12th December, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
This year’s wines from Pauillac and Pomerol are “a joyous triumph over adversity” writes AXA Millésimes managing director Christian Seely, who believes detractors of the vintage will be “agreeably surprised”.
This year’s harvest at Petit-Village in Pomerol. Source: christianseely.com
In a lengthy post on his personal blog uploaded yesterday, Seely described his first tastings of the wines at flagship AXA Bordeaux properties Pichon-Baron and Petit-Village as “moments of intense relief”.
While he acknowledged the difficulties of the vintage, and recorded rot in the vineyards, particularly on the Merlot from the Médoc, he also noted that a “rigorous system of triage [sorting] has eliminated any trace of this”.
As a consequence, 2013 is a very low yielding vintage, but one which has produced reds of “great purity” as well as “freshness”, according to Seely.
Regarding the risk of unripe tannins, he said these were “not evident on tasting with the exceptions of one or two lots which will not find their way into the grand vin.”
Summing up the vintage, he wrote, “Acidities are higher than usual, and I think this will be a characteristic of this vintage, at least at Pichon Baron and Petit-Village, but I am confident that the 2013s from both properties are good wines, a joyous triumph over adversity, and the best expressions possible of their vineyards in the circumstances of the millésime.”
Meanwhile, Seely pointed out that 2013 was “a great harvest in Sauternes”, where AXA owns Château Suduiraut, as well as a similarly great year for the sweet wines of Tokaj in Hungary, where the group has Disznókő.
AXA Millésimes’ properties include Château Pichon-Longueville Baron and Châteaux Pibran in Pauillac; Petit-Village in Pomerol; Suduiraut in Sauternes; Belles-Eaux in the Languedoc, as well as Domaine de l’Arlot in Nuits-St-Georges, Disznóko in Hungary and Quinta do Noval in Portugal.