To all Best Winers,
The 2012 En Primeur Bordeaux campaign is slowly winding down with the recent release of some of Bordeaux’s biggest names. From the “Right Bank” this week we saw the opening of La Conseillante (WS 92-95), Beausejour Duffau (WA 93-95+), a really smart buy with Larcis Ducasse (WA 93-95), Cheval Blanc (WS 94-97) and the King of St Emilion and potential wine of the vintage, Chateau Ausone (WA 95-97) to name a few.
From the Rive Gauche, we have Jean-Guillaume Prats last vintage with Cos d’Estournel (WA 92-95), Ducru Beaucaillou (WS 93-96), Gruaud Larose (WS 89-92), Brane Cantenac (WS 90-93) and Leoville Poyferre (WS 90-93) all out in the marketplace.
All in all It’s been a rather quick campaign as most go well into the latter half of June. As a merchant who truly loves the wines, people and personalities that make up Bordeaux, I had hoped the chateaux were going to try and win the world back with a little more aggressive pricing. Some did, but most were just above where I felt the prices needed to be to get the wine buying public excited about Bordeaux again. That being said, I feel there are some smart buys for 2012. Remember, speculators have made more gains in the so-called off vintages than they do when a vintage is favorable. You could buy “First Growths” during the 2008 en Primeur campaign for $225 per bottle! Today, those same 2008’s have nearly tripled in value while wines from the great 2009 and 2010 vintages are on par with where they were at opening. I’m not saying the 2012’s are going to skyrocket in price but it’s just an observation, as no one really ever knows. If I did know how it would end up, I’d be sitting on a beach with a drink in my hand.
So to recap, here are some of these potential smart buys for the vintage:
To start Beau-Sejour Becot (WA 92-95), Troplong Mondot (WA 94-96), Larcis Ducasse (WA 93-95), Beausejou Duffau (WA 93-95+) and, you may think I am crazy but, Chateau Ausone Why? Well, I did a search of all vintages going back to 2000 and I could not find a single bottle near the price we’re offering the 2012 for. Remember folks, this is a “Right Bank” vintage and Ausone could be the Wine of the Vintage with an Advocate 95-97 point score. In fact Parker calls this wine “nearly perfect”! Normally nearly perfect Ausone costs twice as much as this current 2012 pricing, and since 2012 is a small crop, this could be an interesting speculative buy. Other estates to consider are Rauzan Segla (WA 93-95), Malescot St. Exupery (WS 93-96), Domaine de Chevalier (WA 92-95) and the star of the “First Growths” Mouton Rothschild (WA 95-97) among others.
I will be in Bordeaux for Vinexpo and plan to taste through the wines I have yet to sample. Most, if not all, are in a better place than they were during En-Primeur when the weather was cold (low pressure in the atmosphere wreaks havoc on barrel samples).