As the Bordeaux 2003s were re-scored by Robert Parker, a perennial performer received an upgrade - namely in the form of Saint Emilion’s Clos Fourtet. This should have come as no real surprise; many of its back vintages have received upgrades, particularly since Philippe Cuvelier took ownership of the vineyard in 2001 (subsequently handed down to his son, Mathieu).
Situated to the west of the town, with Angelus just a little further on, the 19 hectares are planted with mainly Merlot, but a surprising 10% Cabernet Sauvignon often makes it into the first wine, along with a more predictable splash of Cabernet Franc.
What then of this upgrade? Would one now expect the price of the 2003 to rise? Given that it is just entering its drinking window and it now holds five Parker points over the 2000, then it quite possibly could. The duet of recently promoted 1er Grand Cru Classé A (Pavie and Angelus) have market prices around SFr 3’000 for their 99-point 2003s, so purely as a premium Saint Emilion stablemate, Clos Fourtet looks good value, too.
Indeed, earlier this summer Liv-ex noted that Clos Fourtet had experienced significant price appreciation over the last few years, its index of back-vintages having climbed 7.7% in the first half of this year. With consistently high-scoring quality (average WA score since 2000: 94 points), Clos Fourtet could continue to appreciate in value – as could several other persistent performers in 1er Grand Cru Classé B.
The 2012 is worth a quick note, as the current (barrel) Parker point range would give a trajectory of +75% at current prices over the medium term. Add to this positive critical review from others, such as Tim Atkin, from which we may expect the 2012 to be re-rated at the very top of this range in its Wine Advocate bottle tasting.