The vintage 2013
The opinion of Hubert de Boüard about the 2013 vintage
Ten days away from the Primeurs, and probably tired of hearing everything and anything about the so -called ” disastrous” 2013 vintage, Hubert de Boüard spoke. As P. Bernard (Millésima), it considers that this vintage is heterogeneous but it has a merit and that there will be “good wine” (read the article about Patrick Bernard). But before, let us remember some facts about this man.
Quick focus on Hubert Boüard : Who is he ?
Winemaker at heart, grown up in the midst of family vineyards of Château Angelus, who was at the time a Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion, Hubert de Boüard, is above all a man who spent his childhood surrounded by vineyards and for whom the work is summarized in a few words: balance and respect for people and the environment.
In 1985, after graduating as an oenologist and exploring the vineyards of the world he returned to Château Angelus to take the lead. Precursor, innovative, he challenged many methods used so far to move towards more respect for ecosystems and authenticity of the wines produced. For example, he implemented selections massales, aging on lees, increases in leaf area, natural weed infestations , reflections on the size of soil biodiversity, regulating the load of vine densities planting , soil tillage , the adaptation of the varieties and rootstocks soil … All this work made him earn the pride to be elected at the end of 1980 as the “winemaker of the Year” by the Gault-Millau magazine and “Man of the year” RVF (Revue du Vin de France) in 1996 and 2012.
In 2001, visiting/meeting the new owner of Clos des Jacobins in Saint-Emilion that decided the future of Hubert de Boüard as consultant. That day, Gérald Frydman asked him to come take care of Clos des Jacobins a property he recently acquired. He accepted and is the beginning of the adventure.
Gradually, other requests arrived, Château Haut Corbin, Grand Corbin since become, Château Chantegrive, Fieuzal, Clos la Madeleine and La Pointe in Pomerol, Laroze (Saint-Emilion), and finally among the last to arrive, Château Ferrand, Pressac, and Trianon in Saint-Emilion, Cambon la Pelouse, Lamothe Bergeron (Haut Medoc), recently the Château Siran (Margaux), CA Grands Crus vineyards, Château Meyney (Saint-Estèphe) and Grand Puy Ducasse (Pauillac) … At the end, more than fifty winerys were looking for him and his talents.
His opinion on the Year 2013 as a consultant :
” The winegrower writing here is always careful before making categorical comments about the quality of a vintage. Precisely because I am a winegrower, I know that wine often reveals itself day by day, and that the hard work and the time spent out in the vineyards and in the wineries help to bring out the best of what nature gives us.
Spring was difficult and rainy and upset flowering leading to poor fruit set and “hens and chickens”. The summer kicked off with rain as well, so outbreaks of downy and powdery mildew had to be contained by relentless, combative winegrowers, who gave disease no quarter.
July and August were especially dry and sunny months, which made it possible for the basic features of the fruit to develop. Polyphenols built up in the grape skins and the pips ripened in favourable conditions.
September and October were worryingly rainy for the winegrowers, but despite everything they were able to harvest good quality grapes, especially those, who had set up the necessary means ahead of time.
Although it is uneven, this 2013 vintage includes some amazing successes. Quite a few tasters will be surprised by these elegant, balanced wines, which are very fresh and have attractive tannins with moderate alcohol content. These are gentle wines (except for the ones that were too extracted); they develop hints of black fruit, refreshing, velvety tannin textures and tight, attractive finishes.
Even if this is not an outstanding vintage, there will still be top quality wines for drinkers, who like Bordeaux wines when they are classically made, fresh and well balanced.“(Hubert Boüard)
Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche