While this vintage here can’t compare to the wonders produced in 2009 and 2010, the reds are better than expected given the tricky vintage. The wines displayed plenty of sap and bite at last week’s UGCB tastings but the fruit is there. There hadn’t been much doubt about the quality of the whites though from the very start. During the primeurs tastings Pessac-Léognan’s white wines showed plenty of fruit and style and none of these characters have been lost now that they are in bottle. Some are already delicious if you like wines with zest and life but many will benefit from a few years in bottle to broaden further.
Posts Tagged ‘UGCB’
So just how has Bordeaux’s most aristocratic appellation fared in 2010? There’s certainly the heavy burden of expectation. These wines looked extremely strong when first shown during the primeurs tastings a shade under two years ago. Well, on the basis of what is now in the glass Pauillac looks perhaps to be the most impressive of all Bordeaux’s appellations in 2010. It’s a difficult call but the vintage’s characteristics – density, power, structure, freshness – simply reach their apogee here. Of course that’s just as well given Pauillac’s original release prices in 2010.
2010 is a dense long-term vintage here in St Estèphe. At the best of times this appellation produces pretty full throttle wines, so the combination of a drought year with comparatively cool temperatures, certainly compared with 2009, 2005 and especially 2003, has yielded wines here in 2010 of strength – not just alcoholic strength but pretty much on every indicator of grape chemistry – but most particularly, exceptional freshness. It’s acidity as much as anything that is the defining characteristic of this vintage. This feels particularly so in St Estèphe [and Pauillac & St Julien, more on which later]. Yes there’s formidable tannin here, though it feels generally ripe, but it’s the grip and acidity that leaves the biggest impression. This means that the opulence of the wines in St Estèphe in 2009 is replaced in 2010 by minerality, density and grip. It’s a combination that makes these wines feel pretty structured and formidable at present.
There’s some variation in Margaux 2010 as you’d expect from this diverse commune, though there is greater consistency here than in some years. It’s a large appellation with a great variety of terroirs and winemaking styles and this, as ever, accounts for these differences. The density, tannin and grip of 2010 are very present here in almost all the wines. Some lack the fruit to match the density [or is it that match the winemaking?] but others have produced very good, serious, intense wines, which look long-term bets. There’s not as much joy in the best as there was in 2009 but you’d really need to see the wines sat side-by-side to gauge precisely. I guess I could think of other appellations that I’d stock up with first in 2010, but that’s not to say that there are not wines to seek out here in Margaux.