Bordeaux 2013 & Hungarian Zenit

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Normally at this time of year we’d have a chat with you about the impending ‘En Primeur’ campaign in Bordeaux.

This year I don’t know where to start, we all know what a harsh summer 2013 was across western France, we read the hail reports, saw pictures of the damaged cars and roofs, even a pile of hailstones the size of golf balls.

We’ve spoken to various chums who spend a good couple of weeks in Bordeaux every April dashing from tasting to tasting in convoys of minibuses. This year many of them aren’t going, citing a mixture of reasons – disappointment at the last couple of year’s campaigns, the feeling that the public are fairly ambivalent to the campaign.

Robert Parker, one of the world’s most followed wine critics, announced he wouldn’t be tasting the wines till later and then Chateau Pontet-Canet really put the cat amongst the pigeons by being the first leading estate to have ever released its ‘En Primeur’ price before anybody had tasted the wine.

So for an ‘En Primeur’ campaign that was looking like a damp squib it seems to have become very interesting. For the right reasons though, I’m not so sure.

The wines, the wines tell us about the wines. Well we haven’t tasted any of them yet, we have read a lot of reports and would have to say “mixed bag” is probably a good case scenario. The first growths and top performers will always make a decent wine because they can afford to use really only the very best parts of the harvest. In the words of the director of Cos d’Estournel “Normally you make wine to make money but in 2013 you needed money to make wine.”

I don’t think we’ll be dipping our toes into the Bordeaux 2013, especially after reading “variable, sometimes quite pleasant” as a description of the reds by Professor Denis Dubourdieu of Bordeaux University.

Our money might sneak into California (Napa Valley was described as having “An ideal season—dry conditions and a long, sunny summer” and Santa Barbara as having its “Second year of near-ideal growing conditions”). Or perhaps Hawkes Bay in New Zealand where winemakers are talking of “the stuff of legends” or “a vintage to remember”.

Anyway that’s enough guff from me, normal service will resume next week, but in the meantime we’ll be opening some bottles as usual on Saturday.

In the white corner… one of our new finds from Hungary is Tournai’s Zenit (£10.59) a little different and very tasty.

In the red corner we’ll try something a bit more mainstream in Marktree Cabernet/Merlot (£8.29) a crunchy easy drinker from South Eastern Australia.

Nice weekend one and all!

Comments are closed.