Last updated 18/4/2011 10:54
Junior Vianna MW reports:
[Tuesday 5th April] After two days here and having tasted over 300 wines it is possible to begin to form a clear impression of the 2010 vintage. There is no doubt that mother nature was extremely kind to Bordeaux. The whites, in general, display lovely intensity of fruit, exotic flavours and balancing acidity.
The reds exhibit superb purity of fruit. The wines are wonderfully ripe, those who were able to resist the temptation to over-extract made exceptional wines.
Tasting notes below…..
Individual tasting notes
Notes and scores are a combination of David Allen MW and Junior Vianna MW’s personal ratings.
Cos d’Estournel (93-95+/100)
Composed, displaying excellent purity with aromas including blackberries, ripe cherries, mocha, wet earth and cassis.
On the palate it is ripe, displaying a luscious creamy texture, firm but ripe tannins, exotic fruit flavours, opulent, powerful with noticeable alcohol on the finish.
Chateau Montrose (90-92+/100)
Opaque youthful ruby colour.
The aromas are quite restrained and elegant: raspberries, blackberries, touch earthy as well as some leafy notes.
The wine seems more traditional and backwards in comparison to most ripe exuberant 2010 wines tasted so far. It displays crisp acidity, lean structure, elegant savoury notes underpinned by firm chalky tannins and the finish is moderately long.
Opaque ruby colour with a vibrant purple rim. The aromas at this stage were extremely restrained showing hints of red cherries, raspberries and a delicate cedary note.
On the palate it displayed excellent concentration and texture. Tannins are firm but beautifully refined. Feminine and delicate with a refreshing, vibrant, long finish.
A difficult wine to taste and score at this stage. Whilst some Chateaux perhaps work hard to ensure the wines taste well at this stage Lafite itself is a statement of self-assurance.
Deep dark, almost opaque ruby red.
The aromas are restrained giving hints of cassis, lead pencils, violets and blackberries.
This has much of a classic Medoc Cabernet about it. There is some lively cassis flesh to the wine, but it is a long lean and elegant wine with evident cedary oak. The wine displays lovely fresh acidity and balanced alcohol. Its fine structure and excellent concentration gives it a lovely long finish.
Pichon-Lalande [Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande] (91-93+/100)Deep dark opaque black/red colour with hints of purple at the rim.
The aromas are a seamless melange of raspberries, cassis, cocoa butter, vanilla and refined oak.
The wine is elegantly structured, its tannins are silky and supple. The fruit is lifted by fresh acidity and the alcohol is balanced. There is good grip but the wine finishes with vibrant raspberry and cassis flavours.
Pontet Canet (95-98/100)
A deep dark, opaque, purple black wine.
The aromas are attractive deep and rich, with aromas of cassis, violets, black olives and black cherries. On top of the fruit aromas are clean cedar notes.
The palate is wonderfully open, ripe and balanced with juicy black cherry and cassis fruit. The structure is fine but there is a lovely suppleness and the acidity is fresh. The alcohol must be high but is not evident and a bright juicy fruit lingers on the palate. A really superb wine. Junior rates this potentially one of the vintage’s top 10 wines!
Domaine de Chevalier (89-91++)
A vibrant purple red colour, almost opaque.
The restrained aromas include blackcurrants and fine cedary notes.
The wine is a beautifully balanced combination of lively, elegant cassis and red fruits with a very fine tannic structure. As the acidity is fresh and the alcohol in balance the bright fruit on the finish lasts well. A wine of balance rather than power.
Smith Haut Lafitte rouge (88-90/100)
A vibrant opaque, purple/red colour that is almost opaque.
The restrained aromas contain notes of ripe dark fruits, cedary oak and a hint of mocha.
The fruit character mirrors the aromatic profile. The wine displays medium to full bodied palate and a very firm tannic structure, balancing acidity but finishes with quite drying tannins. (DA/DVJ)
Bright, youthful, very deep, almost opaque ruby.
The nose is intense, sophisticated and inviting, aromas of blackberries, cassis, dark chocolate and gentle cedary notes.
On the palate it shows excellent concentration. It is opulent but in perfect balance with sweet ripe fruit on the mid palate and a long and harmonious finish. Superb.
This is a deep dark opaque purple red colour.
There are fabulous aromas of pure red fruits and vivid cedary oak.
The fruit on the palate is a dense combination of bright red fruits and bitter liquorice. The plentiful tannins have some bite, but finish supple and elegant. Fresh acidity helps to lift the bright fruit, the alcohol is balanced and the finish. A classy wine. (DA)
98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. This wine is made by the same team that produces the neighbouring Chateau Angelus.
Opaque, youthful ruby colour.
The aromas are overt and vibrant with notes of blackberries, cassis, kirsch and a hint of vanilla.
On the palate it is dry with balancing acidity. Ripe, juicy, round with a wonderful sweet mid-palate underpinned by a firm fine grain sophisticated structure.
Cheval Blanc (96-98/100)
Deep dark, dense black/red colour.
The nose is quite closed, revealing a few savoury notes.
