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Bordeaux 2010 - Part IV

by Tom Cannavan

Pomerol and St Emilion


Vieux Château Certan 2010
Gorgeous, fragrant, herb-scented and red and black fruit nose. Wisps of woodsmoke and cedar, and delightfully fresh. In the mouth lovely, vigorous stuff, with a sweetness to the fruit that is plump and full, and a meaty density without dryness. Tannins and acids are gripping, but already this has fantastic harmony and is a beautifully composed wine that has tamed the tannins and produced a wine of enormous elegance. 98/100

Château Pétrus 2010
Fantastic black cherry depth of fruit, with a vinous, dark vine fruit density and just the subtlest hints of chestnut and violet, and crushed berry fruit. The Palate has a raft of tannin, a huge density with the juiciness of the acidity and tightness of the tannins focused beneath its muscular, sinewy style. Tight, brooding, masculine and vigorous, and will need considerable time. A thirty-year wine. 96-97/100

Château Trotanoy 2010
Effortless sophistication here, with gently cedary tones to racy, elegant fruit, a background of gently charred meat and blood-streaked ripeness. The palate has fabulous concentration and drive, the juicy clarity and length, pulling through to a beautifully composed finish of joyously pure fruit and seamless tannin. 96//100

Château Beau Soleil 2010
Rich, dark and meaty, does not have the ripe, expressive fruit of some, but concentrated. Rather chunky and very dry tannins, overpowering the fruit somewhat. 87/100

Château Le Bon Pasteur 2010
Big, silky-sweet nose of svelte black fruit. Intense and fleshy, but not at all brutish. The palate has a wonderful density of fruit: massive presence her, but just deliciously layered and long. 93/100

Château Bourgneuf 2010
Higher toast character here, with chocolate and a charry depth. Black pastille quality to the fruit too, giving a ripe, opulent impression. Fruit sweetness here, dominating the weight of tannins. Spicy and rich oak, fine acidity and a very well balanced and opulent wine. 91/100

Château La Cabanne 2010
Not giving much at this stage - rather closed and hard to read. Some cedar begins to come through and really quite a nice minerality. Very pure fruit on the palate, but tight and sinewy, the very brawny tannins and quite high acidity giving a lot of concentration and power if a slightly aggressive finish. 88/100

Château Clinet 2010
There's a certain meatiness here, a touch of dankness that makes me worry about this sample slightly. Certainly a gamey element to this, but the bloody ripeness of the fruit comes through. Quite silky too, the tannins fine and the acidity good in a wine that ends very long and harmonious. Could be even better than this if this sample was indeed a little past it. 92/100

Château La Conseillante 2010
Gorgeous ripe black fruit, a touch of balsam and resin, but pure and lifted with lots of chocolaty depth and beautiful tannins. Very silky and refined though those tannins are imposing. 93-94/100

Château La Croix de Gay 2010
Very tight, schisty, very attractive black fruit. Lots of damson and blueberry richness, meaty depth too. On the palate there's a charming plumpness and ripeness top the fruit. Though the tannins are big and chunky, there's an inherent sweetness and moderate balancing acidity that make this a little more approachable than some at this stage. Elegant and delicious. 92/100

Château La Fleur de Gay 2010
Lots of coffeeish oak and torrefaction, with a fine, ripe, very solid black fruit on the palate. A slick of very creamy tannin and sweet oak fills in, in a big, plush and modern, but very good wine. 92/100

Château Gazin 2010
Beautifully fragrant, with little floral and herbs glimpses amongst the red fruits and plum. On the palate this has a svelte juiciness. It has a lovely texture and plenty of silky depth of fruit, the tannins are big and dry, but refined too. Well-balanced and harmonious, if a little impenetrable at present. 92-93/100

Château La Grave 2010
An almost tomato edge to this, a certain herbal lift, but then a nice bloody ripeness to the fruit. The palate has those lean, sinewy tannins which tend to dominate, but there is a lovely core of fruit here and a freshness on the finish. 90/100

Château Hosanna 2010
Meaty, quite dense, quite ungiving at this stage. There's a terrific sense of blue-black concentration. The palate has brilliant clarity, the tightly-wound, wonderfully focused fruit and vigour, and really pushes through into a long, very focused finish. 95/100

Château Lafleur-Gazin 2010
Elegant touch of leafy cedar, with a ripe black fruit character beneath. Firm, juicy, very nicely concentrated on the palate, the tannins are dry and a touch inky at this stage, but there is a really nice purity of fruit beneath. Long and composed. 90/100

