A vintage to be priced for drinkers?
Price, as ever, remains the key to the success or failure of this year's en primeur campaign. The châteaux are to be heard muttering that they cannot come down too far in price because it will upset people who bought the 2011s, while the trade is inclined to be saying 'just because you made a mistake last year, despite what we were telling you, does not mean you have to be so stupid as to do it again this year'. We will see.
There will be bargains, and there will be the others. At L&S we will give our best advice, and transparency of pricing as ever. Remember if you buy from us there are no hidden charges. It is also worth bearing in mind that of the vintages of the last decade, is was 2004 and 2008, reasonably priced at the outset, which provided the biggest percentage gains of all, and represented the best value for drinkers.
2012 is, like 2004 and 2008, a sort of 'Good+' middling vintage, which does not of course mean all the wines are middling - rather the opposite. There are those which have really made wines which stand just below the 2009s and 2010s, and there are some which seem disjointed, and seem lacking one of the critical trio of 'beginning, middle and end', being either muffled on the nose, flat or pinched on the middle, or drying on the finish, but where it all comes together there are wines that are a joy to taste. The most homogenous source of success is the Merlot on the water-retentive clays of Pomerol, but there are also successes in the Médoc and in the Graves. Like last year the only answer is to approach this vintage wine by wine.
You can read our reports on some of the aspects of the vintage on the blog.
Use the menu on the right to explore our recommendations from each sub-region. In particular look at the two lists of 'Recommended' wines which are listed in price order. (These lists will be added to as wines come onto the market.) In the lists, click each wine name to see other critics' notes and scores which will be added as they come available, as well as finding links to more detail about each property. Navigate back using your browser's 'back' button or by clicking the picture banners at the head of each page. If you are looking for particular wines, even if they are not listed, please do ask. We have tried to make a real selection, so if a wine is not included it is probably because we do not feel able to include it in a list of recommended wines on the basis of our tastings, but that does not mean we are not willing to supply it.
If you are looking for specific wines please compile a wish list, either on an email or by using the facility on our website. This commits you to nothing, but does help us to help you get what you want. If you want to order, you can do so by using the facility on the site and we will respond with a confirming email and invoice as soon as possible.
Above all talk to us, email us, or get in touch with your usual L&S contact. This year more than ever is a year to deal with a merchant with a good underlying core business who sees en primeur as an extra rather than their sole activity. You can expect sensible advice about the wines and about price and value.
To be certain of receiving our 2012 Bordeaux primeurs offers (or if you know you do not want to receive emails on this subject), you can amend your email preferences on the website. For this you will need to apply for a website account, or log-on to your existing account. (Enter your email and click the forgot password link if you do not know it.) This commits you to nothing and we will never pass on your details to third parties. If you want to register a different email address you will have to email us..
Please note that we sell primeurs entirely by email and on the web, and we do not send out any printed lists.
We make no claim that other critics' scores and notes on this site are comprehensive. For such critics' full opinions, nothing quite beats reading their whole assessments: Robert Parker remains the most important single influence on Bordeaux - www.erobertparker.com, and English critic and blogger Neal Martin's notes will also be found on this site. The most visited UK site is probably that of Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com. Tim Atkin MW's scores are already on www.timatkin.com, as are some of his remarkable photographs, for anyone who wants to soak up the atmosphere. His main report will be published in a couple of weeks, and available from his site. Many other publications both here and in the US publish notes and scores. Probably too many.