Bordeaux Primeurs 2013 part 3 : Last Results

The Médoc region was the most interesting one this year. I tasted some of the best red wines in Pauillac and Saint-Julien with more consistency than any other appellation. You will find some of my favorite wines within each appellation below (contact me for tasting notes that do not appear here, or for more details).

AOC Saint-Estèphe :

Overall, I was disappointed by this appellation. I didn’t taste Cos d’Estournel en primeurs, however I liked Château Lafon Rochet and its pleasant wine. Medium bodied but very tasteful. Nice dark fruit flavors (70 % Cabernet-Sauvignon ; 30 % Merlot ; 50 % new oak barrels). Château Calon Ségur made a solid effort too and shines with its consistency over the past few years.

AOC Pauillac : 

Finally some homogeneity in the 2013 vintage! Pauillac wines possess a little more of everything than the appellations previously mentioned.

– Château d’Armailhac : medium-bodied wine with fine and silky tanins. It finishes on a delicious taste.

– Château Clerc Milon : ripe nose, very “Merlot”, this wine has a completely different style than the previous one, looking more like a right bank wine with more roundiness and flesh in the middle of the mouth, ends on a soft finish.

– Château Lynch-Bages : Intense dark color, prune and chocolate notes on the nose. Nice presence and body in the middle of the mouth, it tastes good, a bit tannic. The finish is a lil firm but the wine is good. I’m impatient to taste this again in another 2 years, and judge the evolution of it. (72 % C.S ; 20 % Merlot ; 6 % Cabernet Franc ; 75 % new oak barrel).

– Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande : Probably the biggest surprise of this year since it’s only made of Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is like a line in the mouth without any width, it’s delicate and very enjoyable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this cru use less and less Merlot in its blend in the future years.

AOC Saint-Julien :

Another successful appellation and probably the most consistent one in Bordeaux over the years. Wines here have more body and structure than anywhere else.

– I really enjoyed Château Branaire Ducru with its precise wine, floral nose, fine tannins and wonderful elegance. Great balance and long finish. (63 % C. Sauvignon ; 31 % Merlot ; 5 % Petit Verdot ; 1 % Cabernet Franc ; 60 % new oak barrels).

– Châteaux Beychevelle, Langoa Barton, Léoville Barton, and Lagrange also made really good wines.

AOC Margaux :

Yet again this year, major differences from estate to estate. I wasn’t really impressed by anything in Margaux this year (I didn’t taste Château Margaux and Château Palmer).

The wines that retained my attention the most were : Château Rauzan Ségla, Château Brane-Cantenac and the surprising Château Angludet which is very, very pleasant. I like the approach of this winery, which doesn’t use a lot of new oak barrels during the aging process, in order to keep the fruity personality of the wine intact. Also, they didn’t extract their Cabernet too much to get a stronger body. Instead they relied more on the Petit Verdot varietal that brings natural structure to the blend. I am impatient to taste this wine in a couple of years and see its development.

AOC Graves and Pessac-Léognan : 

The red wines from that area are average, most of them being really firm. Prefer Médoc wines.

It’s a very complicated exercice to taste young, primeurs red wines. After 3 intense days, I was impatient to move on and start trying the dry white wines from Graves and Pessac-Léognan.

There was no disappointment this time, I was actually pleasantly surprised. As a whole, it’s a successful year with well balanced wines, nice freshness and taste. 2013 is a good vintage and will be a safe bet for Bordeaux dry white wines.

Some names to remember :

– Château Fieuzal and Haut-Bergey both produce very enjoyable wines.

– Château la Louvière is a very good wine with a beautiful construction and good balance, I like the exotic flavors.

– Château Carbonnieux is even better with a fruity mouth, very fresh, precisely balanced and a long lovely finish.

– Domaine de Chevalier and Château Smith Haut Lafitte are a tie for the best wine, with different styles.

The first one is refined with a very elegant nose. Nice flesh and “fat” in the mouth, it’s silky and constructed perfectly. It ends on an incredibly long citrus aftertaste, it’s delicious! Amazing wine!

Smith Haut Lafitte has the most expressive nose of all, fruity, ripe and gently buttered. The wine is incredibly soft in the mouth, with a lot of flesh and structure. Perfect freshness and balance. Incredible finish and length, with delicious peach/apricot notes. I love it.

AOC Sauternes and Barsac :

I didn’t plan to taste these sweet wines at first. However, the quality of dry white wines this year made me curious, and I certainly don’t regret it now.

2013 is a very good vintage for “Liquoreux” wines. Wait 3 years before opening a bottle. In general, they will age well for 20-30 years.

Some estates that did very well this year (besides Yquem) :

Château Coutet, Château Doisy-Daëne, Château Doisy Védrines, Château de Fargues, Château Guiraud, Château Nairac, Château Rayne Vigneau, Château La Tour Blanche.