The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.
Château Marquis de Terme is owned by Famille Sénéclauze, this 35 ha property produces on average 13,000 cases per year. Located in the centre of the Margaux appellation, the property shares a similar climate to that enjoyed by the Médoc: maritime, with the Gironde estuary & the Bay of Biscay combining to act as a climate regulator & the coastal pine forests sheltering the vines from the westerly & north-westerly winds.
The vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 55%; Merlot 35%; Cabernet Franc 3%; Petit Verdot 7%) lie on gravelly-clay soils. Vinification includes approximately 18 months' wood ageing, 40% new oak. It is classified as a '4ème Cru Classé'.
2013 Extraordinary complexity ... from the start"
In our profession, we are in the habit of saying that every vintage has a certain personality, each one has its own story, and thus each wine is different.
The defining characteristic of 2013 was its extraordinary complexity! In 25 years of winemaking in France, in Bordeaux, Pomerol, Saint Emilion and Margaux, and in South Africa and California, I have never experienced a vintage that had so many questions and uncertainties surrounding the harvest. The challenge was to square the circle, to find a solution to an equation that had numerous variables, but one immovable objective: to produce a Grand Vin.
If we consider the various difficulties that were encountered over the course of 2013 the list is long, bordering on woeful: a cold, wet spring, flower abortion, uneven grape size, downy mildew and powdery mildew, delayed ripening, a growing presence of grey rot, a very low yield per hectare raising economic issues... One would have to go back decades, to another century, to find a comparable "perfect storm".
After a period of trying to obtain a solid weather forecast, the harvests began with a significant threat of disease and delayed ripening. We followed the changes in Europe's frontals and depressions, but the weather never stabilized. Every morning we hesitated between accelerating the pace of the harvests and stopping them altogether. The Merlot was picked from 2 to 4 October, the Petit Verdot on 8 and 11 October and finally the Cabernet Sauvignon from 8 to 15 October.
I like to remind our team that "we celebrated the end of the harvests on the day that we had intended to start them". Our task as winegrowers is to adapt to the vagaries of the weather, and all the other factors in the vines' development, to produce the best wine possible.
This was a year of challenges, of big decisions, and of meticulous care at the technical level. Rarely have the words "selection" and "rigor" been given as much meaning as in the work carried out by our team.
But what can we expect in terms of quality?
...let us not forget that the terroir is at the heart of the Margaux appellation. Furthermore, the careful tending of the vineyard with the removal of excess foliage, the controlled use of fertilizer, the reduced use of phytosanitary products, the environmentally friendly management of the plots, and the selection and sorting carried out during the harvest, all had their effect on the grapes. The alchemy of the deep gravel soil and the meticulous techniques applied to the vines constitute the deciding factors in the quality of our wines. In addition,our recent investments, particularly the improvement of our system for receiving and sorting the harvest in the winery, have given us rigorous control over the grapes going into the vats. There can be no doubt that improvements in vinification methods, with gentler, more natural techniques, have enabled us to reduce mechanical processes and to optimize the texture and silkiness of the tannins. This includes work carried out over the last 20 years to improve vineyard management and progress in our oenological approach, allowing us to enhance the expression of Château Marquis de Terme's magnificent terroir. Once again nature has reminded us that, far from becoming an industrial product, wine remains rooted in agriculture. It takes its character from the soil and the climate during each vintage, and it is this that gives it the historical, cultural dimension that we love so dearly and strive to protect. Nature may well have served us a harsh reminder this year, but we rose to the challenge of maintaining quality at all costs. Now in the vats, this is a pleasant, supple vintage, in the process of integrating freshness and balance, for laying down for the medium term. This of course provides an excellent opportunity to taste the property's recent great vintages of 2009, 2010 and 2011, while we leave 2013 to develop in peace.
