Bordeaux 2010: Millionaire’s Morning

Bordeaux 2010 En Primeur

Friday’s itinerary was pretty impressive; a roll call of the four Medoc First Growths plus the likes of Ducru Beaucaillou, Pontet Canet and Leoville Las Cases.

We’d tasted some very, very impressive 2010s already but there was a very good chance that we’d find our wine of the week somewhere amongst this lot. And so it proved.

However, the day wasn’t all about megabucks chateaux. In amongst the big names we also tasted some excellent value wines. Haut Batailley (from the same stable as Grand Puy Lacoste), Ormes de Pez (from the Lynch Bages team) and Haut Marbuzet were all superb.

It is definitely worth repeating that there will be some outstanding cheaper wines this year.

Back to the big guns

Both Leoville and Langoa are super this year. Fans of both properties can buy with confidence.
‘Ducru Bakerloo’ (Ben Collins thinks the tasting room is a disused tube carriage) was very suave and polished with a wonderful satin-like texture. The only disappointing thing as far as Ben was concerned was the lack of jodhpurs on display. Lynch Bages was every bit as good as it had been at the UGC – powerful, muscular and robust with classic Pauillac tannins and expressive cassis fruit.

Leoville Las Cases was even better – a First Growth in all but name. Pontet Canet, certified as both organic and biodynamic for the 2010 vintage, continues its rise into the Bordeaux A-List. The wine is ripe, fresh and balanced with bright fruit and the supplest of tannins. There was suspiciously little spitting amongst the team chez Tesseron.

Second Wines in 2010

We tasted some very good second wines too including Croix de Beaucaillou and Clos du Marquis – although both properties are at pains to point out that these are not leftovers from the Grand Vins but wines in their own right, made from entirely separate terroirs.

Third wines are on the increase too, as chateaux use stricter selection of grapes to increase the quality of the deuxieme vins and justify recent price increases. Blame Carruades.

On to the First Growths

Margaux is Margaux: perfumed, elegant, delicate-even with perfectly captured fruit and fantastic freshness. It contains more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than ever before but the tannins are perfectly ripe and rounded. A delight.

Lafite and Mouton were harder to taste at this stage: backward, forceful and brooding. You had to concentrate hard to dig through the tannins to find the fruit but were rewarded by layers of flavour and fantastic length when you did. These are big wines that are designed to impress after two decades in bottle rather than six months in barrel.

The star, however, was Latour. It was immense; probably the best wine I have tasted since Latour 2009. Powerful and masculine with seamless integration of oak and fruit, and wave upon wave of cashmere tannins framing the damson and blackcurrant notes. The finish was longer than Gone with the Wind.

Author:
Gareth Groves
Date:
11th April 2011


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