Browse using the new Vinous website now. Launch →
Printed by, and for the sole use of . All rights reserved © 2015 Vinous Media
Squares & Circles: Bordeaux ‘10 At Ten
BY NEAL MARTIN | APRIL 21, 2020
Each February I taste the relevant Bordeaux vintage at 10 years of age, both sighted and blind. This year it is the turn of 2010, a fascinating and highly revered vintage, albeit one not beyond criticism. How have the wines evolved? How does 2010 compare to 2009? Where is its place in these tumultuous times?
The passage of time between present and past feels shorter as we get older. Paradoxically, 2010 seems like yesterday, while the current pandemic makes February’s tasting of the vintage feel like a different lifetime. How was the world in 2010? Well, Barack Obama was POTUS, and on this side of the pond David Cameron’s hung parliament sowed the seeds of discontent that ultimately begat Brexit. At the flicks, Christopher Nolan reinvented the intelligent blockbuster with the mind-bending Inception, which I am still trying to work out, and Lady Gaga brought color and camp back to pop music. Nobody then had heard of Greta Thunberg or coronavirus. My palate and penmanship were working for Robert Parker, and slivers of spare time were invested in researching my Pomerol tome; consequently, I spent long stretches in Bordeaux, including en primeur. It was a memorable campaign. The Bordelais were basking in the afterglow of the unprecedented and, as it transpired, unrepeatable success of the 2009s, their euphoria fueled by the rapturously received 2010, which was baptized a great vintage. They could already hear the ring of cash registers... or so they thought.
The title of my primeur report was “Another Royal Flush,” since 2009/2010 was the latest in a series of well-received pairs that stretch from 1899/1900 to 2015/2016. My report on the 2010s in bottle was entitled “Snow-capped Peaks and Troubled Plains,” and it is intriguing to re-read my comments from 2014, noting how the tannins had hardened and that occasionally “there was more astringency and attenuation than is optimal.” My conclusion: “Across the board from First Growths down to Petit Château, if you ask which is the better vintage, I would say 2009 over 2010.” However, I was more positive toward the Left Bank, where I found the Cabernet Sauvignon “in excelsis” and that “the best 2010s on the Left Bank are some of the greatest wines you will ever drink.”
Only with maturity can we really put vintages into focus and place them within the context of other growing seasons. The 2010 vintage was born a different expression of Bordeaux compared to the 2009s that oozed lushness and fruit intensity. Those sensual wines were either exalted or traduced, depending upon what you think Bordeaux should aspire toward. The 2010s produced more challenging and less arousing fare, with drier and less pliant tannins. They were bestowed greater structure – wines with reinforced girders – and alcohol levels as high if not higher than the previous year. Even though (to use Spinal Tap parlance), the 2010s turned it up to eleven, at their heart they were mostly “classic” in style, appealing to Bordeaux purists.
The timing of the 10-year-on horizontals arrives at an intriguing juncture. Tasting the 2009s last year, the pertinent question was whether the fruit and freshness had held up. With respect to the 2010s, I sought to discover if the tannins have begun to polymerize and soften, and gauge where the wines are in terms of approachability and their proximity to drinking plateaus. How do the tannins feel in relation to the fruit? Is there equilibrium between the two, or has the passing of time revealed excessive tannins that render the wines austere and aloof? Do their high alcohol levels intrude? Does this snapshot reaffirm 2010 as a bona fide great Bordeaux vintage or has it been undeservedly placed on a pedestal, and thereby fated to fall short of high expectations? Is beatification warranted like the 1961s, which continue to excel after decades, or are they more akin to 1986s, where the jury is still out on whether they will ever come around?
is only one way to answer these questions, and that is to taste the wines. For
many years I have attended two horizontals held within a few days of each other.
BI Wines & Spirits organizes a sighted tasting of around 70 wines at their
offices, nearly all bottles directly from properties. Farr Vintners hosts a two-day
tasting of approximately 200 wines that are poured single blind within peer
groups for a group of experienced professionals predominantly from the trade. Attending
two tastings allows examination of the same subject in two different ways.
