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Bordeaux 2010 In Bottle: Moulis & Listrac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux


Moulis and Listrac are really two important Bordeaux appellations not to be overlooked by consumers. They offer great value for money, especially in vintages like 2010. Sandwiched between the far more fashionable appellations of St Julien to the north and Margaux to the south, and further inland, the wines lie stylistically somewhere between the two. Less fleshy than Margaux’s best examples, with much more sinew, there is an elegance here and yet the earthy, meaty, savoury qualities in the wines point more towards St Julien.

Moulis has the finer reputation of the two, a reputation based principally on Chateau Poujeaux and Chateau Chasse-Spleen, two great properties that vie for the appellation’s crown. Just beneath them, but not by much, is Chateau Maucaillou, a nifty bet for Bordeaux lovers in good vintages. All these properties have succeeded in making something special in 2010. They all need time in bottle – Moulis can be fantastically long-lived – but they will deliver the goods in time.

Chateau Poujeaux’s 2010 is a bold, deep, sleeping giant. Clearly it is a fascinating companion piece to their colossal 2009. Poujeaux rarely puts a foot wrong. It’s 2008 is also an excellent effort. There has been a change of ownership here a couple of years back and the property is now owned by Philippe Cuvelier of Clos Fourtet. Chateau Chasse-Spleen has more elegance and is the more thoughtful of the two. Again 2010 provides an interesting alternative to their impressive 2009. Chateau Maucaillou 2010 is a gutsy, chewy effort. This needs a bit of time, but will be an extremely enjoyable wine for those who like a bit of grip and vigour. It will go wonderfully with a Sunday roast joint.

Listrac, lies even further inland from Moulis and the wines are less fine, though they are sturdy and tannic. The best properties here deliver wines that wouldn’t be out of place in Madiran. All these wines look pretty good in 2010. Chateau Fourcas-Hosten and Chateau Fourcas Dupré are the best bets, though there’s been a load of investment at Chateau Clarke over the years and Chateau Fonréaud can deliver the goods too in strong vintages. I can certainly vouch for Chateau Fourcas Dupré as a consumer. Their 2005 is just coming into its own and very enjoyable, and 2000 and 1996 all made good wine at ten years.

Of course tannin and structure in Listrac is more obvious in 2010 than it was in 2009. The riper feel of the fruit in ’09 makes the wines of Listrac more immediately appealing now, so it is probably still remains the better bet. Yet there’s a lot to commend these Listrac 2010s. They just need a few years to meld. Moulis on the other hand – well the choice is yours. It’s a stylistic difference rather than a qualitative one between 2010 and 2009. And in its tighter, grippier, more classical style 2010 in Moulis looks very good indeed.


Chateau Chasse-Spleen

Deepish, quite dark at core; healthy glossy look in the glass; attractive spicy blackcurrant aromas with some undergrowth; enticing; lots of layers of fruit here, attractive and classic – an interesting companion piece to 2009. Sturdy blackcurrant fruit on the palate; quite clean and fresh acids; grippy and chewy finish of the vintage. This works well. 90/100

Chateau Maucaillou

Mid depth; glossy; red fruits, some wet rock and chalky qualities; spice and earth with blackcurrant highlights; blackcurrant fruit again on the palate, earthy notes and quite lot of oak here too. Bags of guts – lots of chewy material. Will need 5 years to meld and last a while. Good value as ever. 88+

Chateau Poujeaux

Deep and saturated – arterial; black cherry, cassis; lots of depth on the nose; freshness and minerality; little boiled sweet note too – overall lots of cassis and fresh black fruit flavours; again blackcurrant, black cherry and spicy characters on the palate; lots of structure surrounding the fruit and firm acid. Fresh. Purer and denser than Chasse Spleen but less immediately appealing. Long term. Needs ten years plus. 91+/100


Chateau Clarke

Deep and saturated looking; ripe and round nose [Clarke Merlot dominant]; some chalky, wet rock notes; little lift too; chewy palate with lots of fruit, plenty of structure and sap. Good effort. 86+/100

Chateau Fonréaud

Deepish; earthy blackcurrant fruit and some dusty tannin notes on the nose; little chunkiness; some lift; mid weight palate; inky fruit with grip and acid. Pretty chewy overall as you’d expect. Will work out. 86/100

Chateau Fourcas Dupré

Mid depth; meaty, spicy nose; some red fruits; attractive; stalky Cabernet flavours on the palate with freshness; grip here as you’d expect. Pretty sappy effort with lots of grip but plenty of chewy fruit here. This will work out nicely. Needs two to three years. 87/100

Chateau Fourcas Hosten

Deep and glossy looking; more blackcurrant purity here than Dupre, some spice, chocolate and coffee highlights; nicely balanced palate, a little sinewy maybe but nice tension between the fruit and the sappy qualities. Needs three to five years. 87+

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