IMW Bordeaux Tasting - 2013 Vintage

Hyatt, San Francisco

Tasted January 30, 2018 by RajivAyyangar with 321 views

Introduction

Floorplan: https://www.evernote.com/l/ABbYd907jCBG7aKE8cgqEpNjZlqUBWMqMxM

General Observations:
Some wines were tart, some astringent (tannic).
Brett is common - mostly spiced, well-done brett melded with oak.
Alcohols were medium across the board - around 13-13.5%

Right Banks: thin
St. Estephe: green
Pauillac: tannic
St. Julien: light
Margaux: sour
Sauternes: typical

Flight 1 - Randoms (2 notes)

Red
2008 Louis Latour Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
86 points
Ripe cherry. Figgy, apply red fruit - pronounced acetaldehyde. Seems a bit tired for '08, but nice texture and red fruit on mid-palate. Soft, satiny tannins. Good length. Very integrated palate - no structural elements stick out.
White - Off-dry
2016 Julian Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
88 points
Slight botrytis (saffron, wax, honey) with pronounced tart apricot fruit. Sweet - feels 60g (close - 72g/L) with low alcohol, beautifully tense high+ acid, and a clean finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - St. Emilion (5 notes)

Thinner and greener than normal. Still softer than the Left Banks.

Red
2013 Château Angélus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
88 points
Brooding mushrooms. Black plum with Brett. Vanilla-cinnamon oak. Aromatic but shows it's oak a bit clumsily. Some development and integration. An austere palate.
Red
2013 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
87 points
Medium ruby with red at the rim. Aromatic with vanilla/cinnamon (new oak), faint blackberry, light stewed bell peppers (pyrazines). The nose is a bit oak-dominated at the moment. In the mouth it's tarter and more astringent than the Evangile, Lafleur, or Angelus - more cab franc dominant perhaps. Feels floral but at the same time quite austere.
Red
2013 Château Dassault France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
83 points
Thin nose, with green asparagus and slight Brett. More tart than tannic on the palate - watery and soft palate.
Red
2013 Château Pavie Macquin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
88 points
Fresh, floral, black plum and blackberry with some raspberry. Tart and juicy with decent midpalate fruit. It's awake and ready to drink. Elevated structure but the open midpalate balances it out.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Château Valandraud France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
84 points
Slightly burnt nose (oak or reduction?). Fishy (Isinglass? pyrazines? something else?) with stewed faded bell pepper and some plum. Light palate. Soft.

Flight 3 - Pomerol (5 notes)

Thinner and tarter than normal.

Red
2013 Château Certan de May France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
85 points
Reductive black pepper and smoked meat with tart blackberry. Rhone-like. Tart and astringent on the palate. I'd probably blind this as a tannic rhone.
Red
2013 Château La Conseillante France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
86 points
Faded watery, overripe bell peppers with some cherry. Slight black plum and Brett. Slight vanilla cinnamon (oak). Soft and tart on the palate. Thin finish.
Red
2013 Château L'Evangile France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
87 points
Aromatic. Some spiced Brett and some Merlot fruit (chocolate-covered blackcurrant) with dark cedar. Astringent and bitter on the palate with tannins, alcohol, and acid all elevated.
Red
2013 Château Lafleur France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
86 points
Aromatic but austere on the palate like l'Evangile.
Elevated tannins and acid.
Red
2013 Château Petit Village France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
83 points
Slightly fishy(?) pyrazinic nose with a bit of black plum. Softer palate (less tannic and acidic) than the Left Bank wines. Still - this is really austere for a Right Bank.

Flight 4 - St. Estephe (4 notes)

Pretty green and variable.

Red
2013 Château Calon-Ségur France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
87 points
Dark raw green pepper and coffee grounds (pyrazines, oak), Brett, tart black currant. Like Clerc-Milon. Tart on the palate.
Red
2013 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
88 points
Blackberry and smoked ham (reductive). Mildly Bretty with impressive concentration and elevated structure (alcohol, acid, tannins).
Red
2013 Château Lafon-Rochet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
85 points
Thin and pyrazinic. An austere Left Bank style. Some black currant.
Red
2013 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
84 points
Lighter than the Cos d'Estournel. Soft palate with bretty, pyrazinic blackberry. Light with milder acid and tannins than it's St. Estephe compatriots. Some cedary oak and underripe weedy fruit - reminds me a bit of a lower-end Malbec.

Flight 5 - Pauillac (5 notes)

Green and tannic.

Red
2013 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
84 points
Thin, slightly pyrazinic, with underripe fruit. But identifiably Bordeaux Left Bank. On the palate, more tart than tannic.
Red
2013 Château Lynch-Moussas France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
84 points
Burnt with a little popcorn (reductive? diacetyl? I noticed this two years ago as well.). Tart and tannic palate with a hint of dark fruit and dark green pepper pyrazines (a hint of coffee grounds as well). Austere.
Red
2013 Château Pedesclaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
84 points
Underripe fruit on the nose - like a bad Malbec. Riper palate than I expected, with some cassis and lots of ripe bell pepper. Tannic.
Red
2013 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
88 points
Pyrazinic but with coffee and some black fruit concentration. Well-done Brett and slight new oak. Balanced palate with good structure. The best of the Pauillacs.
Red
2013 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
70 points
This is terrible - I tasted both bottles to confirm it wasn't flawed. On the nose, pronounced rotten bell pepper with some plasticky notes (possibly VA). Thin, tart, green palate. The particular form the pyrazines have taken at this stage is uniquely off-putting. Undrinkable.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - St. Julien (7 notes)

Green, softer tannins than the Pauillacs.

