Wine Words & Video Tape

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Posts Tagged ‘Haut Médoc’

Bordeaux 2009 in bottle: Médoc & Haut Médoc

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Chateau Cantemerle is terrific in 2009

These are the two appellations, alongside Moulis & Listrac [next post], have served up some of Bordeaux most affordable and exciting wines in 2009 – and many are still widely available. There is such joy, fragrance and fruit to be found here and considerable structure beneath. Amongst the crus classes Chateau Cantemerle is outstanding. I didn’t have the opportunity to taste their legendary 1983 at a similar age, but this wine must rank as one of the best efforts ever from this estate.  

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Haut-Médoc & Médoc

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Less joy for me in this appellation in 2010 than in 2009s. The latter look more seductive and wondrous by comparison. Only a few estates have produced wines of comparable quality in my mind, Chateau Belgrave and especially Chateau Cantemerle spring to mind. Chateau La Lagune is also very good. I expected more from Chateau La Tour Carnet but there is just too much Magrez make-up [ie new oak] and the pedal feels pushed right to the floor. Overall there is a lot of dry tannin and grip dominating the fruit in a great many cases.  They will settle of course but I’d opt for any remaining 2009s still on the market now. You could be taking delivery of these next year and be drinking them from the off. As good as some are in 2010 you’ll be waiting an age for them to settle. It’s a case of chalk and cheese.

Bordeaux 2010: End of primeurs week

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

After tasting two hundred plus wines in the past week, I’ve found plenty of fruit, tannin and acid, not always in that order, but certainly in number in Bordeaux 2010. There is a lot of everything in Bordeaux 2010. Lots of colour, often dense saturated colour across the board, but then there is also plenty of extract, tannin and acid, and then more acid and tannin still. It makes the wines a bit tricky to judge. In fact I spent a lot of time re-tasting wines because I found some difficult to evaluate. 2010 is a great vintage in many respects, but there is irregularity too. Winemaking judgement was exceptionally important in this vintage, with such dense, thick and concentrated berries those properties with a lightness of touch and flexibility have made the best wines. Those that have extracted too much have made monsters, with tannins and grip to match, not that the wines divide so neatly into those camps, I wish it were that easy. 2009 was undoubtedly more straightforward to judge at the same stage last year.

Paul Pontallier: The enthusiast of Margaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

 Paul Pontallier of Chateau Margaux

Paul Pontallier seems such an assured presence you just can’t imagine him losing his temper.  If something seriously went wrong, say someone racked Pavillon Blanc into a vat containing the Grand Vin at Chateau Margaux of course, I’m sure he’d go completely bonkers but in twenty-seven or so consecutive vintages at the helm here there can’t be a problem of one sort of another that Pontallier hasn’t encountered either in the vineyard or the cellar, or demonstrably surmounted, given the consistency of the wines at this property over the years.

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