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Clos de l'Oratoire 2015

  • JS95
  • WS94
  • JD94
  • RP93
750ML / 0% ABV
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4.3 10 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Aromas of bark, blackberries, currants and basil leaf, not to mention lavender and sage. Full body, integrated tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Layered and beautiful. Drink in 2022.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Crushed plum, cassis and melted red licorice notes are seamlessly intertwined here, with bright chalky minerality and a lovely floral lift throughout. Richly layered and youthfully compact but with excellent cut and drive through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2035.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
I loved the 2015 Clos De L'Oratoire and this beautiful Saint-Emilion comes from the northwest sector of the appellation and a mix of limestone and sandy soils. Made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, it has an incredible floral streak as well as perfumed notes of spring flowers, black raspberries, charcoal, and a salty minerality that shows more on the palate. With full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin, background chocolaty oak, and a terrific elegance, this beautiful 2015 is already impossible to resist yet I suspect will last for two decades or more. It’s impressive.
Rating: 94+
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Clos de la L'Oratoire is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between 25-30 September at 45 hl/ha. Matured in 40% new oak, it has perhaps the most reticent bouquet at the moment, yet there is very pure dark cherry and blackberry fruit here, very "cool" aromatically and with several swirls of the glass it begins to find its voice. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin. There is good density here, very well balanced, very precise with perhaps the best tension on the finish that I have discerned in this particular Saint Emilion. This comes highly recommended. Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points
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Clos de l'Oratoire

Clos de l'Oratoire

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Clos de l'Oratoire, France
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Clos de l'Oratoire is located on Saint-Emilion's north-east slope. The 10.32 hectares of vines grow on Fronsac molasse covering a layer of sand with a clay subsoil. This terroir is ideally suited to the blend of Merlot (90%), Cabernet Franc (5%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%) grapes. Merlot contributes roundness and opulence to the wine, whereas Cabernet Franc is responsible for power, aromatic complexity, and length.
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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BAN158570_2015 Item# 158570

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