Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I had planned to have this series wrapped up already, but my new role has kept me quite busy!  That said, I wanted to write at least one more blog about my travels in Bordeaux.  The 2015 was so spectacular that nearly every place we traveled had stunning wine to show.  The fruit and terroir was as expressive as I have ever encountered with the wines of Bordeaux.  I blogged about my favorite wines and now I want to give you all a snapshot of some of the other highlight Chateaux that we tasted.  In no particular order….


Chateau Haut Brion Pessac Leognan 2015 (Truthfully not sure how I missed this omission with the best wines I tasted)- 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon & 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak from a 1st Growth.  Exotic spice, toasted barrel and gravel are encompassed by silky red fruits of raspberry, cherry and wild red berries.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids that are amazingly weightless throughout the palate.  The fruit becomes darker on the mid palate.  The finish is thick and rich with cedar, toast, tobacco, cream and sweet dark fruit that lasts for days! Structured.  James Score: 99-100 Points

Chateau Haut Brion Blanc Pessac Leognan 2015– 69% Sauvignon Blanc & 31% Semillon from a 1st Growth.  Round, precise with flavors of butternut, citrus and cactus.  The mid palate has medium plus acidity with creamy vanilla and toasted oak.  The finish is velvet with nuts, gravel, chalky dust and a wonderfully rounded viscosity.  James Score: 98-100

Chateau Petrus Pomerol 2015– 100% Merlot aged in 50% new oak.  Seamless and round, yet has a gripping, textured mouth feel.  Red fruits flow into creamy vanilla with touches of exotic spices, almond and hazelnut.  The finish offers cinnamon, spice, cream, and coco dust.  Beautiful and supple.  James Score: 97-99 Points

Chateau Ausone St. Emilion 2015– 50% Cabernet Franc & 50% Merlot aged in 85% new oak for 20 months.  The wine shows caramel, vanilla, coconut, cream, and silk that has an underlying tone of earthy complexity.  Decently extracted yet refined.  The Cabernet Franc really comes through with medium plus tannins and high acids.  The finish offers coco dust, iron and chalk.  This wine will age for many, many years!  James Score: 96-98

Chateau Batailley Pauillac 2015– 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot & 3% Petit Verdot from a 5th Growth.  Big, brooding full structured wine with dark, dark fruit.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids with touches of cedar, vanilla and hazelnuts.  The finish offers toasted almonds, tobacco, gravel, tea leaf and licorice.  This wine will age well.  James Score: 96-98

Grand Puy Lacoste Pauillac 2015– 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot & 3% Cabernet Franc from a 5th growth.  Silky textured with dark red currant and a rounded mouth feel.  Touch higher acidity with tobacco, tea leaf, and vanilla bean. The finish offers medium plus tannins and acids with touches of coconut, gravel and dark chocolate. Very Pure.  James Score: 95-96 Points

Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2015– 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot & 2% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak from a 1st Growth.  Voluptuous nose.  Red and dark fruits, cream with medium plus acids and tannins.  The wine is silky and seamless with integrated oak and spices.  Fine, yet a touch gritty with coco dust, tobacco, gravel and coffee.  Great age ability.  James Score: 97-98 Points

Chateau Cos D’Estournel St. Estephe 2015– 75% Cabernet, 23.5% Merlot, and 1.5% Cabernet Franc.  Beautifully perfumed nose.  Richer, rounder with currant, black cherry and blackberry.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids with notes of tobacco, coco dust, mint, and black tea.  The finish is full yet elegant with coffee grinds, focused red fruits and chalky graphite.  James Score: 96-98 Points

Chateau Montrose St. Estephe 2015– 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot & 4% Cabernet Franc from a 2nd Growth.  Dark chocolate, chocolate chips, vanilla and cocoa butter sleek into pure dark red fruits.  The wine is seductive, opulent and seamless with medium plus tannins and acids.  The finish offers tobacco, tea leaf and graham crackers with touches of gravelly dust.  James Score: 96-98 Points

