Paris tasting of Royal’s 2019 and other French wines – November 2021

So, in June I made my way to Paris and I posted the Royal wines I tasted, they were mostly white, rose, and a few red wines as well. For the past many years I have been tasting the new releases from Royal wines with Menahem Israelievitch. Sadly, last year, because of COVID I tasted the 2018 vintage in my house. Thankfully, Paris was open in November, and I returned to taste more wines.

The 2014 vintage to me, was crazy fun because it is less ripe than the 2015 or 2016 vintages. They were also FAR cheaper. Then you had the 2015 wines which were more expensive and far riper than the 2014 vintage. This 2016 vintage is the best of both worlds, but it comes at a crazy high price. I warned you at that time, during the epic post of my visit to Bordeaux with Mr. Israelievitch, that you better start saving your money, sadly nothing has changed about that. The REAL shocker price-wise of the 2016 vintage was Chateau Malartic, which rose to almost 150 or more a bottle! That was close to double the 2014 vintage.

In a previous post about the most recent French wines (at that time in 2017) that were arriving on the market – I already spoke about pricing and supply, so there is no need to talk that over again in this post.

While the 2015 and 2016 vintages were ripe, the 2017 vintage was not ripe at all, with the 2018 vintage making the 2015 ripeness look tame! Well, I am happy to say that the 2019 vintage is far more in control, less heat is obvious, though it showed up in a few wines below. Now that is a very broad-stroke statement that cannot be used uniformly, for the most part, go with it! Thankfully, the 2019 vintage will be priced slightly lower than 2018, overall, more on that below.

The Mevushal push, from Royal wines, is continuing for the USA labels. More wines are being made Mevushal and while I wonder if this is good overall for myself, it makes sense for Royal wines, which in the end, I guess is what matters to them. Will this be an issue? In the past, I have found that the mevushal work of Mr. Israelievitch is top-notch, and just ages the wine rather than ruining it.

The Mevushal wines from France for the 2018/2019/2020 vintages will be the

  • 2020 Les Marrionniers Chablis, Chablis
  • 2020 Chateau Les Riganes, Bordeaux
  • 2020 Chateau Genlaire, Bordeaux Superieur
  • 2018 Des Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild Les Lauriers, Montagne Saint-Emilion
  • 2019 Des Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild Les Lauriers, Montagne Saint-Emilion
  • 2018 Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild, Haut-Medoc
  • 2019 Chateau Greysac, Medoc
  • 2019 Chevalier de Lascombes, Margaux – YES this is new for 2019 OH! How exciting (note by sarcasm!!!)
  • 2019 Chateau Le Crock, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux
  • 2018/2019 Chateau de Parsac
  • 2019 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc, Grand Vin – YES this is new for 2019 OH! How exciting (note by sarcasm!!!)
  • 2019 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Red, Grand Vin – YES this is new for 2019 OH! How exciting (note by sarcasm!!!)
  • 2018/2020 Chateau Les Riganes, Blanc
  • 2017/2019 Chateau Mayne Guyon

Now does mevushal impede the long-term viability of aging in regards to the wine? Well, that too is not something that we have scientific proof on. I have tasted a mevushal 1999 Herzog Special Edition and it was aging beautifully! Same with the Chateau Le Crock, over the past few years. So, would I buy the mevushal versions of the wines I tasted below! The answer is yes! Would I age them? Yes, I would hold them for slightly fewer years. To me personally, it is very clear, if Royal had their way they would make the Pontet Canet Mevushal! Nothing to Royal is sacred and this will not stop with the list above, it will grow, proof is Chevalier and Gazin!

Other than the mevushal aspect, there are no differences between the European version of the wines and the USA version of the wines. While that sounds obvious, I am just stating it here. The wines will be shipped now and the temperature issues that affected Israel’s wines of old, have not been a factor here.

