A few remarks:
It is impossible to taste everything, but I did evaluate a great many wines over an intense 4-day period. Seeing as I am reserved about numerical rating, especially for wines at the beginning of barrel ageing, there are no scores.
Also, I have not mentioned color because most young Bordeaux of this caliber has a lovely deep color – not to mention the fact that it is deucedly difficult to describe colors with words!
I have included the proportions of grape varieties in the final blend because this can vary considerably from year to year.
N = nose
P = palate
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Carménère
N: soft, very pure sublimated cherry – and cherry vanilla ice cream! – aromas.
P: lovely balance between fruit, sexy texture, and acidity. Good sappy fruit. Clearly a boring wine no longer.
61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot
N: bit old-fashioned, but floral and attractive
P: both soft and chewy with a satisfying zing on the aftertaste. Very good third growth. The future looks bright for this estate.
72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot
N: indeterminate and mostly absent
P: heavy, ponderous mouthfeel. Big, but lacks delineation and subtlety. Converging berry fruit, but a little clunky and dry.
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and and 5% Petit Verdot
N: sweet typical Margaux aromas as well as some coffee nuances and a little tankiness that will undoubtedly disappear over time.
P: heavy mouth feel. Classic. Good tannic grip, but never overriding the Margaux magic. Great acidity. Good ageing potential. A wine to follow.
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot
N: subtle dark berry fruit with some caramel nuances
P: plush, sensual, and melts in the mouth. Develops well into a characterful aftertaste. Considerable finesse.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot
N: lacks personality at this stage
P: much better on the palate with a good, generous mouthfeel. Sturdy, but not very smooth and fizzles into a hard, dry (oak) finish. Needs to be tasted again after bottling.
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot
N: attractive and cherry and chocolate nuances, as well as marked floral overtones. Seductive.
P: the liveliness and aromatics continue onto the palate, which has a silky texture. Very good this year.
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot
N: some vinification odors, but deep berry fruit in the background
P: lovely velvety texture with a lipsmacking finish. Soft, well-made, typical of its appellation. Very good.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot
N: not very expressive, but some underlying spirity fruit and a perfumed quality
P: nice, rich mouth feel with a great balance thanks to fresh acidity. Good, lingering black fruit and tarry aftertaste with textured tannin. Very successful.
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot
N: fragrant, sophisticated, and extremely pure, with the subtle perfume of spring flowers. Long caressing aftertaste. Fresh with velvety tannin. Superb example of soft power.
Marquis de Terme
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot
N: some cherry, good fruit, good potential
P: develops nicely on the palate, starting out round and ending with a soft, pure, mineral finish. Very well made. Marquis de Terme is on the up-and-up.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot
N: soft, beguiling, subtle, and elegant with talcum powder aromas
P: medium-light with a pure mineral aftertaste. A feminine wine that would shine with refined food.
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot
N: fine and deep with floral and plummy aromas
G: heavy, almost syrupy (!) mouthfeel. Thick and with cosmetic nuances. Oak overwhelms at this point. Dry finish. Care should be taken with moderating oak influence if time alone does not, as I fear, do the trick.
84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot
N: fruit… as well as soy sauce aromas.
P: better on the palate. Some greenness there, but there’s a fine texture. Old school and an improvement over past vintages.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot
N: straightforward, slightly spirit
P: sweet and showing bright fruit. Maybe a little weak on the middle palate, but still very nice with good grip. Surprisingly, a little hotness going only with the impression on the nose.