The 2012 Bordeaux vintage suffered from bad timing, released when confidence in Bordeaux en primeur had been undermined by the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages. As such many buyers kept their powder dry despite estates dropping their prices. The 2012s have now been bottled and this makes it the cheapest physical vintage of Bordeaux in the market; these are wines ready to drink now due to their ripe tannins. As such we expect a lot of trading in the lead up to Parker’s bottle scores this summer.
We re-tasted the 2012s late last year and it is unquestionably a very good, charming vintage, similar to 2008; far superior to 2011 and 2013. Since then we have been keeping our eye out for well-priced parcels of our favorite wines and today we have secured a parcel of the superb Rauzan-Segla. This received an initial score of 93-95 from Robert Parker who declared that ‘The 2012 Rauzan Segla may turn out to be as strong an effort as their 2010.’ The 2009 and 2010 both received a score of 95+ from bottle; 2010 was originally marked up from 92-94, the 2009, 92-95! Robert Parker will be returning to Bordeaux this year to re-score all of the 2012s from bottle and Ruazan Segla is set for a splendid bottle score and indeed well worth speculating on given the aforementioned facts.
Rauzan-Segla 2012 has a wonderful purity and sweetness, stylistically very similar to the towering 2009. The evidence suggests the 2012 will receive the same score as the 2009 and 2010 which currently trades at double the price. Moreover, the 2012 looks to be hugely undervalued when compared to equivalent vintages displaying comfortably the lowest Price Over Points score:
Moreover, Rauzan-Segla 2012 is hugely undervalued when compared to its similar scoring left bank peers, the great Lafite Rothschild and Haut Brion received the same score yet cost £283 and £233 per bottle respectively, more than a six bottle case of the Ruazan Segla 2012, which costs £33 a bottle in bond or £42.46 duty and VAT paid.
Rauzan-Segla is a Second Growth from Margaux, joining the likes of Palmer and Brane-Cantenac to take pride of place after Chateau Margaux itself. Rauzan-Segla has had a fruitful history, changing hands several times over the last century, most notably throughout the 80s and early 90s. This includes a Liverpudlian shipping magnate who completely renovated the winery installing 20 new stainless steel fermentation vats and modernised cellars. Since 1994 the Estate has been owned by the Wertheimer Family of Chanel, who have put in place a superb wine making team headed up by David Orr and John Kolasa of Chateau Latour. Thomas Jefferson ordered ten cases of Rauzan-Segla in 1790 after visiting Bordeaux in 1787, immediately declaring it as one of the top Second Growths. Chateau Rauzan-Segla is planted to 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and produces only 10,000-12,000 cases a year, less than the majority of other First and Second Growths.
Whether for investment or for cellaring, Rauzan-Segla 2012 is not to be missed and comes with our highest recommendation.
Rauzan-Segla 2012, 6×75 – £200 IB or £254.76 incl duty and VAT
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93-95 Points
The 2012 Rauzan Segla may turn out to be as strong an effort as their 2010. A brilliant blend of 54.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot (which accounts for the wine’s ripeness and intensity), and the rest a tiny dollop of 1.5% Petit Verdot, it boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as gorgeous aromas of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and hints of background toast and forest floor. Well-integrated wood and acidity as well as moderately ripe tannins make for a medium to full-bodied, expansive, flavorful, rich, well-delineated effort. It will need 3-5 years of bottle age and should drink well for two decades thereafter.
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