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April 30, 2014

Poyferre, Eglise Clinet; Cheval Blanc, Las Cases, Clinet 2013 EP Release

Leoville.Poyferee.000

We are pleased to offer today’s best releases, Leoville Poyferre and L’Eglise Clinet, two of the wines of the vintage who have reduced their price 11% and 15% respectively on 2012. These are two wines we recommend in terms of quality and price and are selling quickly in Bordeaux. Please find more detail on these excellent releases below, including a price comparison. In addition today marks the release of Vieux Chateau Certan, who sticking to their guns made no reduction on their 2012 price of £990 for a case of 12. Please also find yesterday’s releases including the high profile Cheval Blanc, Leoville Las Cases and Clinet. These were three of our red wines of the vintage.

Cheval Blanc made a superb wine that displays dense fruit, raspberry, redcurrant, plum, prune, blackberries, vanilla, cedar, smoke, with hints of menthol, bresola and dried tea leaf. The palate is rich, with generous fruit, ripe tannin and a lovely balanced and long finish which culminates with coffee bean. They released -12% on their 2012 offering for £1,625 a half case. There is no question this is a superlative effort and will drink wonderfully.

Leoville Las Cases reduced their price 7% on 2012 releasing for £860 a case. The wine is powerful, showing cedar, sandlewood, violets, mint and eucalyptus, with a dense mouth feel, with notes of pepper on the finish. It is well made and if Leoville Las Cases is one of your perennial purchases the 2013 reflects an excellent effort which will not disappoint.

Chateau Clinet is now simply one of the best estates in Bordeaux. It is a small property with only 11.27 hectares located on the highest point of the Pomerol plateau, close to L’Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy. The property’s 45 year old vines rest in soils that are a wonderful balance of gravel, clay and rich sand, planted with 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Their 2013 release price has been reduced by 14% on their 2012 and is 12% cheaper than the current trading price of the 2006 and 2007. It offers a lovely incentive to buy a case on release for £420 or £210 for a half case: this is superb value.

Please note Leoville Barton also released yesterday for £470 and £235 for cases of 12 and six, a solid and structured offering which scored 89-91 from Neil Martin, but sadly is only 3% lower than in 2012.

Leoville Poyferre 2013 - £420, 12×75 or £210, 6×75 – 90-92 NM

En Primeur 2013 has been characterised by many Chateau not adhering to the spirit of En Primeur and futures in general. However some, such as Lynch Bages, gadged the market and released at prices that offer a financial incentive,these sold out in Bordeaux. Leoville Poyferre is a rising star and a darling of Robert Parker, they produced a future legend in the 100 point scoring 2009. They have released today at £420 for a case of 12, an -11% discount to their 2012 and equal to their cheapest current trading vintage the 2007 which inferior in quality.

In 2013 Poyferre used strict selection and took advantage of their wonderful terrior to produce a very good wine which scored 90-92 points from Neil Martin and Antonio Galloni, sentiments reiterated by James Molesworth 89-92 and James Suckling 90-91.

Vintage    Points   Price
2013       90-92     £420
2012       89-91     £460
2011       91-94     £545
2008       94           £470
2007       89           £420
2006       91           £460
2004       93           £525
2002       90           £550
2001       90           £600

Poyferre 2013 is a very well made wine, assembled from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It is fleshy, combining blackcurrant, cassis with lovely red fruits; red currant and raspberry, in fact Martin notes its ‘almost Burgundy like purity on the nose, evoking a sense of Vosne-Romanée!’, while Molesworth comments on its ‘decidedly racy feel as iron and graphite notes emerge on the finish’.

Neil Martin 90-92
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the Grand Vin, there is an almost Burgundy like purity on the nose, evoking a sense of Vosne-Romanée! The palate is full-bodied for the vintage, very concentrated with layers of ripe toasty black fruit. The acidity is well judged and there is good grip on the finish. Powerful and burly, this is a 2013 for those who do not want to compensate on fruit! Tasted April 2014. Neil Martin

Antonio Galloni 90-92
Plums, blueberries, cassis, violets and sweet spices meld together nicely in the 2013 Léoville-Poyferré. Many of the signatures are in place in the 2013, they are just present in miniature. The fleshy, textured finish offers plenty of near and medium-term appeal.

