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Parker Speaks


The latest issue of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate detailing his scores and notes on 2008 Bordeaux came out late Wednesday night causing a frenzy all day yesterday. Clearly enthusiastic, Parker made such comments as “˜dramatically better than I had expected’ with the wines having “˜exceptionally dark opaque colours, gorgeously ripe fruit, stunning purity almost across the board, great freshness’ and “˜unusually velvety’ tannins.

He further stated that it is a “˜notch’ below the exceptional 2005 and even compared a number of wines to being as good as those made in 2005 and 2000. Pomerol grabbed his attention as “˜the epicentre of many extraordinary wines’ with some even surpassing the 2005s, 2001s and 2000s. Luckily, he feels that it is not confined to Pomerol’s small area but also extends into Lalande de Pomerol, St. Emilion and satellite appellations.

With this in mind, we’re offering three delicious Pomerols: the grand Vieux Château Certan, the often underrated Château Gazin, which received an incredible 94-96 Parker points, and the value-oriented Château Bonalgue, a lesser known Pomerol and a “˜sleeper of the vintage’ that delivers a delicious palate of impressive fruit that reaches far beyond its price of £165.

One of our surprises of the vintage was Château Beauséjour Duffau. Surfacing from anonymity, this estate reached world acclaim in 1997 when Parker gave its 1990 a remarkable 100 points. Since then, it settled back into a quiet existence, until now. Its 2008 reveals tremendous concentration and elegance that really made us stop in our tracks. Furthermore, it was released at less than its 2004 making their 2008 a fantastic value.

Owned and produced by Château Ausone, Château Fonbel is a stylish wine for the more price conscious St. Emilion drinkers.

Two other new 2008 releases include the perennial favourites: Domaine de Chevalier Rouge which Parker describes as “˜One of the finest wines made at this estate over the last three decades’, Domaine de Chevalier Blanc and Château Poujeaux, another good value wine for the vintage.

Tasting scores are taken from Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages, Wine Spectator, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, Matthew Jukes and Goedhuis & Co.

Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol (limited)
£495.00 £/cs IB
2014 – 2030+

“Another fine effort from Alexandre Thienpont, his 2008 offers a plump, velvety core of dark, ripe fruit and chewy, dense tannins. The late harvest enabled him to use all 10% of his Cabernet Sauvignon which gives this wine a sturdy feel and fantastic ageability. Its salty tang finish adds further lift and depth.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 28, 2009
JR:17.5, WS:89-92, RP:94-96, MJ:17.5, GD:90-92

Ch Gazin, Pomerol
£370.00£/cs IB
2012 – 2026+

“The 2008 is a marvelous effort from this property situated adjacent to Petrus and only a stone’s throw from l’Evangile. An amazing effort, the wine exhibits an inky/ruby/purple color, wonderful concentration, a beautifully sweet perfume of caramels, mocha, jammy black currants, and smoky blackberries, a full-bodied mouthfeel, a layered, skyscraper-like texture, and sweet but elevated tannins. Overall, it displays gorgeous freshness and delineation.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 28, 2009
WS:88-91, RP:94-96, MJ:17.5, GD:90-93

Ch Bonalgue, Pomerol
£165.00 £/cs IB
2012 – 2020+

“A consistently well made, fleshy, succulent, hedonistic Pomerol meant to be consumed during its first 10-12 years of life, Bonalgue’s 2008 is a sleeper of the vintage. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by sweet black cherry and plum-like fruit, a fleshy texture, and a heady, long finish with ripe tannin and good freshness. It is a pretty wine for drinkers, not speculators.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 28, 2009
JR:16.5, RP:88-90, GD:89-91

Ch Beausejour Duffau, St. Emilion
£275.00 £/cs IB
2015 – 2030+

This star of the vintage displays an impressive sweet core of fruit, tremendous precision and loads of velvety tannins. Well-balanced, powerful yet full of finesse, this wine should be at least £100 more a case for what it delivers. Highly recommended.
WS:88-91, RP:90-93, GD:90-93

Ch de Fonbel, St. Emilion
£120.00 £/cs IB
2012 – 2022+

Displaying a certain Ausone touch, this medium-bodied wine is deep in colour with notes of blueberry, blackberry and cherry. Finishes on zesty black pepper and aromatic vanilla spice.
JR:16.5, WS:87-90, RP:88-90, GD:88-90

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac Léognan
£285.00 £/cs IB
2013 – 2030+

“…This beautifully textured, dense purple-colored 2008 exhibits notes of graphite, spring flowers, and blue as well as red fruits in an elegant, full-bodied, flavorful, layered mouthfeel. The freshness of the vintage, combined with low yields has given this cuvee an atypical density and richness that is largely unprecedented. Production is relatively small for the size of the vineyard (about 8,000 cases). This beauty should drink well for 25+ years.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 28, 2009
JR:17+, WS:90-93, RP:92-94, MJ:17.5, GD:90-92


Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac Léognan (limited)
£295.00 per 6 IB
2012 – 2022

One of the most famous white wines from the Graves (after Haut Brion’s), the 2008 is pretty and succulent with notes of honeysuckle, white peach and apricot. Mouthfilling yet refined, its notable concentration takes it gracefully forward to its long finish.
JR:17.5, WS:90-93, RP:90-92+, MJ:17.5, GD:90-92

Ch Poujeaux, Moulis
£165.00 £/cs IB
2012 – 2024+

Savoury and aromatic on the nose, this 2008 is feminine and smooth on the palate offering up notes of raspberry, cassis and chocolate. The fine-tuned tannins kick in a bit on the finish but overall, this offers refined balance and elegance.
JR:16.5, WS:87-90, RP:89-91, MJ:16.5, GD:88-90