The 2019 Pricing and access

When the 2019 wines were released “En primeur” the date was late May 2020. The world, at that time, knew nothing about COVID other than it was killing thousands and questions were all we had. Still, wineries in Bordeaux decided to plow on and the first of the virtual tastings took place on May 28th, 2020 – from Chateau Pontet Canet! This was the non-kosher tasting but at that moment when wines were shipped the world over, wineries decided to lower prices! Remember, we had been raising prices year over year, 2014 to 2015, to 2016, to 2018, it was time to reset. The pandemic allowed for that. Thankfully, and sadly, the world has slowly come back from the brink of death, and now, the 2020 vintage, which has the “En primeur“, in Bordeaux, June 2021, raised prices – so yeah, the 2020 Chateau Pontet Canet is more expensive than the 2019 vintage.

On top of that, the 2019 Chateau Pontet Canet is going to be impossible to buy. I have asked why certain wines in the past were not made more often or the such? Like why do we have Leoville every 2 or more years? Why can it not be more like Giscours? The answer I have received, from many at Royal is that folks still fear what happened during the last recession of 2007/2008. They had made too much of Leoville and Pontet Canet, in a short period, and well, sadly it sat. I get it, who wants to stare at walls of wine they cannot sell?
My issue with that is – well that was more than 15 years ago guys! Maybe a better way to say it is to channel Dorthy – Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Do we believe that another 100 cases would not sell?? The Malartic white is almost sold out! Malartic white! A wine no one thought they could sell 10 years ago. The world of the kosher wine consumer has moved in leaps and bounds – to continue to think like it is still 2008 is to belittle us and deny many what they want – more Pontet Canet! I will get off my soapbox, but it is truly time to stop with the kneejerk mindset. Like no 2019 Chateau Leoville Poyferre, why? Look at the famous 2014 Chateau Montviel story! It sold out in a week. Why? Because there was so little made. Again, the kosher consumer has moved past the days of old – I think it is time for Royal to do the same.

I understand that when Pontet Canet started up, again, with a new run of kosher wine, they created a separate sub-winery for the production. Further, they replicated the process, the varietal blend, and overall physical impact. The physical impact does define the total potential output, but it is time to start to grow the market. The market can and should support large output, especially in the trophy wine space, you can always control the output by skipping a vintage, in the end, Giscours and Leoville have proven it is doable, and I hope that Royal will continue to feel comfortable and grow Pontet and Leoville as we progress down the road.

Still, as always, we are indebted to the work of Menahem Israelievitch and Royal Wines for producing so many wonderful wines, even if they are in low supply. The 2019 Chateau Pontet Canet is a very different wine than the 2003 or the 2004 Chateau Pontet Canet. First of all, the system used to make those wines, back then, have changed drastically in the past 10 years, at the Chateau. Everything is now over the top, in regards to everything there. All production is done by hand and that adds to the cost. To me, the wine is also very different, stylistically, gone is the powerhouse, what we have now is a refined masterpiece. It may shock some people, and that is good, but to me, it is a classically styled and built wine for the future, and the best wines I have tasted this year, so far anyway.

Tasting in Paris

I landed in Paris, the day before this tasting and I met up with Avi Davidowitz from the Kosher Wine Unfiltered blog. It was a true joy to hang out with Mr. Davidowitz for a few days. It was so nice of him to fly from Israel to join me in the tastings. We also tasted over 70 wines – outside of the planned tastings. We thankfully had a great hotel room and it gave us loads of space to hang out and taste through those wines.

We had the chance to taste both the Mevushal and the non-Mevushal versions of two wines, side-by-side. Those were the 2019 Chevalier de Lascombes and the 2019 Chateau Le Crock. I missed the Chevalier de Lascombes but I got the Chateau La Crock. In my defense, both of the Chevalier de Lascombes are ripe, and differentiating the ripe from the riper was not obvious, but hey, I missed it!

My many thanks to Menahem Israelievitch for going out of his way to help me to taste all the current French wines from Royal Wines before they were publicly released. The labels on the pictures may not all have a kosher symbol, but that was because they rushed some of the bottles to Mr. Israelievitch before they were properly labeled with supervision symbols attached. My many thanks to Mr. Israelievitch, Royal Europe, and Royal Wines for making this tasting possible in the first place, and secondly, for taking the time to taste the wines with me.

