Tasting Report: Bordeaux and Sauternes, 2010 Vintage

Tasting Report: Bordeaux and Sauternes, 2010 Vintage

One of the highlights of the wine tasting events that I get to attend is when pretty much all of Bordeaux comes to town to show off that year’s releases. This year’s roadshow is particularly exciting, since the upcoming 2010 vintage is said to be one of the best in the last 10 years, ranking with 2000 and 2005 as the source of some the most spectacular wines France is making today.

Nearly 100 wines (along with representatives from the chateaus) were on hand for tasting. I didn’t get to every one of them, but I managed to cover a wide stretch of the region including sampling wines from every red Bordeaux region plus most of the Sauternes and Barsac being sampled. As is always the case with Bordeaux, quality was highly variable, with some great highs alongside a number of wines that were phoning it in. That said, as vintages go, 2010 does appear to have more hits than misses in it.

While earth and fruit were in abundance in this tasting — in variable proportions — I did find some favorites from this event to call out: Chateau Troplong Mondot, Chateau Citran, Chateau Giscours, and Chateau Clerc Milon all earned A ratings. Intriguingly, none of these four wines hails from the same appelation in Bordeaux.

Complete tasting notes follow. Prices are not yet available.

Tasting Report: 2010 Vintage Bordeaux

2010 Château Canon Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / A- / anise notes, chocolate

2010 Château Canon La Gaffelière Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B / perfume and flowers, earthy with a tannic finish

2010 Château Dassault Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / A- / huge licorice, wood barrel notes; coffee beans

2010 Château-Figeac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B / drinking young; herbal, some wood and tannin

2010 Clos Fourtet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / huge body, lush fruit; drying fniish with some greenness

2010 Château Franc Mayne Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / New World in style, big fruit and minimal terroir influence

2010 Château Grand Mayne Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / lots of big floral notes, full-fruit body, some wood on the finish

2010 Château La Couspaude Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / pencil lead, anise, tart on the back end

2010 Château La Dominique Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / good balance, earthy and fruity

2010 Château La Gaffelière Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / A- / big fennel notes plus fruit; good balance

2010 Château Pavie Macquin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B / lots of acid, dusty sawdust character

2010 Château Troplong Mondot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / A / a great wine; big tart berries, stone fruit, and a floral finish

2010 Château Villemaurine Saint-Emilion Grand Cru / B+ / ample berries, but a bit thin

2010 Château Clinet Pomerol / B+ / big earth, classic Bordeaux with a lively finish

2010 Château Gazin Pomerol / B / unusual, some New World flavors, heavy fruit and wood on the finish

2010 Château La Cabanne Pomerol / B+ / good fruit, a bit jammy

2010 Château La Conseillante Pomerol / A- / bigger blackberry character, nice mouthfeel and good balance

2010 Château La Pointe Pomerol / B+ / slightly thinner, good fruit with some nuts

2010 Château Le Bon Pasteur Pomerol / B / nice balance, fruit and oak; boysenberry finish

2010 Château Clarke Listrac-Medoc / B+ / more strawberry; sweet, drying finish, floral elements

2010 Château Fourcas Hosten Listrac-Medoc / B+ / heavy earth; some barnyard on the nose; dialed back fruit

2010 Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis-en-Medoc / B+ / cherry, big body, easy fruitiness

2010 Château Poujeaux Moulis-en-Medoc / A- / lovely fruit here; brings coffee, cedar, and earth

2010 Château Belgrave Haut-Medoc / A- / cocoa powder, wood on the nose; big body, lovely

2010 Château Cantemerle Haut-Medoc / B / modest, restrained

2010 Château Citran Haut-Medoc / A / a highlight of the Haut-Medoc, ample earth with the fruit holding its own

2010 Château Coufran Haut-Medoc / B / very woody nose; tannic but herbal, long finish

2010 Château de Camensac Haut-Medoc / B / lots of earth, violets and candle wax; big tannins

2010 Château La Lagune Haut-Medoc / B- / very bitter; lots of green vegetable notes

2010 Château La Tour Carnet Haut-Medoc / B+ / good fruit level, lots of herbal notes

2010 Château La Tour de By Medoc / B- / somewhat thin, bitter edge

2010 Château Angludet Margaux / B+ / big vegetable, grasses, licorice, long and fat

2010 Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux / B- / thin, a bit weedy

2010 Château Cantenac Brown Margaux / A- / good balance, blackberries and spice

2010 Château Desmirail Margaux / B / hard tannins now, fruit is muted

2010 Château du Tertre Margaux / A- / good balance, fruit and wood together

2010 Château Durfort-Vivens Margaux / B- / thinner, mild

2010 Château Giscours Margaux / A / nice body, fruit and mild earth in balance here; a bit flinty

2010 Château Kirwan Margaux / A- / mild but delicate, lively fruit

2010 Château Labégorce Margaux / B / lots of tannin, some bitter edge; finish is tough

2010 Château Lascombes Margaux / C / odd; huge earth; black, dried herbs; bitter

2010 Château Malescot Saint-Exupéry Margaux / B+ / good body, solid fruit

2010 Château Marquis de Terme Margaux / A- / really lush, good acid and fruit

2010 Château Prieuré-Lichine Margaux / B+ / anise notes with chocolate

2010 Château Beychevelle Saint-Julien / A- / lively, great body and spirit

2010 Château Branaire-Ducru Saint-Julien / A- / strawberry with licorice, tea, coffee finish

2010 Château Gruaud Larose Saint-Julien / B+ / some barnyard, chewy, good fruit

2010 Château Lagrange Saint-Julien / A- / great balance and body; lovely fruit, a bit cloying as it finishes

2010 Château Léoville Barton Saint-Julien / A- / closed up today; lots of longevity evident; good fruit at the core

2010 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac / A / beautiful fruit; gentle and supple

2010 Château d’ Armailhac Pauillac / A- / lively, more fruit around the edges

2010 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse Pauillac / A- / more intense herbs; fruity underneath

2010 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac / B+ / very good, finish is on the thin side

2010 Château Haut-Bages Libéral Pauillac / A- / smooth; good balance of fruit with velvety tannins

2010 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac / B+ / supple, sweet with big fruit; jammy finish

2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Pauillac / B / a bit over-sweet, followed by tannins

2010 Château de Pez Saint-Estephe / B+ / good balance, some sweetness

2010 Château Phélan Ségur Saint-Estephe / B+ / herbal, woody finish

2010 Château Climens Sauternes / A- / nutty, fragrant, good body

2010 Château Coutet Barsac / A- / more apple/lemon fruitiness; less sweet

2010 Château de Fargues Sauternes / B+ / grassy, some slate/mineral notes

2010 Château de Rayne Vigneau Sauternes / B+ / rich, lively honey notes

2010 Château Doisy Daën Barsac / B+ / similar; honey and lemongrass; nougat character

2010 Château Guiraud Sauternes / B+ / nutty, good body

2010 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes / B / extremely sweet

2010 Château Suduiraut Sauternes / B+ / nutty, lots of honey

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