Château Lafleur Pétrus 2010
Gorgeous bloody ripeness to this, with cedar and deep plummy fruit, but also lots of minerality. Fabulous fruit sweetness on the palate, just a huge core of plum and black berries, licked with chocolate and seamless into a long, spicy, but fruit-focused finish with lovely balance. 94-95/100

Château Latour a Pomerol 2010
A cedary, nicely earthy and smoky character here expressing good minerality, with a tightly-wound black fruit core. The tannins rather dominate at present, giving this a somewhat inky feeling of extraction. Definite quality here, of fruit and balancing acidity, but fairly inflexible and a touch austere following the Bourgneuf. 90/100

Château Mazeyres 2010
Juicy, but solid stuff. Masses of acidity here and a very firm edge to the tannins. Tough, sinewy stuff, but there is a red plum sweetness and flesh in there. Could be very good this. 93/100

Château Nenin, Fugues du Nenin 2010
Attractive cherry and black fruit, a touch of seductive chocolate. Some cedary oak adds another dimension. The palate has lots of fruit sweetness, lots of texture, a rich pastille fruit and the tannins and acids nicely dark and liquoricy. Does it feel a little touch hot? 89-90/100

Château Nenin 2010
A much brighter fruit profile - more concentration to the fruit and it sits atop the oak a little more. Very refined on the palate, the juiciness of the fruit nicely matched by grippy but refined tannins. There is a hefty structure there, but a sense of brightness and some edge and energy too, 92-93/100

Château Petit-Village 2010
Open, approachable and earthy at this stage, with a nice little streak of gamy character and some toasty oak adding a warming sub-layer. The palate has very good fruit, the firm tannins and lots and lots of juicy cherry acidity adding freshness, though there's no doubt the spice and tannic heft here makes for a chewy style - and big one. 92-93/100

Château Plince Pomerol 2010
A nice fresh lift to this on the nose, with a very concentrated cassis fruit character and hint of chocolate. On the palate it has a firm, cherry and black fruit presence, moderate weight but a lovely clarity to the fruit. Balanced, the tannins and acidity nicely matched by the fruit. 90/100

Château La Pointe 2010
Coffee and cereal notes, a nicely earthy character and meatiness. Delicious palate, really lovely quality of fruit and tannin, melding nicely already into a big, hefty finish but one that shows lots of elegance and length too. Really very good. 93/100

Château Providence 2010
Gorgeous fruit sweetness and ripeness. Deliciously chocolaty and rich. Lovely weight, supple tannins and fruit concentration in a deliciously opulent style. 93/100

Château Taillefer 2010
Charming nose, meaty and chocolaty, but has a bit of lift. Plenty of tannin here, but there's a delightfully juicy edge there too. 91/100

St Emilion

Château Ausone 2010
Super sweet, super vibrant fruit quality. Extraordinary lift to the aromatics, with the kirsch-like fruit singing from the glass and exotic hints of red liquorice, some incense and a touch of game. Expressive and beautiful. The palate it equally riveting, the full, luscious sweetness and ripeness of the fruit and the superb refinement of the tannins and acid balance. A truly beautiful, natural, unforced wine of extraordinary harmony and length. 98/100

Château Cheval Blanc 2010
Immediately more light and shade than the Petit Cheval, with a little floral aspect and cherry edge to the fruit, as well as some cedar and exotic spice, all wrapped around a core of meaty, fleshy plum. The palate too has a sweet intensity to the fruit that makes it lift in the mouth, a cherryish, cassis-ripe immediacy, but beneath that layering of precise tannin and acidity. 96/100

Château Cheval Blanc, Le Petit Cheval GC 2010
Very composed, deep, concentrated nose, a certain intensity and almost liquorice concentration, Elegance comes through on the palate, with a sweetness and ripeness, but a meaty density too. The tannins are thick and the alcohol high, but it has obvious power and concentration. 92/100

Château Balestard La Tonnelle 2010
Quite a meaty but slightly reductive nose. A touch of bacon fat and baked plum fruit. Plenty of ripeness, fat and dark, sweet fruit on the palate, but I still get that slightly thick, reduced quality, with massive tannins too. There is such sweetness here and obvious concentration, that it might deserve the benefit of the doubt:, but for now, 87/100

Château Beau-Séjour Becot 2010
Lots of juicy, quite jammy blackcurrant fruit, with real depth of glossy ripeness. On the palate the tannins are big, but chocolaty and rich and along with coffeeish oak, give a broad underpinning to the fruit. Lovely wine this, with the freshness and drive of the fruit and tannins into the finish. 92-93/100

