UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
A. So
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2833
Joined: July 19th, 2011, 7:58 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#1 Post by A. So » January 27th, 2016, 8:05 pm

Trigger warning: the (shoddily written) notes below contain low scores, a persistent intolerance towards oak, scores that don't take into account a wine's "potential", and occasional editorializing.

UGC 2016 - Chicago, IL (1/27/2016)

The tasting format at UGC is hardly conducive to writing long detailed notes. The following are my brief impressions tasting through these wines. Read the notes in the context in which the wines were tasted.

The dry wines are an easy pass. They are mostly ordinary wines with not much interesting to say, and many of the wines suffer from the lack of a midpalate. Yet the relatively high scores for these middling wines is representative of the fact that they're good to go now, rather than some fanciful perceived future value of the score.

The Sauternes on the other hand... wow.
Graves/Pessac Blancs
Apparently there was some hype about these wines. All I can say is, meh. It's a long string of relatively anonymous wines, with heaps of acid and nothing else. Except for those who decided to "treat" their wines with some good ol' toasty oak. Yum.
  • 2013 Château Carbonnieux Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    This had a distinct grassy and gooseberry nose. Very tart acids, but quite elegant. The oak is quite gentle here, and this is definitely a refreshing bottle of blanc, if a bit veering towards cat pee. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Quite potent pineapple tones on the nose. There's lots to like on the palate, except for an awful astringency that comes from the heavy-handed oak use. Here's hoping it ages and mellows out. (83 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Fieuzal Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Restrained nose, with some high toned aromas. Pineapple on the palate, with lovely acidity, but besides that bracing acidity, there's really not much else going on. A decent high acidity white that doesn't do too much else. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Weird funky nose with some clear furry notes. The palate has the same high acidity but hollow feel that so many of these 2013 blancs do. I guess, hope it puts on weight in the cellar? (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Tour-Martillac Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Quite a textbook Bordeaux blanc nose, though the palate is slightly astringent and the finish just a touch hot. Again, this is suffering from the high acid/no stuffing problem. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Louvière Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Another reasonably foursquare Bordeaux blanc, which has a touch of fur thrown into the nose for a touch of interest. Just a bunch of acid on the palate, and not much else. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Perhaps there's a touch of botrytis on the nose on this? This definitely seems a touch more ripe. The palate here does have a bit of a richer texture, as if this were a "sur lie" wine. On the other hand, texture doesn't do much if the wine just tastes like an anonymous cup of white wine acid. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Olivier Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Another reasonably well-made Bordeaux blanc that features high on the acid scale but not boasting much to taste on the palate. The texture here is slightly rounder, but that's pretty much it. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Pape Clément Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    This is another in a long string of anonymous high acid Bordeaux blancs from 2013. The only thing that makes this worse than the rest is the loud oak treatment, which is unfortunate, since this actually seems to have a bit more stuffing than most. (83 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Again this is one of those estates which could easily rise above the boringness of the 2013 Bordeaux blancs, decides to, but then drags everything back down to and below that base level by adding way too much oak. I'm betting that the second wine (which was not poured) is much, much better. (83 pts.)
Graves/Pessac Rouges
Mostly a bunch of ordinary reds, with some real dogs.
  • 2013 Château de Chantegrive - France, Bordeaux, Graves
    A bit oaky on the nose. Not too rich, but there's a touch of red fruit. A bit too much oak on the palate in comparison to the stuffing available. (83 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Carbonnieux - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    This is showing a surprising amount of fruitiness. A bit heavy-handed with the oak, which definitely doesn't work too well when you consider that the raw materials aren't quite fleshy, and that the palate is a bit hollow. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Domaine de Chevalier - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Very clear toast and char on the nose. Not a good sign. The same toastiness on the palate makes this quite unenjoyable for me. Some red fruits and bright acids, but just not good. (83 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Fieuzal - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    This is actually quite nice with a restrained hint of plums on the nose as well as some aromas of other fruits. A light touch on the palate make this an enjoyable easy-drinking wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Oooooo... a wine that shows a fair bit of earth on the nose. There seems to be a lovely sense of terroir here, with smoky earth balancing out the fresh acids and light fruit. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Malartic-Lagravière - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Very, very toasty on the nose and unpleasantly astringent on the palate. You'll be picking out splinters between your gums for days. (70 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Olivier - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    There's an alluring touch of barnyard on the nose of this one, and the palate shows a simple elegance thanks to a smattering of muted fruit flavours. Nice acidity here; this ought to be a great simple drinking wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Pape Clément - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    More barrel than grape, one wonders if the grapes were an inadvertent addition. (70 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Smith Haut Lafitte - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Surprisingly, this has a reasonable oak treatment. Certainly a bit more polished than I typically like, but the fruit and acidity gave this a nice freshness that made this quite enjoyable. (85 pts.)