Chateau Calon Segur St. Estephe 2015-86% Cabernet, 16% Merlot & 2% Petit Verdot aged in 100% new oak from a 3rd Growth.  Rich and silky textured with beautiful velvet red fruits.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids with darker red fruits laying on milk chocolate, toasted cedar, and coconut.  The finish offers hints of gravel, tobacco, mushroom, vanilla and dill.  Very Balanced.  James Score: 96-98 Points

Chateau D’Aiguilhe Cotes de Castillon 2015– 85% Merlot & 15% Cabernet Franc aged in 30% new oak.  Massive color with a WOW body.  Full and vibrant with dark red fruits, chalky cream.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids with a roundess that becomes poignant towards the finish.  Very well balanced.  James Score: 93-94 Points

Chateau Pontac Lynch Margaux 2015– 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot from a winery that is literally across the street from 1st Growth Chateaux Margaux.  Rich sweet red fruits that are creamy and textured.  The mid palate is soft and well balanced with medium plus tannins and acids.  The finish offers tea leaf, tobacco, gravel and hints of vanilla.  Silky, Perfumed, and Pleasurable!  James Score: 93 Points

Chateau Gloria St. Julien 2015 (owned by Chateau Saint Pierre)- 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc from Saint Julien.  Wow Nose!  Rich and creamy texture red fruits.  The wine is round, velvety, decadent, & delicious.  Medium Plus tannins, medium acids that finish with tobacco, spice and vanilla.  James Score: 93+ Points

Chateau Gracia St. Emilion 2015 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc & 5% Cabernet Sauvignon not far from Troplong Mondot in St. Emilion.  Silky  smooth red fruits that are encompassed with an earthy terroir.  The wine has medium plus tannins and acids.  The finish is full, yet sleek and elegant.  The terroir really shows true in this wine.  James Score: 96+ Points

Chateau Clinet Pomerol 2015– 90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Cabernet Franc that had a big replant in 1956 due to a big frost.  The winery is eco friendly.  Rich and Hedonistic red fruits are extremely expressive with medium plus tannins and acids. Silky and refined sweet black fruits sink into touches of new oak (65% New) from 15 months aging.  The finish offers cedar, vanilla, and licorice.  The wine is a touch over extracted with higher alcohol.  James Score: 95+ Points

La Croix St. Georges Pomerol 2015– 91% Merlot & 9% Cabernet Franc from a vineyard that is L shaped around the famed Le Pin vines.  Gorgeous red fruit are integrated into medium plus tannins and acids.  Notes of toasted oak, hazelnuts, almonds, smoky tar weave through an extremely complex mid palate.  The finish is long and integrated on vines with an average age of 40 years.  The interesting story here is that Jean Philippe Janoueix implements smaller cigar shaped barrels that give the wine more oak depth.  James Score: 95-97 Points

Chateau Mondotte St. Emilion 2015– 85% Merlot & 15% Cabernet Franc that is an organic Premier Grand Cru Classe B in St. Emilion aged in 80% new oak barrels.  Rich toasted oak combine with creamy vanilla.  The wine is velvet, yet gripping.  Full bodied with high tannins and medium plus acids.  The wine offers red currant, raspberry, cherry and a high amount of minerality.  The finish delivers nuts, chalk, sweet dark fruits, bitter mocha and coffee grinds.  James Score: 97+ Points

Clos Marsalette Blanc White 2015– 65% Sauvignon Blanc & 30% Semillon and aged in 30% new oak.  This wine is bursting with energy!  Tropical fruits of pineapple, lychee, and white peach weave through medium plus acidity.  The mid palate offers white flowers, orange blossom, & banana.  The finish is chalked full of wet stones, minerals, and just a touch of sweet tart and viscosity.  James Score: 95+ Points

