I’m not a massive fan of second wines from top Bordeaux châteaux: there a reason that certain lots don’t make it into the Grand Vin. But some of them are very good wines, and this one – from top Pauillac estate Pichon Baron – was really good in 2015. It’s based on a plot called Sainte Anne which is mostly planted to Merlot. The varietal breakdown this year is 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot with 30% new oak. Pichon Baron are unusual in having two second wines: the other is Les Griffons, which is really good, too, showing a bit more oompf and density than this more elegantly styled Les Tourelles.
Les Tourelles de Longueville 2015 Pauillac, Bordeaux
13.5% alcohol. This is really classy, and drinking perfectly now. Silky and harmonious with sweet blackcherry and blackcurrant fruit, and nice concentration. It has some density, but also softness, and the lush fruit is framed with some fine green notes on the nose, and chalky and gravelly notes on the palate. Everything is in good balance here, and it’s drinking so well. It tastes of luxury in the best possible way, and also speaks of its place. Don’t hold onto this: it’s drinking so well now, and I don’t think it’s got anything to gain from more time in the cellar. Fabulous stuff. 94/100 (£37 Berry Bros & Rudd)
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