Instead of needlessly publishing the same report twice, I keep the tasting
notes separate but publish them together for readers to compare. Accretion of
tannin inevitably poses a challenge for anyone tasked with tasting a large
number of these wines, and in addition, I was wary of bottles being given insufficient
aeration considering the logistical limitations of carrying out a tasting on
this scale. Readers should note that bottles were all double-decanted early in
the morning of the tasting. Despite these obstacles, there is still a unique
opportunity to juxtapose like with like, revealing not only absolute but relative quality. Given a choice of
2010s, what should you open, what should you buy and, maybe, what should you
The Growing Season
A high-pressure system in early March delayed the growing cycle, predicating a late vintage. Budding took place in mid-April, then May was unseasonably dry. Flowering was uneven, and low temperatures on June 6 retarded a sudden growth spurt over that otherwise hot weekend. A succession of fronts caused widespread coulure, while millerandage particularly affected old Merlot vines. Hopes for an abundant vintage were dashed, though that does not preclude potential quality – quite the opposite. After inclement weather, there was a spike in temperatures at the end of June, and foliage flourished. July and August were exceptionally dry, so that just 11 days necessitated umbrellas. The rest of the time it was sunny: 534 sunlight hours, two more than in 2009, with few heat spikes and just three days over 35°C. In fact, August was marginally cooler than average, with night temperatures falling to just 10–11°C, enabling the berries to retain acidity. The ongoing drought caused berries to lose around 30% of their weight, but at least it obviated the risk of gray rot as sugar levels reached high levels.
The white wines were harvested under dry, hot conditions, the cool nights continuing to preserve acidity. There were intermittent light showers, but the drought pushed back the harvest dates, Pomerol commencing around September 22–24. Rain on October 4 and 10 replenished vine vigor on the Left Bank. The harvest took place under dry conditions marked by cold nights, so that most of the crop was in by October 23 or 24; a few stragglers were picked in November, since at that time, late picking was still in vogue.
One crucial point was to eliminate the millerandé berries by hand or with optical sorting machines that were just becoming more popular and widely used. In terms of vinification, most producers treated the vinification carefully, employing reduced remontage and pigeage and reduced temperatures. Winemakers observed that the color came easily, though thick skins necessitated careful management of tannins. High acidity levels meant that malolactics were generally late, and many did not finish until early March.
The 2010s were never inclined to flatter in the same way as 2009, which gleefully doled out all that precocious fruit. Think of overall wine quality as being measured along an X axis and a Y axis, the first representing “sensory pleasure” and the second what we might call “intellectual fulfillment.” The weighting given to each axis depends upon your individual preferences or simply your mood at that moment. Sometimes we crave a delicious wine to quaff and enjoy; other times we might seek wines that deserve contemplation. Maybe it is some kind of synesthesia, but here are their respective styles in shape-form: 2009s are circles, 2010s squares. When a bottle achieves both, then that is when you start seeing all those high scores and superlatives.
If hedonism floats your boat, you may still appreciate the virtues of 2010, but in terms of what you prefer gulping down your throat, 2009 will be your bag. However, there were sufficient highlights to anoint 2010 as a great Bordeaux vintage. Whether it is the benchmark for years to come is another question. Maybe, just maybe, these tastings toned down the exaltation afforded these wines at birth. It is certainly not an infallible vintage (name one that is). But it stands to reason that time exacerbates minor deficiencies and makes them more apparent. Variation between châteaux and between bottles becomes more tangible, and both tastings revealed more inconsistency than was apparent at primeur or just after bottling. Indeed, these tastings incontrovertibly prove how wines can vary from bottle to bottle, since on several occasions a backup bottle could have been misconstrued as a different wine! It is useful to record the cases where a second bottle was necessary - and readers will find this mentioned in relevant tasting notes.
I will make a few observations before drilling down to individual performances. Let’s broach the questions I posed in my introduction.
How far are they from their drinking plateaus?