Château Belair Monange 2010
Quite subdued, with cedar and refined, gentle spice, but the fruit not singing at this stage. The palate has much more fruit presence. There is a meaty concentration and a hint of chocolate to the tannins that are ripe and full, and this finishes with a lovely composure and harmony. 91-92/100

Château Berliquet 2010
Attractive pastille brightness to the fruit. There's an impression of silky elegance, and indeed that follows through on the palate. This has a core of sweetness, but the plum-skin bite and depth of the fruit is the driving force, checking the tannins and keeping this fresh and focused. It is a bit dry, but has some charm. 90-91/100

Château Canon-La-Gaffelière 2010
Very attractive earthy minerality here, and a very elegant lift of kirsch-like cherry and floral character. The palate has a silky sweetness and a beautifully harmonious composure. It has sweet fruit, elegant tannins and a shimmering core of acidity that pushes through to an elegant finish. A beautiful young wine this. 95/100

Château Cap de Mourlin 2010
More meaty and a touch herbal, nowhere near so cleanly expressive as the Canon-La-Gaffelière before. The palate has good fruit, a roughening tannic quality and juicy acidity. A bold, chewy mouthful of wine this, but lacks elegance. 87/100

Clos des Baies
Gorgeous nose, and effortless charm here too, with cherry and sweet red fruits, a touch of mineral gentle smokiness and very, very refined tannins. Long and pure in the finish, this is seductive and intelligent. 91-92/100.

Château Clos Fourtet 2010
A little coffee and some vanilla, baked cherry pie quality. The palate has good fruit, nice composure and a very classic style: the fruit is really quite juicy and fresh in the mouth, and the tannins refined. Good acidity adds to the elegance. 92-93/100

Château La Couspaude 2010
As always, a seductively open wine, already showing a depth of mocha and tobacco, and plum and blackcurrant fruit with a little gamy edge. Most attractive. The palate too has that hyper-sweetness and fat, mouth-filling ripeness, with great feeling of generosity and forward drinking appeal. Lacks the 30-year potential of some, but gorgeously drinkable. 91/100

Château Dassault 2010
Again quite meaty and a little closed perhaps, a little reduced too. The fruit is very ripe, sweet and mouth-filling, with, the tannins dry and the overall extract quite inky. There is good fruit here without a doubt, but the balance raises questions. 88/100

Château La Dominique 2010
Relatively closed, showing quite a fine, pepper and spice edge to taut black fruit. The palate is dry and savoury. The tannins really power through: not brutishly, because they are quite polished, but they have a vice-like grip on this, just allowing the fruit to show through before plenty of acidity leads the finish. Great components for the future. 92/100

Château l'Elglise Clinet 2010
Expresses some lovely minerality with an ashy, smoky character. There's a cool, blueberry and plummy fruit, and on the palate the obvious ripeness and sweetness of both fruit and tannins. The oak is dense and powerful on the finish, which with the hefty tannins adds lots of structure, but the acidity and the lovely sweetness of fruit is impressive. 93-94

Château l'Elglise Clinet, Le Petit Eglise 2010
A little roasted, a little reduced, but on the palate the fruit seems very nice and ripe, with an inherent sweetness, beneath a lot of dry tannin extract. Tough to call, but seems to have very good structure and fruit. 91/100

Château l'Evangile 2010
Very refined nose of ripe, damson plums , a touch of blueberry and a chocolaty touch of plumpness. The oak is refined and gently cedary. The palate has lovely freshness, with a great juiciness and natural concentration: the freshness, tangy, cherry skin liveliness and grip. Good balance here, the fresh fruit and acidity nicely matched to the big, dry tannins and that spicy, warming base of oak. 94/100

Château Figeac 2010
There's a plummy, deep, meaty and bold character here, with cedary oak and plenty of depth. The palate has a silky smoothness and concentration. Although the tannins are big and the fruit perhaps slightly less bright and expressive than some, it does have a svelte, balanced mouth-feel and huge length. 93-94/100

Château Fonbel 2010
Nice mineral earthiness, with some softly gamy notes and a lovely brightness to the fruit. I really like the black fruit focus, juicy clarity and balance. 90-91/100

Château Franc Mayne 2010
Delicious and delicate lift of flowers and fresh, summery berries here - a really attractive wine aromatically, with an elegant fruit expression. The palate follows this through, with a juiciness at its core of that fresh, cassis fruit, licked with chocolate and finishing with both succulence and chewiness. A wine that is carrying the 2010 tannins effortlessly and a fabulous effort from Franc-Mayne. 93/100

