On the Trail

2015 Bordeaux for the Long Haul

David Driscoll

While many of the young 2015 samples we tasted at this year's en primeur event were fresh, youthful, and approachable even at this stage in their infant lives, there were a handful of more brooding, rustic, and old school wines that had "cellar candidate" written all over them. They were more powerful, showcased a darker, more tannic profile, and were still quite closed at this point in their evolution. Two of those wines were from the Barton family: Leoville and Langoa respectively.

We met with Lilian Barton-Sartorius in the tasting room at Langoa-Barton, just across the street from Leoville in St. Julien. As a long time friend of K&L, the relationship between our two companies has stood the test of time and Lilian's wines have long been favorites of Clyde, Ralph, and the rest of the staff. We exchanged pleasantries and quickly got down to business. Lilian poured us a glass of the 2015 Leoville-Barton, which just launched today at a very reasonable $76.99. The wine was opaque in the glass and the aromatics were all black current and anise. The fruit popped for an instant on the palate, but quickly succumbed to powerful tannic structure and a firm acidity. "This wine could easily go twenty years," Clyde said with a grin. We transitioned over to the 2015 Langoa-Barton, the kid sister, that also launched today at a respectable $48.99. The result was the same, albeit with red fruits instead of black: a quick burst of tart cherry and red current, then a firm and structured finish. Both wines should make terrific additions to the collection especially at these reasonable prices.

Two other wines that just recently released with big potential, big points, but affordable price tags were the 2015 Giscours and the 2015 du Tertre, both quite tannic and structured in their profiles. We tasted each at the relative UGC events and found both to quite firm. The Giscours was like strawberry tobacco and pure finesse but with a big, tannic finish. Many experts thought this vintage might be the best in fifty years for the Margaux property. The du Tertre was also quite bold with firm, dry tannins and a more savory finish. In a vintage with plenty of ripeness and forward fruit, these four wines were much more classic in their profiles—true clarets for those who don't mind the wait!

-David Driscoll