Bordeaux 2013 en primeur IS LIVE!


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

Whatever the rumours preceding the launch of a vintage, nothing matches the excitement of being on the ground and tasting. As Bordeaux 2013 is unveiled, Jonathan White – our correspondent for the week – sends his first dispatch.

Much has already been written about the 2013 Bordeaux vintage prior to this weeks Union des Grands Crus tastings, and little of the commentary has been complimentary. Weather during the growing season wasn’t favourable and the general view is that pricing needs to drop for this year’s campaign to be a success. With Ch. Pontet-Canet releasing its 2013 for sale last week at a similar price to its 2012 (and this before anyone had even had a chance to taste the wine), plus Ch. Latour’s continuing withdrawal from en primeur sales, these are interesting times for what is now an annual fixture on the international wine trade calendar.

The majority of wines that we will be tasting this week are created for enjoyment at least 10 years after the harvest, so leaving the pricing issue to one side, forming an opinion of the wines without even tasting them, as some people have, is hard to comprehend. It is for this reason that Max Lalondrelle, our Fine Wine Buying Director, was adamant that our group of seven should visit Bordeaux and taste the wines as we usually do. There is no substitute for tasting the wines ourselves and while we anticipate there to be some wines that don’t quite make the mark this year, we know that there are many very talented winemakers in Bordeaux, so we also expect to find many wines which do. We will of course offer you our views and the thoughts of these winemakers through our daily blogs and, on return, via comprehensive tasting notes.

Our Chairman, Simon Berry, joins us for the second year running; he will be writing several dispatches focusing on the personalities of the Bordeaux wine trade and the relationships that Berry Bros. & Rudd has formed with them during the last 300 years. I am sure he will provide a fascinating insight.