2014 Clos de L'Oratoire, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
This is already really delicious. The black-fruit aromas are really ripe, but there’s no hint of jammy stuff. Tastes simultaneously juicy and creamy, and the tannins are so graceful: The wine glides across the palate. If it were more subtle, the score would go even higher.
The 2014 Clos de l'Oratoire is a powerful, intense wine. From barrel, the 2014 was tight and unyielding. It is pretty much the same from bottle. There is no shortage of power in the dark stone fruit, leather, smoke, lavender and menthol flavors, but I am not sure the 2014 will ever have the charm that is such a hallmark of the year. Today, it comes across as austere, even if there is good persistence and intensity in the big, saline-drenched finish. Tasted two times. 92+ (AG)
Shows lovely fruit, with waves of blueberry, plum and boysenberry compote rolling over each other. The polished structure is well-embedded, while the finish lets a graphite note peek out. Emphasizes purity rather than extraction. Best from 2018 through 2028. (JM)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Clos de l'Oratoire 2014 is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked from 3 to 10 October and vatted for 30 days, matured in 50% new wood. It has a slightly pinched nose at first, nicely defined but actually finding it hard to follow the exuberant d'Aiguilhe '14. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, plush redcurrant and strawberry fruit with a strong oak influence towards the finish. Not bad at all, although I find the d'Aiguilhe more captivating at this early juncture. (NM)