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Bordeaux, Medoc

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  • 154. Bordeaux Supérieur AC 2014

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    Château Moutte-Blanc

    50% Merlot, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon (13% alc.)

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    This is a very special, rare wine from a 3 hectare vineyard planted in 1939 in the Margaux commune of Macau. It's rare to find a Bordeaux-Supérieur in the Médoc, the more so when it has such a high percentage of Petit Verdot. Vigneron Patrice de Bortoli is the PV specialist in the whole of Bordeaux - the grape gives distinct freshly milled black pepper and spicy notes to the wine. Oak aged for 14 months in recent barrels, this has a very supple, unforced texture, only displayed by wines with real breed. Best carafed at the last moment. For drinking now to 2023.

  • 155. Haut-Médoc AC 2014 Marguerite

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    Château Moutte-Blanc

    100% Cabernet Sauvignon (13% alc)

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    Patrice, whose estate qualifies as one of 46 Crus Artisans, has a tiny plot of 0.30h on a superb terroir of reddish colured gravel opposite Ch Cantemerle in Macau. Here the vines are approaching 20yo and give a superb wine, aged in a mix of new, one and two year old barrels, with a class, reserve, suppleness and elegance of dark cedar flecked fruit that make the finest Haut Médoc such a bargain. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 156. Bordeaux Supérieur AC 2014 Moisin

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    Château Moutte-Blanc

    100% Petit Verdot (14.5% alc.)

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    Moutte Blanc’s top wine comes from 0.70 hectares of gnarled 80yo PV, 300 metres from the estuary planted in ‘Palus’, a pebbly, clay soil. Although PV is very capricious and demands more than twice as much work in the vineyards as merlot, the spectacular wine that results is worth the effort. Given a low temperature extraction (necessary for PV) it was aged in 60% new oak with the balance from one and 2yo barrels. It was racked by an ancient practice ‘a l’esquive’, barrel by barrel, to avoid pumping and filtration, and fined by egg white in each barrel (half an hour’s work per barrel!) again to avoid pumping. It offers a fabulous bright dark plum colour, dark fruits and pepper on the nose, is very complete wine with depth and complexity, a fine tannic structure and is fresh and persistent on the finish. For drinking now to 2029.

  • 157. Haut-Médoc AC 2015

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    Closeries des Moussis

    70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc (12.5% alc.)

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    Laurence and Pascale produce this exquisite wine from just one hectare of high density, bio-dynamically tended vines worked by their own horse, situated on the sandy, gravelly plateau of Senejac near Le Pian Médoc. The extraction is very delicate by occasional pigeage, and the wine is sensitively aged in just 10% new to 7 year old barrels, the majority of which are 400 and 600 litres, rather than the more traditional 220 size. It would be difficult to find a purer fruited wine (using older barrels and low sulphur really help) which mingle black and red fruits, with a dynamism, freshness and very digestible quality, and exceptionally fine tannins on the finish. And I don’t usually mention labels, but the design is exceptional too, and is just another sign of the care and love behind this wine.  For drinking now to 2023.

  • 158. Haut-Médoc AC 2014

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    Château Micalet

    67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc (12.5% alc.)

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    Really good Haut-Médoc from a seven hectare organically certified property in Cussac-Fort-Médoc where the 30yo vines are planted in sandy gravelly soil. On the nose the wine is most attractive with a slightly floral element, feeling very close to the grape in style. Extraction and oaking has been very sensitively judged, and the wine offers ripe plum and herbal notes, and is very composed and well balanced. For drinking now to 2021.

  • 159. Haut-Médoc AC 2015 Miracle

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    Osamu Uchida

    100% Cabernet Sauvignon (11.6% alc.)

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    Osamu has just 0.60 hectares of 30yo vines in a tranquil spot surrounded by pine forests (the previous owner ploughed, never used chemical and sold his grapes to the co-op!) from which he produces just 2400bts in a good year. Vinifications and elevage are carried out in his garage just 125 metres away from the high-tech headquarters of Mouton Rothschild! Destalking the grapes by hand, a cool fermentation with pigeage by hand, very gentle extraction (half traditional, half carbonic maceration from the whole grapes not broken up by pigeage), no racking, ageing in one year old 500ltr barrels, no fining or filtration help to produce this beautiful wine. All finesse, it has a very delicate colour, silky structure, no impact from oak, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with an energetic fresh zing, tannins well knitted in. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 160. Haut-Médoc AC 2013

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    Clos du Jaugueyron

    60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot (13.5% alc.)

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    This is a wine of real class and pedigree from a tiny five hectare domaine where no effort is spared to produce exceptional wine from organic viticulture. Mid-plum in colour, the nose is understated with hints of cherry and mocha. The palate offers rich, but very supple, silky fruit. Oak has been very sensitively handled and the fine tannins are well knitted in. For drinking now to 2023.

