Château Latour has produced a focused set of wines in 2012. They have finesse and precision but felt perhaps a little leaner than 2011 at the same stage. Now that Latour have abandoned selling en primeur the snapshot of these wines in their youth is possibly a bit academic given that it will be a few years, at least, before even the most junior Pauillac will be released, let alone Les Forts and the grand vin itself. Handy, then, that the wine that stole the show on the morning I tasted at Latour was their Pauillac 2009, the current release of the ‘third’ wine. It’s stunning. Immediately it reminds you just how pedestrian much Pauillac is in 2012. Oh 2009, how we miss you!
Posts Tagged ‘2012’
Château Pontet-Canet continues its run of form with an extremely seductive and open Pauillac in 2012. There is something Burgundian about the wine and the set up here, with the emphasis on the vineyard and the impressive bio-dynamic regime established over a number of years. Little wonder this wine is the darling of the markets, delivering flavour and quality at a comparative fraction of Pauillac’s established [and in certain cases] neighbouring heavyweights. It’s also human thing too, for all the fashionable talk of terroir. Alfred Tesseron and his family come across as genuine, open, warm-hearted people and part of that spirit rubs off on what you find in the glass. It’s called soul, and their wines have it.
I must say it’s always a treat to have Lafite Rothschild, Carruades and Duhart-Milon lined up in front of you, regardless of the vintage. Last year there was some sharp disagreement over Lafite itself. I liked it and thought it very good in the vintage context. I feel the same way about 2012. It’s a good effort that reflects a huge amount of effort combating the vicissitudes of a difficult growing season and harvest. But, in the end, even Lafite can’t quite escape the vintage, and one that appears to have been a bit tricky in Pauillac.
This appellation covers a vast amount of ground and very differing terroirs. It’s always a bit odd to lump together say Château La Lagune and Château Cantermerle who border [and resemble] the wines of Margaux, with that of Château Belgrave, Château de Camensac and Château La Tour Carnet just to the west of St Julien, alongside Château Coufran, the northernmost Haut-Médoc château, past St Estèphe in St Seurin, but there we are. Overall the best Haut-Médoc 2012s have gone for elegance and balance. Some are quite attractive, others vigorous with plenty of bounce and freshness. Quite a few are a stalky and angular with a fair amount of grip, a bit reminiscent of 2011, so you do need to tread carefully. Again generally I don’t quite see the urgency in picking these up en primeur when there are still lots of 2009 and 2010s on the market for a fraction more.