Wine Words & Video Tape

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Posts Tagged ‘UGCB’

Bordeaux Primeurs 2013: St Emilion

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_5665Overall St Emilion is something of a mixed bag in 2013. Quality is better than you might expect given the dreadful vintage, conditions that were especially tricky for Merlot, the district’s principal grape. It was badly affected by poor weather at flowering, which reduced yields and led to poor fruit set; later the humid conditions at vintage and the threat and rapid onset of rot [botrytis] also adversely affected the variety. Still St Emilion has made a number of attractive and well-made wines. But there are plenty of disappointments too. Some are thin and over-worked; others hollow. Quality follows terroir and those with cash. The best wines have forward and attractive fruit flavours and some are competitively priced. While it’s a complex picture, overall the wines of St Emilion are probably a more immediately appealing and joyous bunch than their left-bank counterparts in 2013.

Bordeaux 2011 In Bottle: Pessac-Léognan and Graves

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

040 - CopyPessac-Léognan’s reds better than expected

While this vintage here can’t compare to the wonders produced in 2009 and 2010, the reds are better than expected given the tricky vintage. The wines displayed plenty of sap and bite at last week’s UGCB tastings but the fruit is there. There hadn’t been much doubt about the quality of the whites though from the very start. During the primeurs tastings Pessac-Léognan’s white wines showed plenty of fruit and style and none of these characters have been lost now that they are in bottle. Some are already delicious if you like wines with zest and life but many will benefit from a few years in bottle to broaden further.

Bordeaux 2010 In Bottle: Pauillac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux


So just how has Bordeaux’s most aristocratic appellation fared in 2010? There’s certainly the heavy burden of expectation. These wines looked extremely strong when first shown during the primeurs tastings a shade under two years ago. Well, on the basis of what is now in the glass Pauillac looks perhaps to be the most impressive of all Bordeaux’s appellations in 2010. It’s a difficult call but the vintage’s characteristics – density, power, structure, freshness – simply reach their apogee here. Of course that’s just as well given Pauillac’s original release prices in 2010.

Bordeaux 2010 In Bottle: St Estèphe

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_1807 - Copy

2010 is a dense long-term vintage here in St Estèphe. At the best of times this appellation produces pretty full throttle wines, so the combination of a drought year with comparatively cool temperatures, certainly compared with 2009, 2005 and especially 2003, has yielded wines here in 2010 of strength – not just alcoholic strength but pretty much on every indicator of grape chemistry – but most particularly, exceptional freshness.  It’s acidity as much as anything that is the defining characteristic of this vintage. This feels particularly so in St Estèphe [and Pauillac & St Julien, more on which later]. Yes there’s formidable tannin here, though it feels generally ripe, but it’s the grip and acidity that leaves the biggest impression. This means that the opulence of the wines in St Estèphe in 2009 is replaced in 2010 by minerality, density and grip. It’s a combination that makes these wines feel pretty structured and formidable at present.

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