*Haut Brion*- 100 points
The 2015 Haut-Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc picked between 8 September and 5 October. Of course, it showed majestically out of barrel, so pressure was on in bottle. Deep in color, the bouquet is a real showstopper: blackberry, raspberry, sage, black olive and warm gravel...this is a profoundly complex bouquet that is nuanced and beautifully delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and ample freshness, but don’t be deceived because this is a very structured Haut-Brion built for the long-term. Remarkably the 14.9% alcohol is completely disguised. It feels incredibly long, and yet instead of fanning out, it shuts down the door on the finish. It is a behemoth of a wine, one that is up there with the legends of the past. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2070.
*Petrus*- 98+ points
The 2015 Petrus was bottled in July 2017 according to Olivier Berrouet. Deep in color, it has a very fragrant bouquet that takes time to open, eventually offering scents of blackberry, briary, cold stone and iris with hint of hoisin and black pepper, all beautifully defined and very succinct. The palate is supremely well balanced with a saline, quite spicy entry with edgy tannin. There is enormous depth here and it manifests an enigmatic marine influence with time, touches of Japanese nori and sea salt. It fans out wonderfully on the finish although it is not a powerful, burly Petrus, rather one that is sophisticated and refined. The 2015 will be up there with the greats although only time will tell if it will reach perfection. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2055.
*Mouton*- 98 points
The 2015 Mouton Rothschild has a deep, almost opaque color. The nose is very intense and extraordinarily backward: blackberry, graphite (in fact, more like a big box of pencil shavings), hints of blueberry, violet and a splash of Indian ink. It must surely constitute one of the most penetrating aromatics this vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin that forms the arching structure of this Mouton, with layers of rich black fruit reined in by the killer line of acidity. This is ineffably pure and delineated toward the finish with an effervescent finish that leaves a stupid grin on your face. Together with that brilliant label by Gerhard Richter, this is a must-have in your cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2028 - 2060.
*Mission*- 98 points
The 2015 La Mission Haut-Brion is a blend of 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 9 September and 1 October. Throughout its barrel maturation it has clearly retained that purity of fruit with copious blackberry and blueberry scents, that cold stone/cave-like element perhaps more accentuated now that the wine is in bottle. The palate is very well balanced with firm tannin that provides a solid backbone to this La Mission. It is already a complex and intellectual wine with layers of black fruit infused with black olive tapenade, hints of seaweed and white pepper, fresh and tensile from start to finish with a persistent finish that seems to go on for over 60 seconds. As I remarked during en primeur, the 2015 will rank among the canon of great wines from this estate. I can now rubber-stamp that statement. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2060.
*Cheval Blanc*- 98 points
The 2015 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Pierre-Olivier described it as a vintage where he had all the musicians he wanted in the orchestra, i.e. all the parcels performed at their optimal capacity. It has a very intense bouquet: macerated small red cherries, redcurrant jus, pencil shavings and a touch of loamy soil/undergrowth. There is a sense of introspection about these aromas, as if they are only going to show at their full strength with requisite bottle age (and there is nothing wrong with that). The palate is medium-bodied with the same filigree tannin that I remarked upon from barrel. This is a tensile, poised and balletic Cheval Blanc, so much so that you barely notice its power. As I commented during en primeur, this is an intellectual Cheval Blanc rather than a showy, ostentatious one, a vintage whereby cellaring is going to be essential. But it is a quite brilliant wine. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2060.
s oppressive in terms of structure due to its unerring poise. Though I strongly suspect that it will be surpassed by the 2016, it is still a magnificent Ausone that will drink for many years. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2050.
*Yquem*- 98 points
The 2015 Château d'Yquem was scintillating when I tasted it at the property during en primeur last year. A blend of 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, it delivers 144 grams per liter of residual sugar. Now that the wine is in bottle, that original “show-stopping” bouquet has become more refined. In fact, you could almost describe it as laid back or genteel until it begins to magically unfold and deliver seductive scents of lemon curd, orange pith, freshly opened tins of apricot and wild honey. You would call the aromatics more “pretty” than “powerful,” but of course, it is beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with that electric line of acidity intact. It is a little spicier than I recall, with a fresh viscous finish. There is a persistent aftertaste whereby the mouth tingles some 60 seconds after the wine has departed. Maybe I was being optimistic when I suggested that it might rank alongside the regal 2001 and 2009. The 2015 Yquem does not belong in that hallowed company. But it is a prince to that king and that queen. Drink 2023-2070.
*Latour 97*- points
The 2015 Latour, which was bottled in July 2017, has an immediately impactful bouquet with intense black fruit laced with subtle notes of seaweed and sea spray, as if a little of the Gironde estuary imparts its character into the aromatics. It is extremely well defined and very focused, that slate-like note replaced by a subtle mintiness. The palate is silky smooth on the entry that almost betrays the depth and volume of this Latour. This is a voluminous, multifaceted Latour rather than a powerful one, layers of black fruit infused with graphite and cedar that leads to a very long finish. It will require a decade in bottle before it enters its drinking plateau although there is a sense of approachability that I suspect will deceive some into broaching this too early. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2065.
*Ausone*- 96 points
The 2015 Ausone, an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc matured in 85% new oak, has a deep, introspective bouquet at first, the Cabernet Franc more expressive than the Merlot at the moment, with undergrowth and damp moss scents permeating through the black fruit, pressed violets and incense gradually surfacing and a hint of orange pith. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, extremely pure and refined with an undertow of mineralité. There is outstanding tension to this Ausone, perhaps a little more approachable compared to the wines of the 1990s, not a
*Lafite*- 95 points
The 2015 Lafite Rothschild, which was bottled in May 2017, has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, hints of cassis and violets, all beautifully defined. It is initially quite understated but blossoms in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly chalky tannin. The acidity here is perfectly pitched, lending tension and that sense of vibrancy that winemaker Eric Kohler talks about. It just seems to flow nicely along before fanning out toward the precise finish although I still believe that its proximity to Saint-Estèphe that suffered more pre-harvest rain possibly shaved off a little of what could have been. Nevertheless, this is a Lafite that seems to run like clockwork and it will surely give immense pleasure over the next 20 or 30 years. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2050.