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Bordeaux 2010 Revisited: Pomerol

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_6250Ten 2010 Pomerols presented last November by the MW Institute were developing wonderfully, showing just how great the vintage is for the appellation. As with many other Bordeaux 2010s there is seemingly [even] more matter, structure and density to the wines than in 2009. If the latter vintage offered opulence, then 2010 shows power and scale. Despite the concentration, a number, including a stand out effort from Château Beauregard and a gorgeously forward Château Petit Village, are drinking beautifully already. At the very top end, brilliant wines from Château Clinet, Château La Conseillante, Château La Fleur-Pétrus and Château Trotanoy still need some time in bottle. Château Gazin and Château Nénin, in particular, have both made fabulous wine, Nénin perhaps their best ever in recent vintages.

The 2009 v 2010 debate will entertain Bordeaux enthusiasts for the next twenty to thirty years, given the quality and concentration of these two brilliant vintages. As mentioned in earlier posts, while the phenolic and alcoholic measures of these years are similar, the cool, dry growing year of 2010, versus the warmer, dry growing year of 2009 [with exceptions], yielded a very different set of wines; quantitatively similar, qualitatively different. It is the cooler conditions of 2010, the ‘cool maturity,’ that gives a greater sense of texture, structure and overall gravity when compared with the lush unctuousness of 2009. This is as true for Pomerol as it is for pretty much everywhere else in Bordeaux.

Overall quality, as you’d expect, is pretty homogenous in this tiny appellation. Stylistically there are variations of course, reflecting terroir and technique but I’d put Château La Conseillante, Château Gazin and perhaps Château Petit-Village in a similar category. The wines here are wonderfully rich and lush with complex spicy black fruit characters. Château Le Bon Pasteur has more liqourice and red fruit notes, while there is a wonderfully pure, creamy note to a very substantial, menthol inflected Château Beauregard.

JP Moueix pair Château La Fleur-Pétrus and Château Trotanoy stand out for their purity, the emphasis on the singularity of their vivid fruit tones. Both are possibly the most backward of the 2010s shown [Trotanoy particularly so], so both will doubtless reveal more down the track. The balance and freshness here are excellent.

Château Nénin has pulled out all the stops in 2010. This is a wine, from the Delon team, that shows Nénin now at the top of its game after more than a decade of investment. This Pomerol has the weight and matter to carry a long-life in bottle but it shows great joy already.

Château Clinet is jam-packed with fruit and extract. Sublimated and extremely deep on the nose, the wine is brimming with plummy, spicy fruit on the palate, but the wine somehow squares the circle with an intense and captivating finish. A hedonists delight already, the power and concentration here necessitates a few more years before this Clinet is fully à point.

Château Beauregard

Deep and saturated looking; lovely creamy fruits on the nose; very enticing; more freshness here with some nicely perfumed Cabernet Franc; adds a spicy Menthol note to the aromatics; pure palate with creamy feel; lots of depth and substance; excellent wine. One of the best Beauregards I’ve tasted. Drink now-2030. 92+

Château Le Bon Pasteur

Deep and saturated looking; sweet and lush; ripe black fruits and liquorice; some ‘new car interior’ notes; sweet and ripe palate with more lush red fruit tones; ripe and rather rich. Drink now-2030. 92

Château Clinet

Deep and saturated looking; colour tight to the rim; very sublimated and intense; lifted plum and spice tones; very attractive; brimming with creamy ripe fruit on the palate but good depth and not at all loose; inky and intense finish. Wow! Needs more time to show its best. Drink 2017-2035. 96+

Château La Conseillante

Deep and saturated looking; resin; ripe and lifted plum and black fruit notes; some mocha tones; deep and saturated palate; great texture here; quite lush and ripe with Cab Franc influence; excellent stuff. Drink 2016-2035. 94+

Château La Fleur-Pétrus

Deep and saturated colour; very open and vivid aromatically; vibrant palate with life but also nice flesh; substance and structure; quite sturdy and actually needs more time; excellent if less immediately delicious than the 2009. Give it five years. 2020-2035. 95

Château Gazin

Deep colour; earthy spicy plum aromatics; full and attractive; similarly flavoursome palate with excellent depth and fruit; also nice structure with impressive bite and grip. Concentrated and nicely handled. Drink 2015-2030. 94

Château Nénin

Deep and saturated look; vibrant plum and menthol notes; some jam; opens up further with aeration; wonderfully spicy plum tones and considerable concentration; plush palate; very complete; nicely ripe and some structure too but this is excellent Nénin. Great effort from the Delon team. Drink 2015-2030. 94+

Château Petit Village

Deep and saturated; lifted sexy plum and spice notes with resin; creamy palate very nicely done; plums, spices and an attractive undergrowth element; really nice fruit here; quite substantial on the palate but remains open and forward. Attractive, sexy Pomerol. Drink now-2030. 93+

Château Trotanoy

Deep and saturated; chalky and a bit dumb in first sample; second more red fruits and lifted tones; full palate with plums, spices and some red fruit tones; loads of vibrant fruit on the palate; very full if a little reticent on the nose. Expect the best down the line. Drink 2018-2035. 94+

Clos René

Deep looking; chalky and chunky on the nose; sturdy red characters; concentrated and sturdy palate; quite thick but not cloyingly unctuous. Sturdy Pomerol. Drink 2016-2030. 90

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