Wine Words & Video Tape

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Posts Tagged ‘Merlot’

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Cos d’Estournel

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Jean-Guillaume Prats got into a lot of trouble last year with his 2009 Cos d’Estournel. Some critics thought it was over-the-top, too alcoholic and far too much of a good thing. Others, Robert Parker included, thought it close to perfection. For me the wine tasted last November looked brilliant. The 2010 is, in fact, identical in alcoholic content to 2009, but it does manage a little more freshness and grip – though that is relative.

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Palmer

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Palmer under Thomas Duroux and his team have made a wonderful 2010. For me it is a whisker behind the brilliant wine that they made in 2009 but that’s not a criticism. There’s more grip this year, but the wine is still wonderfully lush and perfumed, but the tannin is more noticeable and the wine will need more time to settle.

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Haut-Brion & Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

I tasted the Domaine Clarence Dillon wines last Monday at Chateau Haut-Brion without knowing their vital statistics. Nevertheless I did spot some warmth on Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, but it didn’t worry me particularly. If I hadn’t been sitting down I would have fallen over when I was told at the end that it was over 15 degrees. I’m glad I didn’t know that before because, other than the warmth, La Mission looks really good. Nearly everywhere I went during the rest of the week everyone was saying, ‘Oh but what about La Mission? Fifteen degrees – too much surely?’ Well on paper and maybe if you’ve got a bottle to yourself [though I think I could manage one alone] but I had to say that I didn’t notice La Mission was too alcoholic when I tasted it. That’s the problem with statistics, you don’t judge a wine looking at charts. Nor do you judge a feature film by its running time. If it’s engaging enough even two and a half hours flies by. Acidity is the narrative drama of a wine and it’s what is making 2010 such an interesting vintage. It is yielding wines that defy your expectations. You taste La Mission at fifteen degrees and it works.

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Margaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Last November Paul Pontallier was expressing embarrassment at the potential quality of the 2010 vintage he had just put in vat. Just how could the estate follow on from the 2009? Again it’s a case of a different year rather than a better one, but 2010 is a beauty here. In terms of the harvest itself the vintage was more homogenous across the plots than in 2009, a year in which some of the younger Merlots did struggle a bit with the heat and the drought. That wasn’t the case in 2010 and there was more consistency to the harvest. This has had a knock on effect more for Pavillon Rouge which is terrific. As for the grand vin, it is exceptional, with remarkable purity and freshness. In the line up of first growths this year it is the most beautiful and seductive. For the first time the proportions of the grand vin and Pavillon Rouge are the same, at 38%, down 15% on 2009, with the remainder of the harvest going into the estate’s new third wine [as yet to be christened – or to be tasted…].

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