The palate is very savoury with plenty of well integrated cedar.
The wine has lots of grip, but lively acidity keeps it fresh. The palate has lots of ripe bitter liquorice character and an underlying red fruit the finish is very long.
Clos Fourtet (89-91/100)
The wine has a deep dark purple/red colour and is completely opaque.
The aromas are of earth, toasty cedar and cassis.
The palate is tight with a good structure and rich, concentrated liquorice-like fruit overlaid with firm oak. The wine’s structure is tight grained with fine tannins. Balanced to good acidity gives the fruit a juicy nature. The alcohol gives warmth to the finish, which is reasonably long. (DA)
Clos Fourtet is often quite un-supple, but this vintage manages to have some juicy roundness to complement its undeniable structure and grip.
La Gaffelière (89-91/100)
Intense red purple colour is virtually opaque.
Lovely fresh, red fruit aromas are overlaid with oak-drived spice notes.
The palate combines spicy oak flavours with slightly over-mature, rich, rasiny fruit. The wine’s fruit is lifted by fresh acidity. High alcohol leaves the finish heady. (DA)
Deep dark opaque purple colour.
The restrained aromas are of fresh, juicy red and black fruits.
There is a lovely rounded fruit on the palate with an attractive combination of red fruits and bitter liquorice flavours. The tannins are quite firm but masses of ripe red fruits overpower them on the long fresh finish. (DA)
La Tour du Pin (90-91/100)
A deep, dark and virtually opaque wine with a black/purple colour.
The fruit aromas are quite closed and those that are evident are meaty and savoury.
The palate is concentrated, displaying a ripe, sweet liquorice nature. The wine is dense with plenty of cedary oak notes. An undeniably modern style wine with balanced alcohol, fresh acidity and a concentrated and persistent finish. (DA)
La Tour Figeac (89-90/100)
Deep purple colour is virtually opaque and is held right to the rim.
The vivid attractive, open red-berry aromas are typical of Tour Figeac.
The palate has an appealing, smooth, opulent structure. The fruit profile mirrors that found on the nose. The flavour profile is typical of Merlot, being juicy with a clean capsicum note. The silky tannins take on some bite at the finish. Alcohol is balanced to warm while fresh acidity enhances the juicy nature of the fruit and gives reasonable length to the finish. (DA)
A deep, dark, opaque purple-red colour that holds to a purple rim.
The aromas are heady, rich, ripe cherries overlaid by sweet cedar and vanilla notes.
The fruit on the palate displays a high degree of maturity with a liquorice-like bite. The vibrant fruit has black cherry, black olive and raisin characteristics and plenty of fine but gripping tannins. The wine is quite alcoholic, but good acidity leaves the fruit vibrant and juicy on the long finish. The wine is made in a very rich powerful style, but has surprising elegance and balance for such a big wine. (DA)
Puy Blanquet (87-88/100)
The wine has a deep dark purple red colour and is almost opaque.
There are clean aromas of cream and juicy red fruit.
The palate is lovely and open, the vivid red cherry fruits are complimented by fresh acidity and balanced alcohol. The finish has good length and there is some tannic grip to the finish. Quite a straightforward but well made wine. (DA)
Petit Cheval (90-92/100)
Deep dark, opaque black/red coloured wine.
The wine’s extremely closed aromas simply hint at the savoury.
The palate displays the savoury nature of the nose giving restrained bitter liquorice fruit and lots of very tight, fine cedary tannins. The alcohol is well balanced and the good acidity gives a long savoury finish. A closed wine promising much for the future. (DA)
Rol Valentin (90-92/100)
A deep, dark, opaque ruby red colour.
The wine’s aromas are of ripe black fruits with hints of milky aromas.
A cleanly made, powerful, modern style wine. Rounded, ripe black fruits are framed by a fine tannic structure. The wine has excellent acidity which leaves the fruit on the finish fresh and juicy. The wine’s alcohol is perhaps a touch on the high side. (DA)
Troplong Mondot (93-95/100)
An opaque ruby red wine with a vivid purple rim.
The aromas are very heady with over-mature notes of sweet raisins and sultanas overlaid by clean vanilla.
The wine is supple and rich. The flavours are over-ripe black cherries, black olives, raisins, coffee and chocolate. The wine has undeniably high alcohol but has a wonderful freshness that goes a long way towards balancing it. The finish endures well.
This is a huge opulent wine that may appeal more to lovers of big Zinfandels than classic claret aficionados. Although well-handled for such a big wine, we have doubts about its ability to age harmoniously. Alcohol 15.5% (DA)
Certan de May (89-92/100)
This is a deep, dark wine with an opaque red/purple colour.
The nose has attractive, clean notes of cedar and mocha.
