2015 Chateau Le Puy, Emilien, Red Bordeaux, Francs Cotes de Bordeaux, France.
Chateau Le Puy, an estate made terroir driven and natural/organic wine is crafted by Jean-Pierre Amoreau and his son, Pascal, who oversee the vineyards and the cellar here. The Chateau’s vineyards are situated on the same plateau as Saint Emilion and Pomerol and sits on the second highest point in the Gironde at 110 meters above sea level (approximately 350 feet) with clay, silex and limestone soils. Their vines, mostly as expected are Merlot, at 85%o f the area, but also planted to a number of other red varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Cabernet Franc (7%) along with a touch of Malbec and Carmenère along with a plot of Semillon for the Chateau’s white wine. Both of the Grand Vin reds, the Barthelemy and this Emilien are blends that include a breakdown of all the estate red grapes in roughly the same percentage as grown on the estate. The Chateau Le Puy, 100% certified biodynamic, Emilien is from 50 year old vines, all hand tended and harvested without any chemicals, only holistic/natural treatments and the wine is fermented using only native yeasts and with no SO2 during the ferments.
The beautifully detailed and medium bodied 2015 Emilien feels ripe and complex on the palate and it’s quite dark and intense with a good sense of place transmitted in the profile. Raised for 24 months in mostly used barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered the Emilien is much less flashy and generic than most Saint-Emilion or Pomerols, which are tasting very similar and over polished, while this wine has it’s own style and character, and while mostly Merlot, it has impact that is more structured than you’d expect. Layers of mulberry, black cherry, plum and currant fruit is accented by mineral, chalky stone, dark flowers, cedar and light herbal notes adding a hint of cigar wrap and loamy earth and mure.
The 2015 is more forward and generous than 2011, 2012 and 2014, but still with good acidity and balance, showing the warmer vintage in its best light, allowing the more concentration and density to show, as well as the higher elevation that delivers the vitality in this pure and focused Bordeaux. While there is going to be fast and furious, almost panicked buying of 2016 Bordeaux, wines like this Le Puy shows there’s a lot to admire from these 2015’s and they will end up stunning values as well as sleepers in the cellar, this one should drink exceptionally well for the next decade plus.
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive