2012 Bordeaux – Troplong Mondot, Petit Village, Giscours

by Charles Lea

With Robert Parker’s scores out, and in particular his headline ‘Train Wreck Coming?‘ one might have hoped for a bit of realism, but instead we got three wines today trying to capitalise on pretty good notes. Parker warns:

‘Bordeaux is  at a crossroads. While it provides indisputably the world’s greatest wine,  produces the largest quantity of great wines on planet Earth, and will never lose favor, concerns must be raised about the viability of buying Bordeaux as a wine future if prices do not drop and make such a proposition attractive  to the wine trade as well as to the ultimate drinker of this product, the wine  consumer!
If the movers, shakers and powers that be in Bordeaux don’t listen,  there is no tomorrow’
However, he does go on to say that while ‘None of the (2012)wines possess the concentration, opulence, texture or full-bodied majesty of the  2009s and 2010s … I do think that at the top level, the 2012s are clearly  superior to the 2011s. It also has the advantage of being relatively  approachable in its youth.


Market reaction to today’s releases has been muted and it is not entirely suprising, the biggest name of the three, Troplong Mondot, has a claim  – from Mr Parker at least, to be one of the stars of the vintage and the price (£595/doz) relative to the score (94-96) is not absurd compared to some – except that you can buy several vintages of Troplong for less and not have to wait so long or take the risk of an ‘in-bottle’ downgrade.

Petit Village, under the ownership of the AXA Millesimes group with Château Pichon Longueville Baron, is also obviously buoyed up by Pomerol being declared the most susccessful area in 2012, and again has released its wine at a level at which it is possible to buy several earlier vintages, including the 2009. While it is true that investment here is finally paying off, and the wine is good, this is rather running ahead of the game as far as price for notoriety is concerned.

And then there is Giscours. Now I know that this wine has a following from way back, but by our tastings this is really this is a pretty weak effort and if you buy this in preference to Talbot, for example, I think it would have to be for sentimental reasons. That said it was well-tasted by both Jancis Robinson (17/20) and Steve Spurrier (17/20).