Decanter has published its ratings and tasting notes for the 'exceptional' Bordeaux 2010 vintage.
The Decanter team – Steven Spurrier in the Medoc and Graves, James Lawther on the right bank, and Michel Bettane in Sauternes – give their verdicts on one of the most talked-about vintages of the last 10 years.
All are unequivocal: Bordeaux 2010 is an exceptional vintage. ‘Only time will tell if it is better than 2009,’ Lawther says, adding that the wines of 2010 are more ‘classically’ defined.
‘Colours are deep, the tannin content high…and there’s an extraordinary level of acidity…’
Spurrier too was pleased by what he saw, reserving special praise for Graves and Pessac-Leognan, the ‘standout success’ of the vintage, and also for the lesser Cotes de Bordeaux appellation.
Michel Bettane, who returns this year to cover Sauternes and Barsac for Decanter, says this is a ‘great vintage…a lucky continuation of a stunning succession, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009.’
Scores are high this year, with four ‘perfect’ 20-point scores – the same number as 2005 and three more than 2009 – and five 19.5 scores.
The top wines are Chateau Margaux, Latour, Lafite and Cheval Blanc.
Margaux is described by Spurrier as ‘a truly great wine’, with ‘unbelievable freshness and density’, while Lawther praised a ‘seamless’ Cheval Blanc’s ‘pure, sumptuous fruit’.
In the second rank, with 19.5 points, are Ausone,Palmer, Mouton-Rothschild, Leoville-Las-Cases and Haut Brion, followed by Vieux Chateau Certan, Ducru Beaucaillou, Petrus, La Mission Haut Brion, Yquem, Cos d’Estournel and Calon Segur with 19 points.
The tasters had some minor reservations, Lawther saying that the main worry this year was over-extraction, and over-ripeness of fruit. ‘Generally the warning was heeded,’ he said.
Spurrier has few causes for concern. At the end of a week in which the world’s wine merchants and wine journalists tasted under deep blue skies in temperatures that regularly topped 30 degrees, he said he had found a vintage that is ‘focussed, serious and age worthy’ and a contender to be one of the greatest vintages Bordeaux has produced.