2010 Vintage: Great but is it a classic?

on 06/05/11 at 11:21 am

Wine

Veronique Sanders of Château Haut Bailly described 2010 as having “the power of 2005, the structure of 2009 and the precision of 2008.”

In Sander’s opinion, although 2009 would continue to grab plaudits because it is so “round, sexy and charming”, 2010 will be equally “amazing”.

Didier Cuvelier of Léoville Poyferré described 2010 as “2005 plus plus. It has more power, more tannins and more freshness,” he said.

The Right Bank producers were also satisfied with the year, with Myriam Ruer of Troplong Mondot noting that 2010 was “better than 2009 and our cold clay soils allowed for better freshness.”

Jean-Michel Laporte of La Conseillante also praised the year for having “more power, more freshness and more acidity.”

Although 2009 was slightly criticised – particularly the Right Bank – for being out of the ordinary as vintages go – with high alcohol, often jammy and approachable in its youth – 2010 is being regularly hailed as, if not strictly better, then more structured, better for ageing and perhaps more capable of lasting greatness.

Nicolas Glumineau of Château Montrose said he thought “although the quality is the same in 2009 and 2010, I think 2010 a more classic year”.

However, it is worth noting that alcohol levels remain high in 2010 and are perhaps merely better masked by higher acidity than they were in 2009. It is unlikely to be an early drinking year and will need cellaring, but it is interesting to note – particularly in light of Parker’s recent reassessment – that Eric Perrin of Château Carbonnieux believes 2008 to be the more “classic” of recent vintages and 2010 to be “too powerful”.

Wine commentator Joe Wadsack also told db he thought Parker’s points made the vintage appear “more consistent than it actually is. 2010 flatters to deceive,” he said, “and many won’t be as attractive a drink as the likes of 2004.”

The 2004s, 2006s and 2007s on offer next to the barrel samples were also a good reminder of just how enjoyable and affordable a great many wines from those vintages are.

The 2006 from Château Deyrem Valentin in particular was one of db’s favourites and only £175 a case as well.

On the subject of price, many of the producers were guarded. Laporte said: “Nobody can say what the prices will be but I think them unlikely to be more than 2009.”

Caught off-guard by a member of the public, Glumineau said he hoped to release 2010 “at the same price as last year.”

Considering Montrose released its 2009 vintage at around £1,250 and the 2007 presented on the same table is available for £650, even if prices do not top those of 2009 it’s the Bordelais who’ll reap the benefits again.

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