From the extraordinary 2015 vintage that Wine Spectator hails as “easily the best vintage since 2010,” the 2015 Château Malescasse Haut-Médoc is a chewy black-and-red-fruited Haut-Médoc stunner. James Suckling gave it laudatory 93-94 points, praising its “wonderful richness and depth” and how it “goes on for minutes.” Antonio Galloni of Vinous found it a “wine of energy and real class” that “is super-impressive today.” This over-achieving effort bears the fingerprints of Bordeaux mastermind Stéphane Derenoncourt, who has authored multiple 100-pointers. Whether you drink now or rest it for a decade, Malescasse is unquestionably one the Left Bank’s most impressive finds.
The effects of the stellar 2015 vintage were felt across the breadth of Bordeaux — Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate had Margaux, Pomerol, and Saint-Émilion all outpointing the legendary 2010 season — and not just by the Grands Crus. The perfect conditions elevated the entire AOC, making the 2015 Cru Bourgeois wines some of the finest values in the region. And no parcel in that category was more blessed than the perfectly situated gravel vineyards of Château Malescasse, which, under the supervision of Stéphane Derenoncourt, performed to absolute perfection.
How good was 2015 to the Cru Bourgeois category? Good enough that Wine Advocate went out of their way to laud it with an exegesis whose title, “Affordable Treasure,” made their bullish position plain. “This vintage ought to be rich-pickings for Bordeaux lovers seeking affordable, good quality Bordeaux,” Neal Martin wrote for Parker’s publication. “These are wines inclined to paste stupid big grins on your face, as their quality truly sparkles; moreover, they probably cost a fraction of nearly every Grand Cru Classé.”
Clive Coates MW has argued—and we concur—that Château Malescasse is one of the best and most consistent bourgeois Médocs of the past 20 years. Founded in 1824, the estate lies in the Lamarque commune, at the Médoc’s highest elevation, directly between Margaux and Saint-Julien. The famous gravel croupes offer 35-year-old vines poor, deep, well-draining soil mixed with clay and sand, and a mild microclimate gently cooled by the Gironde river. One of Bordeaux’s great value buys in any vintage, the 2015 is a truly great find.