Château La Gaffelière 2010
Svelte, rounded and ripe fruit, with a touch of chocolate and a touch of spice. The palate has a delicious smoothness and ripeness of fruit and tannins, and a chocolate-coated berry richness dominates the finish. Tannins really are well managed here, in a stylish, svelte wine. 93/100

Château Haut-Simard 2010
Ripe and gamy, a real richness and touch of coffee and roasted quality. The palate has beautiful sweetness, that plays against grippy tannins and a dry extract character, which with good acidity again makes for a structured, grippy, but deliciously flavoured and pretty well-balanced wine. 90-91/100

Château Larmande 2010
Full fruit, very stylish, plump and sweet, with a real freshness on the palate and a very pure, focused black fruit richness. Cassis dominates, the tannins and the lightly charry, smoky barrel well into the background, in a very attractive wine with good acidity to balance the big structure and sweet fruit. 91/100

Château Lucia 2010
Lovely, refined, glossy cherry fruit and flatteringly modern in style, but immediately seductive. The palate has lovely fruit sweetness and a certain chocolaty density. Opulent and impressive. 92/100

Château Magdeleine 2010
Lovely sense of minerality here, with a nicely meaty edge, but refined cedar and black fruit. The palate has a very firm character, the tannins at the core, but also a certain, cedary, sinewy muscularity to the fruit. 90/100

Château Moulin St Georges 2010
A huge family resemblance in all these wines shown by Chateau Ausone, with again the very ripe, sweet, berry fruit melding with a little gamy note and plenty of mocha oak. But the intense, almost roasted ripeness of the fruit is to the fore. On the palate delicious fruit floods across the palate, a real juiciness and depth, but just filling the mouth with energy and drive, the powerful tannins and acids beautifully submerged. 93/100

Château Puy Blanquette 2010
Nice nose, with a pure blackcurrant fruit and touch of charcoally minerality. Slightly dry impression on the palate, the fruit a little overwhelmed by tannins and acidity. 87/100

Château La Serre 2010
More opulent, ripe and bloody stuff than the Puy Blanquette, with plenty of blackcurrant fruit. The palate has lot more fruit sweetness too, and along with the big tannins and very juicy acidity, a good effort here. 89-90/100

Château Simard 2010
More oak here with, lots of gamy richness and ripeness, lots of kirsch and blackcurrant and although the oak is forward, the fruit matches it. Weighty plate, but with delightful freshness to the fruit. There's a more drying tannin quality, but it is not at all without charm. 89/100

Château Pavie-Macquin 2010
There's an attractive glimpse of something leafy and floral here, a touch of smokiness and minerals, and the fruit fresh and bright. The palate has really nice juiciness and richness, the black fruit and plum skins and cherry skin bite and the firm liquoricy nature of the tannins and fruit in the finish is delightful. This has lovely style and harmony, turning a little chocolaty and promising a great future. 94-95/100

Château Saintayme 2010
Dark, cherry and almost raisiny, blueberry fruit. Chocolaty notes too in a very ripe wine. The palate has a purity and racy sweetness, and a vinosity that is easy to like. 90/100

Château La Tour Figeac 2010
Cedary, raspberry-like lift to this, a certain impression of elegance. There's a raciness to the palate, the fruit bright and focused on crisp, bittersweet liquorice and red fruits, with a biting freshness to the finish. Lovely style this, managing the tannins and retaining lots of savoury bite. 92-93/100

Château La Tour de Pin 2010
Purchased four years ago and now part of the Cheval Blanc stable. Dark vine fruits, not terribly expressive, but has density and richness and a certain meatiness too. Lovely fruit sweetness on the palate, with a delightfully composed, plush edge to the fruit and a racy acid and tannin balance. Fresh, delicious. 93/100

Château Troplong Mondot 2010
Beautiful quality of fruit here, a wonderfully fragrant overlay to solidly plummy fruit with a depth of fruity cocoa notes, some toast and masses of forward personality. The palate is big and ripe, with a massive backbone of tannin over creamy black fruit. Lots of rich, ripe, glossy opulence here, but lovely balance despite the grandeur and the 15+ alcohol. Delicious stuff with marvellous layers of flavour and texture in a totally modern idiom. 95/100

Château Trottevieille 2010
Quite a lot of coffee and toast and cereal notes here, and modest black fruit beneath. The palate has a svelte, coffeeish richness too, the black fruit very composed and elegant, with refinement to the tannins - suede and chocolate - and a lovely understated elegance. Not as showy as some, but has classic refinement and elegance - and powerful depth. 92/100

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