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 to Tasting Report: 2009 and 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

  1. Any tasting reports on the premier grand cru classes?

  2. No tasting of the full Bordeaux lineup this year… sorry! (We do have last year’s releases covered here: http://www.drinkhacker.com/2013/02/12/tasting-report-bordeaux-sauternes-2010-vintage/ )

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