Betting on the Underdogs

Last weekend, I took advantage of the rain and cold to snuggle up with my favourite part of our yearly wine guide, the “Kelder Restjes” or “Fonds du Cave”.  These are the wines that we only have left in small quantity, and it understandably is the first part of the wine guide that our clients dive into.  

Fondly remembering the vintages of Bordeaux wines that we enjoyed during the harvest this year, I realised that the vintages that we enjoyed most of the time were 2011, 2012 and 2013.  These vintages had the misfortune to come after the fabulously rich and delicious 2009 and 2010 wines and so didn’t stand a chance with their more discrete fruit, lighter, silkier textures and elegant undertow at the beginning of their lives.   A decade later and these wines have matured, are drinking beautifully and are a real pleasure to enjoy whether as a drink to accompany good fellowship and friends or as a somewhat luxurious supper wine. 

As you all know, prices rose gradually over the ensuing ten years so that this trio of vintages that I have highlighted not only offer great current drinking but reasonable prices too.  For example, we took a break from harvesting to visit the beautiful Château Belair-Monange in Saint Emilion with Edouard Moueix and loved the red fruit flavours tinged with woodsmoke, cedar and cherries of the 2011 vintage which for €95,50 a bottle is €50 less than the 2021; a great price for a premier cru from Saint Emilion that is ready to drink.  Over in Pomerol, the subtle elegance of one of our favourite wines, the truffle flavoured Château Trotanoy 2011 at €170 is perfectly mature now,  and is €120 less than the 2021 vintage. 

There are a myriad of super wines from the 2011-2012-2013 vintages which are drinking beautifully now and are well worth serving before the richer, more intense vintages of the “teenies” decade come to maturity.  Some examples that come to mind at an attractive price point are Château Ormes de Pez, Château Sociando Mallet and Château La Serre.  The 2013s are lighter and more floral than the 2011 and 2012 but have beautiful freshness: among my picks would be Château Latour à Pomerol, Château Potensac, and Château Couhins. Here we have quite a few wines in magnum format which are always great to serve for festive meals and family gatherings.

Do remember that you can contact any of us for advice on these wines but do take our word for it, these “underdogs” have really come into their own over the last year.  

© Fiona Morrison M.W.