Tuesday, 8 April 2014

En Primeur 2013 | BWI Report


We are pleased to advise you the Bordeaux 2013 En Primeur Campaign has now begun. We are a company that specializes in Bordeaux futures and intend to handle this campaign a little differently than previous ones. We have vast experience on our team with one of the members reaching back to the 1984 vintage, coincidentally another less than stellar year.

Due to the poor nature of the vintage we will only be making a few offers during this campaign in order that you are not inundated you with needless communications. We will list all of the wines on our web site and of course if you do not find the wine you desire on our list please contact us and we will be sure to source it for you.

There are two bright spots in 2013 - the Sauternes and Dry Whites are very good with some outstanding examples.

It was abundantly clear to us all that given Bordeaux experienced a similar weather pattern to the UK and the attendant difficulties this heaped upon the hapless wine maker; the wines would not in any way rival previous vintages.

The two key factors were the very late flowering and the short “summer ripening period” with an early onset of a damp autumn that impacted upon the harvest. Many properties lost much of their crop to rot a result of warm weather interspersed with rain and the resultant humid conditions as the weather switched from one to another.

This is very relevant to Bordeaux – it significantly assisted the sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac who have had a good year.  The dry whites have also enjoyed a good vintage for 2013. There will be some very pleasant drinking here. For the white wines, the following stood out: Pape Clement; Domaine de Chevalier; Smith Haut Lafitte; De Fieuzal and the power houses of La Mission Haut Brion Blanc and Pavillon Blanc.

For Sauternes and Barsacd’Yquem; Suduiraut; Guiraud and Climens stood out for the team.

We found a number of pleasant red wines that will provide good drinking although much lighter in weight and complexity. The key with wines from the 2013 vintage will be their price upon release.

We are all aware of the significant price escalation in recent years that does not seem to have been adjusted to reflect the quality of individual vintages. This year, the 2013 vintage offers an opportunity for a correction should the chateaux choose to take it – it remains to be seen. It has been a very small crop compared to the norm, resulting from the poor weather and growing conditions – coupled with this has been the added expense of making a wine in this vintage due to the adverse weather. This has been much higher than usual due to the amount of work required in the vineyard.

We have selected a number of wines that we believe are worthy of consideration depending upon their release price. You will find the wines by clicking on the link www.bwiltd.co.uk/en-primeur

In general terms, the Right Bank Pomerols’ provided the most consistency and approachable wines with good efforts from a number of producers. This is due to the lack of cabernet sauvignon grape being used as this is one of the late ripening grapes and suffered from the cold wet autumn. We found good wines for this vintage here in Vieux Chateau Certan; L’Evangile; Lafleur and L’Eglise Clinet.

St Emilion was much more variable among the chateaux with good efforts from Le Dome; Figeac; Clos Fourtet and Pavie Macquin.

This was a tough year for St Estephe with the hard to ripen Cabernet grapes causing the major issues for wine makers. From this commune, only Montrose and Lilian Ladouys were in our picks.

Moving down into Pauillac saw similar challenges. There were more wines here where the winemakers had left nature to do its work in the vat rooms allowing the wines to express light, bright fruit. This will provide some pleasant drinking Bordeaux wines from this vintage. Notable are: Lafite; Pichon Baron; Latour; Grand Puy Lacoste and Pontet Canet.

St Julien demonstrated a similar pattern to elsewhere, with those who had demonstrated the lighter touch achieving potentially good drinking wines. Interesting wines from this commune include: Leoville Barton; Langoa Barton and Leoville Las Cases and the wines from the Borie stable consisting of Ducru Beaucaillou, La Croix De Beaucaillou and Lalande-Borie.

Less uniformity and success was shown in Margaux where the range and wide variety of quality rivalled St Emilion. Diligent wine makers and those again allowing nature to work for them in the vats have made wines worthy of consideration. Among those are: Chateau Margaux; Du Terte; Rauzan Segla and Brane Cantenac.

Finally to Pessac Leognan where a similar story unfolds. As we have previously stated the Dry whites are very good this year across the board; however, the reds were somewhat more challenging to taste. Naturally Haut Brion stood out as the wine of the commune with a good effort from Domaine de Chevalier.

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