Bordeaux 2010 snapshot

Published by Sally on April 12, 2011

Bordeaux soils

Bordeaux soils

While everyone’s been busy with the en primeurs in Bordeaux, here’s a snapshot from three producers who came to London in March 2010 with a sneak preview of their wines.  What these three said is being repeated by the specialist Bordeaux writers after their week of tasting and interviewing – 2010 is looking classically classy.

Ludovic David, the oenologist and agronomic engineer at Château Marquis de Terme in Margaux said “2010 is a great vintage. We had good weather, some millerandage on the merlot. June and July were dry with sunshine [making] grape evolution smooth and slow. We had fresh nights in August and September, and good weather in September and October. It’s a more classic vintage than 2009 – ripe grapes with lower alcohol and better acidity, while 2009 was like 2005 – rich, tannic and strong.”  He added that he made better wine at Terme in 2010 than 2009.  

It was a similar story from the two producers on the right bank. “It’s not easy to put into words” said Eric Monneret, the managing director of Château La Pointe, in Pomerol, “we used a lot [of words] on 2009. The 2010 is a classic, pure, Bordeaux vintage, the style is pure, mineral, precise, whereas 2009 was more charming.  It’s a bit up over 2009, but not in the same style.” Adding that maybe the 2010 might keep a bit longer.

Guillaume Halley

Guillaume Halley

“It will be a difficult vintage to communicate” agreed Guillaume Halley, owner and director Château La Dauphine, in Fronsac, adding “the main problem of 2010 is 2009” out of which long shadow the vintage must prove itself. But Halley said “it is a great vintage with everything in it: tannin, alcohol, acidity and freshness.

And as to pricing, we’re now soon to find out.  Halley said “the global economy is better than one year ago, and China is still dynamic.”  

Read here (soon) for more information about how these châteaux have been working to improve quality for the longer term in their affordable estates.

Tasting notes, London, March 2011

Château de la Dauphine 2010, Fronsac,
90% merlot, 10% cabernet franc
Dark and brambly nose. Succculent fruit of juicy intensity. Balanced now with plenty of promise.

Château de la Dauphine 2009, Fronsac, ~£16
80% merlot, 20% cabernet franc
Dark, bitter chocolate nose, firmly crunchy fruit with upright tannins of fine grain, more muscle here, bit more structure and notes of fresh red meat. Youthful and muscley, in classic medium bodied weight, suggesting it will settle in nicely.   

Château de la Dauphine 2008, Fronsac, ~£14
90% merlot, 10% cabernet franc
Blackberries and plums on the nose, soft and gentle. Sweet dark cherry attack, very smooth texture, youthful and fine grained. Supple and nicely balanced, with rich and intense sweet dark fruits. Good.

Château la Pointe 2010, Pomerol
85% merlot, 15% cabernet franc
Bramble and balsamic oak. Rich, sweet core, lush and fresh, mouthfilling, dark chocolate. Intense dark cherry, black currant, blueberry flavours and long. Vg

Château la Pointe 2009, Pomerol, ~ £30
85% merlot, 15% cabernet franc
Smoke, aromatic tar, rich sweet dark berried fruit attack and core. Tannins already integrating smoothly and in supporting fashion, giving lush, seductive texture. Enveloping dark fruits with layering hints of fresh biltong. Complex and with sophistication. Vg.

Château la Pointe 2008, Pomerol, ~£25
85% merlot, 15% cabernet franc
Hint of smoke and tar, bramble and undergrowth. Supple and nearly full bodied. Young and chewy, plenty of ripe tannin, dark chocolate and liquorice notes. Nicely balanced. Big back palate and long.

Château Marquis de Terme 2010, 4ème grand cru classé, Margaux
60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 5% petit verdot
Deep colour, not too aromatic on this day. Palate attack is rich and dense with dark-berried fruits of the forest. Lush and sweet fruit. Plentiful supple supporting tannins. Delicious and enchanting, with medium weight, already showing harmony amidst the early balance.

Château Marquis de Terme 2009, 4ème grand cru classé, Margaux, ~£30
60% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot, 6% petit verdot
Bramble crumble nose, tarry and youthfully chewy fine-grained tannin, medium weight and fresh, linear palate, long in the mouth, and sweet-cored red berry fruits with fresh frame. Lifted and good.

Château Marquis de Terme 2008, 4ème grand cru classé, Margaux, ~£25
65% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 10% petit verdot
Roasted cherries on the nose. Palate medium weighted, with chalky dry tannins, typical for more cabernet sauvignon. Lifted blackcurrant mid palate with fefreshing tannins that are youthful and sandy-grained. Ripe fresh/crunchy fruit and lifted aromatics in the core.  Refreshing and good.

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