Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion were extolling the virtues of their Merlot in 2012 shortly after the harvest. There is no doubt that the sixty-odd percent that this variety constitutes in these blends this year reflects the quality of that fruit and its overall superiority to the Cabernets. This high percentage of Merlot gives both wines a wonderfully plush, seductive quality, and, in their different ways, Haut-Brion and La Mission display the very best qualities of this vintage. Nevertheless there is density here too, especially in Haut-Brion. For me it is probably the pick of the first growths this year with Mouton and Margaux close behind.
Posts Tagged ‘2012’
It was Friday. No ordinary Friday but the last day of a grueling three-week primeurs period. At close to seven o’clock, I was over two hours late for a rendezvous with one of Bordeaux’s more controversial figures. It seemed highly unlikely that he would still be around to greet me. What an embarrassment. Every owner-winemaker in Bordeaux by now would surely have shut up shop, poured the champagne and put up their feet. Not Jean-Luc Thunevin.
While it looks like a serious effort from Chateau Angélus in 2012 – plenty of perfume and layers to the nose and density and matter on the palate – the most newsworthy feature of Angélus this year will surely be its price. Announced yesterday, at 180 euros a bottle, Angélus is 30% up on their 2011 release. The subsequent indigestion on Twitter was palpable. Not to be outdone Chateau Pavie, the other recently promoted chateau that joined Ausone and Cheval Blanc in the Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ category, released at a matching price. This was a whopping 58% increase on their 2011 price. Should we laugh or cry? Only in the heady world of St Emilion’s top classification does this price perversity, where price is the guiding rule, make any sense at all, but the logic would surely be enough to make even Joseph Heller’s Captain Yossarian shake his head in disbelief. To anyone outside this St Emilion bubble, prices increases in 2012 are surely ridiculous. Just who will consider buying at these prices?