This is my favourite dinner of the year. This is when 12 of us gather to taste the newly arrived Bordeaux. Most of us had bought our Bordeaux two years previously, untasted, and patiently waited for it to arrive. This was the point where we see if our investments were wise. Our 2010 Bordeaux Dinner was a treat.
The last couple have been tough going. The hyped 2009s were all shut down by the time we got to taste them. The 2008s were ‘classic Bordeaux’ and not super exciting. At dinner, for the 2007s it was more like a funeral than a fun dinner. So we had some trepidation and excitement to taste the 2010s which Steven Spurrier describes as a ‘modern classic’. It has been compared to 1982 and 1947 and therefore mentioned as the best ever. Is it the best vintage ever in Bordeaux? I don’t know, but I do know that the wines we tasted were stunning.
As a group showed excellent ripeness, great length, near perfect balance of fruit and acidity and careful oak handling. None of these wines had any hard edges and the ripeness they possessed was balanced, not overdone like in 2003. They are not ‘cheap’ but if you love Bordeaux and want wines to stock your cellar for the long haul, this is the vintage and the region. They are guaranteed to be a sound investment.
Taking our regular table
At Mezzo we calibrated our palate with a glass or two of Agrapart Terroirs NV a Blanc de Blancs Champagne that is fast becoming my favourite of the style (sorry Larmandier!). Gorgeous stone fruits, spice, chalky and clean. There is nice mid-palate fat and a hint of white chocolate. A classy wine and a great ambassador for Grower Champagne.
Right Bank Bordeaux
The Right Bank, Merlot dominant (as a rule) wines were up first. A Modern, ripe, juicy and silky Grand Mayne from St-Emilion started the show. It is certainly great value from the flashy and pricy address. It probably doesn’t have the longevity of the more prestigious 2010s but is great now or best to be left until 2020 and beyond.
Also from St-Emilion is one of my favourites: Chateau Troplong-Mondot which was a clear step up in quality. More density and beautifully perfumed nose that would be welcome in Burgundy. A mid-weight, elegant and balanced palate that is everything I love about this wine.
The final Right Bank wine saw us move over the Pomerol and a wine that was vying for the best of the Vintage Vieux-Chateau-Certan. Unlike a lot of the great Pomerol (of which VCC is considered one) they use a high proportion of the Cabernets in their blend. The leader of the region Petrus is almost pure Merlot. The 2010 VCC was voluptuous, pure, very complex and tightly bound. It is not cheap, but at the same time a wine of this quality, from this vintage, with this much ability to bring joy, is an absolute bargain.
First up was an old favourite Lafon-Rochet. This 4th Growth from St-Estephe was actually a hint disappointing. It was tasting a little bit stewed and herbal at first, with time in the glass it developed the more familiar dark fruits and plums. Perhaps the bottle wasn’t 100% because this wine and their owners step higher standards than this.
One appellation to the south and we are tasting Pauillac 5th Growth Grand-Puy-Lacoste. A proper claret from way back GPL always shows dark, minerally and earthy notes. Its elegant, clean and structured palate always carries the wine in the cellar. I’ve never had a bad old GPL and 2010 will bring a lot of joy to those who hold on to some.
Last but not least (in fact wine of the night by popular vote) was Leoville-Barton from St Julien. This Second Growth is a classy affair of currants, violets, pristine perfume and a hint of magic. It is dry, earthy, firm mean and tight at the moment. Definitely in need of time in the cellar. 10, 15, 20, 25… longer? You’ll run out of bottles before it runs out of time. If someone wanted one bottle of Bordeaux to understand the classic style and charm this would be the one I picked.
The mystery wine
A lovely Burgundy from Faiveley Nuits-St-Georges Clos de Marechale 1er 1995. A stunner, just a magnificent blend of haunting red berries and red flowers, stony minerals, spice and undergrowth. A silken palate and lingering flavour. Yum.
We had a wine that was a surprise to me too (I’d ordered something else). The P&B Palgeoles made from Mauzac Roux just south of Bordeaux is a high botrytis, half late picked wine that shows a lot of freshness, vibrancy and is so well-balanced you can drink it on its own, serve it at the start of a meal with ginger scallops or use it after a meal with fresh fruits or lightly sweet desserts. It is really enjoyable!
A great night to be sure and some seriously exciting wines. So much so that a few of the attendees requested that we do it again. But that is another story.
Sound amazing? They are! Join the journey and buy some of this great vintage. You can see the wines available here https://thewinedepository.com.au/product-tag/bordeaux-2010/ or email Philip@thewinedepository.com.au for more wines or specific help.