“Saint Julien the Jubilant?”
Neal Martin, wine writer for Robert Paker, tasted some Bordeaux 2010 Grands Crus in November 2012.
Lets discover some of his favorite wines for Saint-Julien 2010 (reds) below :
“Saint Julien provided a strong set of wines in 2010 that may eclipse the 2009s – such is the standard from start to finish. There are three wines that you need to get your mits on.
Firstly, Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2010, which is an elegant, refined wine whose satin textures belies the shire horse power that present lies hidden under layers of pure black fruit. It is a fabulous wine, perhaps the finest I have tasted from the estate, whilst the Deuxième Vin, La Croix de Beaucaillou 2010 is rapidly becoming my favourite second label of the appellation.
Château Léoville Las-Cases 2010 find a certain “athleticism” in Jean-Hubert Delon’s wine, a streamlined version of the 2009 with less puppy fat and sheen. It is a wine that just goes about its business without fuss – beautifully balanced with an unimaginably long finish. The 2010 is a thing of beauty. I mean, we expect greatness from this estate… but this 2010 appears to ratchet up the ante a few notches, goes somewhere the 2009 dared not tread. It exuded harmony and purity, retaining the essence of Saint Julien, the typicité of the appellation but simultaneously speaks of modern Bordeaux, a role model for the vintage.
And check out the fabulous wines from Château Beychevelle 2010; Château Gloria 2010 continuing a resurgence similar to that of Pontet-Canet 2010 in the noughties, and a suave, sensual Château Léoville Poyferré 2010 …you know these wines…you know they are great.
Money No Object: Château Ducru Beaucaillou
On a budget: Château Leoville Barton (still good value despite recent price hikes)
One to lay down: Château Gloria
One to drink sooner: Château Lalande-Borie
2010 Chateau Leoville Las-Cases 98
The aromatics on the Leoville Las-Cases 2010 stop you in your tracks: blackberry married with dark plum, mirabelle, crushed stone and a scent of Christmas cake in the background. It is incredibly well defined and develops subtle floral notes with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied – an immediately elegant, classic Las Cases. It has outstanding minerality and finesse on the finish to die for.
2010 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 98
It has a marvellous, intense bouquet, which served everything on a plate and invited you to delve in. It is extremely well defined with blackcurrant, cedar, wild heather and cassis bringing up the rear. It is very composed and focused, unwinding over three or four minutes of aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe and velvety tannins that lend it a gorgeous mouthfeel.
2010 Chateau Leoville Poyferre 95
The Leoville Poyferre 2010 has an intense bouquet with blackberry, dark plum, violet and a touch of bay leaf – almost Margaux like in perfume – heady and opulent and not far removed from the 2009. The palate is full-bodied with succulent ripe black fruit laced with spice box and white pepper. It is very harmonious, crescendos to a vibrant, shimmering finish surfeit with minerality. Superb.
2010 Chateau Beychevelle 95
It has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, mineral, a touch of wild heather – all beautifully defined although still a little closed after bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with a spicy entry, light peppery fruit and a deep, almost broody finish that demonstrates great weight and persistency. This great wine deserves several years in bottle.”