Right Bank
I feel that merlot did quite well, as it lent an extra bit of plushness to wines that were otherwise profoundly lacking any midpalate intensity. That said, in the context of the wide world of wine, I would not be keen to spend money and hold these wines in my cellar.
  • 2013 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Plummy, red-fruited nose. The palate is very light and elegant, and this would have had all the makings of a fantastic bottle if there were just more stuffing on the midpalate. Lots of acid here... will it ever round out? (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    There's more than a fair dose of oak on the nose and palate, as well as some darker fruit. It's reasonably rich and dense, but the oak juts out just a bit uncomfortably at this stage. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Couspaude - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    A somewhat foursquare and ordinary bottle, this had a very nice perfumed nose, but the palate was simply hollow and uninspiring. Reasonably high acids here. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Dominique - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Way too much oak char on this wine. Dark fruited and funky, and despite the darker fruit, there wasn't any ripeness. Which means it didn't hold its oak very well. (80 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Troplong Mondot - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Quite heavily extracted, with lots of dark fruit here. The oak sticks out way too prominently, even though this definitely had a bit more stuffing to handle it. The tannins came across here as surprisingly harsh, and this in the context of tasting so many high-tannin wines, really says something about the level of extract here. (83 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Villemaurine - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    This is an extremely light, fleet-footed, and elegant bottle of St. Emilion, that is perfect as the traditional luncheon claret. No fuss, just a simple and honest bottle. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Beauregard - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    A very lovely perfumed nose, with an elegant and light palate, as well as moderate (but discernible) oak use. Approachable and pleasant to drink now. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Le Bon Pasteur - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    This had a very pronounced perfume, with some sweet fruit and florals that was just captivating. The palate here is rounded out nicely, with a relatively unobtrusive oak treatment. Perhaps picked slightly riper, as this does seem to show a bit more heft? (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Cabanne - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    This is a bottle with a good balance of everything. Red fruited character, light refreshing acids, and moderate tannins. Likely not one for the ages, but as an easy drinker now? Yes, please! (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clinet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    One of the best Pomerols yet. Blacker fruit, with a little bit of harshness in the tannins. This isn't too dense or potent, but has a pleasant freshness to it. Just a gentle touch of judiciously used oak here. Quite a light wine, but good nonetheless. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Gazin Pomerol - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Probably my favourite right bank of the tasting. This is one of the few wines that actually seemed to have any density at all. A plush wine in a field of bony skeletons. There were some stone fruit flavours, along with a fair bit of acidity and tannins that weren't too bracing. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Pointe - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Light and red-fruited, with a somewhat pronounced rustic character -- some barnyard and some very chewy tannins. A bit simple and hollow on the midpalate. (85 pts.)
Left Bank
The same problem of a lack of midpalate density manifests itself on the Left Bank as well. There were some decent wines, but by and large, this is a vintage to skip.
  • 2013 Château Cantemerle - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
    This is a little darker than I would have expected from Cantemerle, but that's not to say that this is a particularly different style. This is on the light and airy side of things, but with a focus on black fruit, and makes for an excellent easy drinker (and likely at a very agreeable price point too). This has just enough plumpness to keep it from becoming one of those hollow husks. Cantemerle always does so well on these tougher years... (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Brane-Cantenac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Very deep red fruit aromas; this is actually quite perfumed. Sweet fruit, with a palate that actually has some stuffing! A triumph in a difficult vintage. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Cantenac Brown - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    This doesn't have the cleanest of noses, with a touch of barnyard showing up here. There were some well-defined fruit notes on the palate that helped round things out. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Beychevelle - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Slight plum on the nose, and a good blend of red and black fruit here. Given the nose, I thought this surprisingly dark on the palate, but the midpalate is a little too weak to match that darker fruit. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Branaire-Ducru - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Cherries on the nose, with a well-defined pepperiness on both the nose and palate. A slightly austere palate somehow works well with the lighter density to provide a reasonably easy-drinking wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Dirt! This is one of the most rustic wines of the tasting, with earthy and barnyard notes, as well as very coarse tannins. Lovely acids here, but the wine does come across a touch light. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Quite dark and brooding, but the acid pokes through a little sharply here. Large scaled, but not enough flesh to keep it together. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Langoa Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Relatively darker on the palate. Shows some oak on the nose, but the palate does have reasonable density -- perhaps this feels a little more integrated in that the acidity here is a little toned down. