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.
Posts Tagged ‘en primeur’
As you’d imagine Moulis and Listrac are fairly tight, tannic bunch in 2012. There is not the gloss here of the really great years like 2009 and 2010 when these properties provide real value. Most should settle ok. The real bright spot, as ever, is Château Poujeaux, which has crafted a very fine effort in this tricky, rain-affected vintage. Listrac has produced a chewy set of wines, but Château Fourcas-Dupré and Château Fourcas-Hosten should prove gutsy drinking. Still, with so much 2009, 2010, and even 2005, still widely available and drinking nicely, it doesn’t seem to make much sense tying up your cash in these right now.
Château Léoville Poyferré looks very mannered and polished in 2012. The fact that they have managed to wrestle something as refined as they have in this challenging year reflects their exceptional terroir, clearly a huge amount of effort in the vineyard and great attention to detail in the cellar. The results are what Didier Cuvelier describes as 1999 ‘plus, plus’, a wine of surprising concentration and style.
Overall a surprisingly homogeneous and really encouraging set of wines that confirms, for me at least, that the Margaux commune probably out-performs St Estèphe, Pauillac and St Julien in 2012 in terms of consistency, delicacy and drinkability. Early maturing certainly but not in the under-ripe, hollow sense. There is genuine lushness in many of the wines, layers of ripe, velvety fruit provided by the beautiful Merlot that the vintage produced. It combines nicely with the tighter, admittedly fresher, but rarely angular or green Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination works well. Given the right pricing [critical] the best are seriously worth considering. Certainly they are a far better set of wines overall than in 2011.