"We spent three action packed days in Bordeaux this April, visiting, tasting and making an assessment of the 2013 vintage. Widely regarded as one of the most difficult years in modern times, we were generally underwhelmed by many of the wines.  In fact without many of the tricks and tools of modern winemaking 2013 could have been condemned to the dustbin of history. However, there were pleasant surprises too with several Chateaux producing very credible performances.

One of the priorities of any seller of Primeur wines is to offer quality at a price which in all probability will increase with the passage of time. In general, the opening prices of the 13s are simply too high (and in my opinion really should have been around 20% less than offered) with a few honourable exceptions such as Canon and Lynch Bages. We will not be making a large offering and have restricted purchases to Francois Mitjavile of Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf, Roc de Cambes and Domaine de Cambes, with whom we spent a morning, tasting all three wines.  The quality here is exceptional but the yields are 50% of a normal harvest so stocks are extremely limited.

Once again our  tasting at Chateau Petrus was a highlight. They have produced an outstanding effort.  Regretfully, availability is very restricted. I have posted a video I took with Olivier Berrouet the winemaker at Petrus which is well worth a look as it sums up the vintage rather well."

View the Petrus Video on YouTube

James.

2013 Wines available En Primeur (will arrive here late Spring 2016)

Domaine de Cambes, Bordeaux (cs x 6 bts) £132.50/€160

"It has a fat character which does not go with the usual expression of the vintage," explained Francois Mitjavile when he poured his Domaine des Combes from a carafe. The Domaine de Combes has a fragrant bouquet with dark berry fruits, with briary and a hint of cola emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, quite minerally with touches of mulberry on the pleasantly austere finish that just tapers away at the coffee-tinged finish. Tasted April 2014.

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Score: 87-89 Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com, April 2014”

Score: 88 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, May 2014

Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf, Grand Cru St Emilion (cs x 6) £522.50/€630

“The Tertre-Roteboeuf has an extremely pure and minerally bouquet. Perhaps I am being subliminally influenced seeing François dip his pipette into the barrel, but it does have a Pinot Noir-like expression (something that François concurred with.) Initially, the palate does not divert you away from that geographical assumption, the tannins very Burgundian, almost like a fine Musigny. There is certainly good weight and intensity in this Saint Emilion: superb tension all the way to the finish whose structure finally reveals its true origin. There is just a hint of confiture on the after taste that prolongs the length. This is an endlessly fascinating, perhaps mercurial wine from Francois. This is one of the best wines in Saint Emilion.

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Score: 92-94 Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com, April 2014”

Tim Atkin: 94 points, timatkin.com, May 2014

Roc de Cambes, Cotes de Bourg (cs x 6bts) £215/€260

“The Roc de Combes, in similar fashion to the Tertre-Roteboeuf, has a Burgundy inspired bouquet with fine precision. The palate is medium-bodied with mulberry and dark plum fruit intermingling with Chinese tea and a touch of cloves. There is good balanced in this wine, a little sharpness towards the finish, but overall this is another fine Roc de Combes from Francois Mitjavile.

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Score: 89-91 Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com, April 2014

Score: 92 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, May 2014

Fine wine evening with JN Wine and Riedel at James Street South, Belfast

Join us at 7.30pm on Thursday 19th June for what promises to be an evening to remember. Jane Boyce, master of wine and Fine wine manager at JNwine will join John Hinckley, UK and Ireland manager for Riedel glasses, to take you through 6 wines from the top wine producing regions of the world and the very best vintages of the last 20 years. We will be showing a top red Burgundy, one of the best properties in Chateauneuf du Pape, a right and a left bank top notch Bordeaux and 2 exquisite white wines: a Riesling Grand Cru from Zind Humbrecht and Ridge’s highly rated Estate Chardonnay.

We will start with a glass of Champagne and round the evening off with a delicious supper prepared by the James Street South chefs.

Date: 19th June

Place: James Street South Private dining room

Time: 7.30pm

Price: £55 per person

To book: telephone James Street South (028 90 434310)

Wines for the evening:

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne

Ridge Estate Chardonnay

Zind Humbrecht Riesling Grand Cru Clos Hauserer 2010

Vosne Romanee Vigneux 2006

Chateau Gruaud Larose 2005

Chateau Certan de May, Pomerol 2007

Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 2010