lafite rothschild

Robert Parker Jr releases his report on Bordeaux 2012 with Pomerol on top

Posted by WineInvestment.org on April 29, 2013
Bordeaux en primeur 2012, Cult Wines Ltd News / No Comments
Robert Parker Jr published his tasting notes and scores for Bordeaux 2012


Parker’s description of the 2012 vintage as ‘not great’ rings true in direct comparison to the recent back to back iconic vintages 2009 & 2010, but his ratings clearly acknowledge the fact that some very good wines were produced in 2012.

Pomerol was the clear winner with the only potential perfect wine of the vintage, L’Eglise Clinet (96-100pts) topping the scores closely followed by another two wines from the Right Bank commune Trotanoy (96-98pts) & Petrus (95-98+pts),  Pessac-Léognan & St Emilion also produced some excellent wines, with the top St-Emilion’s scoring very well & according to Parker offering wines that are ‘not far off the mark of 2010 and 2009’- quite the accolade. Pavie (94-96+pts) & Angelus (94-96pts) released their wines ahead of the Parker scores last week, offering the inaugural vintages to have Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé (A) on their bottles at an increase on 2011 pricing, which was poorly received. Will the high scores ensure these wines find a market?

The Right bank dominated the top list of wines, leaving Mouton Rothschild (95-97pts) a forlorn figure as the only Left Bank wine in the top 20 rated by Parker. At under £3,000 per 12 the best scored First Growth 2012 looks a great buy, particularly encouraging as Parker proclaims this effort as ‘one of the few 2012s that comes close to equalling what was achieved in both 2009 and 2010’.

Lafite Rothschild (92-95pts) also scored well comparing the newest vintage to the 1998 which currently trades upwards of £6,000 per 12 ,  other strong Left Bank performers were : Haut Brion (93-95pts), Latour and Margaux (both 92-94) & Rauzan Segla (93-95pts).

The futures market for Bordeaux is undoubtedly ‘at a crossroads’ (RPJ) especially after prices failed to come down for the below average 2011 campaign. Parker has once again called for prices to drop and paid recognition to Christian Moueix, who released his 2012 stable of wines at a 20% discount on 2011. Credit must also go to Mouton & Lafite who came down substantially on 2011 pricing and have subsequently found an active market.

Now that all the scores are out, we are expecting a busy week of releases so please make sure to register your interest in order to ensure you receive an allocation of the unreleased wines.

Below is the list of the top rated 2012s.

