Oeno-File, the Wine & Gastronomy Column

by Frank Ward

Posts Tagged ‘First Growths’

2013 Clarets – A Variable Vintage Part I

Posted by Frank Ward on January 12, 2018

January 2018. The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was a difficult one, with few wines below Cru Classe level able to generate any excitement. Charles Taylor M.W. reports that the flowering was “catastrophic”, the weather generally freakish, while the harvest was marked by heavy rains, high temperatures, and – in some cases – the onset of rot. All the same, many Châteaux managed to come up with good to excellent wines, a few even verging on greatness – the latter at properties that managed to achieve optimum ripeness without the onset of rot. As one wise vigneron said to me years ago, “when you concentrate a wine, you concentrate the bad elements as well as the good.”[….].

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Posted by Frank Ward on January 23, 2017

January 2017. PESSAC-LÉOGNAN. Both châteaux BOUSCAUT and DE FIEUZAL were light, elegant, and approachable, with good balance and will drink well in the coming years. HAUT–BAILLY was in a reticent mood, with an elegant aroma reminiscent of freshly sharpened pencil and autumn berries. It too will evolve smoothly if unlikely to generate great excitement. However, such top estates can be very closed up when young and all three may well surprise us. Made of sterner stuff was [….]

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Tasting the 2009 clarets with the Masters of Wine

Posted by Frank Ward on January 12, 2014

January 2014. A tasting of 94 clarets and 12 Sauternes from 2009 was held in London in November 2013 under the auspices of the Institute of Masters of Wine: an ideal opportunity to assess a great vintage at a very good point in its development. Now around two years in the bottle, the wines have had time to recover from the rigours of bottling and to knit together sufficiently well to give a good idea of their overall constitution […..]

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