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    An excellent showing for this wine in the context. Alongside a rather brooding character, there is a nice mix of red and black fruit. The palate's got what it needs here. Well-balanced and enjoyable. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    The oak here really works quite well with the density of the wine. This sits on the darker end of the spectrum, and this is among the densest and richest of the reds on display today. An excellent effort. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    There's some sweet red fruit on the palate that is alluring now, but all in all, this is another in a long line of simplistic wines which show lovely bright acids and red fruit, but lack any density for the long haul. I also sort of expected just a tad more funk, but that's probably owing to my experiences with the Talbots from the 80s. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château d'Armailhac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    This is a particularly red-fruited wine, with a nose that promises an elegance that the palate does deliver. On the other hand, if only there were a bit more stuffing for it... (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clerc Milon - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    This is a bizarrely grapey wine, with an absurdly high amount of sweet fruit on the palate. Was this picked really ripe? This is a real oddball in a lineup of simplistic foursquare cabernets. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    The nose on this is very nice, if a bit restrained at the moment. Again one of the wines with pleasant red fruit and tart acids, which doesn't quite have anything in the middle to round things out. Would be more elegant if the tannins didn't finish quite so astringently. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    A very nicely balanced Lynch Bages here, but only in the context of the vintage. This is definitely a weak wine by the high standards of this estate. Red fruited and light, with nothing sticking out at all. Sort of a "keep your head down" kind of wine, but it does its job well. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    It's comforting to know that at least Pichon Baron can still churn out good wine, since the 2012 was a bit of a hot mess. The 2013, though, has a nice peppery nose, with good earth tones as well. But the palate is where this shines bright. Despite the lighter fruit and higher acids, this still manages to keep quite a bit of density. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lafon-Rochet - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    The green pepper is strong with this one! A relatively austere bottle that has me thinking a little bit of Loire, but the lighter palate seems to work a bit more here since the other components don't pop out as much and this is more clearly cast in an austere mold. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Phélan Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    I love the cherry tones here, as well as the slight barnyard element. Simple and drinkable, with no pretension. (90 pts.)
Sauternes
The Sauternes were incredible. Deep, rich, and powerful, with lovely amounts of botrytis. I found these wines both impressive and approachable. Whether or not any of these get added to my cellar will certainly depend on the pricing, especially since so many of these wines are available with decades of cellar age, for the same price as a new release.
  • 2013 Château Bastor-Lamontagne - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Very apple-y and fresh with an impressive litheness on the palate. Brimming with energy and tension, and a lovely almond-inflected finish. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Coutet - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
    A fair bit of funk on the nose that I couldn't quite get past, but this shows its botrytis the most prominently of the sweet Bordeaux here today. Slightly pineapple-y on the palate, but very, very spicy. A touch of bitterness on the back end also detracts from this wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Doisy-Daëne - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Lots of density on this, with an interesting hint of earthiness thrown in. There's some pineapple gummy candy notes (I'm thinking the Japanese Kasugai ones) on the palate. Good lift here, and very elegant. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Fargues - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Pineapple-bomb, followed by a slight touch of earthy funk on the nose. Reduction, perhaps? Quite elegant and hefty, but I almost want to say that in the context of this wine, I wanted something a bit blowsier... my subconscious telling me that I want Yquem? (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Perhaps on the lighter end of things, this still had a nice glob of sweet fruit on it, but I felt this didn't quite have the same power that some of the other Sauternes had. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Lychees and a hint of green on the nose. Good fruit and spice on the palate, but the moderate acidity and slightly hot finish definitely detract from the overall quality of the wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Immensely floral and honeyed, with a very viscous texture. On the other hand, there's a certain freshness here that keeps this from becoming a plodding beast of a wine. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Rayne-Vigneau - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    This shows a touch of pineapple and some kiwi green as well. The palate has a little bit of astringency that's distracting from an otherwise very powerful bottle of Sauternes. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Suduiraut - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Suduiraut has always been one of the fatter Sauternes to my palate, and this one is no exception. This is still showing a little bit of a bubble gum note on the nose, which I'll chalk up to being just put in bottle. Very rich on the palate, and the acidity is only moderate, but the immense stature and richness seem to be able to carry on without it. This stuff is already so delicious, why bother aging it? (93 pts.)
  • 2013 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    This was probably my Sauternes of the tasting -- intensely elegant with lots of citrus peel character, tons of acidity to balance to super rich sweetness and massive amounts of candied tart fruits. (93 pts.)
エaイdドrリiアaンn (93 pts.)

