Bordeaux 2010 – the ups and the downs

by Charles Lea

If your wine sold out in seconds last year, and you have even better notes than last year, the temptation must be to hike a little. Sarget de Gruaud Larose flew last year, when it seemed one of the bargains of the vintage, and I’d suggest that this year it will also fly, because the 2010 is still a bargain. Sociando Mallet clearly just pushed above the critical point last year, and is offer about 16% down this year. I liked it even more, making it a bit of a bargain too. Long-term, mini-Latour like wine.

 The maitre du chai of Sociando Mallet, and Jean Gautreau himself

Jean Gautreau’s Sociando Mallet has been decribed by Robert Parker as the Latour of the Northern Médoc, and the 2010 as ” Quite luscious, very like a fine St-Estèphe” by Jancis Robinson, and comes across as a serious vineyard wine. The shot below shows the experiment with horse-powered ploughing as well as Sociando’s proximity to the river (and the Centre Nucléaire of Blaye, which is also pulled in by this lense!)

Ploughing by horse at Sociando Mallet

This afternoon we also have a couple more of the big name Sautermes. I have to admit not really ‘getting’ Coutet this year, and the price seems high. Rayne Vigneau, on the other hand, seemed to be better, and it is offered significantly cheaper. This one may well make it into our mixed case this year, the contents of which are yet to be confirmed. If you would like to order on its own, remember we have promised all Sauternes will have no supplement for halves and magnums nor for cases of 6 bottles or 12 halves, and that you can ask for these even if they are not specifically mentioned on the site. — STOP PRESS: Denis Dubordieu’s wines have just been released, and will be added to the site shortly (Doisy Daëne, L’Extravagant etc.)