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Let Bordeaux commence…

Kat from our Fine Wine specialists Lay & Wheeler begins a week tasting the latest en primeur wines out in Bordeaux…

It’s that time of year again. No sooner have we dusted ourselves off from the last remnants of our Burgundy offer than we’re packing our bags and heading off to Bordeaux. Not that we’re really complaining.

This week is the big en primeur tasting week in Bordeaux. The journalists and critics have been out there for the last few weeks, but now it’s the turn of people like us to head out to taste at the Châteaux and the big group tastings run by the Union des Grands Crus. It is a tiring week, with non-stop tasting of very young and – often – very tannic reds, leaving us with black teeth, sore gums and a thirst for beer at the end of the day! Yet it’s churlish to complain about having the chance to taste some of the finest wine producers in the world and some of the Bordeaux Châteaux really are beautiful places.

The reports from those who have already tasted, and from the few examples I’ve already had the chance to taste, seem to be quite positive, with wines being highlighted from across the region. James Suckling, American wine critic, suggested that this was a vintage to watch the “p”s – Pomerol and Pessac, both of which he felt had performed very well – although he later also added that St Julien has done well in 2012.

The general view seems to be that quality is high where Châteaux got it right and is arguably better than in the 2011 vintage. High quality is not, however, universal, and we may have to be as selective with the wines we offer as the successful Châteaux have been with the fruit they’ve used for their top wines!

More importantly, there seems to be a feeling that the prices may be more sensible this year than they have been for a while. We shall see, but if they are, then this could well be a very interesting vintage indeed.

You’ll be able to read about our progress here on the Lay&Wheeler blog, but you can also follow more up-to-date and of-the-moment snippets via the @laywheeler twitter account and – this year for the first time – Instagram (search for laywheeler).

So, come along for the ride and hear our thoughts as and when we have them!