Wine tasters swoon over 2010 Bordeaux’s ‘liquid beauty’

on 07/04/11 at 9:00 am

Wine

Bordeaux is spoiled for choice as it unveils the 2010 vintage, its third smash hit in six years, in a week of barrel tastings for wine professionals from around the world.

“It’s liquid beauty,” said Denis Dubourdieu, a consulting winemaker and director of the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV) at the University of Bordeaux.

In a system unique to Bordeaux, each spring the region’s chateaux offer trade-only tastings that kick off the futures — or “en primeur” — campaign, in which the wines are offered for sale roughly two years before delivery.

This year 5,000 trade professionals from 65 countries are expected, with attendance down slightly from last year because of a scheduling clash with the upcoming trade show Vinexpo, said Sylvie Cazes, president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux and general manager of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

Top chateaux report that they expect upwards of 500 visitors a day, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild director Philippe Dhalluin said they had a 25 percent increase in requests for tastings.

The latest vintage is quickly winning praise for its freshness, lush fruit and intense tannins.

“The wine is magnificent,” said Stephane Derenoncourt, a consulting winemaker. “Unfortunately these geniuses of communication have already declared two vintages of the century. Now they don’t know what to say.”

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