FINE+RARE 2019 Quintessential Bordeaux Collection Case

By FINE+RARE

Jul 1st, 2020

Our 2019 Quintessential Bordeaux Collection Case features the creme de la creme of the vintage; wines that have captured both the energy and freshness, as well as the fruit purity, synonymous with 2019 Bordeaux. This case includes a handful of wines that sold out immediately on release, including Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac), Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Saint-Julien) and Chateau Moulin Saint-Georges (Saint-Emilion), the fantastic single vineyard site from Chateau Ausone.

We have compiled 12 different wines from across the appellations of Bordeaux that provide the ultimate insight into the terroirs of the Medoc, Pessac-Leognan, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, showcasing some of the finest winemaking in the modern day golden era of Bordeaux.

Chateau Pontet Canet 2019

The property, owned by the Tesseron family since 1975, has made huge investments in both the vineyard and winery over the last 40 years. Since 2004, the vineyards have been farmed organically and biodynamically, with both receiving certification in 2010. For the Chateau, the result in the glass is the purest expression of their terroir. Ever since this transition, the quality of the wines has got better and better, forcing the team to pay more attention to each and every detail that goes into grape growing and wine production. According to Justine Tesseron, the quality of the 2019 is the amalgamation of all the work carried out over these years.

Undoubtedly one of the mot popular wines in the 2019 campaign, selling out in hours following a 98-100 point score from the Wine Advocate. Lisa Perrotti-Brown stating: "A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!

Critic Notes

"The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!" 98-100 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2019

Another popular choice from 2019 that sold out on release is the hedonistic Chateau Leoville Poyferre. Sara Lecompte Cuvelier, now in her second vintage in charge of the estate after a fantastic 2018 debut, described the atypical nature of the vintage with regards to the quantity and ripeness of the tannins balanced by a lovely freshness and acidity to the wine. She attributes this to the cool, fresh nights during August and September.

The 2019 vintage combines power and freshness with a creamy unctuosity on the palate which makes it very easy to enjoy. There is tremendous energy to the wine with a fantastic poise on the finish. This is exceptional.

Critic Notes

"The 2019 Léoville-Poyferré has a typically seductive bouquet with layers of ripe black fruit laced with tobacco, sous-bois, touches of marmalade and dried orange peel. Give it another hour and more blue fruit begins to emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with lavish, luxuriant black fruit and a creamy texture that is instantly seductive. It is a more opulent Saint-Julien than the Barton with a satin-like texture on the finish. If you love the style of Léoville-Poyferré then you will adore this." 96-98 Points. Neal Martin, Vinous

Château Batailley 2019

“This is a beautiful château in Pauillac that has long produced wines of breeding and finesse, and that has always offered some of the best value in the Médoc.” – James Suckling

Batailley is the jewel in the Borie-Manoux crown, the Castéja family’s négociant firm. It also owns Château Trotte Vieille in Saint-Émilon and Domaine de l’Église in Pomerol. Located in the heart of the gravelly Left Bank appellation of Pauillac, Cabernet Sauvignon rules this 57-hectare estate, accounting for 70% of plantings. Merlot represents 25% of the vineyard with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot making up the remaining 5%.

The estate is moving towards greener practices: Batailley has adopted the ‘bio-controle’: a form of farming that uses plant and naturally occurring protections rather than chemical inputs while part of the vineyard is worked organically. In the winery, cool fermentation - between 23 and 26˚C and limited pump overs – have been adopted since the warm vintage of 2003, retaining aromatics and fruit purity.

Critic Notes

"The 2019 Batailley, picked 16 September until 7 October, has an impressive bouquet with plenty of concentration, though it manages to remain the traditional classic style associated with this Pauillac estate. Blackberry, forest floor and freshly rolled tobacco burst from the glass, demonstrating fine purity and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. I was most impressed by the balance and poise, almost as if it has a newfound sophistication very evident on the finish. This is a superb Batailley, one of the finest that I have encountered in recent years." 94-96 Points. Neal Martin, Vinous

Chateau Duhart Milon

From the Lafite stable, Duhart-Milon lies to the west of Lafite in the appellation of Pauillac. It benefits from the expertise of the first growth team with the aim of making complex, refined and structured wines. It benefits from a higher percentage of Merlot than Lafite Rothschild (in 2019 the Duhart-Milon blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot whereas Lafite is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon) so can be approached earlier but is eminently cellar worthy.

