On November 23, 2013 Neal wrote:
“Just wrapped up a lovely morning in Saint Emilion and am now on the train from Libourne to Bordeaux (to catch a connection to Montpellier this afternoon).
First of all, I am happy to report that Madame Meunier is in wonderful form – active and still very much in control. Her young assistant, Florent, is dedicated to her and the estate. We are in good hands. We tasted through the Merlot and Cabernet Franc lots from the 2012 harvest and the the assembled wine. You will be agreeably surprised by the tenacity and depth of this wine in a vintage which, for some, will prove problematic. There is great persistence in the Haut Segottes ’12 which will merit its being bottled in magnums. The Cabernet Franc is in high relief, its role as the backbone of Haut Segottes most evident in this vintage. The 2011 is a more supple wine, gracious and potentially silky-smooth, a vintage that will provide excellent drinking in a few years time. As planned, the first lot of 2011 will ship early in 2014 along with a supplemental lot of the very great 2010.
At Belregard Figeac, the 2010 Tellus Vinea is clearly “hors categorie”, a wine of depth and length that exceeds by many dimensions its classification as a simple Bordeaux Rouge – clearly the best effort ever at this level by the Pueyo family, thanks certaily to the generosity of nature in 2010. The St. Emilion Grand Cru of Belregard Figeac is also an impressive effort in 2010 with compelling density. We will ship the first half, at least, of our reserves of both wines for arrival Stateside in early February 2014. The 2011 of both wines proves to be quite successful albeit with less concentration than one finds in 2010. The vintage has been framed by the Pueyos as one yielding wines of finesse, very “droit” and pure – clean wines with a clear expression of the terroir of the estate – the elegance and lift of wines based upon grapes harvested from the sandier soils in this section of Saint Emilion.
NOTE: the harvest in 2013 at Belregard Figeac was reduced by 3/4!!! A difficult flowering, then hail in the summer, followed by a rainy period around harvest which dictated as well a severe selection to protect the quality. This follows a small harvest in 2012 from the old vines that make up Tellus Vinea. So, there will be considerably less Tellus Vinea available after the 2011 vintage. The Pueyo family is looking to access additional well-placed vineyards in future years because the old vines of the TV vineyard are yielding less and less – the conundrum that frequently occurs when dealing with old vines … exceptional quality, small amounts of wine.