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Bordeaux 2010 - Part III

by Tom Cannavan

Pauillac, St-Julien, St-Estèphe, Margaux

Pauillac

Château Latour, Pauillac 2010
(AR) Dense colour and brooding sweet dark fruits on the nose, absorbing new oak well, this is a big, rich dense and intensely flavoured mouthful of black fruits with concentrated bittersweet chocolaty undertones, powerful yet incredibly supple ripe tannin backbone, and juicy refreshing acidity, showing a lovely freshness throughout, fleshy, yet firmly structured and very fine-boned with an impressive 'iron fist' structure. This is a great classic, very cabernet in style, very Pauillac, very Latour in fact. Possible more classic even than 2009 and a wine that will outlive anyone alive today. 98/100

Château Lafite, Pauillac 2010
There's a lovely sense of composed minerality on the nose here, with cedar and a herbal aspect and lots of schist and gentle smokiness. A gravelly note. On the palate this is very tightly wound and intense. There's a natural sense of purity to the blue-black fruit and that intensely mineral, graphite precision to the tannins. The tannins are huge but have a terrific sense of precision to them, leading this through to a finish that allows the juiciness of the fruit to breathe, and the lovely acidity that adds a sense of light and shade and illuminate the finish. 97/100

Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 2010
An immediate note of minerality here, of graphite and gentle smokiness, cedar and composed black fruit. Dense, and the fruit not fantastically expressive at this stage, but very attractive components in there. The palate has plenty of oak, still quite raw and giving a little resinous character at this stage. The tannins are powerfully dry, and this is a big, liquorice-licked wine at this stage, with a creamy cherry fruit that is also dry and quite solid, plummy and deep, a wine that perhaps lacks a little of Lafite's precision in the finish, but has delicious, almost chocolate richness and substance. 96-97/100

Château Lafite, Carruades de Lafite 2010
Beautifully refined, lightly cedary nose with a cherry ripeness to the fruit and solid underpinning black fruit. The plate has a depth and richness immediately, The tannins are dry and full as would be expected, but a nice clarity to the fruit and good length. 92/100

Château Mouton-Rothschild, Le Petit Mouton 2010
Fine, cedar-touched black fruit, a touch of something fresh and lightly herbal. The palate has a fine juiciness of fruit: there is plenty of slightly resinous oak at this stage, but the quality and refinement of the fruit is lovely, and the tannins really quite moderate, with a juiciness and cherry freshness in the finish of this relatively pretty wine. 90-91/100

Château d'Armailhac 2010
A much richer blackcurrant character than the Petit Mouton, with bold, cassis ripeness and berry fruit to the fore, a nice richness and slightly coffeeish feel to the oak. The palate has delicious freshness and the fruit stays very forward. This is remarkably well-mannered at this stage, the plush, sweet fruit absolutely the driving force. Tannins are very silky too, and this has a lovely structure, but one that is allowing the fruit to sing. 92-93/100

Château Duhart-Milon 2010
Much more meaty and meat-stocky than the Carruades tasted just before. Some cedary and mineral refinement comes through. Is there a touch of something green too? On the palate this has a tight, liquoricy concentration to the tannins and fruit, a really dark, sinewy edge that is more serious than the Carruades, but lacks a little of the easy charm at this stage. Very dry tannins and the bigger extract suggests this will need time. 91/100

Château Clerc-Milon 2010
More closed than the d'Armailhac, the oak more dominant and the whole picture more dense and tight. On the palate the tannins are big and forceful, but there's a certain elegance to them too. The fruit, more meaty, more plummy than the d'Armailhac, begins to assert with a lovely cassis core and the gentle cedar, tobacco and coffee richness and smooth texture very nice against the tannins and the fresh, cherry acidity. 93-94/100

Château Grand Puy Ducasse 2010
Very fine nose - lightly mineral and earthy, a vegetal streak, but nice in a savoury olive way. The palate has a racy life about it, lots of tannin and a chocolate density, and does the alcohol get a little hot? 90-91/100

Château Grand Puy Lacoste 2010
There's a good minerality here, a plump fruit beneath is glossy and plummy, but the dust and gravel firmness is lovely. Very good fruit, big tannin structure and a coffeeish richness of oak. With lovely cherry acidity, this has great style. 93/100

Château Lynch-Bages 2010
Lovely fruit here - deep, silky, fabulous finesse with pencil shavings and gorgeous ripeness and richness. The balance here is lovely - lots of structure, but very, very fine tannins and the spice of mellow oak melding with bloody, ripe, delicious fruit. A great LB I think. 94-95/100

Château Lynch-Moussas 2010
Big green streak here - very vegetal and earthy, and along with really powerful tannins, this is a dry, big, slightly under-fruited wine and is a little disappointing. 88/100