After 10 years, many of the 2010s are on the cusp of their respective drinking windows – ajar but not wide open. I would certainly not advise jimmying open your OWCs this lockdown weekend; however, if you are inquisitive about how the 2010s are showing, then why not open one? Just make sure you give it plenty of decanting time – one or two hours for most wines in this report, but four to six for grander names.
How do the tannins feel in relation to the fruit?
Over many years of visiting Bordeaux professionally, I have witnessed fundamental changes in terms of winemaking practices that engender a different style of wine. That difference is abundantly clear when juxtaposing two highly praised vintages like 2010 and 2016. The texture of the latter feels silkier than the former, and that is down to tannin management. Winemakers now practice far gentler pressings at lower temperatures, and take much more care in terms of selecting and blending their vin de presse – in a sense, taking their foot off the accelerator and not pushing the wines in a direction that they believe will ensure longevity or, let’s be candid, warrant higher scores. The tannins in the 2010s were relatively coarse from the outset, which is why I forewarned that they would require considerable cellaring.
Is there equilibrium between fruit and tannin or has the passing of time revealed imbalances, excessive tannins that render them austere and aloof?
Most of the wines at this level showed good balance between fruit and tannin, though I would argue that some flirt with excessive tannins in proportion to the fruit that will naturally recede with time. Time has exposed those big-boned tannins that might put some drinkers off. Conjecturing forward, the best wines have everything in place even if they sometimes seem exaggerated. Thankfully, their acidity levels lock in the crucial freshness that should see them age well. Many winemakers have told me face to face that 2010 is their preference in terms of the style of wine they are pursuing, even if it was 2009 that kept their accounts happy. They could well be right, though success is not the shoo-in that classicists might have believed.
Do their high alcohol levels intrude?
I suppose one must ask how “high alcohol” is defined these days. Not so long ago, 13.0–13.5% would be deemed high, whereas now it is regarded as about average or even low thanks to global warming. The 2010 vintage produced wines that touched 16% in some places. Generally, I did not find that the alcohol intruded too much because of the factors already mentioned, not least the low pH levels that would have been higher had the summer been warmer. On the other hand, the metabolic effect of tasting a small measure of a high-alcohol wine is totally different from that of consuming an entire bottle throughout an evening, which, after all, is how wine is supposed to be consumed.
Does this snapshot reaffirm 2010 as a bona fide great?
That is a trickier question than you might think. There is no doubt that the 2010 Bordeaux vintage deserves its place within the first rank of growing seasons, along with years such as 2005, 2009 and 2016. Despite making a very positive impression here, many of these wines are regularly tasted at verticals or dinners and show better in those situations when they are afforded time to open. Case in point: at the BI Wines & Spirits tasting, the organizer later told me how many wines got into their stride only by that evening, which is no surprise. Taken out of their comfort zone, my overall impression of 2010 is perhaps higher than you might infer by my notes and scores, cognizant that they do improve with exposure to air, so that some of the more sullen and recalcitrant wines deserve the benefit of the doubt. They are just denied that prolonged aeration to show their true worth. The fact is that fruit-driven vintages with more malleable structures are less fatiguing to taste en masse, and my view of a vintage is always governed by how bottles are consumed by wine drinkers out in the real world. Most of them will not be lining up dozens of 2010s to be tasted one after the other. The 2010s may well be surpassed by the 2016s and are probably shaded by the 2009s at the moment. You could also argue that they lack consistency throughout the hierarchy compared to both 2005 and 2009. However, in the long haul, these still stand a chance of becoming benchmark wines destined to flourish in their secondary phases.
Is beatification warranted, like the 1961s, still going strong after decades, or are the 2010s more akin to the 1986s, where the jury is still out as to whether they will ever come around?
Let me look into my crystal ball... I have always had faith in the 2010s even though I knew it was going to be a “testing” vintage to understand and taste. Although 10 years is an obvious numeric juncture to reexamine a vintage, I suspect it was disadvantageous to many 2010s that need more bottle age, whereas others are beginning to drink nicely. One thing I will say: when I ask seasoned professionals how the 1961s showed in their youth, they often reply that they were unapproachable for many years. That is not such a bad thing – Bordeaux thrives on diversity, a mix of years when the wines are “open for business” right away and others that bide their time. Good things come to those who wait.
