The white wines for 2013 Bordeaux are a welcome success of the vintage in most parts, with fresh, complex Sauvignons revealing an attractive palate of aromas. They are not opulent or particularly concentrated, but like the reds, they offer good to very good early drinking where the level of fruit and acidity is balanced in harmony.
When the months of summer are sunny but relatively cool, it can create a good environment for ripening the white grapes and some of the dry whites are very good. In particular, those of the Pessac-Léognan estates, who seemed to stand up well to the aggressive and changeable weather, and reaped the benefits of the cool vintage. Great balance, expressive aromas and fresh character define these wines.
Properties who have the means to conduct rigorous selections and carefully manage their vines during the growing season, in terms of labour and money, have generally made better wine than those with fewer resources in 2013.
With regard to Sauternes it looks it could be an excellent year at this early stage. At Ch. d’Yquem, the weather patterns maintained aromatic freshness an the weather patterns were favourable to create noble rot on their perfectly ripe fruit. This helped the crop reach its full potential. Their 2013 is rich with candied fruit flavours typical of Yquem, and we thought it could well be the best vintage since the sensational 2001. We were also especially impressed by Ch. Suduiraut.
2013 is not a great vintage and, across the board, we may not even be able to class 2013 as a good vintage. But what is unfair, is to judge every wine as a collective. In years such as these it is important to taste as many wines as possible and judge them on their merits, while meeting the winemakers to hear about the difficulties they face and learning how they overcame them. We encourage our customers to take the opportunity to taste and make their own minds up at our En Primeur Tasting during July in London.