It could be that 2010 turns out to be a more consistent year than 2009 in Saint-Emilion. The dry summer months helped concentrate the Merlot grapes, and provided there was a percentage of clay in the soils the vine avoided adverse stress. This coupled with the success of both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon augured well for the appellation which has produced some excellent wines. Only producers with essentially sandy-gravel soils (and no clay) or those who picked too late have bucked the trend. Alcohol degrees are as high if not higher than in 2009 (14-15+ degrees) but are surprisingly less obvious due to high acidity and low pHs. This is particularly the case where there's limestone in the soils, and wines on the plateau have faired particularly well. As usual Saint-Emilion runs the gamut of styles but the general trend is for deeply coloured wines with a profusion of tannin softened by the fruit and alcohol content and freshness on the finish. Outwardly, they are more 'classical' and structured than in 2009. By James Lawther MW

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Written by Decanter