Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bordeaux 2010 Vintage

The Institute of Masters of Wine brought their annual Bordeaux tasting to Sydney this year. It was an opportunity to taste and compare 60 wines from the 2010 vintage.

The 2010 vintage was unusual in that acidity and sugar levels were generally high at the same time. One would be hoping for freshness of flavour despite high levels of alcohol. It is a highly regarded
vintage and compared to 2005. My main interest was to see how the differences between the subregions compared to the differences in winemaking. This was made easier, as the wines were grouped by subregion.

My main conclusions:

1) The overall quality of  the wines is high, in particular on the left bank and where Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend. Many Merlot based wines were not as impressive.

2) Quite a few wines were quite closed, many very tannic and definitely built to last.

3) In terms of my special interest: I would call it a 50/50 outcome: subregions definitely had different characteristics, but there were also major differences between chateaux's in most subregions.

In terms of the major subregions:

The wines are more ruby than purple. Some are
quite concentrated, but still feminine in character. Overall quality is strong. I liked Chateau d'Issan, Kirwan, Lascombes, Rauzan-Segla.

Very high quality, but variation. Black fruited, but very elegant top wines, high alcohol. Cos d'Estournel was wine of the night, with pure berry fruit, elegant, balanced acidity and rounded tannins. Montrose almost as good. Quite masculine, but not as big mouthfeel. Calon-Segur not nearly as good.
Earthy aromas in these wines. I did not rate these wines as high as Saint-Estephe. Some lacked structure, some fruit intensity. Tasted wines: Beychevelle, Lagrange, Langoa-Barton, Leoville-Barton, Leoville-Las Cases (disappointing!)

Darkest coloured wines, blackcurrant flavours, strong region.  Wines represented were from top producers: Lynch-Bages, Pichon-Longueville-Barton, Pontet-Canet. Despite the high alcohol, these wines were balanced and elegant.

Softer wines, chocolate flavours. Chateau Angelus and Figeac were great, with dark fruit and some softness. Close to new world style. Cheval Blanc and Canon disappointing, in particular on the finish.

The representation for Pomerol was poor, therefore I am not forming any views.  

Overall a great tasting, which gave good insight into this significant vintage.                                                                                                                                                                                      

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