An­son’s pick: BPR es­tates, best for cur­rent drink­ing

Decanter - - INTERVIEW -

Cham­pagne Barons de Roth­schild, Blanc de Blancs, Cham­pagne 2006 94 £60 Cheers, David Bell McCraith, The Finest Bub­ble, Vi­natis 100% Chardon­nay. A suc­cess for this in­au­gu­ral vin­tage re­lease. Brings to­gether all three branches of the fam­ily – Mou­ton with cousins Baron Eric de Roth­schild at Lafite and Baron Ben­jamin at Château Clarke. Tightly fo­cused min­er­al­ity, soft toasted vanilla bean with­out be­ing sweet, hints of crab ap­ple and great per­sis­tence. Drink 2017-2032 Al­co­hol 12%

Aile d’Ar­gent Blanc du Mou­ton Roth­schild, Bordeaux 2012 95 £47.50-£ 59.38 (ib) Christo­pher Keiller, Crump Richmond Shaw, Farr Vint­ners 63% Sau­vi­gnon Blanc, 37% Semil­lon. En­tic­ingly drink­able right now. Soft, rich apri­cot and white peach, fleshy but with min­eral over­tones that prove beau­ti­fully per­sis­tent. The grapes un­dergo a small amount (usu­ally less than 10%) of mal­o­lac­tic fer­men­ta­tion to soften the va­ri­etal Sau­vi­gnon char­ac­ter and en­sure this is a lux­u­ri­ous white with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the fresh back­bone. Drink 2017-2025 Alc 14%

Do­maine de Baronar­ques, Chardon­nay, Li­moux, France 2013 92 £ 19.17 (ib) Jus­terini & Brooks A great Chardon­nay that should be far bet­ter known. From the Li­moux re­gion of south­ern France, where things get pretty steep-sloped and high in al­ti­tude, this has the lus­cious, slightly waxy edge of a classic Chardon­nay, but with lash­ings of fo­cused, steely cit­rus char­ac­ter that emerges through the mid-palate. Drink 2017-2025 Alc 13%

Château Mou­ton Roth­schild, Pauil­lac, Bordeaux 1986 100 £ 595-£887 Brunswick Fine Wines, Cad­man, Farr Vint­ners, Four Walls, Seck­ford, The Wine So­ci­ety, Turville Val­ley Wines 80% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, with 10% Mer­lot, 8% Caber­net Franc and 2% Petit Ver­dot. Won­der­ful, con­cen­trated and still as­ton­ish­ingly young, this has brushes of vi­o­let aro­mat­ics ris­ing above the tight cas­sis fruits and rich black truf­fle edg­ing, and the classic men­thol edg­ing of aC ab er netSau­vign on­dom­i­nated Pauil­lac. Wed rank this over lunch and it was breath­tak­ing, but were told that 24 hours later it had blos­somed even fur­ther, so make sure you give this a se­ri­ous amount of time in carafe to open up – some­thing that gives you just a small clue to how struc­tured, lay­ered and com­plex is the wine we are deal­ing with here. Drink 2017-2040 Alc 13%

Chateau Clerc Milon, Pauil­lac, Bordeaux 2009 94 £60 (ib)-£99.16 Blanco & Gomez, Fra­zier’s, Lay & Wheeler, Mil­lésima, The Solent Cellar, Whit­more & White I’m cheat­ing a lit­tle by say­ing this is ready to go, but it’s the be­gin­ning of the true up­ward swing for Clerc Milon, and should be cel­e­brated. The rich­ness of the vin­tage comes through, gor­geous colour, young, op­u­lent, silky, won­der­ful tex­ture. Here new oak crept up to 33% and this is just per­fect, with a vi­brant fresh­ness. Young but not op­pres­sively so. Drink 2018-2032 Alc 13.8%

Al­ma­viva, Maipo Val­ley, Chile 2010 93 £78 (ib)-£ 113.40 Berry Bros Ex­change, Crump Richmond Shaw, Find Me That Wine, Fine & Rare, Rollings Wine Co 61% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 29% Carmenere, 9% Caber­net Franc, 1% Petit Ver­dot. La­teripen­ing vin­tage, 90% of the grapes har­vested in May. Here are the mark­ers of Maipo in a cooler vin­tage – still rich and ex­otic with gen­tle spice, bram­bly black­berry fruits, toasted cof­fee beans, but bal­anced by a real sense of el­e­gance and lift with liquorice root. Not as in­tense as the big­ger vin­tages but beau­ti­fully pre­cise. Drink 2018-2028 Alc 14.5%

Chateau d’Ar­mail­hac, Pauil­lac, Bordeaux 2005 92 £45.83 (ib)-£85.83 BI, Cru World Wines, Fine & Rare, Har­rods, Lay & Wheeler, Mil­lésima, Nick­olls & Perks, Robert Gra­ham, Sand­hams This is al­most the per­fect time to drink this wine, though it still needs de­cant­ing to bring out the plush strokes of fruit. Aro­mat­i­cally it ma­jors on cas­sis, liquorice, cedar, patis­serie. A lovely, classic Pauil­lac that is not overly in­tense and re­tains a sense of juici­ness. Of the three Baron Philippe de Roth­schild Pauil­lac es­tates, this is the 2005 to be open­ing to­day. Drink 2017-2028 Alc 13%

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