Published on January 21st, 2013 | by Greg0
Bordeaux 2009 and 2010: Fantastic Vintages
According to no less than Robert Parker at the Wine Advocate, 2009 and 2010 are two of the best vintages of Bordeaux “in [his] career”, and others have claimed that 2010 represents the “vintage of the century”, harking back to “even 1929″. That’s high praise indeed, after a stellar year in 2005, and so we were quite excited for this year’s 2010 Grand Bordeaux Tasting, held today in Manhattan thanks to the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux. And while tasting at a large event isn’t quite the same as sampling around a table with a decanter, food, and time, it was abundantly clear that these still fairly young French wines are deserving of the acclaim, especially considering the reasonable prices.
Some of the wines tasted include those from famed wineries and winemakers like Leoville Barton, Talbot, Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Grand Puy Lacoste, Haut Bages Liberal, Lynch Bages, Pichon-Baron, Climens, de Fargues, Guiraud, Cantemerle, La Lagune, Brane Cantenac, Giscours, Lascombes, Beychevelle, Brainaire Ducru, Gloria, Gruard Larose, Pape Clement, Canon, Figeac, La Dominique, La Gaffeliere, Clinet, Gazin, La Conseillante, and Domaine de la Chevalier. Here are four we’re highlighting- two from each year, and all are exceptional values.
The 2009 Chateau Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur is from the Haut-Medoc region (and the Castel family) and offers an immediate appeal: warm, rich, and fairly soft- fairly fresh at the moment, but with a the tones of mineral and some oak on the finish that mean it should age even for a decade quite well. This particular wine opens up a lot and needs some time to air (they recommend two hours in a decanter), but it’s worth it. $15 or so.
Similarly, the 2009 Chateau Laronde Desorme Bordeaux Supérieur is also a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and from the Medoc region (which is different than the Haut-Medoc). Pricing is similar- approximately $17 per bottle- and this one felt a bit more finished, if no less refined. A solid offering, it paired nicely with some mild sausages and heartier fare. It has a bit more backbone than the Barreyre, with a bit less floral and more spice. A great nose leads to a decently lengthy and satisfying end. Drink now, or wait a few years.
A bit more recent is the 2010 Chateau Pey La Tour. Mostly Merlot (84%), with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this is a sweeter, easy-to-quaff wine. Very drinkable now, it might not impress those looking for a “cellar wine”, but is perfect for anyone wanting to spend around $12 on a very affordable bottle. We liked the straightforward nature of this one, especially how it worked with some goat cheeses and fruits. Aged in stainless steel, you won’t find much tannin here so we recommend drinking this one now.
Finally, the classy 2010 Chateau de Goelane is another Bordeaux Supérieur, and consists of 75% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a bit of Malbec (a great touch). Another from the Castel family of wines, this winery is located in the Entre-Deux-Mers region, which lies between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. The nose is great, a touch mild, and the body is a good middle road, offering a slightly muddy combination of cherry and chocolate, with a little leather. A bit of a nutty or coffee berry finish makes this one memorable, and the $13 price tag won’t but a dent in your wallet. Can age for a couple of years, but drinkable immediately with a bit of decanting.