Red
2013 Château Beychevelle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
83 points
Bretty and pyrazinic with some dark fruit that seems dirty or unevenly ripe. Coarse tannin texture on the finish. Austere.
Red
2013 Château Branaire-Ducru France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
86 points
Muted nose - not very aromatic. The BDX trifecta - slight Brett, slight new oak, slight pyrazines. More balanced than I expected on the palate. Medium bodied with elevated acid and elevated tannins. Bright red cherry note mid-palate.
Red
2013 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
85 points
Muted nose. Floral with some pyrazines and some Brett. Tart and lively with red cherry. Medium plus tannins - smoother texture than the Pauillacs.
Red
2013 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
87 points
Tastes like a proper Left Bank, which is no mean feat in this difficult vintage. A little tart but the trifecta is all there: Brett. Pyrazines. Slight cedar from new oak. There's clear (if not pronounced) black currant -
it gives you some love on the midpalate. Barton is so reliable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Château Léoville Las Cases France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
83 points
Very green raw bell pepper pyrazines on the nose. On the palate, good depth and flavor concentration with some black fruit but the acid is just too high.
Red
2013 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
82 points
Austere. Oak sticks out on the nose - vanilla and freshly-sanded wood. Tart and thin on the palate.
Red
2013 Château Talbot France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
83 points
Pyrazinic nose. Underripe and tart on the palate. Juice-like and thin with weedy fruit (like a low-end Malbec).

Flight 7 - Margaux (7 notes)

Sour. Really sour. Least tannic of the Left Banks.

Red
2013 Château Brane-Cantenac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
82 points
Aromatic green bell pepper and cherry. Tart as hell. So tart. Lean and austere on the palate. Medium tannins.
Red
2013 Château Boyd-Cantenac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
85 points
Burnt nose (over-toasted oak? reduction?). Good concentration on the palate. Vibrant acid and elevated tannins with some black cherry and earthy blackberry fruit. Slight Brett.
Red
2013 Château Cantenac Brown France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
82 points
Oaky vanilla nose with no fruit to support it. Austere and tart on the palate.

2 years ago, it seems I liked the oak note - it smelled like sandalwood. With a little more development, however, it just seems over-oaked and thin.
Red
2013 Château Lascombes France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
82 points
Burnt (over-toasted oak? reduction? - I noticed this two years ago as well). Tart cherry. Austere, sour palate.
Red
2013 Château Marquis de Terme France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
82 points
On the nose, slightly fishy (isinglass? pyrazines?), slightly burnt (reduction? heavy-toasted oak?). Stewed peppers. Lean finish. Very sour.
Red
2013 Château Rauzan-Gassies France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
82 points
Pyrazinic and slightly fishy. Stewed and fresh bell peppers (pyrazines). Austere but not as tart as the other Margaux.
Red
2013 Château Rauzan-Ségla France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
81 points
Muted nose. Slight brett and slight underripe blackberry on the palate. Tart and austere. Only medium tannins but the palate is still so lean.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 8 - Graves (3 notes)

Green and austere.

Red
2013 Château de Fieuzal France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
84 points
Austere. Some blackberry and Brett but the vanilla oak shows the most. Astringent palate.
Red
2013 Château Pape Clément France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
83 points
Yeasty, funky nose with a little spiced Brett. Fairly austere palate with a little blackberry. Tart and tannic.
Red
2013 Château Smith Haut Lafitte France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
85 points
Slightly burnt (heavy toast or reduction?). Thin but has a hint of black cherry, blackberry, and black currant. Lean.

Flight 9 - Sauternes (5 notes)

Seemed about typical in style - mostly too low acid for my taste. The d'Yquem was incredible.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château Coutet France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
86 points
Great nose - toasted rice and saffron (botrytis) with some orange peel. Medium acid - needs more.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château Doisy-Daëne France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
87 points
Slight saffron. Toasted rice and wax with some VA (like a hot glue gun). Thin palate with medium plus acid and a much-appreciated bitterness. A successful lighter/fresher style of Sauternes.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
95 points
Luminescent gold color. Holy sh** this smells good. Compared to the other Sauternes' at the tasting, the aroma explodes out of the glass with clear and complex flavors of genmaicha (toasted rice and green tea), seaweed (Nori), raw almonds and marzipan, saffron, honey, wax, perfumed orange peel, peach cream, mango sorbet. Wow.

In the mouth, it's sweet even for a Sauternes - maybe 130-140g?, with a finish that goes on for minutes, and strong bright acidity. On the finish there's a crazy shifting landscape of candied orange, toasted rice, saffron, guava, and peach. Stunning.

You can dissect this and it rewards scrutiny with more and more complexity. Or you can just sip it and the world becomes sunnier and brighter. Even though it's a large tasting, it's really, really hard to spit this out.

On a more technical note, this was Semillon-dominant, but it seems there was good tropical fruit and pyrazines from the Sauvignon Blanc. All the classic elements of Sauternes are there, and then some: Pyrazines (green tea, seaweed), thiolic fruit (guava, mango), botrytis (toasted rice, honey, wax, saffron), VA (wax), and new oak (peach cream, toasted rice).
5 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
83 points
Nice toasted rice and VA aromatics (moderate botrytis influence with a hint of new oak). Sweet and sluggish palate - only medium acid. Not particularly heavy, but the lower acid makes it seem plodding. This is nowhere in the same league as the d'Yquem.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Château Filhot France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
83 points
Decent waxy saffron botrytis - a one-dimensional nose without much to hold interest. Sweet and flat on the palate - only medium acid.
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