L’Eglise Clinet 2013 - £600, 6×75 – 94-96 NM 
L’Eglise Clinet is arguably the wine of the vintage scoring 94-96 from Neil Martin, who unequivocally stated that, ‘If you do insist on buying one 2013 en primeur, then make it this one.’ Antonio Galloni follows suits awarding it 90-93+ affirming, ‘The 2013 L’Eglise Clinet is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty, while James Suckling does not hesitate in awarding it 93-94 and, ‘One of the most naturally structured wines from the vintage.’ The wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and one degree less alcohol than 2012 with 13.5%, which is high for the 2013 vintage. The nose is fragrant and complex with lovely notes of cranberry, violets, smoke and liquorice. The palate in intense, with succulent ripe flavours very powerful and superbly structured, it is a show stopper!

L’Eglise Clinet have also offered a real incentive to buyer in 2013 releasing at £1,200 a case, 15% below their 2012 price which sold immediately. The 2013 has fulfilled its entire allocation already since this morning and will be in high demand. L’Eglise Clinet is one of the wines to own in this vintage. 

Chateau L’Eglise-Client is one of the stars of Pomerol, outscoring Petrus in 2012 and 2013. It has emerged in recent years as one of the truly great Bordeaux estates, combining wonderful winemaking with its superb and unique terrior; 5.5 hectares located on the Pomerol plateau. The soil is rich in gravel, clay, iron and sand and the vines have an average age of 45 years. It is proving extremely difficult to source year-on-year with the global market clambering for its bravura and well-priced vintages: securing an allocation will bode well for years to come.

Neil Martin 94-96
The Grand Vin is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between 27 September and 2 October. It delivers 13.5% alcohol, a degree less than last year. The Merlot comes through very strongly on the nose with pure scents of cranberry and wild strawberry, dried violet petals and a touch of sous-bois It is very well defined although not as complex as a top-flight l’Eglise-Clinet. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky entry that does not hesitate in caressing the palate, the oak succinct and deftly interwoven. There is not a huge depth here, but rather great tension and precision, a hint of citrus peel. This is already utterly seductive. One day, Denis might make a L’Eglise-Clinet that does not incite superlatives. I might be waiting a long time. If you do insist on buying one 2013 en primeur, then make it this one.

Antonio Galloni 90-93+
The 2013 L’Eglise Clinet is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. A dark, sumptuous wine, the 2013 flows across the palate with remarkable depth and pure texture. Blue and black fruit, licorice, smoke and violets all flesh out on the voluptuous, racy finish. This is a terrific showing. The blend is predominantly Merlot, with a splash of Cabernet Franc and Malbec from the oldest parcels on the property, which were planted in 1930. New oak is around 60-70%, but it is barely perceptible. What a gorgeous wine this is.

James Suckling 93-94
One of the most naturally structured wines from the vintage. It’s the most properly structured wine of the vintage. It’s full body with mineral character and an intensity. The old vine cabernet franc gave the backbone. This will need aging.

Cheval Blanc 2013 - £1,625, 6×75 – 93-94 James Suckling
Seductive. This is incredibly floral, with violets, raspberries and hints of nutmeg. Full to medium body with a pretty density and freshness. Silky and refined. Velvety wine. Creamy. Attractive tannin backbone. Fascinating Cheval Blanc. Subtle. Reminds me of 1971 or a baby 2001. 52% cabernet franc and 48% merlot. 

Leoville Las Cases 2013 - £860, 12×75 or £430, 6×75 – 92-93 James Suckling
92-93   A dense, rich young wine with licorice and spice character. Some tar, too. Medium to full body with firm tannins and a fresh, clean finish. Dense fruit structure for the vintage.

Clinet 2013 - £420, 12×75 or £210, 6×75 – 90-92 NM
“Clinet 2013 was picked between 30 September until 12 October, finishing with the two Cabernets. Ronan Laborde told me that it was the most compact harvest he had undertaken: 4½ days within 13 days, the fruit selected through an optical sorting machine. The level of new oak is 60%, up from 2012, because Jean-Michel thought the fruit was good enough, with an IPT of 85 compared to 75. The nose takes some time to unfurl, broody and reticent at first, revealing redcurrant and cranberry scents mixed with dried flowers with time. The palate is well balanced with quite linear tannins, the oak nicely integrated and lending this Clinet good depth. It is a more masculine Clinet without the length of a great Château Clinet, but clean and pure. It will need 5 or 6 years to unwind after bottling.”

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