Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2012 in-bottle tasting

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_6216An enjoyable, forward set of wines were shown at the UGCB’s 2012 in-bottle tasting in London on Thursday, their annual gathering held at the Royal Opera House in London. Pessac-Léognan’s whites were generally delicious as were their reds but there were successes in most appellations with some good showings in Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac and St Emilon and Pomerol especially. It doesn’t appear to be a long-term vintage but there is genuine charm here and more harmony shown in the wines than in 2011. Overall the reds seem more enjoyable now [and perhaps more consistent] than that vintage at the same stage.

Bordeaux 2012 doesn’t have the concentration and depth of the great 2009 and 2010 vintages, nor does it have their potential for longevity. There is not the concentration of the very best 2008s and 2006s, but this is a vintage superior, for the reds at least, than 2007, in many cases 2011 and certainly 2013. What’s more many of these wines are already enjoyable to drink and will give pleasure early on. I’ll post in more detail over the coming weeks in 2012 by appellation on the wines.

IMG_6221Labégorce: one of many charming wines in 2012

The tasting also provided the opportunity to catch up first hand with many producers. There was lots of positive talk about the 2014 vintage just past. Many reds are still to be pressed-off and with at least another five months until we get a look at these wines at the primeur tastings next spring, it’s obviously very early days to talk about style and quality. Still many producers already believe it to be the best vintage the region has had for reds since 2010. There was much talk of the terrific weather in September [see earlier blog post here], which overturned the disappointment of a cool and grey August.

The fine weather continued into October, though there was variability, but less rainfall than feared, and that which fell was seen as helpful to final ripening. One property I came across [Château Balestard La Tonnelle] still had fruit to pick in St Emilion, and it ended up being quite a late harvest for many properties, especially for the Cabernets. Unlike 2013 there was little botrytis pressure and many properties reported a generally unhurried harvest, picking when they wished. We will wait to see what’s in the glass of course, but for the Bordeaux lover, after a string of middling vintages, 2014 looks like a potentially exciting prospect at the very least.

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