Here are our recommendations for the wines that are worth buying this year. The dominance of Merlot on the right bank means that the best of the bargains are to be found here.
To see our Report on the 2012 Vintage
SAINTAYME, St Emilion, ZR – 15.
£100.00 per case
This is a great little wine made by Denis Durantou of Eglise Clinet fame and great value. Soft, summer red berries dominate throughout with well balanced oak in the background. It will drink every well when shipped for some 6-8 y. Highly recommended.
MONTLANDRIE, Cotes de Castillon, ZR 16-; RP 87-88
£145.00 per case
Another beauty made by Denis Durantou. Merlot dominates the blend with 75% delivering a soft, gentle wine packed with red summer berries. Will be drinking well from shipment for some 5-10 years. A beauty and I think much underrated by Parker.
BEAUREGARD, Pomerol, ZR 15++; RP – 88-90
£200.00 per case
A fine surprise and the best young Beauregard I remember tasting. The wine is very well balanced with fine ripe tannins, complex summer berries aromas supported by fine crisp acidity. Very well done and a bit of a bargain.
SANNSONET, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, ZR 16; RP 91-93
£210.00 per case
This is another great success for Sannsonet – I first pointed it out to you good people in 2009. They are now on the roll and together with Fleur Cardinale, it’s about as good a deal as we will have this year. Black fruit dominates with fine firm tannins and hint of smoke in the back. This will provide some very fine drinking from 2016 for about 10 years.
CH. FLEUR CARDINALE, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, ZR 17; RP 92-95
£250.00 per case
Decoster’s have done it again – 2012 is rated same as Lafite and higher than Margaux and is by far the best value for money in Bordeaux. The wine is charming with soft refined tannins dominated by summer berries and just a hint of oak in the background. Very well structured and very, very classy. Will be a great drink from about 2017 for some 10-15 y. If you buy any 2012 Bordeaux, this should be the one.
PAVIE MACQUIN, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, ZR 17+; RP 92-95
£450.00 estimate per case
Very decent Macquin, and one of the better wines of the vintage for me. Both Parker and myself have given it the same rating as Fleur Cardinale, but they are different wines. There is more black fruit here and tannins are firmer and more intense. The price difference, however, is due to the fact that Macquin has been in the top end of the market for over 15 years and is well recognised. If it comes out less than my estimate, it will be a very decent buy.
CLINET, Pomerol, ZR 16; RP 92-94
£550.00 estimate per case
I was not as impressed as his Wine-ess with Clinet this year, but there you go. The wine is well made but, the sample I tasted felt little disjointed, simple and light. I expected more intensity and finesse from a wine like Clinet. If it releases below my estimate, it will be a good “investment” buy, due to the brand name and Parkers rating, but not one of my hot picks.
TROPLONG MONDOT, St Emilion, 1er G/Cru Classe, ZR 17-; RP 94-96
£590.00 per case
A fine effort from Christine Valette, 2012 is a clean and modern St Emilion, black in colour and very intense. Tannins are fine and polished, but there is a touch too much oak at the finish which makes it a little bit linear and single minded. So, I would not agree with Parker’s high rating. Still, it is a very decent drop of vino and will need some 5-6 years before starting to drink.
VIEUX Chateau CERTAN, Pomerol, ZR 18+; RP 92-94.
£950.00 estimate per case
Not sure what Parker might have tasted but, for me, VCC was the best wine on the right bank! It is definitely in a different class to Clinet which he rates the same. Very elegant and highly polished, VCC is packed with complex black and red berries aromas with some dark chocolate in the back. Feels soft and gentle at first, but there is serious and firm chassis underneath – phrase “iron fist in a velvet glove” comes to mind. A great wine in any vintage, let’s just hope it is released below my estimate.
EGLISE CLINET, Pomerol, ZR 18; RP 96-100.
£1,500.00 estimate per case
Not released yet and, with the highest Parker score for the vintage, even my high estimate might not be near the mark. The wine itself is very decent and powerful; feels more like the left bank that the right. It was quite tight on the day we tasted it, providing more of a feeling of greatness than any defined flavours, but without hard edges. Will take a fair bit of time to come around. It will be in short supply, so please pre-book your interest.
For our wines from the Left bank, CLICK HERE