Now we are on the gas. I love Pauillac. Latour, Lafite, Mouton, the Pichons, GPL, Lynch (I’ll publish notes and scores on the first growths in a couple of days). Pauillac is Palace at home on a sunny afternoon (bring your shades if you’re in the Arthur Wait) beating one of the big boys. It’s the Vosne-Romanée of Bordeaux, and home to some of the bestest wines ever in the world. And it tastes of Pauillac which, to me, is the point. All of the wines mentioned above taste of Pauillac. Cassis. Gravel. Maybe a touch of cedar – cigar box. Maybe a whiff of pencil lead. Pauillac.
I may have under-scored Pichon-Baron, which the group rated higher than I did, and which is a wine that I can often pick blind – the combination of power and quality can give it away. Pichon-Lalande is excellent too – both of the Pichons are now on form and worthy of their super-second status. Batailley, which is the one 2012 claret that I own, was the over-performer of the appellation. Grand-Puy-Lacoste was as reliably good as ever.
The obvious buy here, for me, is Batailley at £280 per case or so. GPL at £320 tempts too and, at £620 or so, the Pichons seem like good value when compared with some of the bigger vintages. You can’t actually buy Forts de Latour: the bottle tasted plus its reserve were the only two bottles of 2012 Forts de Latour in the world that weren’t at the château so no value comment, just a small brag.
Forts de Latour (16.5)
This is very fresh on the nose though not giving much away. Sweet and focussed in the mouth – a sweet Pauillac edge. This finishes very nicely. And has some length to it. No can-can dancers here but this is good wine.
Some creamy chocca barrel on this. There is lots here and it’s been worked a bit. This follows in the mouth – lots of stuffing, lots of fruit, and much as it’s worked, the fruit wins out and this is good wine. Creamy Pauillac.
Scratchy Pauillac fruit on the nose. By which I mean gravelly. This follows in the mouth. This is very, very Pauillac. Nicely laid back and not trying to show off. All here, and good wine.
There is some power hiding on the nose here though it’s a little closed. Thought there is plenty of weight, fruit and stuffing in the mouth. Sweet, rich fruit. This is good wine.
This is very “classic” on the nose. There is a weight of fruit here. Not jumping out of the glass. There’s something not quite “straight” about this – it needs to come together – but it has soul.