Reserve de la Comtesse 2015

Reserve de la Comtesse 2015
Simon is the first to confess that the 2015 Bordeaux en primeur has been a real mixed bag and latterly some of the release prices seem way out of kilter with market sentiment and are not often accompanied by startling quality. 
We have a feeling that we will not be adding substantially to the handful of releases we have offered to date. That said, we just received the details of the release of 2015 Reserve de la Comtesse along with those for the Grand Vin, Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande. As much as I was impressed by the Grand Vin, at over £1000/12 I just don’t feel inclined to endorse it to clients – it is but a fraction below the current 2010 pricing.  As to the second wine, Reserve de la Comtesse, I consider it to be one of the stronger examples of this wine in the last decade.  In many vintages the Reserve de la Comtesse is simply a decent wine, only occasionally meriting further commentary. The 2015 however punches ahead of its weight and is a really attractive, relatively forward drinking Pauillac with a purity and race that is uncommon to this wine. My note from April is below :
A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. This vintage of Reserve is hard to resist; it shows a generous, supple natured fruit combining the soft stone-fruited characters of Merlot, with elements of cassis and race from Cabernet. Impressive for its level given the purity on show. Drink 2020-2038
What is really interesting is that almost everyone seems to have picked up on this and there is strong consensus across critics.  I think this might be a smart buy, notably so in the context of the vintage. Aside from Neal Martin’s note below, James Suckling scored it (92-93) commenting;  ‘Lots of blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full body, chewy tannins and a savory finish. A juicy second wine from PL.’  Jancis Robinson MW gave it a score of 17/20 and described it as ‘Very Merlot-influenced with great sweetness. Early maturing. A real fleshy charmer.’  Finally Antonio Galloni comments that ‘the 2015 possesses magnificent depth and pedigree to burn’ scoring it at (90-93).
The price is up on the 2014 by a considerable percentage, but it is worth it and easy to justify. The 2014 represents what one might expect from the estate’s second wine; the 2015 is a serious step up from that, and should drink really well from 2020.
2015 Reserve de la Comtesse 
£285 per 12 in bond 
(90-92) Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2015 Reserve de la Comtesse is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a very fine, quite sophisticated and pure bouquet with black cherries, cedar and violet aromas, perfumed and sensual. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, rounded tannin that is cloaked by layers of tobacco-tinged black fruit that segues into a long, lightly spiced finish. This is a delightful, quite serious deuxième vin that I suspect will age much longer than drinkers will afford it. Try to give this five years and you will be rewarded.
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