2012 Haut Brion Blanc (98-100)
2012 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc (96-98+)
2012 L’Eglise Clinet (96-100)
2012 Trotanoy (96-98)
2012 Ausone (95-97)
2012 Mouton-Rothschild (95-97)
2012 Pape Clement Blanc (95-98)
2012 Petrus (95-98+)
2012 Angelus (94-96)
2012 Bellevue Mondotte (94-97)
2012 Cheval Blanc (94-96)
2012 Hosanna (94-96)
2012 La Fleur Petrus (94-96)
2012 La Mondotte (94-97)
2012 Pavie (94-96+)
2012 Troplong-Mondot (94-96)
2012 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) (93-95+)
2012 Belair-Monange (93-95)
2012 Climens (93-95)
2012 Clos Fourtet (93-95)
2012 Croix de Labrie (93-95)
2012 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc (93-95)
2012 Feytit Clinet (93-95)
2012 Gazin (93-95)
2012 Gracia (93-95+)
2012 Haut Brion (93-95)
2012 Larcis-Ducasse (93-95)
2012 Le Pin (93-95)
2012 Leoville-Las Cases (93-95)
2012 Rauzan-Segla (Rausan-Segla) (93-95)
2012 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc (93-95)
2012 Beau-Sejour-Becot (92-95)
2012 Branon (92-94)
2012 Canon la Gaffeliere (92-94)
2012 Chateau Louis (92-94)
2012 Chateau Margaux (92-94)
2012 Clinet (92-94+)
2012 Clos de Sarpe (92-94+)
2012 Clos Dubreuil (92-94)
2012 Clos St Julien (92-94)
2012 Cos d’Estournel (92-95)
2012 De Fieuzal Blanc (92-94)
2012 Domaine de Chevalier (92-95)
2012 Fleur Cardinale (92-95)
2012 La Clarte de Haut-Brion Blanc (92-94)
2012 La Conseillante (92-94)
2012 La Fleur de Bouard Le Plus (92-94)
2012 La Fleur Morange (92-94+)
2012 Lafite-Rothschild (92-95)
2012 Lafleur (92-94+)
2012 Latour (92-94)
2012 Le Dome (92-94)
2012 Magrez Fombrauge (92-94)
2012 Montrose (92-94)
2012 Palmer (92-95)
2012 Pape Clement (92-95)
2012 Pavie-Decesse (92-94)
2012 Pavie-Macquin (92-95)
2012 Smith-Haut-Lafitte (92-94)
2012 Vieux Chateau Certan (92-94)
2012 Vieux Chateau Mazerat (92-94)
2012 Aile d’Argent Blanc (91-93)
2012 Bellevue (91-93+)
2012 Canon (91-94)
2012 Chapelle d’Ausone (91-93)
2012 Chateau Saint-Pierre (91-93)
2012 Clos du Marquis (91-93)
2012 Clos l’Eglise (91-94)
2012 Cos d’Estournel Blanc (91-93)
2012 Haut Bailly (91-93)
2012 La Confession (91-93)
2012 La Croix St Georges (91-93)
2012 La Fleur de Bouard (91-93)
2012 La Fleur de Gay (91-94)
2012 La Gaffeliere (91-93)
2012 La Mission Haut Brion (91-94)
2012 La Violette (91-93)
2012 Le Gay (91-93+)
2012 Les Asteries (91-93)
2012 Malartic-Lagraviere (91-93)
2012 Malartic-Lagraviere Blanc (91-94)
2012 Monbousquet Blanc 91
2012 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux Blanc (91-93)
2012 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (91-93)
2012 Pontet-Canet (91-94)
2012 Le Petit Mouton (90-92)
2012 Leoville-Barton (90-92)
2012 Les Cruzelles (90-92)
2012 L’Evangile (90-94)
2012 Pichon-Longueville Baron (90-93)
2012 Beychevelle (89-91)
2012 D’Armailhac (89-91)
2012 Les Forts de Latour (89-91)
2012 Alter Ego (88-90)
2012 Duhart-Milon-Rothschild (87-89)
2012 Goulee (87-90)
2012 Carruades de Lafite (87-89)
2012 Lynch Bages (87-89)

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Bordeaux 2012 Releases Update: Valandraud, Lafite, Duhart, Carruades & l’Evangile

Posted by WineInvestment.org on April 22, 2013
Bordeaux en primeur 2012, Wine offers / No Comments



Well only a week into this year’s en primeur campaign and we have already had two of the major releases, Mouton at the end of last week, and as anticipated Lafite Rothschild today. It came a few hours after right bank garage wine Valandraud was released early this morning at an attractive price. Following the major releases last week, today’s followed a similar pattern coming onto the market as the cheapest available vintage – will this be a common theme? We hope so. Prices whilst not drastically reduced, have sparked interest at their discounted prices and ahead of Parker’s report on Bordeaux 2012 being released on Friday (12pm EST) poses some interesting questions.

 

Wine RPJ JS WS Price per 12 Price vs. 2011
Lynch Bages 2012 n/a 93-94 91-94 £665 -13%
Mouton Rothschild 2012 n/a 94-95 93-96 £2,750 -33.3%
Valandraud 2012 n/a 91-92 88-91 £850 -46.2%
Lafite Rothschild 2012 n/a 93-94 93-96 £3,900 -21%
Carruades 2012 n/a 88-89 91-94 £1,050 -12%
Duhart Milon 2012 n/a 90-91 91-94 £570 -14%

Lafite Rothschild @ £3,900 per 12:

Trading on the market at 2/3 of the price of physical off-prime vintages which all sit around the £6,000 mark – it seems that Lafite have priced their 2012 well. It’s not a return to 2008 (154% more than the ex-neg price that year) but it’s definitely welcome and will generate interest. For further analysis and comparison below are the current Off-Prime Market Prices:

Wine Price RPJ JS WS
Lafite Rothschild, 2012

3,900

n/a

93-94 93-96
Lafite Rothschild, 2011

4,669

90-93

Lafite Rothschild, 2008

6,500

98

Lafite Rothschild, 2007

5,949

94

Lafite Rothschild, 2006

6,000

97

Lafite Rothschild, 2004

5,900

95

Lafite Rothschild, 2002

6,070

94

Lafite Rothschild, 2001

6,200

94

Valandraud @ £850 per 12:

With right bank wines faring best in 2012, the release price of Valandraud makes a case as a stong buy recommendation.