Château Pichon Lalande 2010
Lots of coffeeish richness here, a lightly roasted oak quality that has just hints of complex sweet earth. The palate ha lots of structural power - the tannins are big and grippy, the acidity very brightly focused, and the fruit comes through with lovely clarity. A very fine finish on this, the fruit staying very pure, little hints of chocolate and tobacco and the mineral earthiness again. 94/100

Château Pichon Lalande, La Reserve de la Comtesse 2010
Quite a lot minerality and schisty depth to this. A little whiff of some perfume too, a kirsch like cherry brightness. Juicy and full on the palate, but the tannins really do power through. Orangey acidity and a great deal of taut, sinewy, chewy structure. 91/100

Château Pibran 2010
50/50 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A very nice nose, with the racy, Sandalwood finesse of the oak and refined, vinous fruit. On the palate intense sweetness to the fruit, the tannins melding into the background and the whole picture very approachable and easy. Good acidity and a touch of gaminess. 90/100

Château Pichon Baron 2010
79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, the merlot suffered from millerandage. Plump, charming nose, with a little meatiness and a little plump and creamy vanilla, beneath the intense cassis and kirsch sweetness of fruit. On the palate there is plenty of sweet, fleshy, beautifully poised fruit, with the tannins ripe and creamy, the black cherry skin acidity adding a lovely bright, refreshing edge. Glorious stuff, with sweetness and weight and lovely precision. 95/100

Château Pichon Baron, Tourelles de Longueville 2010
60% Merlot. Fine spice and cedar on the nose, a certain impression of plumpness and weight, a plummy and baked plum pie note of fatness. The palate has lots of kirsch and very juicy, fresh black cherries flooding across. Tannins are tight and beautifully integrated and the juicy, bitter chocolate-licked fruit and acidity makes for a gloriously focused drink. 92/100

Château Pontet-Canet 2010
Lots of black cherry and nicely herby notes, with nice earthy minerality, and a certain lift of freshness and light and shade. The tannins are big, ashy and dry, with a lot of cigar-box oak, some dry earth and plenty of juicy acidity. There's a lemony, cherry fruited freshness to the acidity and the fruit here, meaning this has terrific juiciness and vitality. The state's first year being biodynamically certified. All 81 hectares certified. The juicy black plum and black cherry raciness of this is really terrific I must say. The tannins are more blunt than in a wine like Lafite at this stage, but I feel this will come round because of that delicious quality of fruit, acidity and the expressive minerality. 95-96/100

St-Julien

Château Beychevelle 2010
Gravelly, tight black fruit. Some nicely meaty notes. Some plum. There is a lovely elegant silkiness and refinement here. Lovely chocolate and coffee sweetness to the tannins and oak. Good length, and has lots of Beychevelle seductive charm. 91/100

Château Branaire-Ducru 2010
Quite elegant, there's a little bit of lift and freshness to this, quite a firm fruit profile with a liquoricy edge of minerality on the palate. Juicy, the big tannic strip firmly gripping driving the finish. 92-93/100

Château Gruaud-Larose 2010
Lots of chocolate richness and a lovely gamy and earthy edge - but cleanly focused and with lovely depth of fruit. The palate has a delicious silkiness of tannins and texture. Really sweet fruit in the finish, turning quite chocolaty, but the bittersweetness of the fruit and acidity is beautifully refreshing. 93-94/100

Château Lagrange 2010
Has more schisty minerality, quite tight, racy, ashy and cherryish. Lovely juicy palate, fruit is fresh and a tart, fresh acidity keeps it long and lean. 91/100

Château Langoa-Barton 2010
Brightly fruity, has very nice, plump, intensely fruity appeal. The palate has lots of dry extract, lots of grip, the oak is coffeeish and deep, but it is the mineral and sinewy structure that sits beneath the fruit on the finish. 93/100

Château Léoville-Barton 2010
There's lots of richness and ripeness here, the very full, cassis and plum fruit is deep but fresh. On the palate there is a flood of tannin, but it is very ripe and creamy, the bittersweet weight of fruit and the focused acids making for a very elegant, very classic wine with structure, fruit and elegance. 94/100

Château Léoville-Las-Cases 2010
A tiny bit reduced, this sample not releasing its aromatics willingly. On the palate the beautiful quality of fruit comes powering through. There's a fabulous concentration of cassis and black plum, a big, ripe, very generosity to this, the creamy, sweet oak and the bright fruity acidity are mouth-filling and creamy. There are tannins aplenty, but they too have a ripeness and creamy, suede-like plushness. A lovely wine, with real potential to be a charmer - but a long lived one - down the line. 95/100

