The primeur week is over. No site of Bob but lots of fruity, fresh wines with supple tannins. Purity of fruit with amazing freshness that one could almost drink now. I have tasting wines en primeur for the last ten years and this is the first time I have felt this. Not sure that they will be wines to lay down for décades but very attractive mid-term wines. Here are my key words for this year 2014 – the “miracle vintage” where the hot Autumn saved the day
- Sweet concentrated ripe fruit, often red fruit raspberry with its pleasing acidic kick
- Freshness from high acidity (due to long cool growing season, Lot of work needed in the vineyard to control vigour)
- Well-balanced due to this duo of ripeness and freshness (alcohol of 14°C goes unperceived)
- Fine supple tannins, medium-term ageing but good acidity may well help to preserve. Only time will tell what effect the coolness of the summer has and the final turning up of the temperature so late in the season. Not the year to go overboard with extracting (aromas, colour, tannins from skins), is there ever one?
- Good across all the appellations and varieties (flowering happened regularly and so therefore did ripening – homogenous)
- – no apparent real difference between the success of Merlot or Cabernets for me though many are saying it is more of a Cabernet year due to the lateness of the ripening.
- The Merlots I tasted were fine and concentrated with amazing purity of sweet fruit and freshness. It benefitted from a long cool growing season and final hot boost. Grapes were rather large though which has given juicy fresh wines if not controlled. The last few days of heat concentrated aromas due to evaporation of water. If it was controlled by work in the vineyard to control its vigour or controlled naturally via the terroir (on the limestone or pieds de côtes) – there are some super wines
- The Cabernet Franc did particularly did well on the Right bank with fine tannins and good phenolic ripeness
- Cab Sauvignon loved the hot Indian Summer as did the Petit Verdot. High percentage of polyphénols for the Cab Sauv as low percentage f juice and thick skins
- Best vintage since 2010, better than 2008 may we even say similar to the class of 2001 with more fruit?
My favorite 2014s: St Emilions – Figeac, Larcisse Ducasse, Beausejour Bécot, Pavie Macquin, de Pressac, Berliquet, Béard la Chapelle Pomerol – la Conseillante St Julien – Léoville Barton Pauillac – Pontet Canet, Lynch Bages Margaux – Palmer Haut Medoc – Cambon la Pelouse, Sociando Mallet Listrac – Mayne Lalande
The big question now is PRICE. It needs to be cheaper than 2012 for the campaign to have any interest. Wine merchants are struggling with lots of unsold stock. Châteaux do not agree. Now it is wait and see (apparently it shold all be out and over by end of May before the buildup to Vinexpo). Apparently it is the end of the primeur system as we know it (this is said every year or 2). For more background to the Primeur 2014 Price issue
It is called the En Primeur circus but WHO are the clowns?