borie has installed original Keith Haring pop art on the ground floor and constructed a vast kitchen around a restaurant-quality stove to indulge his passion for cooking. He spends contemplation time on a tatami mat in a glassed-in room cantilevered over the Gironde River.
Unmarried and childless, he has moved into the majestic chateau. Once his boyhood home, it now serves as a sort of giant bachelor pad. Tall, slender and often dressed in dark clothes, he looks more like a Parisian artist than a businessman, and like nobody else in Bordeaux."
Ducru-Beaucaillou produces two wines. The grand vin called Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, and a second wine produced since 1995, La Croix de Beaucaillou. The wines are aged for 18 months in 50% to 80% new oak barrels according to the richness of the vintage, fined with egg whites, lightly filtered, and then bottled. Wine writer Jay McInerney wrote "Ducru has always been a wine of finesse rather than sheer brute power, a kind of Burgundian Bordeaux."
ROBERTPARKER.COM 91-93 POINTS - "The 2015 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a floral note on the nose: small black cherries, blueberry and wilted violets, the last becoming more intense as the initially tight-fisted wine opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin. There is very well-judged acidity and its texture is harmonious and silky smooth. The quality is loaded more in the mouth than on the nose at the moment, but it is a seriously classy "deuxième vin" that just needs a little more persistence on the finish."
VINOUSMEDIA 90-92 POINTS - "The 2015 Croix de Beaucaillou emerges from a south-facing parcel in the center of Saint-Julien. Plump, racy and creamy on the palate, the 2015 offers lovely depth from start to finish. Cherry pit, plum, lavender and spice flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's overall balance that is most compelling. The Croix de Beaucaillou is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot."
JAMES SUCKLING 93-94 POINTS - "A juicy and savory second wine from Ducru with lots of ripe fruit and spice character. Chocolate and walnut undertones. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish"
- Item #: i_352758Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93 PointsDecanter: 93 PointsDECANTER 93 POINTS - "They have managed to get the Haut de Smith signature in this wine, and for me it is one of the most successful whites of the vintage in terms of accessibility and affordability. It has so much personality, showing grilled apricots and concentrated, rich citrus, with rosemary and sage edging and a mineral lick on the finish. The acidity gives persistency and lift, but it feels tame and under control. Harvested 24 August to 9 September, so at least 10 days earlier than usual. 50% new oak. An obvious buy for the vintage."
- Item #: i_353021Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92James Suckling: 93Wine Enthusiast: 92 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 92-94 POINTS - "A fine and spicy wine, the wood toast well integrated with the sweet fruit. Deliciously ripe Merlot vies with the Cabernet tannins to give a dark, complex wine."
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "This is very ripe with toffee, spice, truffles, and chocolate, as well as ripe-fruit and meat character on the nose and palate. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink or hold."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "On the toasty, more modern side of the spectrum, with ambitious roasted fig, apple wood and blueberry confiture notes followed by racy graphite, espresso and blackberry pâte de fruit. Not shy, but has the density for balance. *Smart Buys* (JM)
- Item #: i_353247Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Vinous Media: 92 PointsJames Suckling: 94Decanter: 92 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsVINOUS 94 POINTS - "Sensual, racy and inviting, the Réserve de la Comtesse is one of the very finest wines readers will find in its peer group. Sweet dark plum, rose petal, spice and chocolate notes build into the silky, beautifully resonant finish. The 2016 has so much to offer. Moreover, it is flat-out delicious. Don't miss it!"
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "The stunning, ripe dark berries and plums on the nose are attractively dressed and deliver a wealth of assertively rich and juicy dark-fruit flavors on the palate, in balanced and elegant yet powerful style. The best Réserve de la Comtesse for some time. Second wine of Château Pichon-Lalande. Try from 2023."
DECANTER 92 POINTS - "An incredibly luscious, gorgeously balanced and rich Réserve de la Comtesse. They picked right up until the light October rain, waiting until it had passed before continuing. Those extra few days have contributed to the particularly soft and silky quality of the tannins in the Cabernet Sauvignon, which have a gorgeous density to them. This is a serious wine that could stand up against many Médoc grand vins. The blend here is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "From a vintage compared to 1996 and 2009, both terrific yet different vintages, the 2016 Reserve de la Comtesse is a beauty with a classic Cabernet nose of blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, and flowers. It's medium-bodied, supple, incredibly elegant, and seamless on the palate, with loads of charm and character. It's another second wine that delivers the goods."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "A touch old-school, featuring savory, tobacco and rosemary accents amid a core of concentrated black cherry, red currant and plum paste flavors. Slightly austere, with chalky minerality harnessing the finish. A savory edge peeks in at the last second. For fans of the style. Best from 2022 through 2035."