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Clos du Marquis 2010
This sample very closed and a little dulled aromatically. Some gentle cherry and raspberry and a hint of minerality perhaps. The palate has a juicy concentration, a really slick sense of quite plush black fruit, quite creamy, dark-hued oak and a silkiness to the tannins. This is spicy and rich, perhaps just very slightly hot in the finish, but has lots of svelte charm and considerable structure. 91/100

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Le Petit Lion 2010
The new third wine of Las-Cases. Some cherry aromas there, but fairly subdued aromatically. The palate has juiciness and freshness, the tannins quite tame and the acidity moderate. Nice for early drinking this. 87-88/100

Château Léoville-Poyferré 2010
Schisty and dark, an earthy appeal to this. Grippy black fruit and fruit skins, a certain chocolaty appeal and richness. The palate has lots of juiciness and richness to the tannins. Glorious fruit concentration here, perhaps a touch of heat in the finish, but could be worth watching for a good price. 92/100

Château Talbot 2010
Lots of richness and ripeness evident here, despite a touch of reduction. Fruit has a touch of roasted quality perhaps, which along with lots of charry, coffeeish oak, presents a big, slightly raw impression at this stage. 90/100

St-Estèphe

Château Cos d'Estournel 2010
Tobacco and coffee comes through initially, giving this a certain mellow spiciness. A tight, refined but glossy black fruit character comes through. This seems layered and complex. On the palate the tannins are massive and meaty, but the juiciness of the fruit is exquisite - there's chocolate and a lightly roasted flavour, but the keen black fruit freshness pierces that. The overriding impression in the finish is the sweetness and ripeness of the fruit, that ashy, mineral earthiness also adding a layer of complexity. 94-95/100

Château Cos d'Estournel, Pagodes de Cos 2010
Much more dusty and relatively austere. An earthiness, even a hint of leather, over the dry black fruit. The palate has a big, solid stripe of tannin that is very dry, with a vegetal edge and earthy minerality, but then the classy concentration of fruit comes through, Structured and serious, with sinewy intensity, if a touch ungiving at this stage. 91-92/100

Château de Pez 2010
Very creamy, ripe and forward fruit as well as a creamy, cappuccino quality of oak. The palate too has that very flattering sweetness of fruit and lowish acidity. Lovely svelte stuff, with great fruit expression and sweetness and a touch of chocolaty density about it. Lots of charm here, and clarity too in a more forward style. 90-91/100

Château Haut-Beausejour 2010
Similarly, a very sweet fruit profile with a creaminess and bold, floral-licked fruit. The palate has a big dry tannic structure, but again that very sweet fruit does carry through. Possibly a little more structure than the Pez, and a real juiciness too. 91/100

Château Lafon-Rochet 2010
Massive fruit sweetness, loads of mineral, earthy character but not at the expensive of the fruit. Tannins are harmonious, even though big, with that power of fruit and fresh acidity sweeping through. A beauty. 92-93/100

Château Montrose 2010
Montrose presents a pool of dark, glossy, tightly-wound black fruit. The silky weight of black fruit dominates some cedar and spice and polished oak, a bit of earthy weight. The palate has a wonderful purity of fruit: there's a long, focused core of black plum and cassis, with a muscular but elegant density. Very polished. The tannins are big, dominating the finish, but have a silky ripeness too, which along with a hint of chocolate and that meatiness, makes for a very powerful finish, the acidity and that purity of fruit giving these an austere but long, very well made and promising a lot for the future. 95-96/100

Château Montrose, La Dame de Montrose 2010
Cherry fruit is to the fore in this wine, with polished wood and a certain dark, deep, cedar and spice depth of plummyness beneath. The palate has lots of flesh, lots of juicy plum and the tart, liquorice plum skin grip. There's a fabulous big raft of sour cherry fruit and acidity, that makes this very juicy against the dryness and weight of tannins. Grippy, structured but with a sense of generosity too. 92/100

Château Phélan Ségur 2010
Tight, dark and liquoricy, a refined, taut black fruit quality. The palate has lots of sweet edges to the tannic framework, and that sweetness really does push through. 91-92/100

Château Tronquoy-Lalande 2010
Meatier, more sinewy, more dry and earthy immediately. There's an ashy dryness to the tannins here, the extract slightly overpowering the fruit, though there is a certain silkiness, a certain juiciness too with lovely refinement in the end, despite the tannic heft. Really nicely sweet fruit does come through, and a little tobacco, with fine concentration and much more substance than the Sainte-Anne. 91-92/100

