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- Bordeaux 2012: Mouton Rothschild
- Bordeaux 2012: Lafite
- Bordeaux 2012: "Some Better 2012 Buys"
- Bordeaux 2012: Cheapest Margaux On The Market
- Bordeaux 2012: Higher Points + Lower Prices
- Bordeaux 2012: Pontet Canet at the Right Price
- Bordeaux 2012: Best Value Pomerol, Denis Durantou Stable + Feytit Clinet
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The overall impression of the 2012 vintage is that there are some delicious bottles of wine out there but there are also some difficult and fierce wines. In fact, fearing the worst, we were pleasantly surprised by how many good wines we tasted. The best hailed from the Merlot-dominant regions of Pomerol and St-Emilion, as well as excellent red and white wines from Graves (Pessac-Leognan). There are some stand-out wines on the Left Bank but no general statement can be made as much depended on the vineyard manager of the particular Chateau. Apart from a handful of exceptions on the Left Bank, the second wine was sacrificed so all the best grapes went into the Grand Vin.
The weather in 2012 was chaotic and a lot depended on when the grapes were picked. If the winery got it right, then the wine is a true joy of sumptuous and delicious fruit. Some tried to compensate by extracting the fruit to the limit resulting in wines that are bitter and dry. The best tread the fine line between ripeness and freshness. When we had the opportunity to taste a wine in a vertical back to 2008, the vintage looked close to 2008 but showed greater fruit intensity.
So, is it all doom and gloom? Absolutely not - 2012 tastes similar to a more concentrated version of 2008. Not a vintage of the century but neither is it a write off. Let's be straight: there will always be smart finds in Bordeaux every year and there are definitely some beautiful gems amongst the 2012s if you look hard enough. We were also very impressed by many Medoc wines at the £20- £30 mark, for example La Lagune. There are bargains to be found yet.
However, both merchants and consumers will have to be very selective about what to buy, and it is our job to help you with this. Get the right advice. If the Bordelais are sensible with prices, there will be plenty of very enjoyable wine worth buying at all price levels. This is a vintage for the canny buyer, and the most important word is price - rapaciousness is not a word in the dictionary around here.
We highly recommend you taste the wine for yourself at our Annual Bordeaux Tasting on May 5th at Lord's Cricket Ground. Like us, you may also find some nice surprises this year.
Let's be straight: there will always be smart finds in Bordeaux every year and there are definitely some beautiful gems amongst the 2012s if you look hard enough. However, both merchants and consumers will have to be very selective about what to buy. When the Bordelaise are sensible with prices, you can find very enjoyable wine for several years to come. Get the right advice.
The First Growths lead the way by example and there has been an overall drop in prices. There are also some great wines around £200 per case that will provide plenty of drinking pleasure for years to come.
Here are our choices from Bordeaux as they are released by the Chateaux every day.
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What is En Primeur?
En Primeur is a kind of wine futures, where wines are offered for sale before they have been bottled. The wine producers (chateaux) show cask samples of the young wine after just a few months development in barrel, and then prices are set and an offer made. Originally this was a way for wine brokers or negociants to buy the young wines direct from the Chateaux, which they would only bottle and sell on when the wine was ready to drink. Nowadays, such is the demand for them, that the wines are offered for sale to the customer in this state.
Why buy En Primeur?
Buying 'En Primeur' is probably the only way to secure a sought after wine at a reasonable price. Demand for the best wines from these regions has grown hugely in the last few years, and will often easily outstrip supply. For this reason, some wines will not be available commercially later in their lives, and if they are, will command much higher prices.