The palate combines fresh fruit with a very fine tannic structure. Concentrated red cherry, plum and damson fruits are backed by notes of coffee and quite drying tannins. Good freshness and balanced alcohol allows the fruit to give the structure a divine silky suppleness that runs through the finish. The wine ends on a delicious pure red fruit note. (DA)
La Conseillante 2010 (90-91/100)
Deep ruby red- not opaque. Lovely rich, ripe aromas of currants, coffee, bitter liquorice. The palate has lots of liquorice-like concentration, chocolate notes, good grip yet a silky smoothness to the tannic structure. The wine has good acidity and balanced to warm acidity. The finish lasts well with a nice tannic bite. (DA)
The wine has a deep, dark purple/red colour and is virtually opaque.
There are slightly meaty aromas to the vibrant red fruits on the nose.
This displays delicious, bursting red cherry aromas, beneath which lie fine gripping tannins. Balanced alcohol and good acidity keep the fruit juicy and fresh to the finish. The concentrated fruit acquires notes of meat and cedar as it develops in the mouth. This is fine, elegant, concentrated, harmonious wine that could well develop to exceed its current score (DA)
La Grave à Pomerol (Trigant de Boisset) (88-91/100)
Deep dark, almost opaque, purple red colour.
The aromas are open, displaying jammy red fruit with underlying coffee and mocha notes.
On the palate flavours of coffee grounds and mocha dominate the rich fruit. Alcohol is balanced. The tannins have a grainey, drying nature but good acidity lifts the fruit, giving a good length to the finish, which is structured and quite drying without being astringent. (DA)
Latour à Pomerol (89-92/100)
A deep, dark, almost opaque purple/red wine.
The rich aromas are bursting with vibrant red berries and black fruits.
On the palate an initial bright red fruit character is followed by rich, concentrated sweet liquorice flavours. The rich fruit is complemented by a good tannic grip. The structure is fine and supple and the alcohol is balanced. The wine has lovely fresh acidity that lifts the fruit well. The finish is long and harmonious –a ravishingly beautiful wine. (DA)
Petit Village (91- 93+)
The wine is opaque in colour with youthful purple highlights.
The nose has plenty of vibrant ripe, jammy red fruit as well as chocolate and mocha.
The tannins are very ripe, rounded and supple yet have a nice grip. The depth of fruit is impressive and the finish is long. The wine has fresh acidity, alcohol is on the high side but harmonious.
An intense dark red colour – absolutely opaque with a vivid purple rim.
The aromas are deep rich with intense savoury notes overlying deep black fruits.
The palate is also very savoury the fruit showing a high level of ripeness with mocha, coffee grounds, black cherries and olives and bitter chocolate flavours. There are high-toned notes to the fruit and plenty of toasty cedar. This is a really finely crafted wine whose intensely ripe fruit has been picked at appoint before tipping into over-maturity. The structure very big but the tannins are fabulously fine and the finish exceptionally long. (DA)
A deep, dark wine, whose purple/red colour is almost opaque.
The wine’s aromas are of those of a modern wine with clean, rich red cherry fruit and cedary new oak.
The palate is opulent, with appealing cocoa-butter and mocha overlaying the rich, silky-smooth fruit. The wine contains plenty of tannins that manage to be both gripping, and in combination with the warm alcohol, supple too. The acidity is balanced and the finish firm, attractive and rich. (DA)
St Pierre, Pomerol (89-91)
Deep, dark, almost opaque purple red colour.
The aromas are classic for Pomerol with notes of plum and mocha overlaid by hints of cedar.
The wine has a very pure plum fruit character and some meaty notes. The tannins are supple. The wine’s alcohol is in balance and its fresh acidity gives it a clean finish of fair length. The wine needs time for the fruit to fill out.
A deep, dark, almost opaque, purple/red wine.
Aromas are of cedar, overlaying concentrated damson and black fruit character.
Tighter and more structured than its Moueix stablemate La Fleur Pétrus. This has a beautifully handled structure with fine cedary tannins that manage to remain supple and silky smooth. The alcohol is balanced to high, while good acidity lifts the fruit on the finish to a long crescendo of pure dark fruits. This wine displays a wonderful harmony between structure, elegance and fruit purity. (DA)
Vieux Château Certan (96-98/100)
Deep dark ruby red colour with a purple rim.
Aromas are rich and concentrated with fabulous perfumed top notes of Cabernet Franc.
A lovely supple wine with excellent grip and lovely fresh acidity. The alcohol is in balance. The tannins are supple and the black fruits have a sweet liquorice nature. A beautifully made wine which is elegant with a firm structure and a lovely long finish. 86% Merlot, 8% Cab Franc & 6% Cab Sauv
The colour is a pale waxy, greenish yellow.
The aromas are of a wonderful honeyed nectar.
The palate is concentrated with a fabulous clean and well integrated botrytis, giving a lovely clean honey flavour. The alcohol is relatively low and the acidity fresh but not sharp. The wine is currently quite light bodied but with some lovely exotic characteristics. There is a fair amount of extract noticeable on the back palate. A lovely fresh and elegant d’Yquem. Sugar 141g/ltr Alcohol 13.5%
Château Rivière (90-91)
This wine is a favourite on our wine list each year, 2010 sample showed that it is still punching above its weight: excellent purity of fruit, superb texture and attractive notes of black fruits, dark chocolate and sweet spices.