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

2019 Domaine Ternynck Bourgogne, Les Truffieres, Burgundy (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is ripe apple, pear, melon, a bit of citrus, and spice. The mouth on this wine is nice but lacks the acidity to make it come together well, with melon, pear, mineral, and spice. The finish is a bit short with hints of nectarine, orange, mango, and sweet mint. Drink now. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2019 Les Marrioners Petit Chablis (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is nice, tart, with floral notes of apple blossom, quince, mineral, slate, hay, straw, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, with great acidity, nice fruit focus, and a life to it that is quite refreshing. The mouth shows apple, quince, pear, hints of melon, blossom, orange pith, nectarines, and nice flint. The finish is long, green, with lemongrass, flint, and smoke, with acidity lingering long. Bravo!! Drink until 2023. (tasted June 2021)

2020 Les Marrionniers Chablis, Chablis (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is nice with steely notes, yellow flowers, floral notes, with flint, smoke, and green notes. The mouth on the medium-bodied wine is nice with hay, straw, good minerality, nice smoke, flint, green apple, pear, and good acidity, and a nice mouthfeel. The finish is a bit short but nice with good acidity, clean lines, apple, flint, lemongrass, and foliage. Drink by 2023. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2020 Les Marrionniers Premier Cru, Montee de Tonnerre, Chablis – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is bright with Asian Pear, lemongrass, nectarines, Mandarin Orange, nice flint, yellow flowers, minerality, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, well made, layered, complex, with rich salinity, lovely green apple, mineral, flint, bracing acidity, lovely green notes of tart Granny Smith apple, layers of toast, quince, and rich mineral. The finish is long, tart, elongated, with flint, smoke, tart lime, white flowers, tart peach, and great salinity. Nice! Drink until 2023. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 12.5%)

2019 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc, Grand Vin, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux – Score: 92 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is the France-based non-Mevushal wine, it is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is lovely, truly elegant, it is not a New Zealand aroma sledgehammer, this is a more precise, elegant, and subdued but beautiful nose of saline, mineral, gooseberry, with slight cigar smoke smell from the barrels, with apple, earth, rocks, clay, with Asian pear, passion fruit, and apple. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is lovely, layered, and precise, intense acidity, saline, slight oak tannin, lovely sweet oak notes, sweet yellow apple, gooseberry, lemon/lime candy, more mineral of clay, rock, saline, with green notes of garrigue, lemongrass, and acid that goes on forever. The finish is even longer than I was expecting with acidity that never leaves the mouth, with saline, smoke, tart lemon/lime, grapefruit, all wrapped in sweet tannin, earth, clay, and sweet yet perfectly balanced fruit. Bravo!! (edited here based upon Dan’s comment)
While this wine is truly lovely and a clear step up from the 2018 vintage in style, it is lither than the 2018 vintage and has a drop less acidity as well. For me, the wine’s mouthfeel, richness, and yet its incredible acidity and fruit combine for a truly rich, precise, and well-balanced experience. Drink until 2029. (tasted June 2021)

2019 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc, Grand Vin, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
Well, I truly enjoyed the non-Mevushal version of this wine that I tasted in Paris – it is beautiful! This bottling – whether it is the Mevushal process or shipment or whatever else, is not at the same level, sadly. The nose on this wine is muddled, gone is the screaming Sauvignon blanc joy, now we are getting the dense oak, apple, peach, lemongrass, lacking in the gooseberry, or other bracingly green and acidic/bright fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, it lacks the bracing acidity of what I had in Paris, with green apple, too much sweet oak, lemongrass, pear, intense orange pith, citrus, with sweet spices, and smoke. The finish is long, almost tannic, with green notes, more oak, spices, and nice vanilla. Drink until 2025. (tasted October 2021) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV=13%)

