2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – d’Armailhac, Croix Saint Georges, Le Boscq

By on 01/06/2011

Château d’Armailhac, made by the Mouton team, is out this morning. It is up just over 17% on the 2009 release price. The wine is well-regarded, and reputedly selling fast in Bordeaux – offered subject to stock remaining.

We also offer today the excellent Pomerol from Jean-Philippe Janoueix, Château La Croix Saint Georges, which represents good value in an appellation that was highly successful on 2020, and where other top wines will be much more expensive.

Finally, for this mail at least, we have the modern but classical Saint Estephe Château le Boscq, which has a very good following as a relatively early drinker.

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2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – Wines from Denis Durantou – and the day’s other releases

By on 31/05/2011

As attentive readers of earlier blog posts like this one about the ‘tango of en primeur’ will know, we are avid fans of Denis Durantou, maker of Chateau l’Eglise Clinet. Denis also makes a line-up of considerably less expensive but great value wines from the surrounding appellations, and these are offered today. Montlandrie, Cruzelles, Saintayme, and La Chenade all come strongly recommended, although my own favourite in the 2010 line-up was the Montlandrie, which is really the epitome of the Castillons I keep saying are brilliant value this year. When I said this to Denis he quickly re-shuffled the order of the bottles in the tasting, and said "this is how I rate the terroirs of my properties". The new order had Montlandrie second only to l’Église Clinet itself, and above Cruzelles and even La Petite Eglise.

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2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – Bank Holiday Monday releases

By on 30/05/2011

The French (and Bordelais in particular, it seems) being not respecters of English bank holidays, we do have a few releases today, but seeing as I’m at Seaview and should be watching my son sail, I’m going to keep this short. Ferrière is the pick of the bunch here, even if I am sad they could not keep the price down, but this is a much more serious wine than du Tertre. Meyney seems to have divided opinion – read all the notes but I did not particularly get it. Both Larmande and Clos Puy Arnaud (the latter another of these top-performing Castillons I keep mentioning), could offer good value.

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2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – Friday 27th

By on 27/05/2011

Château Poujeaux has followed Chasse Spleen onto the market at the same price. Château Bernadotte, the ‘entry-level’ wine from the Pichon-Lalande stable is out this morning too. This offers good value in a tight, classical but glossy style. Château Rol Valentin comes recommended by me – and see Jancis’ note too as it is very similar – a real, racy wine despite its ripeness and elevated alcohol level. Michel Rolland has released his ‘home’ property, the excellent Fronsac Fontenil. Finally Cap de Faugères is another good value wine from the underrated Castillon area, this one under the same ownership as Chateau Faugères (Saint Emilion).

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2010 Bordeaux Primeurs – Wednesday latecomers…

By on 25/05/2011

Bravo again to Francois Despagne for this year’s Château Grand Corbin Despagne which is a Saint Emilion which just tastes real, remarkably unforced, and unites the English palates: "Good juice and flow, it tastes like real wine" L&S, "Proper wine!" Jancis Robinson, "very pure and precise" Neal Martin, "Splendid wine with extra depth and purity of fruit" James Lawther (Decanter). It is offered at the same price as last year, and comes recommended.

Château du Tertre is possibly slightly pushing its luck – it is no better than the 2009 (but probably very close in quality), but offered around 11% more than last year. But it’s hard to find a Cru Classé Margaux for less, and it offers solid value in a big, round, slightly sweet and smudgy style.

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2010 Bordeaux Primeurs

By on 25/05/2011

It is turning out to be a busy morning, after a slow start with a raft of inconsequential right-bank wines, we have the release of the first of the top-performing Médoc Crus Classés in the shape of Lafon Rochet, which has by general concensus, made it’s best wine ever in 2010. Also on the market two remarkable wines from Didier Cuvelier, owner of Léoville Poyferré, Moulin Riche and Le Crock and Goulée, the top-performing Médoc owned by Cos d’Estournel, in what is also its best performance to date. Finally just released is Château Belgrave, a ‘lesser’ 5th growth, but one which is making better and better wines and which Robert Parker has, like Goulée, called a ‘sleeper of the vintage’, by which he means a lesser-known but good value offering.

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Bordeaux 2010 – the ups and the downs

By on 24/05/2011

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.

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