15 is another vintage you should be snapping up off the shelves before they disappear forever. Rated higher than 16–for structural reasons–it might just be the longest-lived of the past half-decade. The 18’s are so yummy, the 16’s fleshy and fun, but 15 lurks behind walls of tightness. This little cheapie shows most of those points, and while it is a great glass of wine, doesn’t really explode with any compelling arguments for mass-purchase. Showing considerable garnet toward the rim, a steely, bottle-funk-ridden nose demands decant–and I complied. The rusty metal and Merthiolate tincture encapsulating tight raspberry and watermelon-rind feels patina’ed and fatigued even a this young age. The fruit see-saws in the nose between light raisin-y and something not yet realized: something quite familiar with drinkers of young Bordeaux.
Tasting it causes more questions. And I don’t want to be too hard on this wine–as it IS well under 40 bucks–but you need to know what you’re getting. Classic astringency, but under-lying is a fat chunk of ripe fruit. I’m gonna peg this as another 14-0 BDX, but this time feeling it very Cab-dominant. Wet, dried leaves in piles at the gutter, a berry and cherry on one hand ripe–but meager–though metallic minerality and blood-orange-rind add body to the restrained fruit. Ridiculous tannins pick up where acid leaves off, and this will either be gorgeous in a decade or will never have the fruit to sustain that. Pretty torn on this one. Bitter and acrid, fruit definitely *there*, but it’s a chubby sort of thing I see fading soon. Probably stash a half-dozen of these for science’s sake, but not expecting miracles. The fruit is just too thin and astringent for my gamble. But a couple-hundred bucks is a fun gamble and I’m ALL IN.
2015 CHATEAU BARDOULET St. Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux 14.0