A pre-primeur taste of some 2010 Bordeaux wines

A pre-primeur taste of some 2010 Bordeaux wines

In the race to be the first to show their primeurs, Le Cercle Rive Droite, an association of right bank producers from Pomerol, St.-Emilion and satellites, showed a VERY early tasting of their 2010 wines at Le Cercle restaurant in London last night  – a bit too early for some as they had barely finished going through their malolactic fermentation, so one could have said (and some of them smelled like) they had just come out of their nappies! Nevertheless, there was some good kit on display which will prove that 2010 is another smashing  Bordeaux vintage.

From what I could glean from this very limited tasting, 2010 is probably a bit more uneven than 2009, when it was so consistent that is was difficult to make bad wine.  There will probably be a bit more variations in 2010 but on the other hand there will be some exceptional winners and a number of chateaux will making 2010s that are superior to their already excellent 2009s.

In the tasting, some of them clearly gave the impression of under-wined oak, but there were quite a number of well-balanced wines already displaying a great deal of finesse. Without going into detailed marking (impossible at this stage of development), these were the wines that impressed me the most – all displayed good, dark, ripe fruit with integrated oak, soft tannins and a good degree of charm.

Ch. De Laussac, Castillon: Ch. Fontenil, Fronsac: Ch. de la Rivière – Aria, Fronsac: Ch. La Sergue, Lalande de Pomerol: Ch. Boutisse, St.-Emilion GC: Magrez Fombrauge, St.-Emilion GC: Ch. Rol Valentin, St.-Emilion GC: Ch. Le Prieurié, St.- Emilion GC.

If I had to pick a winner, I think I would go for the Aria cuvée of Ch. de la Rivière; a model of good balance, ripe fruit and integrated oak. Until this vintage, this cuvée was made from 100% Merlot and was rather pricey – now the owner has decided to blend in about one quarter in equal proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to the Merlot and reduce the price by half. Looks like a smart move to me.


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