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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > FRANCE: Bordeaux

Winner Details

FRANCE: Bordeaux

2017 Gold: 7 Silver: 8 Bronze: 12 Commended: 10
2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 13 Bronze: 6 Commended: 8

And so it continues. After generally skulking around the edges of the Sommelier Wine Awards with loads of attitude and a nasty line in tannin, Bordeaux hit a record number of Golds for the third year on the trot.

We got two rather lovely whites, a stunningly well-priced Bordeaux rouge and a string of excellent Left Bank reds as well, from the A-List 2010 vintage and the less-heralded 2012, which now seems to be hitting its straps. Considering that (give or take 20p here or there) all our Golds and most of our medal winners were under £20, there was a lot of pedigree on display here.

The only disappointment (and it wouldn’t be Bordeaux without a ‘but’…) was, as so often, the Right Bank, where the tannins were greener, the fruit less charming and the prices often on the high side.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘This selection showed you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a nice white Bordeaux. It’s easy to match with food – quite gastronomic, especially for Sauvignon Blanc.’ Antoine Cabre, Spring Restaurant

‘Quite a few of the Right Bank wines were quite green with a lot of oak used to make up the wine, to make it look and taste more attractive. I was disappointed.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan Group

‘Bordeaux is consistently relevant as a category; you’ve always got people going for the classics, at all ages of customer.’ Michael Fiducia, Coworth Park Ascot

‘The Left Banks were a great flight. All of us as sommeliers get very bored selling Bordeaux, but this shows that there’s a lot of value in the category.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘Bordeaux is still very important on a wine list, especially at Christmas. Sale or return worked very well for us this year – we sold more and had a bigger choice – it was a profitable exercise for me.’ Frédéric Billet, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘I was pleasantly surprised. Bordeaux has been a bit out of fashion between £12 and £20… but these wines showed very well. I wouldn’t be offended if I went to a restaurant and was charged £70 for any of these. The Left Bank flight were serious, well-made quality wines.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘The moral  [of our flight of Right Banks] is: don’t try to have a cheap Bordeaux, particularly in a poor vintage. A lot of astringency and greenness at the lower price points.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

 

‘We will always list it, and we will always sell it.’  James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

Award winners

Found 37 wines

France: Bordeaux

Château du Moulin Rouge, Haut-Médoc 2012, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

Judges praised elegance and complexity here, awarding Gold. Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms thought it ‘rich and deep, with very good ageing potential’. ‘Balanced with good structure, purity of fruit and that trademark Bordeaux dustiness,’ said Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, concluding: ‘Shows good value at the price point.’ The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira thought this ‘a good wine for starters like steak tartare’.

£12.92 Davy's Wine Merchants

Le Grand Chai, Bordeaux Rouge 2012, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

This great-value Gold was described by Sosharu’s Masahito Suzuki as showing ‘cooked black and red fruits, touches of spice and velvety texture with well balanced oak’. Neil Pinto of Candlesticks appreciated its ‘dried red fruits and plum notes’, while Cavalry & Guards Club’s Andre Luis Martins praised ‘dark cherry and black olive aromas, with rich fruit and a well-extracted body, with elegant tannins. A Sunday roast wine.’

£4.98 Direct Wines Production

Château Lamothe-Cissac, Vieilles Vignes, Haut-Médoc 2012, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

A Gold-standard wine with ‘fantastic balance and a long, pleasurable finish’, according to Frédéric Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, who very much enjoyed its ‘elegant, refined nose, herbaceous character and white pepper notes, and great length revealing big potential to age further’. Team leader Angela Reddin agreed, pointing out its ‘effortless elegance and style’. For team leader Lionel Periner, this had ‘berry and dried-flower aromas, leading to velvet tannins and a long, elegant finish – a match for duck with girolles’.

£20.23 Domaines Fabre

Clos Floridène, Graves 2012, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

This Gold winner offered abundant fruit, alongside some spice and minerality for added complexity. While Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot found ‘light cassis and violets on a dry palate’, consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates enjoyed its ‘intense red and black fruits, concentrated nose, touches of cedar and nice tannins with a full mouthfeel’. Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms wanted to see this paired with ‘filet mignon and a creamy black pepper sauce’.

