Top 2010 Haut-Médoc continue to develop successfully if the four crus classés shown at the MW Institute last November are anything to go by. Château Cantemerle 2010 seems equal in quality, if not quite in style, to the prodigious 2009 here. There is more structure and tension in the wine in this vintage but it is another brilliant effort. The same too goes for Château La Lagune. Clearly it has depth, structure and plenty of matter but is currently closed. Château de Camensac has turned in a vibrantly styled wine with its usual emphasis on vigour and freshness. Château Belgrave looks especially successful. It has produced a pure, plump and very complete Haut-Médoc which must go down as one of the finest wines this property has yet produced.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau La Lagune’
Now they are in bottle 2012 Haut-Médoc’s look to be light to medium weight wines with some vigour and style. Overall the vintage feels rounder and more harmonious than both 2013 and 2011, though there is not the power here of 2010 or the extraordinary succulence of 2009. Still many are drinking nicely already and should prove sufficiently attractive and rewarding in the short to medium term. The standouts will come as no surprise – Château Cantemerle, Château Citran [a gutsy effort], Château La Lagune and Château La Tour Carnet were the most complete for me.
Generally the further up the Haut-Médoc you go, the increasingly exciting things get in 2009. This excitement perhaps reaches its apogee in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estèphe. The four Haut-Médoc properties shown at the MW Institute tasting last November come from very different ends of the left bank and perhaps contradict this pattern slightly. Château La Lagune and Château Cantemerle border the Margaux appellation in the south, while Château Belgrave and Château de Camensac are further north and neighbour St Julien inland. All look extremely good in 2009 but Cantermerle and La Lagune are utterly brilliant.
You can’t turn to 2011 Haut-Médoc with the confidence that you can in say 2010, 2009 or 2005. Then pretty much all the prominent properties in this appellation, and more besides, really succeeded in these vintages. They remain very good buys, something underscored at this week’s Masters of Wine Institute tasting of the 2009s [more on which soon] and 2010 tastings this summer at Vinexpo. This can’t really be said for 2011. Compact on the whole, some are chunky and punchy, and while they have vigour these wines generally lack charm and aren’t available at a substantial enough discount to make them an appealing purchase. They may come round in the long run. If they do, great. Go and buy them then. And if they do I’d be amazed if they rise much in price in the meantime given the string of mediocre vintages currently in the Bordeaux pipeline.