Bordeaux 2012: Why bother?

Based on initial tastings that’s the summary… Some people may be more polite but I think you can spend your hard earned cash elsewhere. Most of the Pomerols I tried from the Cercle de Rive Droite, which are supposed to be the best, were marked by hard or drying tannins. They did not include the Moueix properties which I look forward to trying this coming Tuesday. But hardly a promising start…

Paging Jeff Leve…Jeff Leve…cleanup on aisle 5.

Why bother?
I don´t bother - I didn´t for 2011 either.

98 points- post of the vintage, so far

The title is perhaps too harsh but many wines are marked by rough tannin… There are some fine exceptions and will be posting notes on my website but I think - even more than 2011 - careful attention is necessary. And price reductions no doubt.

Yup, too much '09/'10. Burgundy '12 looks more promising.

Except when it comes to quantities, that is. I can assure you they will be very hard to find indeed.

Sure the wine is bad, but at least its expensive.

Nothing to see here. Move along

Guess this explains why they are in a rush to sell sell sell before Parker scores come out.

Hi Folks,

I’ve spent four days so far tasting the 2012s and Panos’ comments are spot on for the vast majority of the wines at the Cercle Rive Droite tasting, but this is not a group of wines that is necessarily representative of the vintage in general. In fact, there are lots of truly exceptional wines to be found amongst what I have tasted in 2012, but it is a vintage where the estate had to recognize the quality and style of the vintage and embrace it, rather than seek to impose one’s personal chateau style on the wines. Those who sought to make wine as they always do have screwed up the vintage to high heaven and made really unpalatable wines- many of which were sadly on display at the Cercle Rive Droite tasting, but this is not to say that there are not some truly brilliant wines to be found from 2012- and I have only been tasting for four days so far! I cannot go into detail, but there are several wines I have tasted already that are on the same level as 2008, 2009 and better than 2010 at the respective properties. One just had to pick and choose, as the vintage conditions were difficult, and it took a great touch to get it right in 2012. But, those who did have made exceptionally fine wines, so do not write off the vintage in first blush. There is more than meets the eye in 2012 in Bordeaux, and it is a really good vintage for those who like traditionally styled claret.

All the Best,


Let’s summarize for the shelf-talkers and email offers: “Truly exceptional wines… on the same level as 2009 and better than 2010… a really good vintage for those who like traditionally styled Claret.”

I’m guessing Parker will be more difficult to misquote… at least I hope so.

No disrespect meant to JG here, just expecting the worst from the salesmen.

Well, I probably jumped the gun here… not having had any wines from the UGCB yet, let alone visits to non UGCB chateaux I like such as Calon Segur. So I look forward to trying all the wines of course, but this first round was not very promising.

After the abysmal 2011 campaign, the chateaux will have to drastically reduce prices just to get interest in these wines, let alone sales. I’m staying away, just as in 2011, especially when there are countless recent vintages (95, 96, early 2000’s) that are ready to drink and will likely be cheaper than their 2012 counterpart. A price reduction of 40-50% over 2011 needs to occur, otherwise the 2012 en primeur campaign will be even worse than 2011.


You must mean 1895, right? :slight_smile:

I will say that the older I get, the less attractive it gets to buy early into a vintage with tough tannin, hoping it will get better 15 years from now in my 70s.

My son was born in 2012 and I want him to have some ageable birth year wines…so that’s my answer to ‘why bother’. But maybe Bordeaux is not the place to look. Would love it if Port would declare 2012…I guess they would have done it already?

Ditto for me


If the prices are down 15%, the wines must be 85% as good as 2009 or 2010, right? Bwahahahahaha!

Sitting on my check-writing hand throughout this campaign…



I missed the Rive Droit tasting but otherwise have been tasting with John and have to agreement with most of what he said (except for his dislike of the 2010 vintage).

Very definitely a vintage where winemakers needed to exercise great care, and also gamble with picking times, as rains fell at critical times during the harvest. I have tasted a number of wines where efforts in the cellar just made a nasty wine even nastier like applying make up to a seventy year old prostitute, but there have been a number of really lovely wines, where winemakers really did make beautiful wines.