St. Emilion Shows Its Class at JJ Buckley's Annual Bordeaux Fete

by Chuck Hayward

For the past six years, JJ Buckley has sponsored a "Fall Into Bordeaux" evening where our clients and friends get the opportunity to sample an array of wines from Bordeaux - undeniably our best selling wine category. In the past, our events have focused on a particular vintage or a selection of our best values. This year, we decided to return to the theme of one of our most popular tastings when the Association de Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion presented a selection of 2011 vintage wines at La Folie.

This year found 17 members of the Association finishing up their second national tour of the States in San Francisco. Following their presentation to members of the trade, our guests had a chance to sample the newly released wines from 2012 alongside their releases from the acclaimed 2010 vintage which were sent along especially for the event.

The chance to re-taste the 2010s showed that this year is clearly living up to its hype as one of the top vintages of the 21st century. There is no doubting the intensity and complexity of this year, at least as viewed through the prism of St. Emilion. Many of JJ Buckley sales representatives, who have had the opportunity to follow this wine from their infancy to their present state, remarked that the 2010s on show were beginning to coil up. Indeed, many wines showed a close resemblance to how the 2005s tasted not that long ago. Perhaps it's time to leave them in the cellar for a bit of a nap?

The St. Emilions from the 2012 vintage proved to be an interesting contrast to the slightly older wines. Not as fashionable out of barrel, these wines have shown brightly now that they are in bottle. St. Emilion holds an advantage here as the wines of this appellation have been considered to be among the best in 2012. The prevailing style of this year's wines is one of plush textures and a broad presence across the palate. These are easy to drink wines that emphasize generosity over structure making them perfect wines to drink in the near-term. It's no wonder that these wines have scored better now that they are in the market. As these wines are significantly cheaper than the 2010s, they are a smart bet as well.

The tasting proved to be a great opportunity to sample a diverse range of wineries in this popular appellation and an even better chance for JJ Buckley's staff to meet the customers who have supported us, some of them for many, many years. 2016 promises to be even busier as we plan to hold more tastings and events throughout the year. Stay tuned!!

Here are a few favorite St. Emilions from both vintages

2010 La Dominique

2010 Rol Valentin

2010 Vieux Chateau Mazerat

2012 Clos de l'Oratoire

2012 Tour Saint Christophe

2012 Troplong-Mondot