Between Covid-19 lockdowns, I lunched with Philippe Dhalluin, former director of Château Mouton Rothschild. After pouring the 2009 vintage from a carafe, we pondered the proverbial fist in a velvet glove, sensing the wine’s inescapable tannic backbone underneath layers of opulence: so Mouton.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 12 Pauillac wines from 2010 worth seeking out
After lunch, we admired the just-constructed cellar at Château Lynch-Bages. Tastefully designed by Chien Chung Pei (son of the late IM Pei, who was responsible for the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris), it houses 80 fermentation vats, nearly double the number used for the 2019 vintage.
The 2020 vintage will thus more closely ref lect careful picking of vine parcels identified in a painstaking mapping of the château’s 100ha vineyard, says Lynch-Bages co-owner Jean-Charles Cazes.
Pauillac bustles these days with renovations and reconstructions at other estates, recent and soon to come.
Despite the changes, the wines remain based on Cabernet Sauvignon and gravelly terroir. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot also make up blends. ‘But the very structure of Pauillac bears the imprint of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is predominant,’ explains Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy, who was appointed estates manager of Mouton, Clerc Milon and d’Armailhac last year.