2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – Catching up

by Charles Lea

We can now offer two of the long-term classics of the vintage on general release.

Alfred Tesseron’s remarkable Château Pontet Canet is a monument of a wine, and caps off a run of astonishing vintages here, which has seen the wines go from stolid and slightly boring as recently as ten years ago to be some of the most exciting in Bordeaux today, and to rival, and in some critics’ view to eclipse, the wines of its neighbour Mouton Rothschild. Organically produced, with famous experiments of horse ploughing in the vineyard, and in the winery the lastest technology has been employed to keep the handling of the grapes a simple and gentle as possible.

At the same time in Saint Julien, Didier Cuvelier has been leading the charge to the highest possible quality at Château Léoville Poyferré, and again the 2010 is the crowning glory of years of hard work. The resulting 2010 has been described as ‘one of the prodigious wines of the vintage’ by Robert Parker.

A huge number of wines were released yesterday and it is well worth looking at the list of recent releases, and my lists of recommendations – click the links in the menu to the right. I will be trying to use the quiet period of Vinexpo to say more about some of these wines which are in danger of being overlooked in the rush, but which can offer great value at lower price levels in a vintage as exciting as this. One very late release yesterday was Durfort Vivens: Gonzague Lurton is doing a great job here and if you read my note with Steven Spurrier’s (he rates it 18/20, remarking that it definitely merits its second growth status) you will get a picture of a wine in a style of unforced ‘natural’ flavour profile, which may be a bit too subtle for palates looking to be wowed by excessive early new oak (compare with notes from the other side of the drink). This comes recommended by me.