p@ulbortin
Posts: 845
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 9:46 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#2 Post by p@ulbortin » January 27th, 2016, 9:46 pm

Antidote for your suffering here - Dujac

User avatar
Ed Steinway
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1485
Joined: March 14th, 2010, 4:40 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#3 Post by Ed Steinway » January 28th, 2016, 5:37 am

Thanks for the notes. Sounds like Sauternes is continuing the streak of excellent vintages in the 'odd' numbered years. And the prices seem reasonable, at least at this point.

Thanks,
Ed

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20759
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 28th, 2016, 5:44 am

Not really a vintage that I would dabble in much when 2014 is right around the corner and so much backfilling opportunities exist just about everywhere. Heck, I just picked up more 2010 Cantemerle for $36, which is not much more than current futures pricing for a less heralded vintage. That said, nice to see Cantemerle still showing well in this 2013 vintage. I normally don't buy cases of one Bordeaux, this one is an exception for years like 2014 and 2010 (half case in 09). I will try a '13 out of curiosity but largely pass on the vintage. Thanks, Adrian, for the concise and insightful look into this vintage. Confirms my thoughts.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
A. So
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2833
Joined: July 19th, 2011, 7:58 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#5 Post by A. So » January 28th, 2016, 7:26 pm

Paul -- drinking a Savart Calliope tonight. Really scratching the itch.

Ed -- indeed, the Sauternes are quite good. I'm still partial to backfilling 01 and 88-90 though. Those wines can be had for just a smidgen more than the 13s, and have a fair bit of age on them. On the other hand, these young 13s were delicious in their own youthful way, so it's a different experience.

Bob -- agreed that Cantemerle is always a winner. I have a case of the 89 I picked up at auction for under $70 a pop, and I paid $35 or so for the 00. No point buying 13s if they're going to come out at $30 each. We'll see about 14 next year! In that same category as Cantemerle, I'd really recommend Phelan-Segur as well.
エaイdドrリiアaンn (93 pts.)

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20759
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 28th, 2016, 7:29 pm

Who is Bob? You've been hanging with Corey?

Yea, I grabbed some nice backfills on Cantemerle from HDH. You have it made in Chicago, what an awesome wine retailer for mature Bdx.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
A. So
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2833
Joined: July 19th, 2011, 7:58 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#7 Post by A. So » January 28th, 2016, 7:55 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:Who is Bob? You've been hanging with Corey?

Yea, I grabbed some nice backfills on Cantemerle from HDH. You have it made in Chicago, what an awesome wine retailer for mature Bdx.
To this day, I still haven't figured out what to call you. Rob? Bob? Robert? Alfert?
エaイdドrリiアaンn (93 pts.)

User avatar
William Kelley
Posts: 1429
Joined: June 4th, 2014, 1:36 am
Location: London, Calistoga & Beaune

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#8 Post by William Kelley » January 28th, 2016, 9:31 pm

The critical assessment is about right. Bon Pasteur seems to have got off pretty lightly, but you had tasted quite a few wines by then, and it is possible that after Troplong Mondot it did indeed seem pretty middle-of-the-road.
The Wine Advocate

User avatar
Marc Frontario
Posts: 2413
Joined: May 6th, 2010, 4:00 am

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#9 Post by Marc Frontario » January 29th, 2016, 3:55 am

A. So wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:Who is Bob? You've been hanging with Corey?

Yea, I grabbed some nice backfills on Cantemerle from HDH. You have it made in Chicago, what an awesome wine retailer for mature Bdx.
To this day, I still haven't figured out what to call you. Rob? Bob? Robert? Alfert?
I think it's Big Cuban now.....an oxymoron
Find something you love....and let it kill u....Charles Bukowski
I cannot escape the ravages of this man....R.Alfert

