I had an exciting opportunity to taste over 50 2010 Bordeaux at the Specs Liquors Cru Classe tasting last week. The impressive list of wines included the newly elevated Chateau Angelus, Lynch Bages, Chateau Clinet, Pichon Baron, and Smith Haut Lafite. For the complete list click here.
With so many wines and the social atmosphere at the event, it was impossible to fully contemplate each wine. When this is the case, I employ the speed dating approach, tasting relatively quickly, making note of wines that stand out from the bunch.
The first wine I tasted was Smith Haut Lafite Blanc. I immediately thought “This wine is really good.” This impression held throughout the tasting. In a sea of red wines with only four whites offered at this tasting, the Smith Haut Lafite would definitely hit my top five list. Other standouts were Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Chateau Angelus, and Chateau Clinet. Don’t get me wrong. There were many excellent wines, This is just a short list of wines that
Early drinking wines would be Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Haut Batailley, Clos I’ Oratoire, Cannon la Gaffeliere, along with the sub-$30 wines and most of the seconds.
Based on this sampling, my impression is that the hype for 2010 Bordeaux is justified. The Bordelais characterize the 2010 vintage as classic Bordeaux. In comparison, the wines of 2009 are slightly fatter and rounder, and if you must, would be better for early drinking. The majority of the 10s were understandably tight with plenty of teeth-staining tannin. Nonetheless, the wines were sleek, precise, and hinted at the magnificent wines they will become as they integrate and soften a bit.
Like the 2005 and 2009s, 2010 is another vintage that will provide value at the lower price tier. it is a safe bet to pick a wine at any price point from this vintage and expect to find a relatively nice wine. While the inexpensive 2005s are drinking pretty well at the moment, a 2009 or 2010 could benefit from a year or two of cellaring or an hour in a decanter.
I left the Specs Cru Classe tasting with stained fingers, purple teeth and confirmation that all the hype regarding the 2010 vintage is justified. It is seldom I taste over 50 wines and don’t find a single dog in the bunch. This was that type of tasting.
Take a look at the list of available Bordeaux from this tasting. Pricing is quoted on individual bottles and cases. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.