Critic Notes

"A very balanced, refined Duhart with ever so fine tannins and currant, tobacco and cedar aromas and flavors. Medium to fine tannins. It’s extremely long and polished. Direct. You already want to drink this." 95-96 Points. James Suckling

Château Lafon Rochet 2019

This could be Bordeaux’s most improved 1855 château.”  - Jane Anson, Decanter

Within spitting distance of Cos d’Estournel’s oriental façade, Lafon Rochet’s canary-yellow exterior is difficult to miss. Guy Tesseron was responsible for the paint job and his son Basile joined the Saint-Estèphe estate in 2006. Since then, it has become “one of the most exciting estates in the Médoc,” says Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent. Basile’s cousin is Pontet Canet’s Melanie Tesseron and it seems there has been some of the family’s influence on the estate in recent years with the adoption of organic and biodynamic practices. From 2012, Lafon Rochet became the first Left Bank property to employ the consultancy services of Jean-Claude Berrouet, the former director of Petrus. It all adds up to a fourth growth that’s scaling the quality ladder.

Critic Notes

"The 2019 Lafon-Rochet is absolutely gorgeous. Dark and powerful, yet also wonderfully translucent, the 2019 has so much to offer. Black cherry, licorice, spice, sweet tobacco, leather and dried herbs infuse the 2019 with striking layers of dimension and nuance. There is so much going on in this potent wine; this is a real sleeper in Saint-Estèphe." 93-95 Points Antonio Galloni

Château Feytit Clinet 2019

Located across the road from Château Clinet, this Pomerol has been on a roll since 2006… It is not likely you are going to find a better Pomerol for the money. If you do, let me know about it.” – Jeff Leve, Wine Cellar Insider

This tiny Pomerol estate has made massive strides since the Chasseuil family took over in 2000. The six-hectare clay-gravel vineyard, split 90% Merlot to 10% Cabernet Franc produces just 2,000 cases annually and is made in a classic Pomerol style: suave and rich but with real pedigree. Since 2016, a new vat room has enabled smaller fermentation parcels and further refinement. It is one of Jeb Dunnuck’s off-the-radar picks from the Right Bank: “I absolutely love Jeremy Chasseuil’s Pomerol from Château Feytit-Clinet,” he told FINE+RARE.

Critic Notes

"This hits you right where it counts with all the truffle, dark chocolate and earthy plums, Good levels of concentration, richness, and velvety tannins make all the dark cocoa, black cherry, plum and truffle that much better. The finish really sticks with you too, coaxing you back for another sip." 95-97 Points. Jeff Leve

Clos du Clocher 2019

This up and coming estate is worth keeping an eye on” – Neal Martin

Purchased by Libourne-based négociant Jean-Baptiste Audy in the 1920s, Clos du Clocher remains a family affair with Audy’s great-grandson Jean-Baptiste Bourotte now overseeing the business, which includes Château Bonalgue. He is adopting an eco-friendly integrated farming system: no herbicides are used and organic treatments are used if possible.

Clos du Clocher, enjoys a stellar location in Pomerol: the winery sits next to Petit Village while its major vine holdings sit in front of the village church, close to Hosanna, Trotanoy and a list of other who’s who’s on the Pomerol plateau so why does Bourotte agree that it is still a little off the radar? “Well, we don’t produce a lot of wine but that is only part of the explanation. For 90 years, it wasn’t a wine sold on the place de Bordeaux, benefiting from all the negociants talking and pushing it,” he says. “It’s always been a good Pomerol and over the past 10 years, the press including Neal Martin has been putting us up there but it takes time.”

