On the Trail

2015 Bordeaux Values Are Landing

David Driscoll
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I remember this moment from the Spring of 2016 quite well. We were standing around the table at Château Calon Ségur, scribbling furiously about how delicious the wines were, and after we all piled back into the van it was clear our most passionate reviews were not for the 2015 grand vin, but rather the bargain-priced Capbern expression. "That wine was fantastic," our boss Clyde said to us, turning his head back from the front seat; "We'll buy tons of it." 

That was then. The wine is here now.

I mentioned in a post a little more than a month ago that Bordeaux writer Steven Brooks recently named Calon Ségur as one of the ten most improved châteaux in Bordeaux after finally transitioning out from under the Capbern-Gasqueton ownership. He notes that much of that progress can be attributed to a man named Dr. Vincent Millet, who came over from Château Margaux as technical director of the property and did a complete investigation into the vineyards on site, retooling the layout of the varietals, eventually resulting in a prettier, more finessed grand vin. I've tasted every vintage since 2009 and I have indeed noticed that 14/15/16 are remarkable wines in how approachable they are in their youth. Normally you get power and structure in a St. Estèphe claret, but the Calon Ségur expressions have been much more feminine over the years; 2015 in particular. 

Now that I've tasted the wine again in bottle, I'm even more impressed by the 2015 Capbern. The pretty, fleshy, concentrated fruit is lush and supple on the palate and the tannins are fine, almost chewy. Not only should you buy a bottle of the 2015 Capbern because it's a great wine for a great price from a great producer, you should use it as a bellweather for the vintage. 2015 is the best Bordeaux vintage since 2009 in my opinion and the wines are fruit-forward, yet never over the top; they're approachable yet nuanced and complex. Example number one is the 2015 Capbern: the best bang for your buck Bordeaux thus far at K&L from this fantastic harvest.

-David Driscoll