2019 Domaine Ternynck Bourgogne, Les Brulis, Burgundy – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is fruity, dark fruit, blackcurrant, smoke, earthy, with sweet oak, plum, and rich loam. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, tart, ripe, and smoky, with simple notes, good fruit structure, smoke, and nice green notes. The finish is long, smoky, green, with roasted herbs, tart, and ripe. Drink until 2024. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2020 Domaine Ternynck Bourgogne, Les Brulis, Burgundy – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is ripe but well balanced, showing blackcurrants, currants, tart red plum, dirt, loam, smoke, and earthy, nice. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is tart, cranberry, tart currants, dark cherry, green notes, foliage, the nose, and mouth are almost asymmetric, very interesting, with tart stems, and a nice plush mouthfeel. The finish is long, green herbal, with roasted mint, smoke, coffee, and herbs. Drink by 2025. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2020 Chateau Trijet, Bordeaux – Score: 91.5 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is deeply dirty, with rich notes of loam, foliage, iron, ripe red and black fruit, with good mineral, smoke, raspberry, plum, and toasted herb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, showing good elegance, nice green and red fruit, well balanced, with lovely salinity, rich smoke, raspberry, blackberry, plum, cherry, with great fruit focus, a good dense yet refreshing attack, almost plush, with screaming acidity, lovely scraping mineral, roasted herb, licorice, and lovely menthol. The finish is long, green, smoky, earthy, dirty, and well balanced, with more acidity, dark chocolate, and nice tannin lingering long. Nice!!! Drink until 2025. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14.5%)

2020 Chateau Les Riganes, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: GREAT)
This is the Mevushal version, last time I was in Paris I had the non-Mevushal version. This wine is a blend of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, & 15% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is floral, much like the non-mevushal version, with rich rose petals, tart red fruit, green notes, loam, forest floor, and dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is floral, with green notes, herbal, with dark cherry, tart raspberry, intense floral notes of rosehip, sweet oak, garrigue, with sweet notes of red plum, and tannin. The finish is long, green, herbal, smoky, red fruit, super floral, and dirty. Drink until 2023. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2020 Chateau Genlaire, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 86
The nose on this wine is ripe, with clear bubblegum notes, followed by tart red and blue fruit, loads of floral notes, white flowers, and herb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows more bubblegum, tart red fruit, raspberry, herbal notes, floral notes galore, and nice spice. The finish is a bit short, with green and blue fruit, floral, and herb notes. Drink by 2024. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Chateau Canteloup, Medoc – Score: 91.5 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is really fun, it needs a bit of time to open, but with 30 minutes of air, the wine opens to show lovely minerality, rich saline, graphite, dense fruit, smoke, and lovely green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, showing nice minerality, green notes, raspberry, dark cherry, good scraping graphite, limestone, rock, iron, and clay. The finish is long, green, mineral, and smoky, with graphite, clay, and lovely foliage. Drink until 2025. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 12.5%)

2018 Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild Les Lauriers, Montagne Saint-Emilion (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot & 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is ripe, like many of the 2018 Merlot-based wines from Bordeaux, though the Cabernet Franc does help, thankfully. The nose shows notes of ripe strawberry, dark brooding fruit, green notes, asparagus, but then comes the dark and dense fruit, with minerality, and nice smoke. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine has some balance, but wow is this wine ripe, it lacks the refreshing balance I crave, the dark blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry, are balanced with a few green notes, smoke, and nice minerality, the tannin is dense, and the sweet oak is not overpowering. The finish is long, ripe, and smoky, with green notes, tobacco, bell pepper, garrigue, and leather. Drink from 2024 until 2028. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14.5%)

