Bordeaux 2013 Primeurs Week
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Despite all (and therefore also the economic crisis), the Primeurs event is still one of the biggest events of the year about Bordeuax wines.
All the wine world looks at this week to understand what to expect from these wines, whether we are in front of an excellent product or a difficult vintage.
Prices and marketing policies of these wines are dependent on the event where journalists, critics, and other professionals taste an endless amount of wine, judging the future development of these products and, consequently, the future success (or not) and price.
This is not the time to examine or comment this event but simply to talk about the last Primeur event, which took place two months ago, in relation to the vintage 2013.
2013 Bordeaux is not going to be considered one of the great years.
This vintage was characterized by a cold February and March weather, as well as by a strange and cold May, with the consequence of a lack of grapes and a difficult ripening.
Small quantities everywhere, and good quality only where the Chateaux worked well during all year.
Between the different appellations, Saint Emilion seems to have had less difficulty managing to produce, in any case, a quality vintage. A more uncertain it will be the future for the wines of the Medoc, Graves and Pomerol. While just this kind of weather he scored one of the best vintages for wines of Sauternes. In any case history taught us how sometimes in "poor" vintages we can find "great" treasures. Time will reveal the truth. For the moment...
As I said above, the Saint-Emilion appellation was clearly able to profit a more clement climate that has allowed producers to better intervene in the vineyard, and produce elegant, complex wines. However, the tannins do not show always the character that should have after six months of aging in barrel... making us imagine for wines with a future of great elegance but not intended for long aging. If I have to choose some names ... definitely Angelus has been able to surprise, with a wine that turns out to be the best tasted during this week. Elegance, finesse but even a surprising character. After Angelus, the best wine is definitely Troplong Mondot, enchanting! Finally, I must mention also the quality of Chateau Figeac.
In the vineyards of Pomerol the 2013 appears to have been miserable. The wines show today too harsh tannins and little elegance. I would not definitively reject these wines, but we have to wait for the end of their long maturation then judge again.
SAINT-ESTEPHE AND PAUILLAC
Even in Saint-Estephe and Pauillac the 2013 appears, in general, a difficult vintage but here some producers showed some elegant wine. Tannins are powerful but show also an encouraging elegance. Chateau Batailley is my “coup de coeur”.
Encouraging tasting experience even for the Saint-Julien wines. The tannins, however powerful, are well balanced on the palate and the elegance is evident. Three names to be reported: Chateau Leoville Poyferré, Chateau Gloria and Chateau Beychevelle.
MEDOC AND HAUT-MEDOC
The year 2013 has facilitated here the "creation" of wines with more controlled tannins, balanced and with a certain elegance, but not products that really impress. Three wines should nevertheless be reported: La Tour Carnet, Chateau Belgrave, and Chateau Cantemerle.
Even the wines of Margaux suffered in 2013. Elegance typical of this appellation is often blurred by overly aggressive tannins. We have to wait for the evolution of these wines. However, I would like to point out two interesting wines: Chateau Angludet and Chateau Giscours.
Unlike elsewhere, the 2013 was an exceptional vintage for Sauternes wines. The wines tasted all show an extraordinary complexity and a surprising finesse. These are definitely wines that will be successful. Which one is the best? This game is played on the balance and freshness on the palate, that allows to these wines to reach peaks of exceptional elegance. Between the best: Chateau d’Yquem, Chateau Doisy Daene, Chateau Guiraud,
Chateau Coutet, Chateau Nairac et La Tour Blanche.
The tasting of the Pessac-Leognan wines reveals the impressive quality of the vintage 2013 for the white wines... fresh, complex and elegant. Among them, a place of honor is definitely for Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Chateau Chateau Carbonnieux et Chateau Bouscaut. The red wines rather suffer in balance and show too muscular tannins. An exception for its elegance is again Chateau Carbonnieux.
Often underrated, and certainly less known than the crus classé, the crus bourgeois hide real jewels. Among the red wines tasted, there are some that even in its youth show character, elegance, and balance difficult to find even in the great chateaux known to the whole world. And the prices of these wines will always be interesting. The list of wines that have impressed me is too long, but I definitely have to report three exceptional wines: Chateau d'Agassac, Chateau Belle-Vue, and Chateau Maison Blanche.
The 2013 will surely be remembered as a difficult year, poor in quantity.
The expectation is a further drop in prices for the crus classés.
Maybe it's time to rethink and change something about conceiving, producing and promoting wines Bordeaux. However, we must not forget that 2013 has also shown great products of excellence, to wait, to buy without any doubt.
WINES ABSOLUTELY TO BUY
Chateau Leoville Poyferré,
Chateau Doisy Daene,
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc,
Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc and Rouge,
Chateau Maison Blanche.