The 2010 Vintage by
So which wines hit home runs?
I rarely proclaim that a single wine shone so brightly that it put everything else in its place, but this is one of those occasions. That wine is the 2010 Latour. It has always been a monumental First Growth, and both bottles, sighted and blind, left me with no hesitation in awarding a perfect score. Readers will already know that I am not predisposed to dish out three-digit scores easily, principally because of my fundamental rule that I must have no speck of doubt that what I am drinking adheres to my own definition of perfection. Someone reading my tasting note or acting upon it should expect nothing less. It is a breathtaking wine. The complexity and purity of the aromatics, the precision and symmetry on the palate, the pitch-perfect acidity, beguiling length and innate articulation of what it is to be a Pauillac, all combine to make it faultless. The 2010 Latour will be up there with the greats such as 1900, 1928, 1929, 1959, 1961, 1982 and 2000. At the Farr tasting it drew a consensus that I have rarely witnessed over the years. If I had space for only one 2010 in my cellar, it would be Latour.
is the solitary wine that met my uncompromising criteria for perfection. I
guess on this occasion, there is only one seat on the throne. However, the
vintage is not in short supply of others that flirt with perfection, just a
whisker away from matching Latour’s peerless standard. Hot on its heels is a
stunning 2010 Mouton-Rothschild that,
as I commented in 2014, ranks among winemaker Philippe Dhalluin’s greatest
achievements. I place this ahead of the 2010
Lafite-Rothschild, which is less forthcoming than its fellow Pauillac First
Growths. It was quite introspective in barrel, spectacular just after bottling,
and thereafter slipped into what I term a great Lafite-Rothschild. The two
bottles reminded me of the example poured at the estate’s 150th
anniversary vertical and aver that under Eric Kohler the winemaking has
improved subsequent to the 2010.
You do not have to murder your wallet forking out for a First Growth to experience 10-year-old Pauillac firing on all cylinders. For a start, you could save a few (hundred) bucks and stock up on an outstanding Le Petit Mouton instead of the Grand Vin. It is the most improved second label of a First Growth in recent years and, like Les Forts de Latour, stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the appellation’s Grand Vins.
Hey, how bloomin’ awesome is the 2010 Grand Puy-Lacoste? “Very” is the answer. It revels in a growing season that stylistically suited this property down to the ground, perhaps better than the 2009. Ditto an overperforming 2010 Lynch-Bages and a strong showing from Batailley, one of my picks from the original primeur campaign. A majority of the Pauillac wines showed the nobility that its Grand Cru Classés are renowned for.
Not every Pauillac performed as expected. The showing of the 2010 Pontet Canet left me perplexed since it is a wine that I have rated highly in the past. Whilst I could not identify any obvious fault, blind, it came across unusually exotic on the nose and lacked the backbone and structure that I associate with a typical Pauillac. Though I appreciated what you might call a “sensual” wine, stylistically it deviated from what I recognize as “Pontet Canet”. I will monitor its evolution closely.
there was general consensus about the high quality of the Pauillacs, the flight
of Saint-Julien 2010s was more divisive. However, I found this to be a reassuringly
strong and consistent set of wines, perchance a notch less noble than their Pauillac
counterparts, yet possessing everything you seek from top-quality Claret. I had
one question mark with respect to the bottle of 2010 Léoville Las-Cases at the blind tasting, though the sighted bottle
was very impressive, albeit not leaps and bounds ahead of the strong
competition from Léoville Poyferré
and Ducru-Beaucaillou, which are not
miles apart stylistically. In terms of seeking that sweet spot between quality
and price, I would be telephoning my merchant to order some 2010 Lagrange, Gloria and St-Pierre,
despite the first bottle of the latter exhibiting a bit of oxidation. These
represent some of the finest releases in recent years and yet prices remain
affordable compared to others. Only the 2010
Talbot felt out of step with its peers, validating some of my remarks in my
recent write-up following a vertical tasting, although it is still a pretty
Meanwhile, in Saint-Estèphe, the standout is a regal 2010 Château Montrose that on the Left Bank podium deserves either a silver or a bronze medal. It is a pixelated wine that combines immense structure with balletic poise, broody in many respects yet delivering entrancing energy. The man who was in charge at the time was Nicolas Glumineau, so chapeau! the present winemaker at Pichon-Lalande. It has the edge over the impressive Cos d’Estournel and a great Calon-Ségur that probably represents better value for money than either. In recent blind tastings, Meyney has performed strongly, although three bottles opened all showed discouraging signs of oxidation. I re-tasted the 2010 at the property in a vertical tasting in February 2020 and found it much more representative; I publish that note here rather than in my forthcoming article. Now, if you really want great value, then head for the superb 2010 Lafon-Rochet. This showed its mettle in the blind tasting: grippy and structured, certainly displaying more body than other vintages, with plenty of tension on the finish. Bravo, Basile Tesseron and team!
