The Graves will be the wines of the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux, according to Steven Spurrier.
On the second day of en primeur, Decanter’s consultant editor has just finished tasting the white and red wines of Graves and Pessac-Leognan, at Chateau Pape Clement, and he is left in no doubt about the superlative quality of the vintage.
While Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth in the Graves, has been highly praised, other wines have been singled out for recognition.
Domaine de Chevalier, Malartic Lagraviere, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Pape Clement itself, both the latter made under the consultancy of Michel Rolland, were particularly successful, Spurrier said.
‘Everything ripened perfectly,’ he said, quoting Jean-Philippe Delmas of Haut-Brion. ‘There is more fruit, more structure, more acidity and more extraction.’
James Lawther MW, who covers the St Emilion and Pomerol appellations for Decanter but was tasting alongside Spurrier in the Graves this morning, agreed that the wines were of extremely high standard.
On the question of the high alcohol content of the wines, which for many critics is still an issue this year – as it was in 2009 – Lawther is unworried.
‘Yes, the alcohol is high this year but that is not a problem because the acids in the wine soak up the alcohol. You don’t notice it.’
Spurrier added, ‘I have a particular affection for the Graves because they are such elegant wines. But they are often caught between two stools. If it’s a good Merlot year then the Right Bank gets it, and if it’s a Cabernet year then the Left Bank wins, and the Graves kind of falls in the middle. But I think this could be the Graves vintage.’
Both red and white wines are excellent, he said, but he reserved special praise for the whites.
‘I have never tasted white Graves like it, never,’ he said.
Written by Adam Lechmere