|Mike Beltran with Count Stephan von Neipperg|
> As a vintage it is very good and will provide excellent drinking for 15+ years and more. The wines were ripe and well balanced with solid fruit and tannins. Wine making is at the top level at every Chateau that was present. It was a pleasure to actually talk to the proprietors of many of the estates. They have every reason to smile over the quality of their wines. Rather than make blanket statements about regions I will make a list of the most impressive bottles and let you make your own choices. Wine Spectator recently rated the 2012's as very successful.
> Prices for the 2012's have dropped from the highs of 2010. Consumers can now buy high quality Medoc wines for in many cases less than California small production Cabernet. There are negociants with many cases of high priced Bordeaux in their cellars and are not turning over to produce a profit. This has forced the reduction of ex-cellars prices due to low demand and a rather poor 2011 harvest.
White Bordeaux Stars
> When tasting a large array of wines you always look for the producers of high quality and also those who produce a wine with a track record of age as well as unique property. Classified White Bordeaux is difficult to find at best since almost all of it is produced from the Graves appellation on south. They often represent fewer cases than the red wine from the same estate. Semillion and Sauvignon are the the base for these great wines which are classic in structure as young wines and age beautifully as the years go on.
2012 White Bordeaux
The following Chateaux are well worth the search: Les Carmes Haut Brion, Domaine de Chevalier, de Fieuzal, de France (stunning), Haut Bailly, Latour Martillac, Pape Clement, Malartic-Lagraviere.
2012 Red Bordeaux
>St. Emilion Chateaux: Canon, Figeac, Canon la Gaffeliere, Franc Mayne, Pavie, Trottevielle, Angelus, Balestard La Tonnelle La Dominique, la Gaffeliere, La Tour Figeac.
> Pomerol Châteaux: Le Bon Pasteur, Petite Village, Clinet, L'Evangile La Conseillante.
> Haut-Medoc Châteaux : Beaumont La Tour Carnet La Lagune, Cantemerle, de Lamarque.
> Margaux Châteaux: Brane Cantenac, Giscours, Angludet, Labegorce, de Tertre, Rauzan-Segla, Rauzan-Gassies, Desmirail, Durfort-Vivens, Malescot Saint-Exupery, Monbrison.
> St.-Julien Chateaux: Leoville Barton, Langoa Barton, Branaire-Ducru, Beychevelle, Leoville Poyferre, Gruaud Larose.
> Pauillac Châteaux: Pichon Longueville Baron, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, d'Armilhac, Grand Puy-Lacoste, Lynch Bages, Lynch-Moussas.
2012 Sauternes (Superb quality)
> Sauterne Chateaux: Climens, Coutet, Suduiraut, Doisy Daene, de Fargues, Guiraud, Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Nairac, Doisy Vedrines, Rayne Vigneau, Sigalas Rabaud, LaTour Blanche.
The overall quality of the vintage is well above average and if you happen to find bottles in your price range you would do well to pick up enough to drink and cellar. The Sauternes are fantastic overall. Great wines which do not reflect the cost of production in relation to the quality of the wine. There are many other properties from other appellations which would qualify for this list but they were not presented at the San Francisco tasting.