Tasting Report: 2009 and 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

It isn’t every day we get to experience a narrowly-focused tasting that offers only wines from a single, small region — and restricts them to just two vintages, at that. Hard, then, to pass up the opportunity to sample the 2009 and 2010 vintages of St. Emilion red Bordeaux wines — all Grand Crus — from dozens of producers in this right bank region, known for its heavy focus on Merlot.

In pitting ’09 and ’10 head to head, I found the vintages largely similar, with 2010 pulling just a bit ahead of its older sibling, thanks to generally better acidity levels in the wine. Thoughts follow on all wines tasted.

Tasting Report: 2009 and 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

2009 Château Bellefont-Belcier Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / rich, with nice licorice and spice, some leather
2010 Château Bellefont-Belcier Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / slightly thinner
2009 Château Chauvin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / needs time, significant herbal notes
2010 Château Chauvin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more lively, lots of earth
2009 Château Clos de Sarpe Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / showing some oxidation
2010 Château Clos de Sarpe Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / big raisin, high acidity and tart blueberry notes
2009 Château Corbin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / more floral, with blackberry tones; an easy favorite
2010 Château Corbin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lush and mushroomy, leather with deep wood
2009 Clos des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / modest, tannic with a big finish
2010 Clos des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lots of depth, similar to 2009
2009 Château la Commanderie Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C- / significant barnyard notes
2010 Château la Commanderie Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C+ / quite jammy, overcooked
2009 Couvent des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / out of balance, vegetal notes
2010 Couvent des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / heavy duty, big structure with lots of future promise
2009 Château Dassault Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / good fruit, balanced with solid acid
2010 Château Dassault Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / a curiosity, raisin character and some Port notes
2009 Château de Ferrand Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / well crafted, nice balance of fruit and light herbs
2010 Château de Ferrand Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / similar character to 2009, with a bit more acidity
2009 Château de Pressac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / tough, slightly weedy
2010 Château de Pressac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / similar, a bit thin
2009 Château Destieux Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / very rich, dense with chocolate and tobacco notes
2010 Château Destieux Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / similar structure, winning body, balanced but with depth
2009 Château Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / some greenness, tar notes
2010 Château Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / heavy notes of herbs and wood
2009 Château Peby Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / dense, heavy tar, blackberry and cassis notes – a huge wine
2010 Château Peby Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / a bit over-sweetened, cherry notes
2009 Château Fleur Cardinale Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / earthy, subtle and more delicate, but short on fruit
2010 Château Fleur Cardinale Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / fuller and rounder, more stone fruit character
2009 Château Fombrauge Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / dense fruitcake character
2010 Château Fombrauge Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / considerable tannin, tougher, dried herbs
2009 Château Fonplegade Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / thin body, short on fruit
2010 Château Fonplegade Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / tart, acidic finish, cherry cola notes
2009 Château Fonroque Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / some mint, some mushroom, with an herbal finish
2010 Château Fonroque Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more balanced, crisp and tart berry notes
2009 Château Moulin du Cadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / simple, easy fruit, sweet finish
2010 Château Moulin du Cadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / tobacco notes, Port character, simple and sweet finish
2009 Château Franc Mayne Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / easy, simple fruit core
2010 Château Franc Mayne Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / similar notes to 2009
2009 Château Grand Pontet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / some weediness
2010 Château Grand Pontet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / somewhat unripe, tough around the edges
2009 Château Guadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / moderate berries on the core, some stone fruit character
2010 Château Guadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / better balance, more fruit and structure
2009 Château Jean Faure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more powerfully structured, chewier than 2010
2010 Château Jean Faure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / fruit forward, ample body with some floral notes; huge Cab Franc in blend
2009 Château la Dominique Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / great balance of fruit with floral notes
2010 Château la Dominique Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / bigger body, licorice notes on top
2009 Château la Marzelle Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / lots going on, coffee notes, fresh flowers, big berry notes
2010 Château la Marzelle Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A / similar build, but with a more refreshing finish; tops!
2009 Château La Tour Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / licorice notes, some cocoa beans, dessert-like
2010 Château La Tour Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / much the same, some ginger, cocoa powder
2009 Château Laroze Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / forest floor, charcoal, dense and chewy
2010 Château Laroze Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lots of tart berry notes, cranberry sauce
2009 Château Le Prieure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / some menthol on the nose, a bit thin, tobacco notes
2010 Château Le Prieure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / considerable menthol, more acid, bigger but balanced
2009 Château Yon Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C- / barnyard notes, on a thin body
2010 Château Yon Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C / similar character to 2009

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2 Responses

  1. Michael January 16, 2014 / 10:22 am

    Any tasting reports on the premier grand cru classes?

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