Haut (hum?) Medoc …

Tasting on the morning of Thursday 11 April at Grand Puy Ducasse. The blind samples of Haut Medoc were all OK, mainly – and in the context of the vintage. One wine I tasted non blind, later the same day, Chateau Sociando Mallet, stood out as among the best, but even the great Sociando was not able to pull the biggest rabbit out of the 2012 hat.

Most successful Haut Medoc tasted

Thursday was a bad day to taste from barrel: heavy atmospheric pressure, rainy and cloudy. We tasted alongside samples from Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estephe.

Chateau Citran 85-87

1: Somewhat meaty if reduced nose. Tannins are tight here, but light richness on the attack leads to a modest finish. Time in barrel should improve.

Chateau Cantemerle 86-87+

2: Nose is sandalwood with just ripe fruit. Palate has juiciness and pleasing saltiness, more so than number one, albeit just a tad drying on finish

Chateau Lamarque 87-89

3: Noticeably darker color. Oak derived aromatics, a ‘fleshy’ and slightly ‘glossy’ nose. Palate is robust, tannic grip, with a more modern slightly extracted feel. Length is moderate.

Tasting the Haut Medocs at Grand Puy Ducasse: lovely interior

Chateau Beaumont 83-85

4: Touch of stem on the nose. Subtle intensity on the attack, but seems to hollow out on the mid palate. The end palate has some iodine, but also slightly drying.

Chateau La Tour Carnet 85-87

5: Black fruit, plum, licorice, oak derived aromatics. Supple attack. Mid palate just a thinner than what seems to be coming, somewhat dry on the modest finish.

Chateau Belgrave 84-86

6: Somewhat drying tannins here, a certain austerity throughout.

Chateau Couffran 85-87

7: Nose of darker fruit. Plum. Sap on the palate, salty and mineral. Like many, not so much the fruit but the structure.

Chateau Camensac 84-86

8: Here we have a more herbal note, a touch of green. The attack is brisk, mid palate is somewhat tight, with a tannic edge, moderate richness. Somewhat short.


French wine critic Bernard Burtschy with Sociando Mallet owner Jean Gautreau

Chateau Sociando Mallet 2012: More than a solid performance this barrel sample, but quite tannic and even a bit brooding. No surprise here, as it seems to have the stuffing to be typically long aged, but this does not seem to have as refined tannins as, say, from a vintage like 2005, which we had for lunch (prematurely, but delicious) in the above picture 89-91

See my notes for barrel samples from the other Bordeaux appellations in 2012:

Back to the main 2012 from barrel page

Graves and Pessac Leognan / Sauternes and Barsac / Margaux-Moulis-Listrac / Pauillac / Saint Julien / Saint Estephe / Saint Emilion / Pomerol / Haut Medoc

UPDATE: Contrasting the styles of Moueix with Stéphane Derenoncourt and Nicolas Thienpont on the Right Bank

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