Robert Parker on Bordeaux 2012
Sunday, 28 April 2013 by Stephen Browett
The annual "Wine Advocate" report by Robert Parker on the latest Bordeaux vintage is always the wine world's most eagerly awaited critical review. We have now had a chance to analyse his take on the 2012's which was published this weekend on www.erobertparker.com. It is a hard-hitting piece this year that not only reveals Mr Parker's favourite wines and appellations of the vintage but also takes no prisoners when discussing the prices at which 2012 Bordeaux needs to be sold in order for this en primeur campaign to be successful.
First of all the good news. Like us, Robert Parker loves the 2012 Pomerols, which he describes as "excellent". He states that Pomerol is "the most successful appellation and it is closely followed by Pessac-Leognan." Only one wine from the Médoc (Mouton Rothschild) makes it into his top wines of the vintage (scoring 95-97) and only 2 more (Rauzan Ségla and Léoville Lascases) make it into the top 25 highest rated red wines of the vintage. Overall, he descibes the wines of the Médoc as "average to above average....some wines lack a mid-palate, some are herbaceous and others are too tannic." The most successful Médocs, he argues, are "charming, mid-weight, delicious wines without an excess of concentration or tannin". He goes on to state that the vintage "has the advantage of being relatively approachable in its youth".
With Yquem and three other leading Chateaux deciding not to release a 2012, it is no surprise that Parker's judgement on the Sauternes and Barsacs is that it is a "disappointing" year for sweet white wines but, on the other hand, he is full of praise for the dry white wines of the Graves and describes 2012 as "a top vintage" for these.
Parker's top-scoring red wine of the vintage is the same as ours, so huge congratulations go to the brilliant Denis Durantou whose Chateau L'Eglise Clinet is the only 2012 to have a potential 3 digit score (96-100). The full list of highest scorers is as follows:
Potential best value for rating that we have spotted would include:
Robert Parker also delivers a clear and strong message to Bordeaux proprietors that they will ignore at their peril. His review is entitled "Train Wreck Coming" and the advice is simple and straight-forward. "Concerns must be raised about the viability of buying Bordeaux as a wine future if prices do not drop and make such a proposition attractive to the wine trade as well as to the ultimate drinker." He concludes, "If the movers, shakers and powers that be in Bordeaux don't listen, there is no tomorrow."
With the possible exception of the few top-rated wines, it is absolutely essential that these words of wisdom are respected. Chateaux yet to be released must follow the move of Rauzan Segla and the First Growths by making such significant price reductions so that consumers can buy their wines at lower prices than any other vintage on the market today. If they don't do this, then our customers won't be buying their wines - and nor will we.