Since 2018 was a warmer year with excellent quality, I’m thinking of loading up on smaller BDX wines under the radar that will be ready to drink in 5-10 years. For example, Chateau Laroque. At $300 a case, with the reviews it received (including Jeff Leves) it seems like a fantastic buy. However, I’m also taking farming technique into account which is harder than I expected to research. I would think there is some type of spreadsheet online that shows all the different chateaux farming styles including biodynamic and/or organic. Anyone know of such a chart available? Also, are there any incredible Bordeaux I should know about in the same price range with biod/organic farming technique?
Just look for points. The ones with the high points are the ones to buy.
I don’t know if anyone has compiled the data you seek in a spreadsheet, but Leve’s website has excellent write-ups on most of the estates. And he addresses winemaking processes for most estates.
Out of curiosity, why is the farming technique of such relevance in your buying decision? Not knocking it at all, just curious how it factors.
On your other question, Leve generally also publishes a “best value” list on most vintages. If he was big on Laroque, and you like that modern style, that’s were I would look first.
I don’t think anyone’s ever published a list or guide of organic Bordeaux - admittedly this is a very recent change and the numbers are probably a very small percentage of the total number of producers. If you’re looking for a wine which is not too expensive and organic, I’d try Clos du Jaugueyron’s Haut Médoc.
Jeff’s list is all well and good for those who have a modern palate, but I am still waiting for you to assign an associate to prepare a comparable AFWE list of best value wines. Maybe you can dictate it to a summer associate.
That’s a pretty good list, thanks!
Couple of extras to add would be:
Durfort Vivens (biodynamic)
Peybonhomme les tours (biodynamic)
Lafon Rochet (ex organic, now sort of pragmatic eco sustainable)
Larose-Trintaudon has been Biodynamic for a number of years already.
Is 2018 regarded as having excellent quality?! News to me.
For your overall plan, I think once taking into account storage charges, going in at this point on lower level wines will work out more expensive than patiently picking up wines on your hit list 2-3 years after release as they come onto the market. There’s going to be a lot of 2018 sitting on shelves. The only argument to do this is if you want different formats from ordinary bottles. This statement is true for almost every BDX futures release - lower level wines rarely pay off when purchased EP.
Good point about the economics. As for the vintage quality, can you please expand on why you believe the vintage is not excellent? I must be reading the wrong reviews?!
Well, it was a uniformly hot vintage, rather than warm. Alcohol levels are they highest they’ve been in quite some time. But 80% of the season’s rain hit by june and that killed the bio vineyards as they couldn’t spray for mildew, so overall it’s a very variable vintage - not one to be buying blind.
The critic’s views never really go full blown complimentary, almost everything has a caveat. Farr’s summarize well here: Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur
I could definitely be wrong, as I’m doing a lot of “between the lines” reading, and it’s just not a buy for me. There’s a lot of behind the scenes discounting going on of 2nd and 3rd tranche parcels that are clearly not selling, certainly in the UK market.
I’m sure in time the greats will become clear, but as I said, unless you need special formats or have an allocation you need to protect, no point buying now.
All points noted, thank you. I was very selective this year, just Pontet-Canet, LLC, CosDEstournel and Montrose. The only others on the radar (value plays) are Duforts-Vivens, Beau-Sejour Becot, and Laroque. Hope I made the right picks…crossing my fingers LLC doesn’t end up like 2003 which still doesn’t drink well IMO.
How long would it take a summer associate to write Cantemerle and Sociando Mallet?
Shades of the infamous NYC sushi memo from 20 years ago.
I’m curious as to your list - is Montrose similar these days to Cos? I recall them as very stylistically different wines (and generally prefer Calon Segur anyway). I was in Bordeaux this weekend, and my friends picked up a couple bottles of recent Pagodes de Cos, and it was wretched stuff. Has Montrose gone the same way? I never open my St. Estephes young.
Just a heads up - saw Laroque 2018s at my Costco today for ~$25/btl.
I don’t think it is, it is the largest estate in the medoc and is pretty industrial, but good VFM. Ferriere is linked to Durfort Vivens and is biodynamic.
That’s a great price. Which location/city was this? Do you happen to have the item# by any chance (from receipt or picture)?
Well, I certainly wasn’t making it up. It’s printed on the labels.
Not exactly what was requested, but perhaps you could look for your same list of lower end Bordeaux from the 2016 vintage (still in market) or 2015 (also around, getting discounted). Both are very good, though broadly ‘16 was considered better. You can start drinking the ‘15s sooner sooner while aging the ‘16s for a few years.