During en primeur and just after bottling, I found that the Margaux appellation was more consistent than in previous years. That is generally true, although as a set of wines it is a small step down from Saint-Julien and Pauillac, partly because the growing season favored Cabernet Sauvignon and the final blends tend to contain less of this grape variety. The predictable triumvirate of Palmer, Rauzan-Ségla and Brane-Cantenac showed strongly, although the bottle of Brane-Cantenac was not the best I have encountered. Both tastings revealed a couple of less predictable 2010s that showed particularly well, not least an outstanding Cantenac Brown that is cohesive and focused – a great job by winemaker José Sanfins. There is also a quite sensational Deuxième Vin... no, not Pavillon Rouge, but the 2010 Ségla. I guess we are not supposed to drink these wines in their youth after all!
In Pessac-Léognan, I felt the appellation offers a strong set of wines that benefit from higher proportions of Merlot, which tempers the firmness or obduracy of the tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 Haut-Brion is superb, classic in style and suppler than I would have anticipated, certainly when compared to a fellow First Growth like Latour. My money is on its sibling. Both showings of the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion revealed a deep, structured and complex wine that is destined for a long future, a nose in front of Haut-Brion at this stage. Anyone sitting on cases of this wine is in for a treat. Elsewhere there were strong showings for a fabulous, graphite-tinged Smith Haut-Lafitte and Pape-Clément (even if it needs another three or four years in bottle) and a great Domaine de Chevalier, though the bottle served blind failed to capture my imagination. I might have misread it; it happens. Both Malartic-Lagravière and Latour-Martillac represent some of best in terms of value; and do not ignore the likes of Larrivet Haut-Brion, which was surprisingly sensual.
Moving over to the Right Bank, let’s begin with Pomerol. Many growers have expressed a preference for their 2009 over their 2010, though at 10 years of age these wines are pushing the previous vintage hard in terms of superiority. There is a handful of stunning Pomerols, including a profound, intellectual Petrus that might eschew the gung-ho attitude of the 2009 but is surfeit with tension and grace, subtle ferrous notes signaling a secondary phase of evolution. Hot on its heels comes a fantastic Vieux-Château-Certan that is lighter in style but extraordinarily complex and sustained on the finish, and a brilliant La Conseillante that evoked memories of my first encounter in barrel with former estate manager Jean-Michel Laporte. I recall returning to my rental car and blabbering that it was the best wine the estate had ever produced. It is a finely chiseled La Conseillante that exudes energy. Then there is the stunning Lafleur, displaying a lot of Cabernet Franc on the nose that distinguishes it from other Pomerol crus during blind tastings, typically structured and grippy, while at the other end of the spectrum, the La Violette is more lavish and sweeter, yet with impressive backbone on the finish. The 2010 Hosanna is similar in style to the La Violette but comes across as trying too hard on the finish. Not everything hit the mark in Pomerol. I felt the nose on the 2010 L’Evangile was slightly oxidized – a shame, since previous bottles have shown better. Also, I found the 2010 L’Église-Clinet may have closed up shop in recent months, as I have encountered better bottles in the past.