 

  • Price -46% on 2011
  • -65% on 2010
  • -66% on 2009
  • Average price for the last 5 vintages is over £1,660 per 12
  • 2012 scored 93-96 pts from Wine Spectator
  • Parker rated the 2011 at 92-94pts, expecting similar if not higher scores for the 2012

 

Wine Price RPJ WS
Valandraud, 2012

850

n/a

93-96

Valandraud, 2011

1,450

(92-94)

Valandraud, 2010

2,090

97+

Valandraud, 2009

2,850

96

Valandraud, 2008

1,050

94

Valandraud, 2007

850

(90-93)

Valandraud, 2006

1,250

92

Valandraud, 2005

1,800

95

Valandraud, 2004

1,235

91+

Valandraud, 2003

1,400

93

Valandraud, 2002

1,071

93

Valandraud, 2001

1,399

94

Valandraud, 2000

1,668

94

ave price

1509.416667

(off prime) ave price

1186.428571

2012 vs. off prime

28.3% discount

Carruades @ £1,050, Duhart @ £600  & l’Evangile @ £1,070

Similarly to Lafite – Carruades and Duhart were released down on their prices last year and again at market price represent the cheapest available vintage.

Looking primarily at the former, which at £1,050 per 12, is over £200 less than the 2011 and £500 – £1,000 less than the current prices of the rest of the other modern vintage – it looks like an enticing price. The same can be said of Duhart – which was roundly appreciated by the Cult Wines team at the recent tastings in Bordeaux. So it will be interesting to see the Parker scores on Friday and the affect that might have on demand.

Lastly, l’Evangile which was one of the most well-liked wines during the tastings by the trade came out at the same price as last year. Parker last week confirmed his preference for Pomerol in 2012 and some believe l’Evangile to be better than Petrus this year. At present the price looks quite heavy but post-Parker scores on Friday, it may look like a bargain at £1,070 per 12.

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Day 2: Bordeaux en primeur 2012 ‘Cabernet Country’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on April 10, 2013
Bordeaux en primeur 2012 / No Comments
feat2


On our way to Cabernet country this morning the Cult Wines team either slept, or quietly discussed the day ahead. Unlike yesterday, where we knew that the Merlot based wines ahead of us would most likely be showing well, king Cab, didn’t fill us with as much confidence.The attribute we were hoping not to encounter to an excessive degree within the wines was Isobutyl methoxypyrazine, or bell pepper, this compound has been reported to feature in Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon based wines this year, due to a number of factors. Namely; a long, spread out version which aggravates the accumulation, blocked ripening due to the prolonged summer drought, and insufficient leaf stripping and fruit thinning. All of these combine to result in a measurable level of the compound higher than the human olfactory detection threshold. Too much vegetal characteristic is deemed undesirable by wine critics, as it unbalances the wine and masks other aromas and flavours that would normally be perceived.

So with that in mind we headed to Chateau Calon Segur, in Saint Estephe. This third growth estate, is an impressive sprawling expanse of topiary, walled gardens and out buildings. This year’s yield was down from 45hl/ ha in 2011, to 38 hl/ ha. Which is partly down to 2012 being a particularly bad year for Coulure, which is where wind, rain and chemical deficiencies during flowering prevent flowers from being properly fertilised, this results in the flowers dropping off. As these flowers would normally turn into individual grapes on the cluster, the result then becomes deformed bunches with gaps where the missing berries should be, and consequently a reduced yield. So not only did Cabernet have to endure this downfall, but as a later ripening variety, growers also had to avoid the rain that took place during harvest, this resulted in some heterogeneous ripening hence, virtually any producer you ask in Bordeaux will tell you that their hl/ha was reduced compared with last year.

IMG_9600

Our mission today was to ascertain whether or not producers had gone to their best efforts to overcome these obstacles without jeopardising quality.

It was clear that Calon Segur implemented some rigorous berry selection because there wasn’t a hint of ‘bell pepper’, to be seen. The wines were all vibrant and expressive, the Capbern Gasquerton was particularly captivating and represents an excellent price quality ratio.

