The annual London Wine Fair (LWF) took place at the Olympia centre this week. A huge representation of the wine world was in attendance, everything from small independent wine producers to companies that sell ‘bulk’ wine in tankers (there was even a beer section!). While the focus was generally on wines for restaurant wine lists and shop shelves, on Monday the Bordeaux trade body the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux presented a tasting of wines from the 2012 vintage.
It is an opportune moment to re-taste the 2012 vintage as it has now been bottled and is being shipped to buyers across the world. It has also just been re-scored by the wine critic Robert Parker. There was only a small selection of châteaux in attendance (nothing compared to the tasting we wrote about last October) but as we tasted them while overlooking the grand and bustling exhibition hall, the wines did not much change our opinion of this vintage.
In his recent report, Parker wrote the vintage ‘is an excellent one in Pomerol, Pessac-Léognan and for some St.-Emilions’. The delicious wines from Bon Pasteur and La Croix de Gay confirmed this for Pomerol, while Pessac wines Domaine de Chevalier and Château Olivier did the same for their appellation (if only their neighbour Haut-Brion was present!). But the 2012 wines from the Médoc were far from terrible. The attractive Langoa Barton and Léoville Barton both stood their ground, though lacked the depth of flavour that wines from a better vintage possess. This tasting did nothing to change our opinion that the vintage as a whole produced tasty wines for drinking fairly early-on but only a select few (such as the First Growths) could have been considered for investment.
Our main duties done, we explored the rest of the fair for a while before heading back to the office. It was truly a wine-lover’s playground and we particularly enjoyed the stand showing wines made from the Syrah/Shiraz grape from across the globe. Until next year, LWF – Cheers!