Critic Notes

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Clos du Clocher needs a little coaxing to reveal subtle scents of black raspberries, kirsch and wild blueberries, before a drop-dead gorgeous perfume of candied violets, cinnamon stick, clove oil, Darjeeling tea and star anise take center stage. The medium to full-bodied palate is very finely knit, with ripe, plush tannins and seamless freshness supporting the elegant flavors, finishing long and fragrant. Score: 93-95 Points. Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Château Berliquet 2019

The brothers behind the fashion house CHANEL added to their Bordeaux portfolio with the acquisition of Saint-Émilion’s Château Berliquet in 2018. The owners of Château Rauzan-Ségla and neighbouring Saint-Émilion property Château Canon purchased the 10-ha site which sits on limestone to the west of the village.  Quality was already on the up from 2007 onwards thanks to the consultancy services of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt, as well as technical improvements in the winery: optical sorting and an increased number of vats to ensure parcel-by-parcel fermentation.

Critics are already noting a stylistic change since 2017 with a more opulent expression in both 2018 and 2019 although that could also be a result of the warm seasons.  This is definitely one to follow.

Château Quinault L’Enclos 2019

This LVHM-owned château, run by the Cheval Blanc team, is in a rich vein of form right now.” – Tim Atkin MW

This 28-hectare Saint-Émilion property in the suburbs of Libourne was saved from the bulldozers in the late 1980s by Dr Alain Raynaud, who continues to be a leading figure in the Right Bank wine community. In 2008, after two decades of nurturing the estate with the help of top consultants Michel Rolland and the late Denis Dubourdieu, Raynaud sold it to luxury goods company, LVMH, which counts fellow Bordeaux producers Cheval Blanc and Yquem in its stable, as well as Champagne brands Ruinart and Dom Pérignon.

The wine is made by the Cheval Blanc team, producing an increasingly elegant expression. Having pulled back on oak barrels to use 500-litre foudres, the fruit (70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) shines through more than ever.

Château Moulin St Georges 2019

“This is utterly gorgeous as ever, and it must be one of the most consistent deliveries out of the big names on the right bank” – Decanter

Owned and managed by the people behind Château Ausone since 1921, the Vauthier family makes a supple Saint-Émilion from this 7-hectare vineyard opposite the Ausone property and at a fraction of the cost. On the southern edge of the UNESCO-listed town, its mainly-Merlot vines are shaped into an intense yet never heavy blend by Pauline Vauthier in the unassuming roadside winery.

French newspaper Le Figaro claims: “The consistency in terms of quality of the last vintages illustrate in the most beautiful way the quality of the work done in this classified Grand Cru which has become, over time, a benchmark of the appellation.” The only downside is that there isn’t more of it made.

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2019

Domaine de Chevalier is on a fantastic run of vintages in recent years and remains one of the most popular choices during En Primeur thanks to its fantastic price to quality ratio.

High density planting from a secluded single 45-hectare plot with rich gravel soils has always best suited Cabernet Sauvignon, making up two thirds of the plot. The 2019 red is ripe and concentrated, but defined by an elegance and freshness in the tannins. It has a very pure fruit character, plenty of finesse and a long, sustained finish. It is quite different to the 2018 - not as opulent, more restrained and elegant.

Critic Notes

The chocolate, walnut, dark-fruit and stone character is attractive. It’s full-bodied and very tight and linear with chewy yet polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of intensity and complexity here, as always. Score: 96-97 Points, James Suckling

Chateau Brane Cantenac

Brane Cantenac has been one of Margaux’s most consistent performers since Henri Lurton took the property over in 1992. In the last decade the quality has taken another sharp upswing as his development in the vineyards has finally come to fruition.

The 2019 is another exceptional vintage for Brane, with its house style elegance and finesse and no shortage of flavour, allied to a complex tannin structure that is incredibly interwoven and broad.

Critic Notes

"Brane Cantenac has been on a hot streak since 2015 and 2019 clearly continues their streak. Flowers, tobacco leaf, herbs and red pit fruits with a closing hint of blackberry create the beautiful perfume. On the palate the wine is sensual, fresh, rich and vivid, with an array of dark red fruits, that really stays with you. This is a gorgeous vintage for Brane Cantenac." 95-97 Points, Jeff Leve

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