£15.56 Matthew Clark

Château Lamothe-Bouscaut, Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2015, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

‘This is a fine example of the region,’ began Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum, with his account of this Gold Lister continuing: ‘Complex and balanced fruit flavours, exotic pineapple notes and integrated oak with a creamy texture, and the alcohol is well integrated too.’ ‘Delicate initially, but flavours explode on the mid-palate, and it shows typicity with good length,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW. Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate appreciated ‘stone fruit, like nectarines, as well as a mushroom-butter note’.

£18.09 Liberty Wines

Château Larose-Trintaudon, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois 2010, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

‘A well-made wine showing good complexity,’ began team leader Olivier Marie of this Gold winner, impressed with its ‘fresh liquorice and cassia bark notes on a complex nose, and a resinous note on the palate indicating toasty new oak’. Team leader Lionel Periner appreciated its ‘red fruit and green bell pepper, with complex fruit and well-balanced oak’, while The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira liked its ‘vanilla, cherry and a touch of black pepper, giving this wine complexity and finesse’.

£15.59 Liberty Wines

Château Ste-Marie, Entre-Deux-Mers 2015, Bordeaux, France

Gold medal winner

This Bordeaux Blanc might have started out a bit shy, but it soon endeared itself to our judges with its freshness and approachability – enough to earn itself Gold. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed its ‘lovely ripe lemons with a creamy mid-palate’, finding it ‘multi-layered and a good example’, while Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum found it ‘elegant and easy drinking, a touch of flinty minerality, versatile and good with seafood’.

£9.30 Enotria&Coe

GCF Exclusif, Château La Fortune, Margaux, Cru Bourgeois 2014, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

A unanimous favourite with our panel. ‘New oak dominates currently, bringing flattering coconut and vanilla notes,’ said team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: ‘Technical, but very well made, with good earthy character and chalky tannins to balance.’

£19.20 Famille Helfrich

Château Lanessan, Les Calèches de Lanessan, Haut-Médoc 2011, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

‘Clean and ripe style, showing lifted, fleshy fruit with dark plum and red berry overtones,’ began team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: ‘Good oak integration with moderate complexity, leather and some balsamic notes on the palate.’

£12.80 Boutinot

Château Rauzan-Gassies, Gassies, Margaux 2010, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

‘Textbook, drink now!’ began consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates, highlighting its ‘cedar, hints of cigar box, integrated tobacco and earthy notes all knitting together nicely’. ‘Showing development, tertiary character, complex and à point,’ added impressed team leader Olivier Marie.

£22.06 Bibendum

Mongravey, Château de Braude, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois 2014, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

Consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found ‘pretty oak character, blackberry and blueberry fruit, though a touch tight and tannic at the moment’, with team leader Olivier Marie adding: ‘Fleshy fruit with good oak integration, nice texture and good length.’ One to decant now or age.

£14.43 Mongravey

Château Larose Perganson, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois 2011, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

‘Good for drinking right now, with beautiful forest fruits in evidence and great length, very typical Bordeaux,’ said Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted. ‘Good, very classic, with roasting nuts, red and black fruits and a smooth, flowing ride,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£17.44 Liberty Wines

Château Lestrille Capmartin, Bordeaux Blanc 2015, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

A wine with ‘a delicate nose and waxy texture’, according to team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who enjoyed its ‘core of ripe lemon, and savoury lees notes on the palate adding texture and structure’.

£11.58 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château Lestrille, Entre-Deux-Mers 2016, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

‘A more restrained style,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who noted ‘quince and lemon peel on the palate and a nice, creamy texture’, while Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant noted ‘fresh mineral, lovely fruitiness and nice texture’.

£9.80 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château Ste-Marie, Bordeaux Supérieur 2014, Bordeaux, France

Silver medal winner

Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin enjoyed its ‘attractive, peppery violets and fine spicy grain, and savoury style with bitter chocolate notes’, while at the same time noting a little ‘under-ripeness hidden behind the oak, with some coffee-mocha character’. ‘Shows typicity with its fleshy red plum fruit and well-integrated tannin,’ said leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£9.44 Enotria&Coe

Le Grand Chai, Bordeaux Rouge 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Correct style, showing bright red fruit, this is a simple but good-value option,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found ‘tannins, dry leather and warmth on the palate’.