Saint-Émilion was less consistent compared to Pomerol, though not without its fair share of gems. This was a different era; one might consider it one of the last vintages where the mantra was toward later picking and rich, occasionally overextracted wines that are cut from a different cloth than the 2015 and 2016s. Notable successes include a 2010 Figeac just beginning to flex its muscles and demonstrate its capabilities, an impressive and intense 2010 Larcis-Ducasse, and a splendid, classy 2010 Valandraud from Jean-Luc Thunevin, up there with the best of the appellation (comme d’habitude). Perhaps best of all is the spectacular 2010 Angélus. Some skeptics dispute this property’s inclusion in the top tier of the appellation, arguing that it lacks the same quality of terroir. Yet this 2010, both blind and sighted, delivered everything you want from a Saint-Émilion. Pure class. In terms of value for money, do not ignore the excellent 2010 Beau-Séjour Bécot that I praised during my vertical tasting at the property a couple of years ago and that showed well again here; likewise the Cuvelier family’s 2010 Clos Fourtet that atypically came across almost Left Bank in style.
There are misses too. This horizontal coincided with a period before the wine improved, such as Château Canon, certainly not a bad wine but shaded by the 2009. I was concerned by the bottles of the 2010 Beau-Séjour Duffau Lagarrosse at the BI and Farr tasting, which were both showing oxidation; I could not rate them. It was the same with the 2010 Pavie-Macquin when poured blind; a bottle at BI’s tasting showed better, although frankly it comes across too exotic for my palate.
should not overlook the Sauternes in 2010. No, these wines could not replicate
the stunning sweet wines of the previous year, and yet certainly those vineyards
blessed with good terroir produced a raft of excellent wines. The long, dry
summer concentrated berries similar to the dry reds. September saw little rain
and prevented the formation of noble rot, and consequently vineyards were
stalled with thick-skinned golden berries
sans botrytis. A spike in temperatures around mid-September caused some
patchy shrivel and botrytis, the first pick offering small quantities of
berries that were high in acidity. Thirty millimeters of rain on October 4 and
subsequent warm days provoked widespread botrytis that frustratingly stalled at
the pourri plein stage instead of
tipping over into the rôti stage that
concentrates the berries. This finally happened on October 12, when the wind
swung east. Pickers could finally be sent into the vineyards en masse, resulting in around 80% of the
crop being picked during the second half of October.
As I remarked after the Southwold blind tasting of 2010s back in 2014, this is a vintage where I find that d’Yquem is not sitting imperiously and looking down on others. This was reconfirmed six years later. Without doubt an excellent Sauternes, blind it was gazing into the taillights of Rieussec, de Fargues, Guiraud and Coutet. Perhaps with maturity, that will be corrected and Yquem will demonstrate its unerring ability to age over many decades, but at present, I recommend the other wines mentioned above, all of which have their own propensity to age.
Knowing how to “play” a new vintage is something that Bordeaux châteaux tackle each year. Instead of considering each property as a separate entity, it is more accurate to think of it as a single organism that reacts to multiple factors both internally (their opinion of the quality of wine, shareholder expectation and so forth) and externally (critics’ scores, economic conditions, importer demand translated via the Place de Bordeaux and courtiers.) In retrospect, Bordeaux did not play their best hand. Flushed with the commercial success of 2009, they hedged their bets that East Asia would be back for more, and increased prices 5–20% from the previous year – a reckless strategy, because instead of consolidating on their success, many of the more avaricious proprietors assumed that East Asian buyers would keep offering blank checkbooks. No; they wised up fast, and they were not going to be taken for a ride. So the warm critical reception did not translate into big fat orders as it had 12 months earlier, with the exception of those more naive customers who missed out on 2009.
Consequently, in terms of investment and profit gain, 2010 pales against 2009 and arguably the keenly priced 2008 vintage. Liv-Ex published a report in February 2020 that showed an almost even split between châteaux that have increased in value from their prix de sortis in 2011 and those that have fallen. Flatlining prices are never a positive advertisement for en primeur and they undermine incentive for consumers to buy. The response from Bordeaux has been that 2010 was always like the wines themselves – a long-term investment: keep calm and eventually, when their true value is recognized and people begin drinking the wines and reducing supply, prices will react accordingly. Maybe.
