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.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste’
François-Xavier Borie’s Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is one the vintage standouts for quality and value in 2013. There is plenty of creamy blackcurrant fruit on offer and the wine is generous and, surprisingly for the vintage, full in the middle. There’s real delicacy and harmony here. It is easily one of the most enjoyable Pauillacs. Château Haut-Batailley shares these qualities to a degree, although it is a little more modest and some oak needs to integrate further during elévage. Lacoste-Borie, Grand Puy Lacoste’s second wine, is bright and vigourous with plenty of upfront fruit.
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.
Pauillac looks reasonably homogeneous at the cru classé level in 2011. There’s not the power and depth of fruit here as in 2010 nor the exciting ripeness of 2009. Middle-weight wines in the main, these feel a little compact, though the fruit seems to be there in most cases and there is plenty of chew to the tannins. Most need time in bottle to evolve. All the properties could have benefitted from extra ripeness but that’s largely the vintage speaking. That said Château Pichon-Lalande and Château Batailley stood out particularly for their harmony and finesse.