Château Tronquoy-Lalande, Tronquoy de Sainte-Anne 2010
Refined, gently meaty nose with earthy tones and slightly baked, but ripe fruit. Refined older oak, polished tones. The palate has very good sweetness: a lovely elegant richness and ripeness, with mouth-filling, fleshy plum and berries, the texture creamy and the wine flatteringly open and seductive. 89-90/100

Margaux

Château Margaux 2010
Absolutely exquisite aromatics, with the Margaux perfume already soaring from the glass. Kirsch and a touch of herby charter, background notes of Sandalwood and floral aspects. Fantastic palate, the silky texture of the tannins and the fruit, the beautiful natural concentration without any effort. The fruit is wonderful, with an iron fist in a velvet glove . Talcum soft tannins, beautiful balance and purity in to a long, perfectly focused finish. Not a single touch of tannin dryness. Only 13.5% alcohol too. 98/100

Château Margaux, Pavillon Rouge 2010
A pretty nose this compared to the Alter Ego de Palmer. There's no really powerfully expressive fruit character, but just a sense of elegance and freshness, and a sense of it having silky and floral attributes in the background. Lovely finesse on the palate, with very sweet, delicately flavoured and perfumed fruit at its core, the tannins firm but have a certain chocolaty richness, very nice cherry-ripe acidity, and this is very long. Superb second wine. 93/100

Château Margaux, Pavillon Blanc 2010
Gorgeous nose, the creamy, nutty and fig oak sitting gently over the very fresh citrus fruit, a little grapefruit and lime. The palate is medium bodied, and the initial impression is of that brilliant acidity, the under-ripe apple and melon freshness, and that citrus, but then beneath there is something a little more exotic, with some very delicate herbs, delicate nutty notes and a some waxy, mango peel notes. Long and beautifully focused. 92-93/100

Château Brane Cantenac 2010
Big, rich, but nicely perfumed, with a touch of meat stock quality, but a fresher berry perfume comes through. The palate has lovely fruit: this has a bright acidity too, which along with the fresh aspect to the fruit gives a crisp, lively impression on the mid-palate, Lovely cherry ripe finesse, and the tannins are quite chocolaty and rich, giving this a sophisticated finish and nice harmony. A tiny touch hot feeling perhaps, but it is a quibble as it is very fine. 93/100

Château Cantenac Brown 2010
Blackcurrant and cassis, lightly dusted with pepper and cedar, and a fresh, forward perfumed wine. The palate has very good fruit, a mouth-filling richness and huge concentration. Lovely berry plumpness top this, the tannin tight and muscular, but elegant acidity lifts this. 93/100

Château d'Issan 2010
A little roasted, coffee and chestnut touch, fruit a little more plummy and deep, but still has a sense of creamy ripeness. The palate has lovely fruit concentration. Very ripe berries, a little bite of plum skins adding a bittersweet edge. The tannins are dry, a touch inky at this stage, but there is enough freshness and good acidity to give this precision. 92/100

Château d'Issan, Blason d'Issan 2010
Quite a lift to this fruit, with cherry and some dried herbs, a touch of lovely bloody perfume. On the palate this is very fine, the fruit delicate woven through the decisive acidity and the big, but really quite sharply focused and crisp tannins. There is a deal of dry extract here, but it is not at the expense of the finesse and good juiciness. Perhaps a touch shorter. 90/100

Château Giscours 2010
A slightly dull quality to this, the fruit not terribly expressive. This particular sample is a little tired I think - not as fresh as it should be. On the palate nice savoury focus and a bit of drive, but the fruit is not singing in the way it does in the best Margaux this vintage. Really, judgement reserved but for now 90-91/100

Château Palmer 2010
Really much more expressive, though there's some resinous, youthful oak character, but the black fruit comes through more. On the palate a similar black fruit definition and muscularity, but there's cassis and a hint of almost violet lift to the fruit, hint of kirsch and more fresh intensity. The tannins are massive here, and will take some time to tame, but lovely acidity and a vigorous, fairly profound style but has the elegant lift that is missing in the otherwise excellent Alter Ego. 96/100

Château Paveil de Luze, Cru Bourgeois 2010
Solid, dense, not much perfume. Solid and meaty, but little sign of Margaux charm. 86/100

Château Rauzan-Gassies 2010
A nice sprinkling of cedary finesse on the nose, the fruit coming though with a rich berry, even lightly floral fragrance, delicate notes of cigar smoke and cherry. The palate has good freshness. Lovely fresh, but sweet and round finish, the tanins well handled. 92/100

Château Rauzan-Ségla 2010
Fine fruit. Rounded, fresh, has lots of freshness but a chocolaty depth and cassis richness. Really nice drive here, the tannins and the quite fleshy fruit, and the core of grippy, mineral acidity all pushing on for a long, intense finish. 94/100

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