Christian Moueix is philosophical about the vagaries of the 2013 growing season, not surprising given the breadth of his experience, and pragmatic about the hard choices the vintage necessitated. Still there’s no disguising the disappointment here, both at the quality that the season offered even the most diligent of producers and the pitiful volumes produced. The Moueix Pomerols are elegant and fresh in 2013 but there is less depth here than in 2011 or 2012. Château Trotanoy and Château La Fleur-Pétrus remain excellent wines in the vintage context. At the opposite end of the price spectrum, Château Bourgneuf, looks a pretty good bet.
For Christian Moueix the saving grace of 2013 was the hot July. This removed excessive pyrazine characters in the fruit, which give the herbaceous, green notes that might have otherwise marred the vintage further. The miserable weather at the start of the growing season [as elsewhere] delayed the vintage and led to both uneven fruit set in the grapes and a reduction in the yield. With a late vintage on the cards they needed to take the decision to reduce even further the potential size of the crop [by half in some cases] just to make sure that the remaining fruit would stand a chance of attaining maturity.
The increasing wet and humid weather also meant that de-leafing was a major priority to get more air circulating around the fruit to help ameliorate the threat of rot. In some cases there were up to four de-leafing passes. At harvest yields were reduced by a further 10-12% through sorting, such that volumes 60% down in some cases. Even with all these efforts there were casualties. There is no Hosanna this year, the potential of the small quantity of wine in barrel was not considered good enough for release.
On the plus side the wines have the usual freshness and bounce that you expect from Moueix and the wines will drink from an early age. There’s also been no attempt to force the wines out of shape in the cellar.
The following wines were tasted at the JP Moueix offices in Libourne on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Château Bourgneuf was also tasted blind at the Cercle Rive Droite event on Sunday March 30, 2014 at Château Bellefont-Belcier.
Château Plince, Pomerol
Lightish red; earthy purple at rim; freshness on the nose with spices; elegant palate, with some spicy tones and sap. Sappy finish. Lightish. Drink 2018-2024. 85-87
Château Lafleur-Gazin, Pomerol
Light red; purple at rim; spices and plums with stalky tones; fruit highlights are pretty; sweet-sour cherry tones; sappy palate with some chew and bite on the finish. Positive twist at the end. Drink 2018-2024. 86-88
Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol
Deep; close to the rim; earthy red; nice savour and cherry fruit; like a serious Morgon [almost Burgundian]; some spice and undergrowth; fresh palate; some cherry and plum tones; little kiss of oak; lacks weight but has acidic freshness; some chew at the end. Not a bad effort in context. Fresh and complete. Tasted Rive Droite, March 30, 2014. Drink 2017-2024. 85-87+ [later note] Deeper and more substantial in colour; very attractive aromatics, perfumed violet lift and spicy plum characters; nicely integrated oak; creamy palate, plums and positive sappy qualities; nice chew and sap to the finish. Works well overall – pretty and sappy. [crop 50% down]. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
Château La Grave, Pomerol
Lightish red; translucent core; light aromatics; soft and easy going palate with no aggression or pucker; very fresh if light. Drink 2018-2025. 85-87
Château Certan de May, Pomerol
Mid depth; vibrant purple at edge; spicy, inky menthol notes – not unattractive; some violet perfume too; sweet entry, sappy and vibrant; lively acidity; sappy and fresh. Drink 2018-2028. 87-89
Château Latour à Pomerol, Pomerol
Mid depth; light-ish at edge; spicy plum aromatics; little bubblegum; freshness; creamy entry, some spice; lightweight but full of zap. Lightness of touch. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88
Château La Fleur-Pétrus, Pomerol
Deeper colour; fresh and healthy looking; attractive spicy blackfruits; deeper and more lifted but still very pure; not at all over-cooked; sweet entry, nice spicy plum characters; quite bouncy style with good sap and grip; Sappy and refreshing. Drink 2018-2030. 89-91+
Château Trotanoy, Pomerol
Deepest of the bunch; tighter to the core; lovely creamy plum tones on the nose; nice and layered; depth here; creamy entry with black fruits and plums; very attractive palate. Sappy and positive finish. Very good effort. Drink 2018-2034. 91-93+
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2013, Chateau Bourgneuf, Chateau Certan de May, Chateau Hosanna, Chateau La Fleur Petrus, Chateau La Grave, Chateau Lafleur-Gazin, Chateau Latour à Pomerol, Chateau Plince, Chateau Trotanoy, JP Moueix, Merlot, Pomerol