Tasting Report: 2015 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

In 2014 we covered the wines of Bordeaux’s St. Emilion region, diving into the 2009 and 2010 vintages in earnest. Recently, Grand Cru producers from the area visited San Francisco to pour their 2015 bottlings, and each was invited to offer an older bottling by way of comparison. These ranged from 2010 to 2014 (though a few did not bring an older vintage at all).

We tasted through 20-some wineries to evaluate the 2015s. As is typical of Bordeaux, quality was variable, with a few major standouts but also a number of lackluster wines that have some growing to do.

Let’s dig into the 2015s.

Tasting Report: 2015 (and Older) Emilion Bordeaux Wines

2015 Château Bellefont-Belcier Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tight, but similar in notes to the chocolate-themed 2011, more spice-forward / A-
2015 Château Bellefont-Belcier Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – heavy with cocoa, licorice, and mild spices; lovely balance, one to watch / A
2014 Château Chauvin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – burly, but with ample fruit / B+
2015 Château Chauvin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – lots of acidity, heavy with herbs / B
2015 Château Grand Corbin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – aromatic with lots of fruit, earthy hints, a standout / A
2012 Château Grand Corbin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – full-bodied, ample fruit, great balance / A
2015 Clos Des Jacobins Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – intensely herbal notes, almost grassy / B-
2011 Clos Des Jacobins Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – aging well, better balance / B+
2015 Château La Commanderie Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – heavy, with an herbal core / B+
2015 Couvent Des Jacobins Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – more restrained, lush fruit, an herbal edge / B+
2010 Couvent Des Jacobins Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – chewy, rounded with licorice and spice notes, some cocoa / A-
2015 Château Dassault Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – lighter in body, but still daunting with jammy fruit / B
2010 Château Dassault Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – very fruit forward for a wine of this age, almost gummy at times / B
2015 Château Faurie de Souchard Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – overly fruity, but similar to the 2014 / B
2014 Château Faurie de Souchard Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tons of dried fruit, jam-heavy / B+
2015 Château de Pressac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – nutty and lush, but a bit over-extracted / B+
2013 Château de Pressac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – very expressive, lots of fruit and a baking spice core / A
2015 Château Fombrauge Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tough and tannic / B-
2014 Château Fombrauge Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – austere; dark fruits and plenty of barrel influence; finish is off / B
2015 Château Fonplegade Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – astringent and muddy / B-
2014 Château Fonplegade Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – earthy and leathery, dark, dusty / B
2015 Château Fonroque Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – very meaty, heavy / B
2014 Château Fonroque Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – a touch musty, some candied fruit notes emerge / B+
2015 Château Franc Mayne Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tough, needs some time; strong herbal currents / B+
2012 Château Franc Mayne Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – some minor oxidation, showing lots of fruit and spice / A-
2015 Château Grand Pontet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – lush and fruity, light florals with hints of chocolate / A
2010 Château Grand Pontet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – showing its age, with ample raisin, spice, nutmeg, and some cocoa notes; drink now / A
2015 Château Le Prieure Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – much softer than 2014; more expressive fruit / A-
2014 Château Le Prieure Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tight graphite and tar notes, leathery; blackberry underneath / B+
2015 Château Jean Faure Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – fresh and vibrant, very fruit-forward but full of life ahead / B+
2014 Château Jean Faure Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – a little dark chocolate amidst the tannin here, pencil lead and lots of fruit at the core / A-
2015 Château La Marzelle Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – youthful, extremely fruit heavy / B+
2012 Château La Marzelle Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – some oxidation, otherwise showing a nice blend of fruit and spice / B+
2015 Château La Tour Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – bold and expressive, with dried fruits and spices; juicy / A-
2014 Château La Tour Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – mushrooms and earth, lively fruit; a touch astringent / A-
2015 Château Laroze Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – tight but extracted; lots of leather and dried currants / B
2012 Château Laroze Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – nose of pepper and spice, pretty violet florals; body is lacking / B
2015 Château Yon Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – more fruit, some leather notes; quite big / A-
2013 Château Yon Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – heavy earth, licorice, and dusty mushroom / B
2015 Château Ripeau Saint-Emilion Grand Cru –curiously juicy, with a raspberry/blackberry core; youthful / B

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