The above paragraph was penned before COVID-19. As I write on April 15, it is a different world, a different wine market. The pandemic has radically changed buying habits, unquestionably for the short and medium term, and possibly for the long term too. We do not know its true ramifications. Speaking to merchants, there seem to be two immediate effects. First, given the bleak outlook for the economy, consumers are trading down to affordable wines, if any at all. At the other end of the spectrum, with restaurants on enforced hiatus, some people are stocking up on mature bottles of fine wine because it is one of the few pleasures still available in a lockdown, and merchants have made Herculean efforts to deliver orders. Without being flippant, recent weeks have taught us to be patient. At this moment, I personally might seek instant gratification from a 2009 Bordeaux and wait longer – until, perhaps, we are through this crisis – before broaching the 2010s.
The keyword underlying these tastings of the 2010 vintage is ... faith. Do you have faith in these wines? Away from those snow-capped peaks that we already know about, do you have faith in this vintage in general? Is it going to repay the patient, beleaguered wine lover, only asking for patience and a cold cellar? Or is it a con trick? Did these wines fool us into believing in their virtues, only to have the last laugh as they become ossified by hard, dry tannins and end up as modern-day 1975s? I suspect we will see bifurcation between the haves and the have-nots. Time will gradually abrade those coarse tannins, smooth them down and render them more approachable. The wines without sufficient fruit will probably end up astringent and never really give pleasure; however, those that were born with fruit will surely mature into exceptionally long-lived, maybe quite profound wines whose peak might be in 20 or 30 years – when, hopefully, COVID-19 will be a distant memory.
You Might Also Enjoy
Vintage Seeks Home: Bordeaux 2017 In Bottle, Neal Martin, February 2020
The Future’s Not What It Was: Bordeaux 2018, Neal Martin, November 2019
A Test Of Greatness: 2009 Bordeaux Ten Years On, Neal Martin, March 2019
A Beautiful Stay: Beau-Séjour Bécot 1970 – 2015, Neal Martin, April 2018
2008 Bordeaux: A Day In A Life, Neal Martin, February 2018
Show all the wines (sorted by score)
- Beau-Séjour Bécot
- Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse
- Branas Grand Poujeaux
- Calon Ségur
- Canon La Gaffelière
- Cantenac Brown
- Capbern Gasqueton
- Certan de May
- Cheval Blanc
- Clerc Milon
- Clos de l'Oratoire
- Clos du Marquis
- Clos Fourtet
- Clos Haut-Peyraguey
- Clos L'Eglise
- Cos d'Estournel
- de Fargues
- de Fieuzal
- de Lamarque
- de Malle
- de Myrat
- Domaine de Chevalier
- Domaine de l’Alliance
- du Tertre
- Grand-Puy Ducasse
- Haut-Bages Libéral
- JCP Maltus - Le Dôme
- La Chenade
- La Clotte Cazalis
- La Conseillante
- La Croix de Gay
- La Dominique
- La Fleur de Gay
- La Fleur-Pétrus
- La Gaffelière
- La Gomerie
- Lagrange (Saint-Julien)
- La Lagune
- La Mission Haut-Brion
- La Mondotte
- La Providence
- Larcis Ducasse
- Larrivet Haut-Brion
- La Tour Blanche
- La Violette
- Le Bon Pasteur
- Le Gay
- Léoville Barton
- Léoville Las-Cases
- Le Pin
- Les Carmes Haut-Brion
- Les Cruzelles
- Les Ormes de Pez
- Malartic Lagravière
- Marquis de Terme
- Mouton Rothschild
- Pape Clément
- Pavie Macquin
- Phélan Ségur
- Pichon Baron
- Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
- Rayne Vigneau
- Roc de Cambes
- Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien)
- Sigalas Rabaud
- Smith Haut Lafitte
- Tertre Rôteboeuf
- Troplong Mondot
- Trotte Vieille
- Vieux Château Certan