Primeurs week begins today in Bordeaux and the first signs are that 2014 looks to be a good vintage. After a string of comparatively mediocre years, culminating in the disappointing 2013 vintage, it is likely that 2014, after an exceptional September, has produced the most promising wines the region has seen since 2010. Much is left to be discovered and I’ve only been tasting in St Emilion this weekend but first indications are good. Still the success of the forthcoming en primeur campaign surely rests as much on price as it does upon quality [though a good quality vintage will be a relief]. After three missed opportunities by and large, can Bordeaux’s proprietors finally judge market sentiment correctly and release 2014 at prices cheaper than currently available vintages? While the weakness of the euro already guarantees a price cut in the UK and US markets, a drop in price in real terms would surely galvanise interest once more in Bordeaux in what looks to be an extremely promising vintage.
Posts Tagged ‘St Emilion Grand Cru Classé’
I’ve been following Château Berliquet, Château Larcis Ducasse and Château Pavie-Macquin closely for the past half dozen vintages, properties all managed by Nicolas Thienpont. It was interesting to look at the wines in more detail back in April at a tasting held at Pavie-Macquin with Cyrille Thienpont and David Suire. Along with the 2013s shown, we had another look at 2011 in bottle and, fascinatingly, a decade on, the 2004s. There was also the opportunity to taste Chateau Beauséjour [héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse] 2013, 2011 and 2004, a property which the Thienponts have been managing since 2009.
A lorry carrying 18 000 bottles from Château La Dominique in Saint-Emilion tipped over on Tuesday, when the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle at a roundabout in Bigaroux. The bottles of grand cru classé Château La Dominique 2011, which spilled into a road-side field and appeared to be without labels, were to be collected by hand according to reports in local newspaper Sud-Ouest.
Overall St Emilion is something of a mixed bag in 2013. Quality is better than you might expect given the dreadful vintage, conditions that were especially tricky for Merlot, the district’s principal grape. It was badly affected by poor weather at flowering, which reduced yields and led to poor fruit set; later the humid conditions at vintage and the threat and rapid onset of rot [botrytis] also adversely affected the variety. Still St Emilion has made a number of attractive and well-made wines. But there are plenty of disappointments too. Some are thin and over-worked; others hollow. Quality follows terroir and those with cash. The best wines have forward and attractive fruit flavours and some are competitively priced. While it’s a complex picture, overall the wines of St Emilion are probably a more immediately appealing and joyous bunch than their left-bank counterparts in 2013.