Bordeaux’s primeurs week ended for me, as it began, in St Emilion. While perhaps 2014 will be seen as a vintage for the Cabernets and therefore the Left Bank, there is in fact a lot to like about the texture and freshness of the best wines from Pomerol and St Emilion. Cyrille Thienpont who works with his father at many Right Bank properties [including Berliquet, Larcis-Ducasse and Pavie-Macquin], said it was as much the terroir that mattered [well drained, clay-limestone] as the variety [Merlot/Cabernet] in St Emilion. These thoughts were echoed in Pomerol by his cousin Alexandre Thienpont at Vieux Château Certan [the 2014 VCC is an intellectual beauty by the way]. What pleased him was the marriage of the Merlot and the Cabernet on his property. The vintage, he believes, allowed the elements to combine well, and that the strength of the wine [and perhaps the vintage?] was in the combination rather than in any of the particular elements here on the Right Bank.
Posts Tagged ‘Pomerol’
The highlights from Wednesday’s 2014 tastings were the juicy, appetizing quality of the Pomerols shown at JP Moueix and the depth and breadth of the white wines in Pessac-Léognan. In St Emilion there are some impressive wines [Figeac, Cheval Blanc, Clos Fourtet] but there is some inconsistency – some reds are a little extracted relative to their fruit. The best had bright vivacious qualities, and there was certainly a voluptuous aspect to the set of Neipperg wines shown at Canon-la-Gaffelière. There was plenty of extract, matter and acidity on display amongst the reds at the UGC event held at Château Smith Haut Lafitte. I generally enjoyed the more composed and harmonious – Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Olivier, Pape Clément and Smith Haut Lafitte were especially impressive.
Primeurs week begins today in Bordeaux and the first signs are that 2014 looks to be a good vintage. After a string of comparatively mediocre years, culminating in the disappointing 2013 vintage, it is likely that 2014, after an exceptional September, has produced the most promising wines the region has seen since 2010. Much is left to be discovered and I’ve only been tasting in St Emilion this weekend but first indications are good. Still the success of the forthcoming en primeur campaign surely rests as much on price as it does upon quality [though a good quality vintage will be a relief]. After three missed opportunities by and large, can Bordeaux’s proprietors finally judge market sentiment correctly and release 2014 at prices cheaper than currently available vintages? While the weakness of the euro already guarantees a price cut in the UK and US markets, a drop in price in real terms would surely galvanise interest once more in Bordeaux in what looks to be an extremely promising vintage.
Ten 2010 Pomerols presented last November by the MW Institute were developing wonderfully, showing just how great the vintage is for the appellation. As with many other Bordeaux 2010s there is seemingly [even] more matter, structure and density to the wines than in 2009. If the latter vintage offered opulence, then 2010 shows power and scale. Despite the concentration, a number, including a stand out effort from Château Beauregard and a gorgeously forward Château Petit Village, are drinking beautifully already. At the very top end, brilliant wines from Château Clinet, Château La Conseillante, Château La Fleur-Pétrus and Château Trotanoy still need some time in bottle. Château Gazin and Château Nénin, in particular, have both made fabulous wine, Nénin perhaps their best ever in recent vintages.