The elephant in the room is, what prices will the wines sell for? At this point, no one knows. It depends in part on what happens in the world over the next few months with the economy, in the Middle East, Japan etc. Assuming there is no disaster, my guess is, the wines will not sell for less than 2009.
The 2010 Bordeaux wine harvest is already rumored to be another strong Bordeaux wine vintage. While it’s still early, this first look at 2010 Bordeaux wine from Pomerol, St. Emilion and a few wines from the satellite appellations is a small preview of what’s to come.
I’ll be in Bordeaux in April and will have the chance to barrel taste several hundred 2010 Bordeaux wines which will provide a strong overview of the vintage.
Based on what I tasted and heard about the vintage, you can read interviews with close to 40 different producers on their 2010 harvest here: http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/category/feature-articles/2010-bordeaux-wine-harvest-news/ 2010 will be different than 2009 in substance and style. The wines are ripe, alcoholic and more acidic. They will feel brighter and have more freshness, but they will lack the flesh and sensuous textures found in the best 2009. The wines will be more tannic, demanding a lot more time in the cellar before coming together. It’s my guess that the best wines from 2010 could end up being the Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from the Medoc.
Young wines mature at a rapid pace. It will be interesting to monitor how the vintage is developing as the wines will show much better when I return in the summer, than they will during the April tastings. With that in mind, why do they hold the tastings in April? That’s a topic for another day. While that will probably never change, it’s an interesting discssion worth having over a nice Bordeaux wine, or two.
These notes are based on wines that had just finished maloactic fermentation. And in a few cases, some of the wines had not even finished their maloactics.
2010 Barde Haut – From a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, scents of licorice, chocolate covered black cherry and espresso are easy to find. Luxurious and mouth filling, with a minor touch of heat in the otherwise long, fresh, licorice and ripe, black plummy finish are thehallmarks of this St. Emilion wine. 91-93 Pts
2010 Bon Pasteur – This is the home estate of Michel Rolland. The wine opes with black cherry, coffee, black raspberry and 5 spice aromas which lead the way to a round, soft, sweet, licorice, espresso and dark cherry filled Pomerol. 91-93 Pts
2010 Clos des Jacobins – With the assistance of Hubert de Bouard from Chateau Angelus, this property keeps getting better, one step at a time. Earthy, pepper, herbs, plums and coffee aromas catch your interest. The soft, round textures, freshness and vanilla infused black raspberry finish is a pleasure to experience. 90-93 Pts
2010 La Dauphine – From a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, this deeply colored wine starts with aromas of oak, licorice, floral, chocolate and dark berry scents. ON the palate this round textured wine finishes with ripe black cherry flavors. 2010 La Dauphine was aged in 30% new oak for 12 months. The estate is consulted by Denis Dubourdieu 89-91 Pts
2010 Clos Dubreuil – Dark purple in color, with licorice, smoke, coffee, earth and spice filled aromatics gets even better with the wines decadent palate fee and chocolate covered, dark, black cherry finish. 91-92 Pts
2010 Clos L’Eglise – With its deep purple color, the wine greets you with a massive dose of chocolate, flowers, black raspberry and vanilla scents. Mouth filling, rich and intense, this opulent beauty ends with a long, fresh, deep, blackberry and licorice sensation. Malolactics had just finished a few days earlier. It is possible this Bordeaux will go up in score as it develops. 93-95 Pts
2010 Fleur Cardinale – With its deep color, the wine opened with licorice, earth, cassis and blackberry liqueur aromas. Full bodied and filled with ripe, juicy fruit, with plush textures and a long, licorice, blackberry and chocolate finish, this offers better richness and intensity than the 2009. 93-95 Pts
2010 Fombrauge – Minerals, coffee, cassis and spice aromas open to dark berry, cassis and fennel aromas. Some tartness was discerned in the finish. 89-91 Pts
2010 – La Riviere Aria was a discovery for me. Thank you to to Bill Blatch from Vintex for introducing me to it. It was the first time I had tasted this wine. Froma blend of 86% merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, with vines averaging 40 years of age, the wine sported a deep color. Floral, boysenberry aromas, a rich mouth full of ripe, black fruit, chocolate and boysenberry jam makes this a very tasty offering from Fronsac. I’m not sure what this costs yet, but chances are, this will be a good value wine to seek out. 90-92 Pts
2010 Magrez Fombrauge – With its inky, jet black color, this exciting wine says hello with oak, licorice, chocolate, black cherry and blackberry aromas. Mouth coating, paced and stacked with a lot of intensity, this rich pure wine stains your palate with multiple layers of licorice, chocolate and dark plums. This wine has the potential to score higher as it develops. 95-96 Pts
Bordeaux negociant, Jeffrey Davies and The Wine Geeks, Tristen and Kyle are up to something. I was too busy to find out as I wanted to taste as many was as possible, which led me to the Pomerol made by Alain Raynaud.
2010 Le Moulin – This Pomerol opens coffee, blackberry and plum scented wine offers a medium/full bodied that finishes with coffee and dark berry sensations. 90-91 Pts
2010 Patris – From close to 90% merlot, this small 9 hectare, St. Emilion vineyard produced a wine with notes of tobacco, black raspberry and earthy aromas. Medium/full bodied, the wine finishes with a nice black cherry sensation. 87-89 Pts
2010 Rol Valentin – Coffee, truffle, cassis, plums and licorice scents fill your glass. Silky in texture and more concentrated than the 2009, the wine ends with floral, plum and fennel flavors. Thanks to investments from the new owners and the efforts of their consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt, this Bordeaux wine from St. Emilion is becoming a property to watch. 91-93 Pts
Campanile in Los Angeles provided a nice cheese platter with an assortment of tray passes for the invited tasters. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.