2010 Bordeaux – Leoville Barton, Climens, Gloria, Moulin Saint Georges

by Charles Lea

This morning the Bordelais are back to work after the Pentecôte weekend, and another little deluge of new releases hits the market. The biggest release today is Léoville Barton, a fantastic wine to buy for yourself if you are optimistic and for your children if you are generous. Since all our customers are sunny optimists and generous to a fault, we expect this to fly. Lilian Barton says of this year’s release “The wine is of excellent quality, quite different to 2009 with a firmer structure but the tannins are perfectly mature and we have purposely avoided over extraction. We have tried to keep our price reasonable in a very difficult year when some wines have increased by nearly 40%. We cannot completely ignore this market tread but have not followed these in the same proportion.”

Climens has been released  – I did not taste this as I was unable to visit the Chateau, but a negociant friend says “For those who were unlucky enough not to have the time to visit the chateau and taste the wine out of barrel – this wil be truly memorable wine !” – as with all Sauternes from L&S this year there is no premium for half cases or for half bottles – treat yourself to a case of 12 halves?

Two ‘better value’ wines are also out this morning, Gloria, which has had rave reviews from all critics, will drink quite young but keep 10-15 years.

Every now and then market forces have strange effects. Who remembers that after Parker’s rave reviews of the 1998 right bank wines, Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol was released at a higher price than Leoville Barton? This year we have a reversal of left and right banks, with Gloria coming out slightly above the price of Chateau Moulin Saint Georges, Alain Vauthier’s excellent ‘wine trade secret’ wine, which is shown between the value buy Fonbel and the totally unbelievable Ausone, and yet manages to hold its head up high. ‘MSG’ is a comparative bargain and although I loved Gloria, I think I’d rather have Moulin Saint Georges in the cellar – but they are different beasts.

The Cathiards of Smith Haut Lafitte have decided to go for broke based on their rave reviews from Parker. Both colours of Domaine de Chevalier are made to look bargains this morning.