2019 Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild Les Lauriers, Montagne Saint-Emilion (M) – Score: 91.5 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot & 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is less ripe than the 2018 vintage, with lovely licorice, nice floral notes, good balance, red fruit, nice loam, forest floor, and nice spice. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is dense, layered, and nice, a great level-up from 2018, with lovely licorice, dense tannin, lovely green notes, clay, scraping graphite, tart raspberry, tart plum, dark cherry, and rich saline, with lovely draping tannin. The finish is long, green, dirty, earthy, with sweet smoke, scraping graphite, limestone, clay, sweet tobacco, leather, and lovely roasted herbs. Nice!!! Drink from 2025 until 2029. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Chateau de Parsac, Montagne Saint-Emilion (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The 2019 vintage is much like the 2018 – boring, green, and tinny, not an interesting wine and one I can be fine without any time soon. White pepper, green bell pepper, cherry, raspberry, not much else. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Barons Edmond & Benjamin De Rothschild, Haut-Medoc (M) – Score: 86 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is too green for me. The nose on this wine is green notes, asparagus, green beans, some red fruit, and dirt, boring. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is also too green, with great acidity, more of the green fruit, some raspberry, cherry, and not much else, with some tannin, and more dirt. The finish is long, green, too green, with smoke, and nice dirt. Drink until 2028. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild, Haut-Medoc (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this wine is nice, more balanced than the 2017 vintage, with notes of black and red fruit, loam, dirt, yellow flowers, and some green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice with good balance, showing good acidity, with ripe black and red fruit, blackberry, dark raspberry, with nice clay, dirt, loam, good graphite, saline, and nice smoke. The finish is long, with green notes, black tea, more graphite, bell pepper, raspberry, cassis, and leather lingering long. Nice! Drink from 2024 until 2030. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2019 Chateau Malmaison, Moulis-en-Medoc, Bordeaux – Score: 91.5 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine starts with too much oak and oak influence, with time, that fades and becomes elegant and lovely. The nose on this wine is lovely, after the intense oak fades, showing notes of smoke, tar, blackberry, blueberry, roasted herbs, sweet currants, wrapped in sweet dill, and roasted notes. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is far more balanced than the 2018 vintage though less dense more elegant, starting with great acidity, sweet tobacco, cigar smoke, toast, blackberry, strawberry, sweet currants, wrapped in an unctuous and mouth-draping elegant tannin, precise fruit focus, and lovely foliage. The finish is long, green, tannic, balanced, with more sweet tobacco, sweet dill, mouth scraping graphite, charcoal, and lovely smoke. Drink from 2027 until 2033. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Etoiles de Mondorion, Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is nice, green, with ripe fruit, but tart and balanced, with lovely flowers, lavender, rosehip, rich loam, dirt, red fruit, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well-balanced with intense acidity, followed by a nice mouthfeel, good searing tannin, backed by dark cherry, raspberry, plum, dirt, and good smoke. The finish is long, green, with garrigue, scraping tannin, nice graphite, earth, and smoke, with dry tobacco, and menthol. Nice! Drink from 2024 until 2030. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2018 Chateau Royaumont, Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux – Score: 93 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 70% Merlot & 30% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is balanced, though a bit ripe, with bright fruit, ripe plum, dark cherry, anise, menthol, tobacco, with green notes from the Cabernet Franc, foliage, smoke, and slightly burnt oak. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is well-balanced, with loads of fruit to start, layered, concentrated, plush, with screaming acid, black raspberry, plum, smoke, oak, rich fruit, nice saline, good dirt, earth, black pepper, with ripe fruit, and loads of mouth draping tannin. The finish is long, ripe, with loads of sweet chewing tobacco, dark chocolate almost milky, with more earth, graphite, and smoke galore. Nice! Drink from 2028 until 2034. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 15%)

