Thursday Morning saw a flurry of en primeur releases as the Bordelais returned to their offices following a well deserved break to bombard smart phones with an alternative alarm! Of the releases the three major wines to take notice were Pontet Canet, LMHB and Haut Brion. For us the Clarence Dillon wines, tasted last during our time in Bordeaux, were a definite highlight with Haut Brion in particular impressing. Pessac was one of the best performing appellations in 2012, and we believe these two wines will develop into two of the best from this vintage over the coming years. At their release prices, they are reduced from their 2011 which is welcomed, and make them look good value for money.
Similarly, Pontet Canet one of the recent stars of the left bank was released at a 9% discount to the 2011 price (Unsurprisingly at the same ex-neg price as fellow ‘Flying Fifth’ Lynch Bages). Although this vintage didn’t quite find the same favour with Parker as their back to back 100 pt wines in 09 and 10, we were impressed with the precision and balance of this wine once again and equally critics seemed to favour the bio-dynamic and organic estate with solid scores from Suckling & Jancis Robinson. From a drinking perspective, Pontet always delivers, and from an investment point of view it’s our belief that as an estate the fifth growth is continuing to grow in stature and prices across the board are likely to increase, so to buy for less than £700 p/case in a few years may well look like a smart buy.
Offers subject to availability:
2012 Pontet Canet @ £640 per case (12) RP: 91-94 JS: 94-95
2012 Haut Brion @ £2,600 per case (12) RP: 93-95 JS: 95-96
2012 LMHB @ £1,600 per case (12) RP: 91-94 JS: 93-94
Winemaker of the Vintage: Denis Durantou Wines
Also released this week were the wines of Eglise Clinet’s Denis Durantou. If you are buying for drinking in 2012, I wouldn’t look past these wines, as they are fantastic value for money.
Les Cruzelles @ £75 per 6 RP: 90-92
La Chenade @ £55 per 6 JS: 88-89
Investment Recommendation: La Mondotte
This release has taken our fancy- La Mondotte, which was – very surprisingly – released at a hugely reasonable price. They only produce 650-1,000 cases per annum of this wine, which was elevated last year to St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru classé ‘B’, having previously been unclassified. In a vintage where the Right Bank wines excelled and crop yields were down, we expected this ‘micro-cuvee’ to release at a far higher price, especially when we saw the Parker score of 94-97 points a couple of weeks ago.
However, they’ve recognised the calls for lower pricing this year and come out at a hugely reasonable £575 per half-case (6x75cl). The table below compares the 2012 to other back vintages (we’ve highlighted those vintages which are comparable to 2012 in terms of quality):
||Current Price (£/cs)