  • 161. Margaux AC 2014

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    Château des Graviers

    61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 8% total of Petit Verdot, Carménère and Malbec (13% alc.)

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    Each grape in this wine is produced on the terroir best suited to its qualities and vigneron Christophe Landry practices a different method of pruning for each grape. His merlot is aged in 400ltr barrels and cabernet sauvignon in 225 ltr barrels, naturally. The percentage of new oak is adjusted according to the strength of the vintage – and from the outstanding 2014 vintage, represented one third with the balance comprising one and two year old barrels. It offers a clear, bright black cherry colour, a kernel of rich fruit with great depth, and superb texture with good freshness and marked mineral flavours. Very, very long on the finish. For drinking now to 2025.

  • 162. Margaux AC 2014 Nout

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    Clos du Jaugueyron

    55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon (13% alc.)

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    Nout comes from 25yo vines planted in a gravel-clay soil in the lieu-dit of Tertre. Worked bio-dynamically now by Michel and Stephanie, yields are a low 29hh, and the wine was aged for a year in 50% new oak and 50% 1yo barrels. We love this cuvée from the really well balanced attractive year of 2014, the higher proportion of merlot makes it relatively open in its youth, it has the purity, clarity of fruit and elegance that you come to expect from Jaugueyron, with a mineral fleck of salinity on the finish. For drinking now to 2025.

  • 163. Margaux AC 2012

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    Clos du Jaugueyron

    70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc (13% alc.)

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    Michel Théron makes two cuvées of Margaux from 2.71 hectares of vines.  This top cuvée is a selection from specific parcels and barrels oriented towards cabernet (the soils are more gravelly in the higher part of the vineyard where cabernet is planted and sandier for merlot in the lower).  Aged for 12 months in 85% new and 15% one year old barrels, then nine months in cuve to settle the wine. This has a dark cherry colour, very sensitive extraction, the class and reserve of cabernet, and terrific fine grained tannins on a very long finish. For drinking now to 2026.

  • 164. Margaux AC 1996 Grand Cru Exceptionnel

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    Château Bel Air Marquis d’Aligre

    35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec (12.5% alc.)

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    It’s quite rare to be the first UK importers of this wine direct from the estate (it’s sometimes available via the grey secondary market) from a vigneron who has already produced 67 vintages in his life and is 84yo! The vines here are suitably old, some over 100yo, from the west of the appellation above Virefougasse, where there is a fine, sandy texture to the soils. Jean-Pierre Boyer has never followed trends, dispensing with all oak for ageing back in the 1960s and instead carrying out a long patient three year elevage in cement cuves, and then selling the wine when it’s at least ten years old. All his wines are renowned for their long ageing capacity. Tasted from cuve the young juices show incredible breed and class, they are very pure (no herbicides) and harmonious with an old viney stamp and reserve. We have purchased the best vintages from 1996 to 2005. The 1996  offers a brick red colour, black cherries and red currants, mid-weight with a good wallop of intensity on the palate, and still a tannic touch on the finish which will ensure it has a good few years ageing ahead of it. Low sulphur. For drinking now to 2030.

  • 165. Vin de France 2013

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    Domaine du Jaugaret

    80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec (12.5% alc.)

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    A jewel of a wine made from a clutch of low yielding 50 year old plus vines in Beychevelle, surrounded by vines from the famed St Julien crus of Ducru-Beaucaillou and Gruaud-Larose.  Aged in two to ten year old barrels for three years and racked every four months it is no wonder that in its youth it doesn’t taste anything like wines aged in new oak then rushed into bottle after eighteen months. Whether the authorities deem his wine St Julien or Vin de France, it’s all the same to owner Jean-François Fillastre.  This is strictly for those with a little patience who can age this wine until at least 2019.  Given proper ageing, its purity and finesse make it more than a rival for its grand cru classé neighbours. For drinking 2020 to 2037.

  • 166. St Estèphe AC 2012

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    Château Graves de Pez

    68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot (13% alc.)

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    We’ve had a look at a good number of St Estephe, and finally we’ve found a wine that excites us. It is made by Maxime St Martin who in his late twenties is the youngest vigneron in the appellation (Dad is a cru artisan Haut-Médoc producer in Lamarque). It is a three hectare estate where the 45yo vines are planted in gravelly soils overlying limestone clay. Aged in 25% new to 3yo barrels, this wine has a bright ruby colour, an aromatic richness characterised by red fruit and spices, good intensity of fruit on the palate, a suppleness of texture and fine well integrated tannins. For drinking now to 2025.