2018 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – Score: 93.5 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is heavenly, with notes of clay, graphite, loam, dirt, smoke, and earthy notes of rich forest floor, mushroom, and red and black fruit, WOW! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is lovely, ripe, layered, dense, and extracted, with rich concentration showing blackberry, cassis, blueberry, lovely dirt, scraping graphite, rich mouth-drying tannin, lovely acidity, with rich roasted herb, rosemary, basil, mint, and menthol, lovely! The finish is super long, green, herbal, with leather, graphite, pencil shavings, iron, mushroom, forest floor, and lovely leather, wow! Drink from 2027 until 2035. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chateau Greysac, Medoc (M) – Score: 91.5 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is closed with notes of ripe fruit, dark cherry, blackberry, iron, pencil shaving, nice minerality, tar, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, well-balanced, with lovely acidity, lovely minerality, with great fruit focus, attack of rich saline, blackberry, cassis, dark cherry, raspberry, rich loam, graphite, mouth-drying tannin, with brooding dark fruit that emerges with time, still, the acidity does a great job of balancing the wine, even with the intense fruit, along with licorice, vanilla, and rich leather. The finish is long, super long, with intense tannin, brooding ripe fruit, iron, scraping graphite, and rich saline, but the fruit scares me, as such the window is a bit tight. Drink from 2026 until 2030. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Gazin Rocquencourt, Pessac-Leognan – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is ripe and powerful with notes of blackberry, funk, graphite, dark plum, earth, and smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, with rich blackberry, saline, blueberry, dark plum, earth, with elegant mouth-draping tannin, tar, smoke, candied plum, sweet cedar, milk chocolate, sweet vanilla, and nice loam. The finish is long, ripe, sweet, with sweet tobacco, nice graphite, sweet vanilla, boysenberry, and smoke. Drink by 2029. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chevalier de Lascombes, Margaux (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is too ripe for me, this ripeness is not a Mevushal issue, as I tasted both the Mevushal and non-Mevushal side by side, blind at first. The wine scares me and is not a wine I would like. The nose on this wine is ripe, too ripe for me, with brooding black and blue fruit, blackberry, plum liqueur, milk chocolate, ripe cassis, and hints of candied fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is too ripe, there is nice acidity, but overall, the wine is unbalanced for me, with layers of concentration, dense fruit, sweet tannin, heat, blackberry, ripe plum, and ripe cassis. The finish is a bit short, tannic, ripe, and sweet, with milk chocolate, leather, and sweet spices that give way to cinnamon, cloves, and tarragon. Drink until 2030. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chevalier de Lascombes, Margaux – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is too ripe for me, this ripeness is not a Mevushal issue, as I tasted both the Mevushal and non-Mevushal side by side, blind at first. The wine scares me and is not a wine I would like. This is the non-Mevushal version. The nose on this wine is ripe, too ripe for me, with brooding black and blue fruit, blackberry, plum liqueur, milk chocolate, ripe cassis, and hints of candied fruit. The mouth of this full-bodied wine is a bit less ripe but hard to tell, with nice acidity, this bottle shows a bit more balanced, with layers of concentration, dense fruit, less sweet tannin, blackberry, ripe plum, and ripe cassis. The finish is a bit short, tannic, ripe, and sweet, with milk chocolate, leather, and sweet spices that give way to cinnamon, cloves, and tarragon. Drink until 2033. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chateau Giscours Grand Cru Classe En 1855, Margaux – Score: 95 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon & 35% Merlot.
The nose on this wine is ripe but well balanced with lovely minerality, graphite, clay, smoke, roasted animal, sweet cedar, sweet baking spices, iron, and lovely loam.
The mouth on this full-bodied wine is dense, layered, elegant, controlled, and yet powerful, with layers upon layers of rich saline, ripe blackberry, cassis, boysenberry, dark raspberry, dense and concentrated, with stunning fruit focus, closed but lovely with graphite, dense loam, rich mouthfeel, and mineral that is just stunning.
The finish is long, dense, rich, layered, with hints of foliage, green notes, scraping graphite, clay, rich loam, dark chocolate, leather, and lovely roasted herbs. BRAVO!! Drink from 2031 until 2042. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2018 Chateau Saint Corbian, Saint-Estephe – Score: 92.5 (QPR: WINNER)
The wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Merlot. The nose on this wine is smoky, dirty, and earthy, with dark raspberry, blackberry, dark currants, black tea, and green notes.
The mouth on this medium-plus-bodied wine is lovely, tart, balanced, earthy, smoky, with great acidity, followed by green notes, asparagus, blue notes at the end, with smoke, and loam.
The finish is long, green, earthy, dirty, white pepper, cloves, herb, mint, menthol, and lovely leather and graphite. Nice!! Drink from 2026 until 2033. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14.5%)

