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stirring the lees with james molesworth archive

Photo by: David Yellen
James Molesworth

April 2013

The 2012 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: Christian Moueix's Wines of Distinction
Despite excellent quality, the Moueix family is dropping prices on its lineup of 2012 Pomerols
Posted: Apr 8, 2013 3:00pm ET

Christian Moueix is a man of distinction. Reserved, serious, intelligent. And he crafts distinctive wines. His efforts to resurrect the renamed Bélair-Monange estate in St.-Emilion (recently merging it with Magdelaine) along with his flagship properties of Trotanoy and La Fleur-Pétrus in Pomerol, place him among the elite château owners in all of Bordeaux.

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The 2012 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: The Right Bank Has the Right Stuff
The Merlot-based wines of Cheval-Blanc, Pétrus, Vieux Château Certan and Le Pin met greater success than their Left Bank cousins in 2012
Posted: Apr 4, 2013 3:00pm ET

With Merlot the early favorite for lead variety in 2012, I was anxious to see what the Right Bank accomplished in this tricky vintage. Here, in Pomerol and St.-Emilion, Merlot plays the lead over Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc often an important player as well. With the vintage putting an emphasis on a short ripening window, does the Merlot-dominated Right Bank have an upper hand on the Left Bank and its later-ripening Cabernet?

I visited Pétrus, Cheval-Blanc, Vieux Château Certan and Le Pin to find out.

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The 2012 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: The Cabernet Test Continues at Latour and Mouton
How did this pair of Pauillac's flagship first-growths perform in the difficult 2012 vintage?
Posted: Apr 3, 2013 1:00pm ET

The performance of Pauillac and its Cabernet-based first-growth reds remains the most important indicator of vintage quality for most Bordeaux fans, and today I continued my tour through the upper Médoc's Cabernet country to check out the 2012 vintage at Châteaus Latour and Mouton-Rothschild.

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The 2012 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: Aiming for First-Growth Quality in St.-Julien
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou avoided the pitfalls of a tricky vintage; selection was key in Pauillac for Lafite
Posted: Apr 2, 2013 1:00pm ET

For most people Bordeaux is red wine (despite some superb whites). And within that rubric, for most people, Bordeaux means Cabernet Sauvignon (despite plenty of superb Merlot and Cabernet Franc). So for many people, the real test of a vintage in Bordeaux is how did the Cabernet of the upper Médoc do? Today, to start to answer that question, I began my visits in St.-Julien and Pauillac, Châteaus Ducru-Beaucaillou and Lafite Rothschild.

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The 2012 Bordeaux Barrels Diary: Margaux Headliners and Other Acts to Watch
Terroir was key for first-growth Margaux and Château Palmer in the tough 2012 vintage
Posted: Apr 1, 2013 1:50pm ET

After two days in Bordeaux's Pessac-Léognan, where I visited some châteaus with bright futures in addition to the venerable Châteaus Haut-Brion and La Mission, I headed into the Médoc's Margaux appellation, home to first-growth Château Margaux, the highly regarded third-growth Palmer and the exciting Monbrison, Siran, Giscours and du Tertre.

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