“Bordeaux 2010: Pauillac the Perfect?”
Neal Martin, wine writer for Robert Paker, tasted some Bordeaux 2010 Grands Crus in November 2012 and for most of the following one, in february at the Chateau.
Lets discover some of his favorite wines for 2010 (reds) below :
“The 2010 bought to mind behemoths such as 1982 or 1961. The Château Latour 2010 will remain stubborn and backward for the first two decades in its life, when it will be outshone by the 2009.
Château Lafite-Rothschild 2010 is another sensational Pauillac, one that is very different to Latour, as one would expect in a vintage that highlights the uniqueness of subtleties between various addresses. It is a mixture of the 2008 and 2009 in style. The palate is imbued with a sorbet-like freshness and vitality: a foundation of Cabernet Sauvignon upon which is drawn hints of fruitcake and fresh dates. It is more exuberant than Latour and it will be more approachable.
Again, Château Mouton Rothschild 2010 is cut from a different cloth; sculpted from a “monolith” of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon. Staying within the Rothschild estate: buy Château Clerc Milon 2010. I mean now.
This cru is often underrated, in no small part because it lies perpetually in the shadow of Mouton. But it is a class act in its own right and ages wonderfully over ten, twenty even thirty years. It is the finest Clerc Milon that I have tasted at this stage, up there with the glorious 1990.
Château Pichon Baron 2010 displays a nascent, ethereal purity on the nose that is nigh impossible to resist. There is newfound mineralité in Pichon Baron, a sense of confidence and completeness that has been the result of cordoning off the inferior parts of the vineyard.
The Château Pontet Canet 2010 has a fragrant, more floral, more expressive bouquet than many of its peers, although it is less flamboyant than the 2009.
The Pauillac 2010 is has a certain class that we could never find again.
Money No Object: Château Latour
On a budget: Chateau Clerc Milon
2010 Chateau Clerc-Milon 95
The Clerc-Milon has an explosive bouquet of wild strawberry, dark cherries and cassis that is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe blackberry and minerals on the entry. It is beautifully balanced and more expressive than d’Armailhac, fanning out towards the finish with precocious, sweet black fruit balanced by a citric thread of acidity. Outstanding.
2010 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 99+
The Lafite-Rothschild 2010 has a very sophisticated bouquet that demands a little more encouragement compared to the Mouton-Rothschild. But it is worth the effort as it reveals wonderful graphite infused black fruit that boast bewitching focus and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, firm tannins that encase some fabulous, exuberant Cabernet Sauvignon: blackberry, a touch of fresh date, Christmas cake and kirsch. It is extremely well focused, less flamboyant than the 2009, but utterly harmonious and “complete”. This is a future legend. Spellbinding!
2010 Chateau Latour 100
This is subtle, understated, brooding Latour. Leaving it to one side to open up, it gradually unfurls to reveal very precise black fruits and minerals. It is not as immediate as say, Margaux or Lafite, but draws you in to its charms. The aromatics are misleading. The palate is incredibly intense with mouth-gripping tannins. This will rank alongside legends such as the 1961 and 1982 – but it is a wine for the next generation, not mine.
2010 Chateau Mouton Rothschild 98
The Mouton-Rothschild 2010 has wonderful delineation on the nose that is refined, perhaps a little more linear than recent vintages. The Cabernet Sauvignon is very expressive as one hoped since it contributes 96% of the blend. The palate is medium-bodied with a very expressive entry: blackberry, a thread of graphite, a touch of citrus fruit and a delicate touch of blueberry. It is tightly coiled; perhaps more so than Chateau Margaux at this point, but there is a dormant power that should be unleashed with ten years in bottle. This is an immense Mouton, its silky finish penetrating and unfathomably long.
2010 Chateau Pichon Baron 97
A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot representing 50% of the total production, the Pichon Baron has a glorious bouquet with blackberry, briary and wild hedgerow. The aromatics are bestowed ethereal purity and elegance. The palate is medium-bodied with abundant, mineral-laden black fruit tinged with espresso. This is very harmonious, a mouth-filling bravura of a Pauillac.