New BKWine Brief out, #116: Primeurs, organic wines, champagne, forgeries and more

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Per Karlsson portrait Britt Karlsson portraitIt is time for les primeurs, whether you like tender asparagus or Bordeaux wines. So there has been much focus lately on the vintage 2012. A vintage that is still resting in the chateaux cellars. But during a few days in April it was tasted by wine merchants and wine writers from all over the world. Most of the chateaux have now announced their prices for the 2012 vintage. So the wines can now be reserved and bought but not delivered until they have spent enough time in the oak barrels, in approximately 2 years’ time.

It is inevitable that you focus on the vintage when you talk about high quality Bordeaux wines that many buy in order to keep in their cellars for a number of years or to sell with a profit. But for ordinary consumption, I don’t think you should bother too much about vintages. Or, more accurately, you should not let a vintage chart decide what you are buying. If you like a producer you should trust that he makes good wines also a difficult vintage. Sometimes wines are powerful, sometimes fruiter and easy to drink. Vintages are not good or bad, only different. In the case of Bordeaux, we can even be thankful for the years that are considered “bad.” It means that they mature faster and become enjoyable earlier than the “better” vintages. Often they are cheaper and perfect wines to order in a restaurant.

2012 seems to become a vintage that is much better than what was once feared, even very good. In addition, prices seem to have a downwards tendency. On the other hand, that only means that they are approaching the prices they were at a couple of years ago. Except for some, who are raising the price substantially. That is primarily the case for those that were fortunate enough to be upgraded in the Saint Emilion classification. That is an excellent illustration of the consumer benefits of a classification: prices skyrocket. One can really wonder what good the classifications are for wine lovers and consumers…

Britt & Per

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