The top Pauillac 2012s are elegant in the best sense, not in the euphemistic way sometimes used to describe a disappointing vintage, but genuinely elegant in terms of relying on charm, balance and harmony to pique interest and intrigue. There are some disappointments [a few wines felt clipped, lacking stuffing] but there are also a number of pure, harmonious efforts here in this vintage. Top of the list in this fashion are Château Pichon Lalande, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Château Lynch-Bages and Château Pichon-Longueville. Château Batailley, Château Haut-Bages Libéral and Château Grand-Puy Ducasse have also succeeded in different styles.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau d’Armailhac’
Pauillac in 2013 reminds me of a lesser version 2011. Sound like faint praise? Given the extremely challenging vintage conditions this is a success. There are some very good wines here; some are good values too. Others are a little compact and there is a degree of austerity to a few. Partly this is because of the increased percentages [even for Pauillac] of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends, partly perhaps also because of less than fully ripe tannin, partly too the combined affect of very fresh acids this year, more so than 2011, 2008 and 2007, the vintages to which 2013 has been already been compared.
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.
There is little doubt that this appellation has succeeded more than any other in 2009. It’s here that Cabernet Sauvignon arguably reaches its apogee and in a vintage in which the ripeness of this variety was possibly unparalleled you’d expect great things. And great things there are here. In a pretty comprehensive line-up of wines from the appellation by the MW Institute last November [only really sans Château Latour] Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Pontet-Canet were extraordinary. Château Lynch-Bages and Château Pichon-Longueville are a whisker off perfection. Château Duhart-Milon, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Clerc Milon have made wonderful wines wines. The likes of Château Batailley, Château Haut-Batailley and Château Grand-Puy Ducasse have perhaps made their very best wine yet. There is simply so much to choose from here.