2019 Chateau Le Crock, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 92.5 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. While I liked the 2018 vintage some did not, but this is a nice wine either way.
The nose on this wine is perfectly balanced, with lovely fruit, loam, dirt, smoke, bright and ripe plum, black and red fruit, with ripe dried strawberry, Tisane tea, and rich mineral. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, layered, beautifully controlled, with rich smoke, saline, lovely loam, beautiful graphite, pencil shaving, sweet oak, mouth-draping tannin, blackberry, dark plum, strawberry, elegance, and control, that gives way to some extraction, with sweet tobacco, and mineral. The finish is long, green, loam, dirty, rich, and yet elegant, with roasted meat, smoke, draping elegance, incredible richness without the show, really a wine to hold but one that can be enjoyed now. Drink from 2027 until 2036. If you must have it now decant for 2 hours. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2019 Chateau Le Crock, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux – Score: 93.5 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. This is the return of lovely wine, I liked the 2018 vintage some did not, but this is nice indeed. These are the notes for the non-mevushal version of this wine!
The nose on this wine is perfectly balanced, with lovely fruit, loam, dirt, smoke, bright and ripe plum, black and red fruit, with ripe dried strawberry, Darjeeling tea, and rich mineral.
The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, layered, beautifully controlled, with rich smoke, saline, lovely loam, beautiful graphite, scraping pencil shaving, mouth-draping tannin, blackberry, dark plum, strawberry, elegance, and control, that gives way to richer extraction than the Mevushal, with sweet tobacco, and mineral.
The finish is long, green, loam, dirty, rich, and yet elegant, with roasted meat, smoke, draping elegance, incredible richness without the show, really a wine to hold but one that can be enjoyed now. Drink from 2030 until 2039. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2019 Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux – Score: 92.5 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. The nose on this wine is incredible, dense, rich, layered, richly perfumed, and floral, with intense roasted herb, intense ink, iron shavings, graphite, black and red fruit, with smoke, and roasted animal, wow! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is there and not there, you can tell there is dense fruit from the wine’s structure, but there is no fruit to describe really after you open the bottle, but it does come out many days later, it is not hollow (at the start) as much as it is just not there yet, hopefully, it will unfold, to start it has dense extraction, rich saline, lovely blackberry, roasted herb, mint, oregano, elegant mouth-draping tannin, rich graphite, lovely precision and graphite that make the mouth scream, great acidity, with loam, and lovely smoke. The finish is long, dense, beautifully controlled, with scraping minerality, saline, graphite, iron, pencil shaving, more roasted herbs, and dense fruit, all coming together to a crescendo, really fun, not ready! Thankfully, almost 10 days later the wine found its stride, yes 10 days! The wine showed all its glory and more and I stand by the notes, this wine will need a long time until it is ready, and decanting it, will NOT help. If you buy this wine, be ready to watch it from afar for a long time. Drink from 2030 until 2037. (tasted September 2021 and November 2021) (in USA & Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chateau LaGrange Grand Cru Classe En 1855, Saint-Julien – Score: 94+ (QPR: GREAT)
WOW, what wine for a 12.5% ABV wine, come on, the next time someone says I need to wait for the phenolics to talk with me, the answer is this wine! This wine is a blend of 80% cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, & 2% Petit Verdot.
The nose on this wine is lovely and perfumed with rich minerality, dense loam, graphite, smoke, roasted animal, clay, black and red fruit, all wrapped in more dirt, tar, and licorice, wow!
The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is beautiful, the acid is perfect, balanced and tart, elegant and layered, with lovely raspberry, plum, dark currants, hints of blue fruit, with ripe cassis, scraping mineral, dirt, loam, roasted herbs, menthol, with sweet vanilla, and lovely licorice.
The finish is long, with draping tannin, scraping mineral, and lovely tar, loam, nice leather, and rich garrigue, really lovely! Drink from 2031 until 2042. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 12.5%)

