If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out why people are paying $125-$150 for 92-point 2012 Napa Valley Cabernets when they can purchase one of Saint-Émilion’s most sought-after cult wines for less than half that price … JOIN THE CLUB!
Perhaps the most surprising story of 2015 was Robert Parker’s February announcement that he would not be attending the April en primeur tasting of the 2014 vintage. We spoke with a half dozen châteaux owners shortly after and all privately confided that, with no heir apparent, Parker’s decision could be destabilizing for the Bordeaux market.
But as has often been the case over the last three decades, as hordes of professional tasters descended on Bordeaux for the 2014 tastings, Mr. Parker stole center stage. The critic many have come to call “The King” quietly announced that he’d be revisiting the 2012s and that, based on early tasting notes, in Pomerol, St.-Émilion, and Pessac-Léognan, the vintage was far more impressive than first thought. Even in his absence, one more time the creator of The Wine Advocate and the 100-point scoring system had the Place de Bordeaux in the palm of his hand.
On April 30, 2015, the revised 2012 vintage report hit the web. As is always the case, Parker painstakingly explained why the top wines of St.-Émilion were by then showing so magnificently. The spring of 2012 was cold and wet, making for a small, irregular fruit set. By July, the 6.5 acres at Lynsolence were two full weeks behind. Any thought of a vintage that matched the richness and structure of 2009 and 2010 had all but vanished.
Then, in mid-July, la meteo did an about-face. The weather turned warm and dry right up until the fall equinox and the rains finally came in September. The Wine Advocate wrote, “The initial rains were ideal for serving as a catalyst for photosynthesis… By the end of September, it was clear that much of Pomerol, along with the Merlot in Pessac-Léognan and St.-Émilion, had already been harvested under relatively fine conditions.”
The Wine Advocate upgraded dozens of 2012s on April 30, 2015. But the most striking review of all was for the tiny production of 2012 Lynsolence, which Parker called a “star of the vintage and a great, great effort,” piling on with descriptions of “sweet tannin, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and almost skyscraper-like intensity and richness.” The 94-point addendum made this the highest-rated wine in the history of this cult estate.
Barely a bottle of the 2,000-case production of the 2012 Lynsolence made it stateside. No surprise. In terms of QPR (Quality/Price Ratio) — with 94 points at $55/bottle — this is one of the greatest values in the world. We’ve secured 300 bottles, each drawn directly from the cellars in Bordeaux where they’ve been resting since bottling. Shipping included on 4.
Surprisingly good. Full-bodied, smooth, very drinkable. I bought a case, and then a second.
Beloved wine. Now I have 3 left resting well.
A delicious Bordeaux to be enjoyed now.
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