Pavillon Rouge (2nd wine of Chateau Margaux) Margaux 2015– 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak for 21 months.  Supple nose.  Rich red fruits of currant and cherry with sweet, but integrated tannins. The wine is round, but definitely has girth.  The finish offers tobacco, cigar box, rich chocolate with gravelly minerality and cocoa dust.  James Score: 96-97 Points

Chateau Dufort Vivens Margaux 2015– 90% Cabernet & 10% Merlot from a 2nd growth.  Powerful nose.  Black & red fruits flow into silky framboise and medium plus tannins and acids.  Notes of tobacco, dust and gravel flow through a terroir driven mid palate.  The finish is filled with rich dark chocolate.  James Score: 95+ Points

Chateau Trotanoy Pomerol 2015– 93% Merlot & 7% Cabernet Franc produced on gravel and black clay.  Silky Red fruit lead into opulent tones of currant and framboise.  Gorgeous and seamless, the wine shows cocoa butter, tea leaf, milk chocolate and whiffs of oak.  James Score: 96-97 Points

Chateau Figeac St. Emilion 2015– 43% Cabernet (high % of Cab for the area), 29% Merlot, & 28% Cabernet Franc from a Premier Grand Cru Classe B producer and aged in 100% new oak.  Plump, rich and textured with darker fruit and a creamy core. The wine is seamless with tobacco, tea leaf, bitter coffee, and milk chocolate.  Figeac is dense and pure with medium plus tannins and acids that are truly focused.  The finish shows coco dust and gravel.  James Score: 97-98 Points

Pin des Dunes Rose 2015– 1/3rd Cabernet, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.  Bubblegum dust, strawberry, juicy fruit, and touches of sweet jam.  Medium plus acidity.  The finish is all jolly rancher and watermelon.  James Score: 90 Points

*These wines aren’t from the 2015 vintage, but tasted and enjoyed.

Chateau Latour Pauillac 2000– 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aged in 100% new oak from a 1st Growth.  Vibrant and aging.  Earthy nose.  Palate is dense and silky with toasted cedar, tobacco and green leaf.  The mid palate is full of red fruits and bitter chocolate. The finish is long with dust and gravel with currant, raspberry and black cherry.  There is a beautiful purity about this wine that begs for contemplation.  James Score: 97 Points

Chateau Loupiac Gaudiet white 2013– 95% Semillon, 3% Sauvignon Blanc & 2% Muscadelle from Loupiac.  Cinnamon Sticks combine with petrol, beeswax and exotic spices jump off the palate.  Notes of salinity, Bosque pear, green apples flow seamlessly through the mid palate.  The finish is pure with medium acids that clean the palate and supplant with a craving for more.  Quite a value for the price!  James Score: 92+ Points

Leoville Barton St. Julien 2014– 83% Cabernet, 15% Merlot & 2%  Cabernet Franc with 60% new oak aging.  Round and Voluptuous with sweet red fruits and exotic spices that are rounded with medium plus tannins and acids.  The finish offers notes of cedar and popcorn with touches of vanilla.  James Score: 94 Points

Gravette de Certan Pomerol 2014– 87% Merlot & 13% Cabernet Franc aged in 1 year old barrels.  Creamy amaretto, coffee and earth combine with exotic spices meld deliciously through the palate with medium plus tannins and acids.  Flavors of raspberry, red cherry, tea leaf and coffee grinds burst into expressive and complex undertones of strawberry jam and graham cracker.  The finish is creamy goodness. WOW!  James Score: 95+ Points

Chateau Marniquet Prestige Brut 1995– Butter, brioche, mushrooms, hazelnuts, citrus, bready, baked confection with medium plus acids.  Button mushroom, cellar door, toast, cream, vanilla.  Truly developed. Deliciously bone dry.  James Score: 98+

Thank You,

James C. Barlow

Certified Wine Educator

Certified Sommelier





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  1. Michael Schneider says:


    I am your Arlington follower. Can I get these in the DFW area?

    Have a great day

    Michael Schneider Mark Andy 314 283 8652

    Sent from my cell phone


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