Wine of the Month - February 2020
• Laguna Cellar Wine of the Month
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Every month, we aim to bring our customers competitively priced wines that are at the center of attention of the wine world. We also recommend wines that are off the radar of the wine buying public. This month, we bring you a treat in the form of a bottle of the famed Château Léoville Barton. After being named the No 1 wine on the Top 10 List of Wine Spectator last November, the 2016 vintage of this wine has become hard to find. While we still offer it as part of a vertical line-up of 3 vintages (2014, 2015, and 2016), we believe its 2014 vintage stands on its own in terms of quality (rated 94 points by the Wine Advocate team), and should be sampled by our subscribers.
Separately, Denis Durantou is one of the most respected winemakers on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. His best label, Château l’Eglise-Clinet, has been a cult wine for over 20 years. He also applies his skills at several other estates he owns: Château les Cruzelles in Lalande-de-Pomerol, and Château Montlandrie in the up-and-rising Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. Denis bought Montlandrie in 2009 and has been on a non-stop spree of renovation. Almost uniquely for the Right Bank, his new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon now make up 15% of the vineyard alongside the usual 65% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Rated 91-93 points by the Wine Advocate, we hope you like it as much as we do.
Of the other two wines of this month's selection, Château Rouget is a well-rated and well-priced Pomerol (the smallest village in Bordeaux), while Château Siran is an outstanding Margaux from the shortlist of Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel.
This month's selection:
Château Léoville Barton 2014 - "The 2014 Leoville Barton is one of the must-buys of the vintage. Now in bottle, it has a very pure bouquet that gains intensity in the glass, laden with blackberry and raspberry coulis scents, cold wet stone, a wonderful mineralité that becomes more conspicuous with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin, a fine line of acidity that lends this precision and nervosité. There is class and sophistication in situ, not a powerful Léoville Barton, but beautifully poised. This is just a brilliant forerunner to the 2015 and it should represent great value." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/17, Interim Issue), Ratings: 94, Drink: 2020-2050
Château Montlandrie 2016 - "The 2016 Montlandrie is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 3-17 October. It was picked at 40 hectoliters per hectare and raised in 60% new oak (although my sample was from a one-year-old barrel). It is the first vintage to include more than 80% of the vines that were planted by Denis Durantou after 2008. This has a more broody bouquet than the two Lalande-de-Pomerols, just a touch of leafiness Originting from the Cabernet Sauvignon that enhances the complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with fine structure, more saline than the Les Cruzelles, backward at the moment, but the Cabernets impart some lovely graphite notes on the saline finish. Superb. Expect this to land towards the top of my banded score once in bottle." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 91-93, DRINK: 2021-2036
Château Rouget 2015 - "The 2015 Rouget is the blend of five parcels around the Pomerol plateau and I took time to taste each of them when I visited Edouard Labruyère. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in one-third new oak, it has quite a punchy, high-toned bouquet with licorice-tinged red fruit that opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, rounded in the mouth with moderate acidity, the Cabernet Franc very articulate. I like the cohesion here, svelte in the mouth with black fruit and allspice fanning out on the structured, sandalwood finish. This is a well-crafted Rouget that deserves wider consumer appreciation. I would not be surprised if this Rouget ends up at the top of my banded score." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Rating: 92-94, Drink from: 2019-2035
Château Siran 2014 - "The 2014 Siran has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, briary and light tertiary aromas. There is fine precision here, understated compared to the Sirans of old. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and a keen line of acidity. Linear in style and a little conservative towards the finish, but showing freshness from start to finish. Edouard Miailhe, proprietor of Siran, has really upped the ante here and this 2014 is just a classic Bordeaux claret that should drink well from the start, yet has the substance to suggest it will age with aplomb." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/2017, Interim Issue), Ratings: 91, Drink: 2020-2045