Our next destination was Chateau Montrose, where we encountered intensely powerful wines. The quintessence of the vintage had clearly been captured through judicious vinification practices, such as a long reportedly long maceration period of 26-28 days, in order to extract phenolics from the thick skins.

Cos d’Estournel didn’t fail to impress. It is like the fantasy land of Bordeaux, the barrel room is like nothing else you will find in France, a sea of barriques can be circumnavigated via an impressive bridge walk way that leads to a feature cellar room containing large format back vintages stored in a Jumanji style high tech storage facility. But even if the winery was a plain Jayne, the wine was still sublime. The Cos d’ Estournel Blanc has been altered this year to provide more of an immediate pleasure, so the blend contained a higher proportion of Sauvignon Blanc compared with Semillon, 77%, 23% respectively. It was deemed by the team to be almost parfait… exhibiting implausible length. The rest of the range was equally good.

IMG_9625

Cos d’Estournel was followed by Lafite Rothschild. Where Charles Chevallier greeted us, juxtaposed in amongst the grandiose of Lafite, looking more Latin teacher than Lafite super star wine maker. We discussed this year’s vintage, and Lafite’s decisions to pick much earlier, resulting in 12.5 % ABV, compared with last year’s 13.5 % ABV. Chevallier explained that when deciding the exact moment to pick, he will walk the vineyards and taste the grapes himself in order to make a decision. He also mentioned that they employ students to carry out in-depth crop estimations, where bunches and berries are weighed, sugar, acid, pH are recorded, but actually ‘he doesn’t really care much about this’… and will simply go by his own intuition… Presumably these protocols are implemented more to identify if something peculiar happens, to give work experience kids something to do, or for the sake of harvest reports, and less to pin point harvest dates. But with the amount of vintages under his belt that Chevallier has, instinct and experience will presumably override any other analysis. We tasted the Carruades de Lafite, the Chateau Duhart- Milon and the Chateau Lafite Rothschild. All of which exhibited precision and elegance, but the Duhart particularly captured our attention for providing refinement and personality.

Lunch at Pontet Canet was (as always) impressive, especially the heart attack instigating cheese buffet, with at least 30 different cheeses on offer. The starter was a delicious Terrine de Volaille, Fois Gras au Naturel, and the main a Fondant de Joue du Boeuf, served with the 2002 and the estate owned Cognac Tessaron.

We then hopped along to Chateau Mouton Rothschild en board the iconic golf buggy’s that ferry you to the tasting room. We tasted the Chateau D’Armailhac, Clerc Millon and the top wine the Mouton Rothschild all of which were obviously powerful and refined despite the fact that they will need time to integrate. This year the property have decided to increase the number of tanks from 28 to 56 in order to allow micro-vinification of tiny plots of vines, this will mean that they can blend more judiciously, which is especially during a tough vintage like this year.

Next we went back to Pontet Canet for our scheduled tasting, on the way to the tasting room we passed the new amphora maturation vessels. Owner Alfred Tesseron explained that the Technical director Jean-Michel Comme has spent the last three years trialling different sizes and shapes of amphorae, which are manufactured by the estate. This is with the aim to reduce oak influence, and as Tesseron put it, ‘Oak is fashion, which doesn’t always last’. Evidently they are thinking outside the box and the wines reflected immense purity and freshness. Jean-Michel Comme is a dedicated winemaker, obsessive some may say but it all combines to produce results that are truly sensational!

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To understand where Zinedine Zidane fits into a lengthy discussion with PG, keep checking this blog for a full summary which will follow soon.

Last stop Latour. Following the usual security check procedure at the gate we headed for the tasting room. To our delight we were served the three wines Latour released recently as their first non-primeur release, the Pauillac 2009, Forts de Latour 2005 and the Latour 1995. These wines were outstanding, and perhaps enhanced due to our full on day of tasting en primeur. It was a great way to round the day off and provided a useful bench mark for visualising how a fine wine can evolve.

latour 2012 en primeur

Our general summary of the day was that of all of the property’s we visited each and every one of them appeared to have executed wine production skill in order to get the most out of a tricky vintage. We were not disappointed and felt that some of the second and third wines we tasted offered exceptional value.

For a vintage we had low expectations for, we have been pleasantly surprised…roll on day 3.

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