100-Point Winemaker’s Home-Turf Home Run
Wherever he goes in the world, 100-point winemaker Michel Rolland turns out iconic, ultra-concentrated wines with apparent ease. But nowhere is Rolland’s magic more powerful than on his home turf — Bordeaux. Take the 2015 Château Pierre “1er” for instance. In this case, Rolland has practically done the impossible, crafting a gorgeous 94-95-point wine for $24.99. This almost never happens — except when Rolland is at the helm. James Suckling called the 2015 Château Pierre “vivid and clear with so much bright fruit and mineral character,” hailing its “wonderful energy” on the finish. From a truly spectacular year in Bordeaux — given high praise from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, which called Saint-Émilion the “sweet spot,” of the year — Michel Rolland has turned out one of its greatest values. Just 35 cases are available, with perfect provenance, direct from the cellar in Saint-Émilion.
In 2015 at Château Pierre “1er,” Rolland achieved incredible clarity and depth of flavor using the same meticulous vineyard protocol the “flying winemaker” employs when crafting skyscrapers at Château Pavie, L’Evangile, Troplong Mondot, Harlan Estate, Bond, and Bryant Family. At the 27-acre property in Saint-Émilion, Rolland and his team removed secondary buds and extra trunk shoots during flowering, then applied two rounds of crop-thinning, before and after veraison, ensuring that Grand Cru vines would direct all of their energy and nutrients towards a small number of berries. It was a move that left little margin for error and no room for second chances, but under the poised direction of Rolland, and in a spectacular vintage like 2015, there could only be one result: superb concentration and incredible quality, a striking expression of terroir.
An early candidate for bargain of the vintage, the 2015 Château Pierre “1er” is already drinking well above its pay grade and will improve in the cellar for over a decade. Call this an incredible value, or a home-turf home run by Michel Rolland. Either way, we recommend it by the case.