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20759
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#10 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 29th, 2016, 5:06 am

A. So wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:Who is Bob? You've been hanging with Corey?

Yea, I grabbed some nice backfills on Cantemerle from HDH. You have it made in Chicago, what an awesome wine retailer for mature Bdx.
To this day, I still haven't figured out what to call you. Rob? Bob? Robert? Alfert?
I know, I am also confounded by this site's "real names only" rule.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

AAgrawal
Posts: 1882
Joined: May 8th, 2010, 7:22 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#11 Post by AAgrawal » January 30th, 2016, 7:28 pm

2013 UGC BORDEAUX TASTING - Bently Reserve, San Francisco CA (1/30/2016)

Another excellent UGC tasting sponsored by K&L. There were some notable absences compared to last year... Climens, Figeac, and Pichon Lalande were the biggest ones that I noticed.
Bordeaux Blanc
Surprisingly, the clear winner here was the Carbonnieux Blanc. It may also be the cheapest. It had so much character and it was drinking so well right now. I've had it in the past, and this may be the best vintage of it that I've ever tried.
  • 2013 Château Carbonnieux Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Aromatic, bell pepper, citrus fruit; light bodied, medium to medium-plus acid, excellent fruit, very nice medium length finish. 91-93+ (92 pts.)
  • 2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Limited nose, faint light palate, limited fruit. This is not exciting. Poor value. 80 (80 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    A little more aromatic, deeper citrus jelly; palate is medium bodied, excellent greenness and complexity, richness from the semillon, medium to medium-plus acid; medium finish. Good quality, needs time. 87-88 (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Pape Clément Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Medium aromatics, riper citrus fruit; rich medium bodied palate, some oak, medium acid. Good but not exciting. 86 (86 pts.)
Sauternes
Always my highlight of the tasting, and this was a good year. Overall I would say that this was good, but not excellent. I didn't get nearly as many "wow" moments as with the 2011 sauternes. One of the pourers compared it to 2007 and I think that is accurate... good acid, good botrytis, but nothing that stands out as impressive. My favorites were Fargues (by a clear mile), and Coutet, though I also really enjoyed La Tour Blanche and Lafaurie Peyraguey. Guiraud may have been an off bottle. It's also important to note that Fargues has continued their substantial price increases... $190 this vintage. That's more than the 01 Fargues, or really any other back vintage of Fargues, and it's not sustainable. I would not buy at that price, though the wine itself is excellent.
  • 2013 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Honeyed, aromatic, orange blossom; palate is rich, very sweet, acidity is medium to medium-plus, but the fruit isn't particularly deep or complex right now; medium finish. Good. 88-90+ (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Suduiraut - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Rich moderately aromatic nose, slight orange marmalade; palate is full bodied, medium acidity, a bit of depth to the fruit with orange, orange peel; medium finish. Good effort, though falls short given its reputation. 88-89 (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Rayne-Vigneau - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Limited aromatics; palate is medium bodied, slightly bitter, moderate sweetness, medium to medium-minus acid; short-medium finish. Decent quality for the price. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Aromatic, orange blossom nose, light honey; palate is medium to full bodied, medium-plus acid, youthful fruit that needs time to integrate. Very good. 88-90 (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Coutet - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
    Aromatic complex nose, honeyed, pear, peach; palate is light to medium-bodied, medium-plus acid, refreshing but had density of fruit; medium to medium-long finish. Excellent, but just a bit short of the 2011. 90-91 (91 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Doisy-Daëne - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Moderately aromatic, well integrated nose, orange; palate is medium bodied, medium-plus acid, some fruit but fades quickly; medium finish. Good value. 88 (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Aromatic, concentrated orange candy, eiswein concentration of orange fruit on the nose; palate is strangely light bodied, slight bitterness, fruit in the background. This is kind of strange, and the nose was promising. 80 (80 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Medium aromatic nose; palate is rich, medium acid, unctuous with some fruit, on the simpler side. 86-87 (86 pts.)
  • 2013 Château de Fargues - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Aromatic nose, blends a richness, honeyed component with superb freshness on the nose, superbly complex, orange blossom water, excellent depth; palate is rich but also fresh, classic grapefruit and citrus rind, clean, precise, but with density and concentration; long finish. This is easily the best Sauternes here today, and among the better Fargues that I've tasted. It has gotten quite expensive though, and I will wait to see if the price drops before I buy. 95++ (95 pts.)
Pomerol
Neither were one to search out, though the Gazin was better.
  • 2013 Château Gazin Pomerol - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Nice moderately aromatic nose with some spice; rich full bodied palate, silky smooth, medium rannins; medium finish. Very nice. 89 (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clinet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Aromatic with plums, good density and depth; palate is full bodied, rich plums, overextracted, high smooth tannin, fades a tad quickly though the midpalate; medium finish. 86 (86 pts.)
St. Emilion
