Château Mouton Rothschild has made sturdy Pauillac in 2013. There is plenty of blackcurrant fruit, weight, and almost generosity here, although it finishes a fraction hard currently. Le Petit Mouton has attractive blackcurrant tones though it is not the beauty the 2012 was at the same stage – different vintage, different wines. The real delight here in 2013 is Aile d’Argent. This is one of the white wines of the vintage for me. While white is obviously not the main event here, it certainly stole the show.
Posts Tagged ‘Grand Cru Classé’
Château Lafite-Rothschild has produced pure, classical Pauillac in 2013. It’s very high in Cabernet Sauvignon [98%] which makes it a little more austere on the palate, but there is obvious gravity and intensity here too, if also plenty of sappy acidity. It will need a bit of time to knit together. Certainly it speaks of the vintage. Château Duhart-Milon is a good effort. There is a slightly earthier note [which recalls their 1997] but also blackcurrant and graphite tones. There is a lttle dryness to the tannins and plenty of sappy acidity. Likewise Carruades de Lafite is similarly styled, if slightly looser on the finish. There are more plummy fruit tones [29% Merlot] and the wine is softer overall. Again 2013 freshness comes through in the vibrant acidity.
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.
For me the wines of the Haut-Médoc performed much better than I feared during primeurs 2013. Expecting the worst, I was generally encouraged and came away feeling that many had made the best of the poor hand the growing season had dealt them. There were casualties though. Château Malescasse and Château La Lagune will not release 2013s. Nevertheless Château Cantemerle [as ever], Château Belle-Vue and Château La Tour Carnet have produced good wines. Château Cissac, Château Belgrave, Château de Camensac and Château Larose-Trintaudon were also encouraging and should offer good value.
The Margaux appellation has struggled more than most in 2013. A great many wines tasted at the Union des Grand Crus tasting were in a kind of no-man’s land. The delicate fruit tones of 2013 had been worked too much in quite a few cases, rendering them chewy and extracted yet with puckering levels of acidity. Some very good wines have still been made. I’ve posted separately on Château Margaux and Château Palmer. Both stand out as beacons of hope but neither are what you might call affordable. Elegant efforts from Château Angludet, Château Giscours and Château du Tertre are pure and vigorous and worth considering if you’re a Margaux fan [like me]. Château Rauzan-Ségla and Château Brane-Cantenac, Château d’Issan and Château Lascombes, should also work out well too. The disappointments seem more to do with approaches to the vintage in the cellar as much as the problems that 2013 presented itself. In some respects many of the Margaux wounds are self-inflicted.