Margaux, 10 November 2013
Director of Château Marquis de Terme
Grand Cru Classé in 1855
BORDEAUX 2013 VINTAGE REPORT
The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was one of the most difficult since 1965 and 1968. Thomas Duroux of Château Palmer describes it as “the most complicated vintage in 20 years”. It rained almost continuously in the spring. Flowering was uneven, leading to poor set, millerandage and coulure. The threat of mold was alleviated by the arrival of warm, dry weather during the summer. For a while, winemakers hoped that abundant sunshine and mild weather would allow the vines to catch up. Severe storms, winds and intermittent heavy rains in July and August hampered vine growth and created fruiting difficulties. High humidity and cool temperatures before harvest led to slow ripening and the ideal environment for botrytis (gray rot) infection. Merlot did not perform well on the left bank. Château Margaux was certainly vulnerable to these conditions, but others, in their efforts to talk about the vintage, displayed superb Gallic denial. You would be forgiven for thinking this could be an exceptional vintage; Such is the genius of the world's best professional liars.
In years past, weather conditions, uneven ripening and disease pressure would have resulted in disastrous wines. Château Margaux avoided the worst rains by bringing in a picking team of 300 people to harvest the crop at lightning speed. Chateau Lafite also raced against the elements and won. Most castles don't have this type of luxury. The sorting tables were “drilled” during the harvest, allowing the best berries to be selected. I don't remember seeing red wine with visible botrytis characters. The fruit, however, has generally not ripened to optimal levels. Many producers have found it necessary to chaptalize their vinification to allow the wine to reach a more attractive alcohol level. Some châteaux, including Cos d’Estournel at 12.7% alc, produced their wines apparently without adding sugar. Most areas, however, have struggled to reach phenolic maturity. Tannins are the fabric of all red wines. They don't need to be perfectly ripe; An “al-dente” texture can provide convincing freshness and an attractive structure. But it was easy to extract too much in 2013. The best wines were those that were “unpushed” and intuitive to the conditions of the vintage. The use of saignée (juice runoff), reverse osmosis, and other methods to concentrate wine, is never discussed by winemakers, but there were some wines with soupy textures and a silky feel. unnatural mouth.
Many 2013 primeur wines have only been in barrel for a few weeks. This creates challenges because oak characters can detract from the inherent quality of young wines. Many châteaux will undoubtedly adjust their oak maturation philosophies to match the character of the vintage. Others will use oak as a cosmetic or construction bog to make up for structural inadequacies in their wine. Acidity is also strongly present in the wines this year. This element is essential for the freshness, tension and lifespan of any vintage. In more mature years, acidity tends to play second fiddle, but in 2013, it's first fiddle. Fruit character, perhaps the most important characteristic of any wine, inevitably varies by subregion and vineyard. The best wines of this vintage have the aromatic quality, persistence and depth of good vintages. Ultimately, the most triumphant red wines are proportional to the commitment and financial resources of the wine producer.
Although Merlot struggled in the Médoc, it performed well on the Right Bank. The Pomerol was relatively resplendent with generous fruit and tannin backbones that were riper than elsewhere. St Emilion was also capable of making good wine, but as usual the results were mixed. The reds from Pessac Léognan were muscular and rustic, while the whites were mineral and fresh with strong acidities. Many think that dry whites are excellent. For most Australians, these wines don't really offer value. There were some good Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant red wines made in the Médoc. However, no subregion prevailed. If anything I preferred Pauillac, especially Château Grand Puy Lacoste and Château Batailley.
The humidity which hampered the 2013 harvest in the Médoc and elsewhere worked in favor of the producers of Sauternes and Barsac. There was a “widespread proliferation” of botrytis cinerea (noble rot) during Bordeaux’s wet autumn. The wines range from magnificent to standard in quality. The best ones have beautiful honey, barley water complexity, understated richness and viscosity, and fresh acidity. Château d’Yquem is remarkably good. The biodynamic Château Climens is a beautiful, expressive wine. Every year, I taste it in barrels and in pieces. I can imagine the final blend and it will not disappoint.
The 20% drop in Australian dollar to euro exchange rates over the past year will make the 2013 more expensive than the best vintages 2012 and 2011. Unfortunately, this will have a significant impact on market opportunities in Australia . It is unlikely that the castle owners will lower their prices enough to make this campaign worthwhile. Falling demand from China and a full pipeline to other markets will lead to sluggish sales across the world. Although this year's primeur campaign will test the resilience of the traditional Bordeaux wine trade, there is still an impressive level of optimism. I think everyone is looking forward to moving on after the 2013 vintage. On the other hand, it's the type of vintage, with a hint of bottle age, that could re-emerge in a more favorable light in a few years.
by ANDREW CAILLARD MW