2010 Bordeaux – Pichon Baron, Clos du Marquis, Brane Cantenac, Pape Clement

by Charles Lea

This afternoon has seen a continued flow of releases. The big name, and a pair for Montrose, it that it also has a 97-99+ score from Robert Parker, is Pichon Baron. Under the leadership of Christian Seely Pichon Baron has been limited back to the old historic property, which has significantly cut the volume produced, but also moved it up a big notch. This looks to be the finest Pichon Baron in a run of good vintages.

One I really, really like and recommend is Clos du Marquis. As you can read in Robert Parker’s note, Clos du Marquis is now treated as a separate property to Léoville las Cases, which is under the same ownership. The second wine of Las Cases is now ‘Le Petit Lion’. This is a wine of good Cru Classé standard, ranking alongside the likes of Lagrange and Branaire and co, at a price which makes it affordable for the drinker. One of the few recent releases to make it into my ‘recommended Médocs’ list.

I also really like Brane Cantenac. I do wish it were not the price it is, but in terms of some of the pricing we have seen in Margaux this year, this is almost a bargain. Especially considering it carries a 93-96 Parker rating. Staying in Margaux, we now have Alter Ego de Chateau Palmer – does this mean the release of Palmer itself is in the offing? Not so much a second wine really, “This tastes like a very smart wine off its own bat.” says Jancis Robinson.

Late this afternoon we had the release of Bernard Magrez’s Chateau Pape Clément, which Steven Spurrier rates 18.5. The white is fractionally more and could be available if anyone wants.

Finally a wine which actually came out yesterday but got lost in the rush, La Pointe. This represents a bit of a rarity – good value in Pomerol. Recommended.