One and a half weeks into the campaign and the Bordelais have responded to the calls of press and trade that the prices this year must come down. With over 10 big releases already past the post as well as a host of lesser known properties, the signs of an interesting and fairly quick campaign are well established.
Out of the Gate
Of the 1st Growths we’ve already had Chateau Mouton Rothschild (£1400/6) and Chateau Lafite Rothschild (£1950/6) release their 2012s, clearly wanting to set the tone for the rest of the campaign. Mouton came out at a very respectable £2800, making it the cheapest vintage available today, a welcome sign for a market that has already dropped over 20% since its 2011 peak.
Looking at the chart below you can see that both Mouton and Lafite felt that the market needed a breather from the highs of 2009 and 2010; whilst the quality is not near that of those two stellar years, the great and good of the wine press and critics have not panned the vintage.
Robert Parker Still to Pronounce
Whilst Robert Parker has been somewhat pipped to the post by the likes of Gazin, Lynch Bages, Rauzan Segla and the Rothschilds releasing straight after the end of the Union de Grands Cru Tasting Week, he did publish a 2012 Vintage Overview video summary on his website, in advance of his official scores, expected next week.
The long and short of his video is:
“¢ It’s a difficult vintage that defies direct comparison to a previous year. Nevertheless,
“¢ Pomerol is the favoured appellation, with quality not far off the blockbuster years’ of 2009 and 2010. Closely followed by,
“¢ St Emilion, in a dead heat with Pessac Leognan , which made some very successful wines; the whites of Pessac especially are beautiful, and eclipse the consistently good reds. However,
“¢ The Left Bank is very complicated, with quality all over the place. Sadly many wines lacking mid palates and tasting very hollow, or struggling with green and herbaceous notes. The sentiment to take away is “pick very selectively”.
Given the interest we’ve seen so far people are definitely intrigued, and the fears that the 2012 campaign would be a damp squib, as last year, are thankfully unfounded. It is amusing to note how history is repeating itself with the comparison of 2007 to 2011 and 2008 to 2012. Whether Robert Parker will deem the vintage better than expected as he did in 2008, we shall have to wait and see. As, we assume are some of the other top names in Bordeaux who are still to release.
Nevertheless we have high hopes that those wines that we loved this year will follow their neighbours, post Parker points, and price their wines to sell.