Again, neither to search out, though the Canon La Gaffeliere was better. I didn't know there was so much cabernet franc in Canon-la-Gaffeliere. I wonder if that shows more in other vintages... I couldn't tell that much in this one.
  • 2013 Château Troplong Mondot - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Nose is aromatic, deep black fruit, minerality; palate is overextracted rich, ripe black fruit; medium finish. Not my style at all. 80 (80 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Balanced nose and palate, fleshy fruit, very slight green on the palate; medium finish. Very nice. About 40% cabernet franc. 87-88 (87 pts.)
St. Julien
Always one of my favorite regions. I was a big fan of the Leoville Barton. The Poyferre was excellent in a more modern way (also note it was the 2008 since they had shipping issues with the 2013). The surprise value was Talbot, which was excellent at a very good price.
  • 2008 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Nice nose with roasted red bell pepper, blackberry; palate is full bodied, rich black fruit, excellent concentration, approachable but young tannin; medium finish. Solid bordeaux with some age, but not much... Still needs a lot of time. 91+ (91 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Nice nose with traditional graphite minerality, black fruit; palate has good concentration of black fruit, medium-plus acid, balanced tannins; medium-plus finish. 92-93+ (92 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Langoa Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    More red fruit compared to the Leoville barton, tannins are a bit milder and this is overall drinking a bit better than the Leoville right now, though that will be much better in the long run. 90 (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Nice aromatic nose with red fruit, slightly more spice than other 2013s; palate has medium-plus tannin, medium acid, fresh and has character. Very nice. 90 (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Branaire-Ducru - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    A bit of Brett on the nose, slightly distracting; palate has some slight black fruit, again mild distracting brett, slight bitterness; medium-minus finish. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Nicely aromatic nose with richer deep blackcurrant; palate is full bodied, excellent rich blackcurrant, nice depth of fruit, approachable tannins; medium-plus finish. This is lovely for its $40 price and could be consumed with just a few years of age. 90-91 (91 pts.)
Pauillac
The clear winner here was the Grand-Puy-Lacoste, though it was very traditional in its character. Those who like more modern wines may like Pichon Baron more.
  • 2013 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Classical nose with roasted red pepper, graphite; palate is full bodied, excellent density of blackberry fruit, approachable tannins; medium finish. Decent quality, almost a more modern style for left bank bordeaux. 89-90 (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Red cherry, not much else; palate is medium bodied, light on the fruits; short finish. Not great compared to others. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Aromatic nose with bell pepper, blackberry, blackcurrant, graphite; palate is full bodied, excellent density of black fruit, medium acid; medium finish. This is just a superb value at $55 compared to its competitors. 92-93+ (92 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    A bit of brett, mushrooms; palate is full bodied, youthful tannin, more limited fruit than the grand puy Lacoste. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Clerc Milon - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Nice blend on the nose with more red fruit than other pauillacs; palate is a bit thin, high tannin compared to the fruit; short to medium finish. 86 (86 pts.)
Margaux
Inconsistent as always. The Lascombes had the most wonderful nose, but the palate was a bit strange. If that integrates, it is certainly a wine to watch out for. I was also a fan of the Kirwan and Prieure-Lichine.
  • 2013 Château Rauzan-Ségla - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Red fruit; palate is full bodied, youthful tannins. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Prieuré-Lichine - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Light aromatic nose with raspberry, some spice, nice nose; palate is full bodied; medium-minus finish. Good as a value play. 89-90 (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Malescot St. Exupéry - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    A little brett, vanilla; palate is full bodied, smooth but kind of odd for bordeaux and Margaux. 84 (84 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Lascombes - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Lovely nose with floral, aromatic, lovely berry fruit, slight stems; palate is full bodied, black fruit, slightly bitter. The nose carries this wine, and I hope the palate integrates over time since this could be nice. For now a conservative 88-90++ but the nose is 92+. (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Kirwan - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Nice complex aromatic nose, spice, black fruit; richness on the palate, youthful tannin. Nose is slightly worse than the lascombes but the palate is much better. 90 (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Giscours - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Slight sweat, armpit; palate is a bit rough. Decent. 86-87 (86 pts.)
Pessac Leognan
These were decent, but nothing special.
  • 2013 Château Carbonnieux - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Moderately aromatic, some red fruit; palate is light bodied, medium tannin, young and shallow but quite good value and easy to drink. 88 (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Domaine de Chevalier - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Spicy red Minerally nose, palate is medium bodied, decent. 88 (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Nose has minerality, red fruits; palate is medium bodied, a bit thin but good. 90 (90 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
A s h i s h A g r a w a l

