Category Archives: Bordeaux 2014

Bordeaux 2014 – review of the vintage

2014 is a good to very good vintage, but not in the same league as 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 for the reds. Every vintage has its own unique character but, in terms of quality, the red wines of 2014 arguably rank alongside or just ahead of the second tier vintages of 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2012 (the latter having been underrated en primeur, but now showing well in bottle). The 2014s are superior, in general, to their counterparts of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011 and, of course, 2013.

Lafite 24 Sept 2014 - 117 - Version 3

The 2014 harvest at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

As for the dry whites, 2014 is a very good vintage – in fact, the dry whites of Bordeaux have been favoured by the weather in the last five years (discounting the hail in the Entre Deux Mers in 2013). For the late picked sweet whites, it’s another excellent vintage to add to the stocks of the lovely 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Overall then, 2014 could certainly be considered ’the best of the rest’. Keep reading

Bordeaux 2014 – Scores and when to drink them

Cos d'Estournel - 223I tasted over 600 wines over 12 days in late March and early April, including the 250 ‘most searched for’ Bordeaux wines on wine-searcher.com. Here are my scores for 100 red wines that merited at least 90 out of 100, and that are likely to be of interest to UK en primeur buyers; they are listed by appellation.

*With prices starting to come out, I’ve noted the average list price for the 2012 in bottle as a comparison, as quoted by Liv-ex. The price is per case of 12, in bond (excl  duty and VAT).

Added to which, a few of my favourite dry whites and sweet white wines from 2014.

You can download my Excel sheet of 500 wines that rate at least 85 points in my book. (The number on the left is a trade ID number that’s used by Liv-ex.) Keep reading

Should you buy en primeur – or in bottle?

Brane Cantenac - 176 - Version 3There’s been little incentive for consumers to buy Bordeaux en primeur in recent years, so can the chateaux turn that around with some ultra tasty prices? For the first time in four years, there’s genuine enthusiasm amongst the wine trade to get behind the 2014 en primeur campaign. “The market, though, is tepid” says James Miles, MD of Liv-ex.

There was a positive reaction to the wines at the annual Spring tastings here in Bordeaux just before Easter but, as most collectors know, there’s been no advantage in buying recent vintages while the wines were still in barrel. The 2011s, 2012s and 2013s failed to ignite much interest en primeur, so consumers are going to need some convincing; it’s now in the hands of the leading chateaux as they set their opening prices a year or so before the wines are bottled. For UK buyers, the exchange rate will help too.

Robert Parker, the world’s most influential critic, is no longer reviewing Bordeaux from barrel, but only in bottle, and this may affect the way people buy Bordeaux. However, if consumers don’t buy Bordeaux during the en primeur season, will they ever get around to buying once the wines are bottled? The golden goose could be in mortal danger.

There are umpteen 2014s that will be really enjoyable to drink. The question is, which should you buy, at what price, and when? Keep reading

Bordeaux 2014 from barrel – en primeur article

Here’s my article for Harpers Wine & Spirit magazine, May 2015 issue.

Harpers Wine & Spirit

Get the article here. pdfpdf – 1.9mb

Download

Bordeaux 2014 – the verdict

Good wines, now down to price

There’s been little incentive for people to buy Bordeaux en primeur in recent years. Can the chateaux turn that around? Our man on the ground, local winemaker Gavin Quinney, reviews the latest vintage.

For the first time in four years, there’s genuine enthusiasm amongst the trade to get behind the Bordeaux en primeur campaign. There was a positive reaction to the wines at the annual tastings but, as we all know, there’s been no advantage in buying recent vintages while the wines were still in barrel. The 2011s, 2012s and 2013s failed to ignite much interest en primeur, so consumers are going to need some convincing; it’s now in the hands of the leading chateaux as they set their opening prices a year or so before the wines are bottled. For UK buyers, the exchange rate should help too.

Where does 2014 rank?

So how good are the wines of 2014? In short, it’s a good to very good vintage, but not in the same league as 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 for the reds. Every vintage has its own unique character but, in terms of quality, the red wines of 2014 arguably rank alongside or just ahead of the second tier vintages of 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2012 (the latter having been underrated en primeur, but now showing well in bottle). The 2014s are superior, in general, to their counterparts of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011 and, of course, 2013.

As for the dry whites, 2014 is a very good vintage – in fact, the dry whites of Bordeaux have been favoured by the weather in the last five years (discounting the hail in the Entre Deux Mers in 2013). For the late picked sweet whites, it’s another excellent vintage to add to the stocks of the lovely 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Overall then, 2014 could certainly be considered ’the best of the rest’.

The ’Miracle’ Vintage? Keep reading