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Bordeaux 2014: the wine we all want?

A “quintessential” Domaine de Chevalier released this morning but despite positive noises from merchants, is it the wine everyone wants?

The Pessac-Léognan property released at €33.6 per bottle ex-négociant, a 22.2% increase on its 2013 price.

Neal Martin rated it 92-94 and called it “reserved” but also “quintessential Domaine de Chevalier…which is what we all want.”

Merchants have been largely positive of the wine’s “ever-improving” quality and the estate’s policy of sensible pricing. Liv-ex’s members voted it in joint third place with Léoville-Poyferré in the sub-£500 best value list and at £330 a case it seems to have fulfilled that remit.

However, back vintages continue to loom large in most properties’ histories and the 2008 is coming back to haunt Domaine de Chevalier here, currently available at the same price and with the same score, and the 2011 which is under £300 p/cs and has 93+ from Robert Parker is also a potential stumbling block.

As Lea & Sandeman suggested though: “The prices will eventually catch up with the quality here, so worth a punt on that basis?”

The estate’s much-lauded white wine was also out today; at €60 p/b it won’t be much cheaper than other back vintages but it is rare and has a strong following.

Also out today were Pomerol estate Clinet at €44 p/b a 12% increase on 2013 and Saint Julien fourth growth Branaire Ducru rose 18.1% to €29.4.

Neither have many cheaper back vintages but Clinet has several that are only marginally more expensive and with far better scores as the 2014 scraping an 89-91 point spread from Martin who noted that the 2014 lacked the wine’s “usual concentration and flamboyance on the finish”.

A second sample apparently showed better and perhaps its score will improve at a future re-tasting.

The campaign is now well advanced – and to some effectively over – but several key names are yet to release, namely: Pichon Comtesse, Léovilles Las Cases and Poyferré, Montrose, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Vieux Château Certan.

Also out recently: (all prices p/b and ex-négoce)

Malescot St Exupéry – €29.5 (+8.7%)

Monbousquet – €27.5 (+10%)

Brane Cantenac – €31.5 (+16.7%)

La Mondotte – €108 (+8%)

Grand Puy Ducasse – €22.2 (+5.7%)

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