Wine Words & Video Tape

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Posts Tagged ‘Merlot’

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Charles Chevallier and his team at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild have come up with the goods again, though that hardly counts as news these days. Hot on the heels of the perfect 2009 is a grand vin of extraordinary intensity in 2010. It’s not a better wine than 2009 but it is different. Maybe it doesn’t quite have the elegance and subtlety of the previous year but it is more classic, with more ‘volume’ as they put it at Lafite. It certainly feels like it has more power and concentration. It is a sublime and quite amazing wine, yet still with freshness and somehow ‘only’ 13.5 in alcohol. What terrific terrior they have. Carruades de Lafite too is a marvel in 2010, a ‘second’ wine that seems to have upped its game exponentially in the past few vintages.

Bordeaux 2010 Primeurs: Chateau Latour

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

There is no doubt that Latour has produced a set of extraordinary wines in 2010. There is profound depth, concentration and freshness here in the wines. Chateau Latour itself, which represents only 36% of the total production of the harvest, is dense and concentrated with real minerality and focus. It is outstanding. So too is Les Forts de Latour, a separate wine in its own right made from plots outside the main walled vineyard [the Enclos], but this year also including some fruit that usually would have made it to the grand vin. Les Forts was absolutely dazzling on the day and to me it is of first growth quality. It is 40% of the production, the remaining 24% going into a clean and very pure Pauillac.

Fields of Dreams: Grand-Puy Ducasse, Meyney and Blaignan

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

 Vineyards at Chateau Meyney overlooking the Gironde

OK, so you’d expect to come away inspired by a trip to Chateau Margaux having spent an hour or so with the marvelously enthusiastic Paul Pontallier. You’d also expect to have a more profound sense of the natural beauty and deceptive simplicity of fine winemaking after spending some time with Alfred Tesseron at Chateau Pontet Canet. And you’d have to be made of stone not to be awe inspired by the new chais assembled by Jean-Guillaume Prats at Chateau Cos d’Estournel or the quality of his controversial 2009 grand vin whatever your verdict. But would you really expect to be all fired up after a visit to Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse? Probably not, but that’s just what happened to me after I’d spent an afternoon there. I’ll explain more later but first some background.

St Julien siblings: Gloria and St Pierre

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

 

Well, well, well, what a real beauty Chateau St Pierre 2009 has turned out to be.  I must confess that when I’d first tasted it, admittedly on a rather wet and windy Tuesday morning in late March earlier this year on the opening day of the ’09 primeurs tastings, it wasn’t the most expressive of the wines shown from St Julien. Mind you, given how spectacular this appellation has been in 2009, rising above the likes of Chateau Léoville Barton and Chateau Léoville Poyferré would have been tricky. I had the opportunity of tasting St Pierre ‘09 again this month, now two thirds of the way through its elevage and the wine is simply fantastic. So if you bought this wine en primeur then well done. I wish I had!

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