2012 Bordeaux – Jean-Philippe Janoueix, Maltus single vineyards, Pape Clément, Lafon-Rochet, Potensac and Fugue de Nénin

by Charles Lea

The realisation that tomorrow is a holiday in France seems to have prompted a raft of releases this morning.

Lafon Rochet (£245) offers value and consistently good tasting notes from the major critics. It is down around 12% on the 2011 price, but Lafon Rochet has never been about silly pricing so this represents solid value and comes recommended.

Much the same can be said for the two minor wines from the Delon/Léoville las Cases stable, The second wine of their Pomerol Nénin, Fugue de Nénin (£160), and the really oustanding northern Médoc, Potensac (£145).

Jean-Philippe Janoueix seems to have been on top form for the 2012 vintage, and all of his wines showed well. The prices are similar to 2011, but again J-P has never been unreasonable and these offer real value. His Pomerol La Croix Saint Georges (£315) is a top-flight effort at a price that remains within the drinker’s grasp, while the Saint Emilion La Confession is a bargain at £215.

One of the surprises to me this year was that I really liked Bernard Magrez’s Pape Clement Rouge, which I normally find far to extracted and gluey. This is hardly a bargain at £555, but then again Robert Parker liked it lots too, giving it 92-95 points. My enthusiasm did not extend to the white, which Robert Parker rated as being of stratospheric quality (95-98) which is also available at £1050 per case.

Finally we have all the single vineyard wines from Jonathan Maltus, the Englishman who was the subject of Victoria Moore’s article in the Telegraph of three weeks ago, and fresh from his 2010 Le Dome being awarded 100/100 by Parker we should not have expected him to drop his price over that of the 2011 – and he has not disappointed. My favourites here are his Les Asteries and Le Dôme itself.

There are three further wines from yesterday on the list below, none of which seemed to have a sufficiently compelling reason to buy that I needed to disturb you with a mail earlier. Troplong Mondot is the big one with the really big Parker score (94-96), but there equally good mature vintages around at this price level, while Petit Village and Giscours can surely be bought later at these prices.