If you ignore the question of the price of 2014 Bordeaux – though the subject is the elephant in the room in every salle de degustation you visit – and just look at the wines themselves, yesterday trips to nine properties on the northern left bank shows just how impressive 2014 is at the top level. In St Estèphe Montrose and Calon Ségur have both produced breathtaking wine – both have power, scale density and freshness in their different ways. Junior siblings here – Tronquoy-Lalande and Capbern [the Gasqueton has been dropped from the name] are both irresistible. Cos continues its thoughtful progression and has produced nicely measured and precise wines in the vintage [and Cos Blanc goes from strength to strength]. At Meyney, Montrose’s close neighbour, 2014 has produced a big, strapping wine full of extract and alcohol.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou’
For me St Julien performed better than expected in 2013. Things were a little drier here than elsewhere in the Médoc and perhaps this, combined with the typical homogeneity of the appellation, has made the wines close to satisfying. Depending on the estate, the quality probably lies somewhere between the 2011 and 2007 vintages, perhaps even toward 2008 in a few cases. Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Château Léoville Poyferré and Château Ducru-Beaucaillou top the appellation. There are good efforts too from siblings Château Léoville Barton and Château Langoa Barton, as well as Château Branaire-Ducru. Overall there’s plenty of grip and sap to the wines, some are chewy currently, but in general they should work out in the medium term.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise given the man, but I’ve just discovered [having got around to reading them] that Bruno Borie, the force behind Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, writes wonderfully playful vintage reports. Usually you reach for these when you’ve forgotten your producer chats, or not understood their French, but these Borie-penned documents are worth seeking out in themselves. On his 2013 vintage report, I’m 100 points [as James Suckling might say]. Borie describes how the grape clusters yearned for a man `with a slow hand,’ and ‘an easy touch,’ in the manner of Pointer Sisters [Slow Hand, 1981] . Go Bruno, go! But did the grapes get lasting satisfaction in 2013?
So we have a week to collect ourselves during Vinexpo, Bordeaux’s wine trade fair that runs this week, to assess just where we are with the controversial release prices of the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. If you thought prices for 2009 were a bit heady then so far the prices of some 2010s have been eye-watering. In certain notable cases prices are up 40% year on year and that on top of similar increases last year. You wonder why Bank of England chief Mervyn King is losing sleep about the UK’s paltry 4.5% inflation rate. Small beer Merv, get with it. Bordeaux’s up ten times as much.