On Friday afternoon Parker released his En Primeur 2012 scores. The polemically titled, ‘A train wreck coming?’ summarises his overall belief that while 2012 is better than 2011, the Bordelais cannot afford to price the wines incorrectly as they did last year, instead needing to offer an incentive to buyers. So far several of the leading estates, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Lynch Bages and Rauzan Segla, have offered good value and have sold well. Others really overplayed their hands and have seen less traction.

His review reflected the market sentiment in general that St Emilion (Cheval Blanc and Angelus 94-96, Pavie 94-96+ La Mondotte 94-97) and Pomerol (La Fleur Petrus and Hosanna 94-96, Trotanoy 96-98, L’Evangile 90-94) performed very well, in fact his wine of the vintage was L’Eglise Client scoring 96-100 points. Pessac Leognon was the best performer on the left-bank, represented by the perennially pleasing Pape Clement and the strong Domaine de Chevalier both scoring 92-95. The white wines of Haut Brion 98-100, La Mission Haut Brion 96-98+ and Pape Clement 95-98, all performed splendidly.

Outside Pessac Leognon the left bank was far more speckled, with Palmer, Cos d’Estournel and Leoville Las Cases leading the Super-seconds. Lafite Rothschild scored 92-95, which places it in the same points range as the 2001, 2002 and 2004, all of which trade comfortably at £6,000 a case.

Mouton Rothschild 2012, 95-97 Parker

Notably Parker’s First Growth of the vintage was Mouton Rothschild, which he scored 95-97; this now offers extraordinary value for £3,200 a case. When compared to other similar vintages the 2012 looks to be a must buy wine, with limited stock in the market:

The intensely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the plateau at Mouton has produced an inky/purple-colored wine with the famous Mouton creme de cassis and floral characteristics vividly displayed. For the first time in a number of years they appear to have outdistanced their cross street rival, the biodynamically farmed Chateau Pontet Canet of Alfred Tesseron. Wonderfully sweet tannins envelop the enormous fruit and extravagant richness of this full-bodied Mouton Rothschild. With profound density as well as surprisingly sweet tannin, this terrific effort will probably shut down slightly and require 5-8 years of cellaring after bottling. It appears to have 30 or more years of aging potential, making it potentially one of the 3 or 4 longest-lived wines of the vintage. 

Mouton Rothschild has produced one of the vintage-s most profound wines in 2012, and possibly the -wine of the Medoc.- About 49% of the production made it into the 2012 Mouton, which is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The harvest took place during the middle two weeks of October. This may be one of the few 2012s that comes close to equaling what was achieved in both 2009 and 2010, two far superior vintages. Robert Parker