By Will Gardener
These are both gorgeous vintages that will be compared many times in the years ahead. Now 3 and 4 years, respectively, post bottling what would they reveal at this juvenile stage?
Our sampling of 14 wines, all tasted blind and in completely random order (actually this was not strictly true, several were paired up but we didn’t know that) included several 100 Point Parker wines, from left and right banks. It proved a difficult analysis but a real treat as all the wines were stunning.
There were several conclusions most of which confirming what we already thought- there were great wines from both vintages. 2010 remains the favourite for outright glory longer term. 2009 will be drinking very well at a much earlier stage. All the wines except the very first one La Fleur Petrus, brilliant staging by Mark, are several years away from drinking yet. Leoville Poyferre 2010 was a star continuing its development since last time we tasted it when it also stood out, first growth quality without doubt.
Blind tasting is very difficult but it does focus you in on what you like and the quality of what you are drinking rather than the label. Academically it would appear vintage characteristics, in particular the ripeness of the vintage’s fruit, the level of tannin and the acidity level are more clearly identifiable than the character of the grape variety blend. The trick is not to get these the wrong way round…all good fun!
Great thanks for Mark’s generosity.
1/ Lovely nose, rich smoky loganberry fruit, majorly on red fruits, this is quite ripe and evolved. A hint of coconut shows the wood. Really clear precise fruit on the nose. Creamy and tight, elegant nice and spicy here, good grip and length. Not seemingly excessive tannin, succulent. Delicious brambly claret. On reassessment this appears the most evolved, dark chocolate at the end.
Ready now – 2030+. Maybe Margaux or St Julien 2009? 95/100…La Fleur Petrus 2009
2/ Deep colour, the nose is tight here, perfumed, and leathery underneath, dark chocolate again. The palate is hard too, good acidity, vigourous tannins, again dark chocolate palate, tangy orange, peppercorns. Grilled, balsamic, creamy fruit, nice balance here, runs long, ripe too, could be either vintage, plenty of quality here.
94/100 left bank 2010…La Conseillante 2010
3/ Deep colour, still very purple, the nose is slightly stewed, port like, more oak here too, smoky, barbecue & pain grille notes, again this is tight, good volume. Cabernet here, minty, meaty, animal, leathery, a savoury palate, a little loose maybe but a good rustic claret, Pauillac? Hard going back. Needs time.
2010 I suspect. 93/100 2020-2040+…Grand Puy Lacoste 2010
4/ This is deep, oaky, polished, perfumed, hint of class here, the shape here is very framed, loads of tannin, inky, dark chocolate, long and fine, elegant. Chalky tannins. Coffee here, creamy this is wonderful. Charming but very powerful.
is this Mouton, 2009? 98/100 2020-2050…Leoville Poyferre 2010
5/ Solid depth of colour, this is much more in the riper style, bright damson fruit, high toned, elderberry, cool fruit, open, accessible, charming but dense, I’m thinking Pomerol, packed full, lush and long, dark chocolate, really like the relaxed nature, it’s effortless, long leathery notes. This is ripe but structured with good acidity.
I think 2010 Pomerol, Conseillante? 96/100 2020-2035+…Pichon Baron 2010
6/ Good purple depth, a bit tight again here, touch of vanillin, sappy, quite oaky I feel, nice freshness here, could be 2010, quite tannic too, dense, ripe Cabernet on the back, marzipan, it is quite light, less intense than the former. But I like the style, more classical. Inky, fresh fierce finish.
Medoc maybe Pauillac? 94/100 2020-2040+…Leoville Barton 2010
7/ Deep colour, the nose is egg custard, heavy vanilla, with a hint of cinnamon. Bright fruit underneath. Milk chocolate, feminine again, cool, concentrated, got the feel of 2009, very ripe, heat, could be right bank again? Tannins underneath but I think it is quite spicy and forward.
93/100 Now – 2030 St Emilion/Pomerol?…Vieux Chateau Certan 2010
8/ Getting the evolved notes again, heady ripe, porty, nice vanilla, density here, plenty of depth and structure, nice freshness too and very long spicy notes, chocolate finish, cedar, like this, coffee again, Cab Franc.
Right bank 2010? 94/100 2020-2030+…Rauzan Segla 2009
9/ Deep sappy nose, lots of oak, elderberry again, lovely deep concentration here, minty cool fruit, lots of cedery extract this is lovely and textured, a step up I think. Earthy too here, gravelly this is very fine. Minty. Shimmering, salty richness here.
Pessac 2010 maybe domaine de chevalier? 96/100 2022-2045 …Rauzan Segla 2010
10/ Quite deep here, intoxicating hedonistic nose, this is very creamy tight with pin point accuracy on the finish, again it’s got the Cabernet ripeness of 2010. Lots of tannin going back. Very rich here.
2010 St Julien? 95/100 coffee finish 2020-2040…Pontet Cantet 2009
11/ Slightly more sedate on the nose, a bit more focused. Quite dark blackcurrant, very good texture here this is a big wine, fine elegant very spicy.
St Estephe 2010? Left bank? 97/100 2030-2050…Pontet Canet 2010
12/ Looks very deep, this has the elderberry of no 5 again, very ripe and intense, on the nose, maybe 2009? Dark, toffee evolved, perfumed, wow that’s a big gob full of ripe juice, a touch alcoholic, not sure here.
209 Left bank? 95/100 2020-2040…Dominus 2010
13/ Hint of marzipan, kirsch, concentration, this is a bit more strict on the palate, very tight, quite linear and serious, tight textured, big structure too, nice bramble fruit coming through.
I think left bank 2010? 96/100 2025-2045+…Montrose 2010
14/ This is quite ripe again, not giving much away really, nicely proportioned on the palate, good balance, gentle caressing, elegant wine. Spicy, gentle, lots of tannin here on the finish.
2010 Right bank. 95/100 2020-2035+…Montose 2009