This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous

Welcome to this week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous! Each week we compile a list of wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! All of the wines listed in this feature are available for purchase on Banquet . This week's must-try wines are from Neal Martin’s article, Bols Blue to Bordeaux: Barde-Haut, Clos l’Église & Poesia . Enjoy an excerpt from this article and reviews below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Many moons ago, around 1999 if I have my dates correct, I was invited to an impromptu lunch at the much-missed Hanover Bar & Grill, a rather dingy basement steakhouse that boasted decent Antipodean wines, a boisterous atmosphere and models from the Vogue head office opposite, picking at their salad. This was back in the day of long liquid lunches, when workers staggered back to their Mayfair offices and snoozed away the afternoon. A Bordeaux merchant introduced me to a young Hélène Garçin-Cathiard, then riding the crest of a wave after her 1998 Clos l’Église received a score that got her telephone ringing 24/7. Not wishing to tar all my friends in Bordeaux with the same brush, but she was different. She brimmed with joie-de-vivre, you felt that you could invite her out clubbing and she’d drink you under the table. She was a breath of fresh air and became one of the first Bordeaux proprietors I got to know well. Since then, she has hardly changed, indefatigable, feisty and funny with enough energy to solve the current fuel crisis, energy that she expends onto her properties, giving them a sense of momentum. I visited her Saint-Émilion estate, Château Barde-Haut, last June, to conduct a comprehensive tasting of her properties together with her husband Patrice Lévêque. For this tasting we focused upon Barde-Haut, Clos l’Église and Poesia. Readers should note that their fourth property in Castillon, Château d’Arce, is well worth seeking out. Just to spice things up, the vintages were not revealed until after the tasting. “My first vintage was 1997,” Garçin-Lévêque tells me before broaching the first bottle. “I arrived in Bordeaux the previous year. Before that, I was at school and then I went to work in Canada. I was selling Bols Blue in clubs. I had a lot of fun. My family bought Clos l’Église at the end of 1996 and oversaw the élevage of that vintage, though we had to transfer the barrels to Haut-Bergey as we had to completely overhaul the cellar. So, the 1997 Clos l’Église was the first vintage that we made at the château.” I asked how she met her husband and became Garçin-Lévêque? Her better half is really a Burgundian at heart, one of the few winemakers you can guarantee will be upon his tractor whatever time you visit. Most Bordeaux proprietors would not know how to turn the tractor ignition on, let alone manoeuvre it through the vines for hours on end. Personality-wise they are yin and yang, her husband more laconic, a pensive winemaker who is constantly questioning his approach. Garçin-Lévêque answered my question in a typically candid fashion: “Patrice came to visit Château Haut-Bergey in 1996, and I told him ‘you need to take me out’ because his mother wanted to buy some land from us next to Chantegrive.” Over the years, I have had many discussions with the couple about the use of consultants. In the past, they appointed Michel Rolland to assist from 1998 to 2001, Dr. Alain Reynaud until 2014 and then Thomas Duclos. But that has changed. “There are no consultants now, just Patrice,” she tells me. “It was very interesting to work with consultants, giving advice and informing what is going on around us, though they did not make final decisions. Now, we exchange ideas with many different people, but we have a clear vision of what we want to do at all our properties. --Neal Martin, Bols Blue to Bordeaux: Barde-Haut, Clos l’Église & Poesia, June 2022 1. 2015 Barde-Haut 2. 2018 Barde-Haut 3. 2019 Barde-Haut 4. 2016 Poesia 5. 2019 Poesia

Château Poesia

Saint-Emilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2019

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2019 Poesia has the richest and most opulent bouquet with precocious black cherry, glycerine, lavender and violet aromas, bursting from the glass and gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with plush, ripe tannins. There is a lot of puppy fat here, rounded and perhaps "sexy" compared to the 2018, mouth-filling and voluminous. This will need time. Tasted at the Poesia vertical in Saint-Émilion. (Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2022)
— 19 days ago

Joe, Sharon and 2 others liked this

Château Barde-Haut

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2015 Barde-Haut has a lovely bouquet with black cherries, raspberry and crushed stone, wilted rose petal and iris flower emerging with time. The palate is finely chiseled with crisp acidity, much more precision than previous vintages and added sustain on the finish. A turning point for this Saint-Émilion estate. Tasted at the Barde-Haut vertical at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2022)
— 19 days ago

Sharon and Daniel liked this

Château Poesia

Saint-Emilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 2016 Poesia has a similar nose to the 2015 with its vivacious red fruit (wild strawberry, cranberry jus and fresh blueberries) intertwined with touches of vanilla pod and mint. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy, very pliant tannins. Approachable in style, this Poesia caresses and seduces with its velvety texture and plush, yet focused finish that offers a little more mineralité. Gorgeous. Tasted at the Poesia vertical in Saint-Émilion. (Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2022)
— 19 days ago

Sharon liked this

Château Barde-Haut

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2019

Delectable Wine
9.5

The 2019 Barde-Haut is beautifully defined on the nose, very pure with precise blackberry, briary, violets and iris flower, harmonious. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannins, cohesive and mineral-driven; the terroir is very expressive towards the finish that lingers in the mouth. Wonderful, assured and with great potential. Tasted at the Barde-Haut vertical at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2022)
— 19 days ago

Sharon liked this

Château Barde-Haut

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2018 Barde-Haut has a vibrant bouquet with blackberry, raspberry preserve, briary and crushed rock, very perfumed and pure. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit, fine acidity, white pepper and a touch of fennel combining beautifully. A little savoriness comes through on the finely proportioned finish. Excellent. Tasted at the Barde-Haut vertical at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2022)
— 19 days ago

Sharon liked this