In a nutshell: A medium-full bodied, expressive left bank Claret from the St-Estèphe appellation that has great early drinking appeal.
The lowdown: A relatively new Château in Bordeaux terms Haut-Beausejour is one of the Saint-Estèphe estates in the stable of Jean Claude Rouzard who is also the owner of the Champagne house Roederer. The 2015 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot which was fermented in large wooden vats before being aged for around 12 months in French oak barrels, about 35% of which were new. The resulting wine has plenty of ripe, dark fruit flavours, hints of oak, some peppery spice, and floral notes and achieves a great balance between ripe fruit, spicy oak and smooth tannins. It signs off with a long, silky finish.
When to drink: This is on tip top form and will stay that way until the mid 2020s. Perfect with things like lamb, veal and roast chicken.
Something of a newcomer to the Saint-Estèphe appellation Château Haut-Beauséjour was created in 1992 when Jean Claude Rouzard, owner of Champagne house Louis Roederer, purchased Château Picard and Château Beauséjour and combined them to make a new estate. Improvements in the wine making facilities followed and together with a rationalisation of the vineyard area, with some of the less favourable sites being sold off, has led to this Cru Bourgeois estate now being seen as among the most reliable of the appellation. They currently have 20 hectares of vines planted to 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. The terroir is gravel and clay with some limestone. Winemaking is overseen by Nicolas Glumineau who is also responsible for Roederer's other Bordeaux châteaux Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Chateau de Pez.