User avatar
JC J o u a s
Posts: 150
Joined: July 29th, 2015, 11:21 am
Location: Sparkill, NY

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#12 Post by JC J o u a s » January 31st, 2016, 9:54 am

There were a number of notable missing properties from the NYC event as well, including Haut Bailly, Figeac, Clos Fourtet, Pavie Macquin, La Gaffeliere, La Dominique, Larcis Ducasse, Pichon Lalande, la Conseillante, Climens. Not sure if this had to do with the snowstorm that we had the preceding weekend or if these properties didn't feel like promoting this vintage or if they have since dropped out of the UGC.
Jean-Christophe

User avatar
Ed Steinway
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1485
Joined: March 14th, 2010, 4:40 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#13 Post by Ed Steinway » January 31st, 2016, 11:49 am

We also attended the tasting in San Francisco yesterday. As Ashish mentioned, K&L did a good job putting the tasting together. The biggest logistical difficulty was that several proprietors were late, as they were stuck in traffic from the Super Bowl City and from demonstrators that had closed down several downtown streets from 1PM to 3PM.

My favorite whites were the Larrivet Haut Brion and Carbonnieux, and both are modestly priced compared to others.

As far as the reds, from the Right Bank my favorites were the Clinet, Gazin and Canon. From St. Julien, the Langoa Barton and the Leoville Barton were outstanding! A very nice surprise. From Margaux, I enjoyed the Malescot and Lascombes. From Pauillac, my favorites were the Pichon Baron and Grand Puy Lacoste.

From Sauternes, the Coutet was the favorite for both me and my wife. It is not as big and powerful as others, but it has the most balance to me. The Suduiraut was a very close 2nd, and has a ton of power. La Tour Blanche, De Fargues and Guiraud were also very good. To me, this is a very good vintage and I will purchase selectively, but I cannot see buying De Fargues for $190. Coutet at under $40 is more like it.

All in all, another enjoyable tasting and there was a lot of enthusiasm about the 2015 vintage already.

Thanks,
Ed

User avatar
Mark Golodetz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6064
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 8:49 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#14 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 31st, 2016, 2:48 pm

Sorry to say, but this was not an easy tasting, and the highest score I gave to any red was 90 points (La Pointe, Leoville Poyferre and Barton). I found the wines light, undernourished and lacking charm, and the worst examples were those that tried to hide the deficiencies with oak, sometimes very toasted oak to give a mocha overlay to the flavors, and extraction. Bad move, when you try extracting a vintage like 2013.


2011 and 2012 were much better, and although I have not gone through the range of the 2014s, those that I have tasted were infinitely better than this. Pass.
ITB
I could agree with you, but then we both would be wrong.

Jeff Leve
Posts: 1664
Joined: August 2nd, 2009, 4:17 pm

UGC 2016 (2013 Bordeaux)

#15 Post by Jeff Leve » January 31st, 2016, 3:33 pm

I attended the UGC event in Los Angeles. As there were 2 events, I managed to taste the majority of the wines. While none of the red wines were great, for me, most of the wines were fresh, easy drinking and simple. Clinet, Leoville Poyferre and Troplong Mondot were among the top red wines, in the 91 Pt range. The Medoc wines and other wines from moderate terroir were really not much fun to taste, scoring about 80 Pts.

On the other hand, I found the dry white wines quite good at all price points, and the Sauternes,with one exception were outstanding! Coutet and Suduiraut were outstanding with mid 90 Pt scores to me.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”