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Home > News > Coverages > 2012 red wines, a demanding vintage
10 Nov 2012

2012 red wines: a demanding vintage

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No doubt about it, 2012 was a very complicated vintage for winegrowers, and efforts made throughout the growing season were much greater than usual

Summary of weather during the growing season

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Winegrowers needed patience, tenacity, and stubborness to cope with the vagaries of the weather. The spring of 2012 was the coldest in ten years (especially the months of April and May), as well as wet (precipitation in April was three times the monthly average). 

These weather conditions left the door open to all types of fungal diseases (in this respect, 2012 was comparable to 2000). Oïdium and mildew appeared and were a challenge to control until mid-July. 

However, like winegrowers everywhere in Bordeaux, Vignobles André Lurton became optimistic again starting on Bastille Day when much better weather set in. From then on, the grapes grew under ideal conditions, even if some vineyards, especially ones with gravel soil, suffered from a lack of water. The month of September (with warm days and cool nights) enabled the various grape varieties, especially the red wine ones, to ripen well.

The Merlot wines are completely charming and the Cabernets are attractive too, but need a little taming...

The red wine harvest finished about two weeks ago. How can we describe the 2012 vintage for red wines? First of all, it is too early to make any sort of definitive appraisal, although we will have a much better idea in a few months...

Everyone seems to agree that, from Barbe Blanche in Pessac-Léognan to Château Bonnet, the Merlot grapes were in great condition this year. As usual, Cabernet Sauvignon ripened later, so we had to be careful to wait and pick the grapes only when fully mature (sometimes having to cope with uncooperative weather).

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All the teams at our various estates threw themselves wholeheartedly into making the best possible wine in 2012.

Initial tastings of our Pessac-Léognans, especially vats of Merlot, give every indication of being smooth wines of excellent quality and a rather high alcoholic degree (due to water stress during the summer). The Cabernet Sauvignon wines are of more uneven quality. As for production in this same appellation, yields are smaller than in previous years: 37-38 hl/ha (or 15-20% less compared to an average year).

Clay-limestone soil in the Entre-Deux-Mers limited the effects of drought conditions. Yields were very close, in fact practically identical to a so-called "normal" year. Quality is good throughout the region. How will the 2012 vintage shape up in this region? In all likelihood, the wines will be rich and deeply-coloured with a great deal of fruit.

The state of the grapes and weather during picking at Barbe Blanche were very good. Yields were just about normal. The polyphenol levels in Cabernet Franc (30% of all vines) were very high this year, virtually the same as for Merlot. The wines look well on their way to being balanced, dark in colour, tannic and very fruity.  The efforts we made all year long long have paid off  (2012 Barbe Blanche may be comparable to the 2008).

But here as elsewhere, let's wait a few weeks to have a better idea of what the 2012 vintage is like!

2012 vintage: date of the beginning of the red wine harvest at Vignobles André Lurton

Châteaux :

  1. Château de Rochemorin
  2. Château Dauzac
  3. Château La Louvière
  4. Château de Cruzeau
  5. Château Couhins-Lurton
  6. Château Bonnet
  7. Château de Barbe Blanche

Beginning of the vintage :

  • 24th september 2012
  • 25th september 2012
  • 26th september 2012
  • 1st october 2012
  • 2nd october 2012
  • 5th october 2012
  • 9th october 2012
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