£4.96 Direct Wines Production

Château Baron Bellevue, Côtes de Bourg 2012, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Sue Jones of The harrow at Little Bedwyn enjoyed the ‘spicy wood notes, bilberry fruit on the nose and gamey richness’, while Andrea Cotichella of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa summed it up as ‘fruity, juicy and rich’, and team leader Laura Rhys MS noted its ‘nice weight on the palate’.

£7.28 Boutinot

Château Chapelle d'Aliénor, By La Gaffelière, Bordeaux Supérieur 2015, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW praised its ‘lovely, attractive nose of black and red bramble fruits’, adding that ‘soft tannins and approachability make it ready to drink now, and very suitable for the on-trade’. ‘Young, but good concentration and potential to be a good wine,’ agreed Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£16.42 Chateau Chapelle D'alienor

Château Mongravey, Margaux, Cru Bourgeois 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Andrés Iterate of Coq d’Argent was very taken with this ‘great, very well-made wine’, highlighting ‘lots of dusty character and stone minerality, good dark fruit and concentration on the palate with good structure and a lengthy finish’.

£20.00 Maison Liedbergh Limited

Antoine Moueix, Château Capet-Guillier, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted ‘lots of creamy vanilla oak’, and found this a ‘very polished wine, delicious to drink now, with its juicy mid-palate and well-integrated oak’. ‘Big, chunky, with concentration, depth and very dark fruit,’ added Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin.

£29.95 Liberty Wines

Château Tour Bayard, Montagne St-Emilion 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Enjoying its ‘bright nose and dense, expressive palate’, Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin also spotted an unusual note of ‘orange zest alongside bitter dark chocolate’, finally concluding that it was ‘tense and vibrant, with very dark, crunchy fruit’.

£14.95 Majestic Commercial

Château des Bardes, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle was struck by its ‘nice deep colour and black fruit characteristics’, picking up ‘black cherries, blackcurrant and blackberries on the palate, well-incorporated tannins, vanilla notes and good structure indicating good ageing potential’.

£15.30 Matthew Clark

Château Pontet Bayard, Montagne St-Emilion 2013, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Black fruits on the nose, then a palate that’s nicely balanced between cassis fruit, vanilla and cedar spice with hints of blackcurrant leaf and well-judged tannins,’ said Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle. ‘All in balance and great value for money,’ concluded team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£10.65 Matthew Clark

Château Bernadotte, Haut-Médoc 2012, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Youthful but developing,’ began Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group, continuing: ‘Ripe red fruits and plum with pencil lead and wet forest floor on the nose, then chalky and grippy on the palate with medium acid and tannins.’

£12.00 FARR VINTNERS LTD

Château Edmus, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

One that will benefit from plenty of air at this stage, though Immacolata Cannavo of Hakkasan Dubai found it ‘good value, approachable, with vanilla oak and black cherry fruit, smooth and well balanced’, while Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle felt it would ‘age perfectly in three to five years’.

£21.34 Top Selection Ltd

Clos Floridène, Graves Blanc 2014, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum felt it had ‘potential to age and develop, but now shows an elegant nose that’s fairly aromatic with smoky, spicy notes and exotic citrus fruit character’, adding: ‘The ripeness is controlled and it’s a well-crafted wine.’

£18.21 Matthew Clark

Château Boutisse, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2011, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels was impressed with this ‘complex wine, showing notes of dark cherry, cedar and cigar box with good leathery notes’, while finding the palate ‘concentrated and powerful, with a lingering finish’.

£19.44 Matthew Clark

Sadel, Maison Givas, Bordeaux 2015, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£8.52 SADEL

Vignobles Bertin, Clos l'Hermitage, Lalande de Pomerol 2012, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£12.16 Boutinot

Domaines Cuvelier, Château La Croix, St-Estèphe 2012, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

Château Boutisse, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2013, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

Château Tour St-Fort, St-Estèphe 2014, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£14.50 CHATEAU TOUR SAINT-FORT

Château Tour St-Fort, St-Estèphe 2015, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£14.50 CHATEAU TOUR SAINT-FORT

Château Potent Bayard, Montagne St-Emilion 2011, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£11.01 Matthew Clark

Château de Barbe, Côtes de Bourg 2014, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£10.79 Matthew Clark

Château des Gravières, Collection Prestige, Graves 2015, Bordeaux, France

Commended medal winner

£10.47 Enotria&Coe

Château des Gravières, Graves Blanc 2016, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£8.99 Enotria&Coe

 

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