2019 Chateau Pontet-Canet Grand Cru Classe en 1855, Pauillac – Score: 96
This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, & 2% Petit Verdot. I must start by saying that this wine is pure finesse, it is not a concentrated monster, it is not an extracted beast, rather this is an elegant expression of love for the vine, wine, and what went into the making of it. The entire process of making this wine was done by hand, no pump over, no machines, no destemming machines, the entire process from picking to just before bottling was done by hand.
The nose on this wine is very special, a perfume of dirt, rich loam, tar, clay, and graphite, with lovely red and black fruit, blueberry, lovely green notes, floral notes, rich forest floor, barnyard, and deep minerality, incredible.
The mouth on this wine is too young, but what you get is more than just elegance, you get purity and clean lines, with no ripeness, no oak, just lovely loam, dirt, raspberry, blackberry, cassis, blueberry, dark sweet cherry, balanced to perfection, with a stunning fruit focus, structure, and mouth-draping tannin, followed by more barnyard, forest floor, green notes, savory notes of herb, rosemary, basil, mint, and rich spice.
The finish is long, elegant, clean, with foliage, mouth-draping tannin that coats and layers the mouth followed by herbs, clay, limestone, graphite, and mushroom, all wrapped in elegance and tannin that makes the wine linger in the mouth forever. Drink from 2036 until 2045. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

————————————————— tasted in the hotel room —————————

2019 Chateau Haut Condissas Prestige, Medoc, Bordeaux – Score: 93 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is lovely, showing notes of dense black and red fruit, rich minerality, iron filings, graphite, rock, loam, lovely roasted herb, oregano, and rich spices. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, layered, extracted, balanced, and wonderful, with ripe blackberry, dark plum, incredible intense graphite, great acidity, layers of concentrated fruit, searing and mouth draping tannin, with sweet oak, lovely green notes, foliage, bramble, and rich saline. The finish is long, dense, layered, dark, balanced, and elegant, with layers of fruit, foliage, bramble, green notes, dark tobacco, graphite, lovely roasted herbs, with hints of sweet spices. WOW! Lovely! So far the best of the 2019 reds, with many more to come! Bravo!!!! Drink from 2028 until 2037. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France and in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Chateau Tour Seran, Medoc, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
Thankfully, the kosher and quality issues of Tour Seran are all done with and it is BACK baby!! The 2019 Chateau Tour Seran is a true WINNER! The nose on this wine is the most balanced of the red 2019 vintage wines I have had so far, outside of the Chateau Haut Condissas, though I have had few 2019 reds so far. The nose on this lovely wine is dense, rich, controlled, no oak monster to calm down, this wine is in perfect balance and harmony, with dark black and red fruit, rich dark chocolate, graphite, mineral, spice, loam, and the start of some very nice forest floor, just lovely! The mouth on this full-bodied wine shows what a properly made, full-bodied wine should feel and taste like, the wine comes at you in waves of concentrated, yet elegant fruit, followed by a dense and concentrated mouthfeel, lovely extraction, showing rich blackberry, raspberry, cassis, saline, smoke, mineral, loam, green foliage, rich tobacco, tar, and precision in the impressive fruit focus. The finish is long, green, dense, ever-lasting, and perfectly balanced, with dry tobacco leaves, tart fruit, still lingering tannin, lovely leather, spice, and more scraping graphite. Nice!! Drink from 2025 until 2033. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France and in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Chateau Rollan de By, Medoc (M) – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is scary, ripe, cooked, with a bit of balance, showing red fruit, and herbs. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is a mess, a disaster, with cooked fruit, overripe blackberry, plum, this could be a storage issue, but for now, this is what I have, flat, no acid, and uninspiring. The finish is short and useless, with loads of tannin, and much else. Drink by 2027. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Chateau La Clare, Medoc (M) – Score: 60
BAD BOTTLE (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

Posted on December 2, 2021, in Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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