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Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Léoville Poyferré’

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Léoville Poyferré

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Didier Cuvelier is understandably proud of his 2010 Léoville Poyferré. He describes it as ‘2005, plus, plus’. It is a great wine. There is remarkable purity, concentration and depth on the mid-palate and terrific length. It’s in a more classical style than 2009, overall less knockout than I remember the 2009 was at the same stage but it is extremely good. Overall I tasted it three times last week and marked it between 94-97/100. Either way, lower figure or higher, it will turn out to be a great wine. Chateau Moulin Riche was less fabulous for me than the 2009 here, but it is still a very good wine, not a second wine [that is Pavillon de Poyferré] but an individual 22 hectare terroir in St Julien itself.

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Looks terrific

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Well, all the early signs are that Bordeaux 2010 is indeed a terrific vintage, truly remarkable given that it follows immediately behind the extraordinary 2009s. Early days still of course but tastings today at Chateau Haut Brion in Pessac, Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac and Chateau Cheval Blanc in St Emilion were, shall we say, exciting. I also had a quick look at half a dozen Pomerols at the Cercle Rive Droite’s tasting and I’ll head back again later in the week for a more in-depth visit. All were saturated in colour, full of extract and generally delicious.

Amongst the ’A’ list tasted today Mouton looks to have made a wine better than 2009 in my opinion, full of flavour and concentration yet also with great freshness, Cheval Blanc has produced a beauty worth of its enviable terrior and the Pessac duo of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion and Chateau Haut-Brion are simply fabulous – La Mission weighing in at 15 degrees but none the worse for it. Their white wines too are impressive and bode well for the overall quality of the whites in 2010, even those that sell at a fraction of their price.

The characteristics in brief are high alcohols, high extract and high tannins. If that sounds a mouthful then be surprised because so far I have been. The acids are OK, cool nights in August and September [it got down to 5C at night in some vineyards] helped preserve acidity and freshness despite the drought conditions. Generally the lack of water led to grapes that were small and highly concentrated, in grape for grape terms lighter than 2009 in some cases, suggesting real concentration. The vintage chosen for comparison by proprietors is more the 2005 than 2009 stylistically because of the former’s structure and tannin, but the 2010 wines look to be even richer and higher in alcohol than ’05 so for me so far it seems to be a hypothetical mix of 2005 and 2009s structure and ripeness, which is pretty exciting.

This is just a snapshot and I’ll report in more depth later. Today’s highlights – Mouton is in the 98-100 point range along with Haut-Brion and La Mission just as fantastic. Cheval Blanc looks 98+ in my book and Léoville Poyferré around 94-96, excellent once again, but maybe not as knockout fab for me as their 2009. I’ll taste it again later in the week, so reserve judgement ‘till  then. Certainly it’s concentrated and layered. Tomorrow the Union des Grands Crus start their tastings and St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux along with the Médoc and Haut-Médoc cru classe are in my sights. I’m also squeezing in Cos d’Estournel too. I’ll update soon.

Bordeaux 2010: Embarrassingly good?

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Well that time is nearly upon us. Next week Bordeaux officially unveils the 2010 vintage in the primeur tastings for the wine trade and press. It’s a wonderfully crazy time as the Bordelais open their doors to thousands of men and women from across the world, each in a gigantic hurry to taste the hundreds of infant wines on offer. The crush last year at some of the events resembled the January sales, not ideal circumstances in which to taste wines maybe but it certainly reflects the insatiable worldwide demand for Bordeaux. [A glass of Chateau Léoville Poyferré’s 2010 left].

Léoville Poyferré: No longer last of the Léovilles

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

If you need an insight into the level of determination and effort required to return an estate to the top league then you need to look no further than the contemporary renaissance at Chateau Léoville-Poyferré. Twenty-five years is the time frame Anne Cuvelier points to when she looks back at the efforts that her cousin Didier Cuvelier has put in here since he began managing the property in 1979. Since then there has been extensive work in the vineyards. Old rootstocks were torn out and replaced and the property, then just 48 hectares, brought up to the 80 hectares now under production. In the cellar there has been much investment too and Michel Rolland is now the estate’s consultant, though Poyferré also has its own in-house talent in the form of winemaker Isabelle Davin.

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