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For the first time, the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux, an association of 133 grand crus estates in the Bordeaux area of France, has made a stop in Vancouver for their North America wine tour. Held at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, this ticketed event gave participants an opportunity to have an advanced tasting of the 2013 Bordeaux release that will be available at BC Liquor Stores this October.

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux - Special Event Wine Tasting

Speaking with the winemakers at the event, 2013 wasn’t a typical year for the Bordeaux region. Winter 2012/2013 was cold and wet, bud-break was delayed, and it wasn’t until July when it really started to warm up. The summer was short-lived, only resulting in perhaps just two-thirds of usual yield at the end. The reds were the most impacted. That being said, years and years of experience combined with careful technique, the winemakers were able to make a decent lineup, producing fruitier reds with softer tannins. It was pretty apparent as each estate was pouring its 2013 vintage as well as an earlier vintage. The mouthfeel was quite different.

In contrary to the red wine production, 2013 was a great year for whites. The Graves and Pessac-Leognan areas are known for their whites. 2013 whites should have intense fruit flavours and would be great for aging.

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux - Special Event Wine Tasting

2013 Bordeaux Reds

Here are a few that I quite liked from the tasting:

Chateau La Dominique (Saint-Emilion): 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau La Dominique Rouge 2010 & 2013

Chateau de Lamarque (Haut-Medoc): 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. The 2010 vintage is more round, and has a deeper red hue. (more…)

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