So we have a week to collect ourselves during Vinexpo, Bordeaux’s wine trade fair that runs this week, to assess just where we are with the controversial release prices of the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. If you thought prices for 2009 were a bit heady then so far the prices of some 2010s have been eye-watering. In certain notable cases prices are up 40% year on year and that on top of similar increases last year. You wonder why Bank of England chief Mervyn King is losing sleep about the UK’s paltry 4.5% inflation rate. Small beer Merv, get with it. Bordeaux’s up ten times as much.
Posts Tagged ‘Pomerol’
Pomerol looks to have had a great vintage in 2010. The freshness, balance and concentration of the best wines here is quite remarkable. As usual there is plumpness and accessibility but there is grip and stuffing too. Some are a bit simple and a few rather jammy and late picked in feel, but these seem to be the exception in what are a very homogeneous set of wines. One caveat here is that my tastings were limited to those at the Unions des Grands Crus held at Chateau La Pointe and those at the Cercle Rive Droite. Amongst the picks here were Chateau Petit-Village, Chateau La Conseillante and Chateau Clinet which are at least as good if not even better than in 2009. I was also very impressed with Chateau Fayat, Chateau Feytit-Clinet, Chateau Gazin, Chateau La Croix de Gay, Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, Chateau Gazin, Chateau Nenin and Chateau Rouget. Good value can also be had with Chateau Bourgneuf, Chateau Clos du Clocher, Chateau Taillefer and Chateau Montviel. There is such a lot of joy in these wines.
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.
Overall Bordeaux 2006 reds can be summed up as firm, quite strong, structured wines, but for me often a bit joyless. This was certainly my immediate impression having tasted ninety or so wines from the vintage at the Master of Wine Institute’s Annual Claret tasting that took place in the wonderfully oak panelled, if rather gloomy, Vintners Hall last week. The best wines had good structure, acid and enough flesh to make complex wine eventually but the best do need time in bottle. Even mature these will always be firm wines I reckon as in this vintage there is plenty of tannin, albeit it ripe and fine enough. There were also quite a few disappointments and the vintage is not consistent across all the appellations.