On the morning of April 30th, The Wine Advocate’s revised 2012 vintage report hit the web. Mayhem broke out on the Place de Bordeaux as importers zeroed in on a handful of brand-new 96-pointers, with some traders telling us they sold millions of dollars’ worth of 2012s that had been moving slowly prior to publication. Prices soared, particularly for a handful of châteaux in Pessac-Léognan, most notably superstar Château Haut-Bailly.
With the exception of Parker’s 100-point 2009, the 2012 Haut-Bailly is the most extraordinary wine ever to come off these gravelly soils. Offered six months ago, we called it the “finest $99 bottle in the world.” That’s still the case today — but won’t be next week, after prices surge again courtesy of a second 96-point rave, this time from Parker’s one-time protégé, Antonio Galloni.
On the surface, the 2012 growing season was somewhat of a mixed bag. Spring and early summer were chilly and wet. But in mid-July, the weather turned. It wouldn’t be long before the Bordelais forgot the vintage’s sluggish start.
Six splendid weeks of blue skies and high temperatures spiked the maturation process until the fall equinox, when the rain returned. As Parker pointed out, it would be the Right Bank’s Pomerol and Saint-Émilion and the Left Bank’s Pessac-Léognan, which feature higher concentrations of earlier-maturing varieties, that performed most brilliantly — in some cases equalling or surpassing the grandeur of the 2009 and 2010 vintages.
Such was the case for General Manager Véronique Sanders at Haut-Bailly. Parker called this 2012 powerhouse “a staggeringly great wine … rich, concentrated, stunningly supple, pure and a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on… It should be drinkable reasonably young, but age effortlessly for 25-30 years.”
15 wooden cases have been earmarked for the WineAccess membership, each drawn from the cellar where they were bottled in Pessac-Léognan. Still $99/bottle. Please limit purchases to no more than 6 bottles per member. Thanks in advance.
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