“Pessac-Léognan, the pristine ?”
Neal Martin, wine writer for Robert Paker, tasted some Bordeaux 2010 Grands Crus in November 2012.
Lets discover some of his favorite wines for 2010 (whites and reds) below :
“Moving to the suburbs of Bordeaux city and its surrounding environs, let us shimmy across to Pessac-Léognan. If truth were told, I found the wines a little more variable than I anticipated, as if they were still getting accustomed to the vintage, requiring time to find their “groove”. Consequently, a majority necessitate several years in bottle to settle down whereas the 2009s were settled from the off.
Commencing with the Whites, the key to success was locking in the acidity. Then I discerned an absence of mineralité and tension that are the hallmarks of a truly great white Bordeaux vintage.
There are some noticeable successes: Domaine de Chevalier (white 93 – red 95) has a subtle note of French patisserie on the nose accompanied by exquisite balance on the palate. Chateau Haut Brion Blanc 2010 (white 95) has a crisp mineral thread and an attractive Burgundian veneer. Its outgoing personality at this stage with nuanced tropical notes defining the generous bouquet and voluminous palate. Chateau Malartic-Lagravière Blanc 2010 (white 92) is bestowed with a perfumed, lime-tinged nose and a crisp, spice-tinged palate that has both length and breadth. Chateau Pape Clement Blanc (white 92) is initially reticent on the nose but responded immediately to a little swirling and it eventually unfurls and becomes quite precocious, as if the bouquet was just toying with you. The palate is more controlled than the aromatics with another vivacious, spicy finish.
Moving on to the Reds, I will commence with Château Haut-Brion (red 96) and La Mission Haut-Brion (red 94) which has a wonderful mulberry and cassis scented bouquet that makes an immediate impression. These both constitute great wines.
Still, there are plenty of alternatives on offer. Château Carbonnieux 2010 (red 92) was a pleasant surprise, displaying more complexity and breeding than the 2009 and fulfilling its promise out of barrel. Château Haut-Bailly 2010 (red 95) is dashing and succulent, although it needs to exercise a little more restraint as its “glossiness” has been creeping up in recent vintages. Chateau Pape-Clement 2010 (red 95) produced a stunning wine in 2010.
The 2010 is struck through with class and breeding, offering intense black, earthy fruit that never tips over into ostentation and a thrilling, tense finish.“
Money No Object: Château Haut-Brion (red 96 – quelle surprise!)
One to lie down: Château Haut Bailly (red 95)
One to drink sooner: Château Olivier (red 90)