The 2013 vintage may currently be talked about for prices (high) and journalists (a lack off) but not necessarily for the greatness of the wines.
The 2013 Season.
Vines are plants and they need a good growing season to produce attractive fruit for the birds. In Bordeaux in 2013 year the birds would have been disappointed in many places, but if they picked the sunniest spots (the great terroirs) before the rot set in then they would have been more than satisfied.
The smart (and wealthy) wine makers picked quickly at the right times and chaptalized (added sugar to complement the fruit) where needed.
The 2013 Wines. (Prices in Brackets refer to the 2012 Vintage release price, as a guide)
This vintage will not be remembered for the journalists not appearing for the En Primeur tastings but this vintage will be remembered for the right reasons. The wines. The wines that will be remembered are the whites from Graves and Pessac Leognan and Sauternes with the reds from Margaux and Pessac and the Medoc.
The whites are easy to buy, they are all good. We can recommend them with ease.
Dry whites that we tasted and liked included Chantegrive and Rahoul from Graves and Bouscaut, Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, de France, Haut Brion, Larrivet Haut Brion, Pape Clinet, and Picque Caillou from Pessac Leognan .
Sweet whites all hit the spot, with the owners and wine makers all with big smiles on their faces. These smiles soon transferred to the tasters particularly at Doisy Vedrines (£220), Lafaurie Peyraguey (£285), Coutet and of course y’Quem.
The reds we found mostly to be well made, but with the current pricing from the Bordelaise and with the low yields unless you are a collector of one particular estate I would recommend looking elsewhere this year. However with that said the wines from the Medoc offer value and we do not have the pricing for the other wines yet.
In the Medoc Beaumont (£85), Bernadotte (£85), Camensac (£170), Tour de by (£105), Lamonthe Bergeron (£95), and Potensac (£145) have all made good drinking claret. We will be buying these wines for ourselves and our customers and recommend that you do too.
In Margaux, we can recommend Angludet (£180), Ferrierre (£210), Kirwan (£260), Lascombes (£445), Pavillon Rouge (£850), Monbrison (£195), Palmer (£1860), Alter Ego (£426) and Rauzan Segla (£420).
In Saint Emilion, our picks are few, Angelus (£2000), Canon La Gaffeliere (£435), Soutard (£240) and Troplong Mondot (£625).
Pomerol was a real disappointment to us however, L’Eglise Clinet and Clinet (£510) have made a great wines along with La Pointe (£220), Petit Village (£445) and the iconic VCC (Vieux Chateau Certain) (£1045).
St Julien was a disappointment but the Barton’s have made good wine and we expect sensible pricing. Therefore, Langoa Barton (£345) and Leoville Barton (£510) should be on your list along with Ducru Beaucaillou (£805), Lagrange (£275) and Saint Pierre (£350).
St Estephe again is not yet showing well and Cos Labory (£215) and Ormes de Pez (£195) were the two stand out wines from a miserable showing.
Paulliac has most of the great Chateaux and the top prices and you can see why, as that even in the poor years the wines are good. The better wines were d’Armailhac (£279), Clerc Milon, Batailley (£245), Lynch Bages (£669), Petit Mouton (£790), Mouton Rothschild (£2800), the Pichon’s Lalande (£670) and Baron (£750) with Pontet Canet (£695).
Pessac Leognan was a miss except for the incredible Domaine Chevalier (£345), Haut Brion (£2795), La Mission Haut Brion (£1745), Malartic Lagraviere (£250), Oliver and Pape Clement (£549).
This year we will be offering a price match on all En Primeur wines, if you find a wine offered in the United Kingdom within fourteen days of your order we will match the price with no quibble.
As usual with En Primer prices to follow later.