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April 25, 2013

L’Evangile 2012 En Primeur

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Merlot is the grape of the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, a grape that ripens quicker than Cabernet Sauvignon and therefore in 2012 achieved phenolic and sugar ripeness and was picked before the downpour of the 7th to 9th of September. Parker commented in his 2012 pre-report that the villages of Pomerol and St.Emilion , which are dominated by Merlot, were not far behind the great 2009 and 2010. Broadly speaking the Bordelais are releasing the 2012 vintage lower than 2011 prices, making the best wines of the vintage very attractive, in this sense right bank is a good place to focus in terms of value. L’Evangile is a leading Pomerol Estate, owned by Lafite Rothschild, it produced one of the wines of the vintage in 2012, which has been compared to Petrus, indeed L’Evangile is surrounded by Pétrus, La Conseillante and its closest neighbour Cheval Blanc. In 2012 it is made up of 93% Merlot!

L’Evangile only produces around 4,000 cases a year, less than a fifth of Lafite, it is very popular in the US and Asia and is a wine that we expect Parker will score highly.  It was one of James Sucklings wines of the vintage, he scored it 94-95 points, saying; ‘A wine with plenty of deep fruit, spices and hazelnut character. Lovely fruit. Full-bodied, with lovely silky tannins and a long, long finish. So much going on here. Elegance with strength and structure. 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc.’

It seems from Suckling’s score and Robert Parker’s proclamation of the quality of the right bank in 2012 that L’Evangile will score highly. This offers room for a price repositioning; the 2005, which Parker scored 95 points trades today at £1,800 a case, if Parker gives a similar score £1,120 a full case will look undervalued. Rumors abound that Parker will release his scores tomorrow and of the wines released so far L’Evangile looks to be a strong candidate for a short-term uplift.