Top Bordeaux scorers over 10 years

Image

Bordeaux fans may be aware that every year a group of about 20 of us – trade and media – taste all of the top 200 or so wines of each vintage when they are about three and half years old, so well settled in to bottle. 

For historic reasons we call these the Southwold tastings and this year, when we assessed the 2014 vintage, I suggested it would be interesting to compare the performance of individual châteaux over time. (I was spurred on by the feeling that Smith Haut Lafitte, Léoville Poyferré, Pichon Baron and Suduiraut always seemed to do particularly well.) 

The team at Farr Vintners who organise this tasting have obligingly come up with this list of average scores out of 20 over the last 10 vintages – 2005 to 2014 inclusive – for various groups of wines. I for one find the results fascinating. Bear in mind that we taste completely blind and the wines are tasted in peer groups.

Didn’t Champs Libres, the dry white made by the Guinaudeaus of Ch Lafleur on their home farm near Fronsac, do well? And Christian Seely (pictured right), in charge of AXA Millésimes (including Pichon Baron and Suduiraut), should perhaps be in line for a bonus. As for Daniel and Florence Cathiard of Smith Haut Lafitte (pictured below), they should give themselves a very hearty pat on the back. I for one salute their commitment to sustainability, too.

You can see thousands of my tasting notes from these blind tastings by clicking on the Southwold tag above.

Left-bank first growths and equivalents
1 Mouton 17.96
2 Latour 17.75
3 Margaux 17.71
4 Haut Brion 17.67
5 La Mission 17.58
6 Lafite 17.25

Right-bank first growths and equivalents
1 Le Pin 17.52
2 Petrus 17.43
3= Cheval Blanc 17.17
3= Ausone 17.17
5 Lafleur 17.08
6 Angelus 17.05
7 Pavie 16.29

Left-bank super seconds
1 Pichon Baron 16.89
2 Cos d’Estournel 16.85
3 Leoville Poyferré 16.64
4 Forts de Latour 16.55
5 Lynch-Bages 16.52
6 Léoville Barton 16.50

St-Émilion
1 Tertre Roteboeuf 16.60
2 Figeac 15.83
3 Canon 15.75
4 Valandraud 15.64

Pomerol
1 L'Église-Clinet 16.90
2 Vieux Château Certan 16.74
3 L'Évangile 16.64
4 Le Gay 16.43

Pessac-Léognan
1 Smith Haut Lafitte 16.11
2 Domaine de Chevalier 16.09
3 Pape Clément 15.87
4 Haut-Bailly 15.78

Margaux
1 Palmer 16.36
2 Issan 16.04
3 Brane-Cantenac 15.95
4 Rauzan-Ségla 15.88

St-Estèphe
1 Cos d’Estournel 16.85
2 Montrose 16.18
3 Calon Ségur 16.00

St Julien
1 Léoville Poyferré 16.64
2 Léoville Barton 16.50
3 Ducru-Beaucaillou 16.48
4 Léoville Las Cases 16.37
5 Langoa Barton 16.16

Pauillac
1 Pichon Baron 16.89
2 Forts de Latour 16.55
3 Lynch-Bages 16.52
4 Pichon Lalande 16.37
5 Grand-Puy-Lacoste 16.27 

Dry whites
1 Smith Haut Lafitte 16.43
2 Haut-Brion 15.77
3 Pape Clément 15.66
4 Malartic Lagravière 15.63
5 Champs Libres 15.58

Sweet whites
1 Yquem 17.18
2 Suduiraut 16.84
3 Fargues 16.70
4 La Tour Blanche 16.61
5 Climens 16.32