Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UGC Bordeaux - in notes

So I didn't get to them all, but 2010 Bordeaux is a fabulous vintage. A great uniform quality across dry/sweet whites, and red wines. Classic, really, with all the communes showing great typicity and character. For dry whites, my favourites had fresh sauvignon aromas on the nose, with integrated oak, on a well-extracted palate. The reds are dense and tight, with many of them showing hard tannins, but the complexity is there. They simply need time; expect the dark fruit and minerality to unravel and start showing off after a decade in the bottle. And the Sauternes - I tasted through all of them that were presenting this year, and they were just as exciting as 2007. Maybe a notch below, if we were pressed to compare them, but the best wines are balanced and fresh, with botrytis character already showing. Destined for a long, glorious life. 

And so, my tasting notes for this year's UGC Bordeaux tasting ...


2010 Château de Chantegrive Blanc: minty, lithe nose, sweetness on the palate; balanced, slightly creamy already in texture
2010 Château Rahoul Blanc: oaky nose, extracted palate, lemon citrus finish; very interesting potential

DF with Anne and Olivier Bernard, Managers of Domaine de Chevalier and President of the UGCB


2010 Château Bouscaut Blanc: oak on the nose, but elegant, linear fruit giving it freshness on the otherwise oaky palate
2010 Château Carbonnieux Blanc: always one of my favourites; fresh sweet fruit, mineral and floral; very pretty here, palate slightly awkward at the moment, but big potential
2010 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc: my chats with the Bernards always a highlight of the tasting; great fruit here, ripe and framed by creamy vanilla; sweet on the palate, great acidity; will need time to round out the palate, especially on the finish
2010 Château de Fieuzal Blanc: oak and citrus, textbook dry Bordeaux here, great extract, long
2010 Château de France Blanc: fresh, some cedar-y oak, oily; sweet palate, tropical fruit, a big wine
2010 Château La Louvière Blanc: greenish nose, oil and petrol, sweet palate, finishing slightly bitter
2010 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc: pale, subtle oak, good roundness and a buttery aroma; great freshness, clean, textural
2010 Château Latour-Martillac Blanc: grassy nose, sauvignon booming; fabulous intensity and focus, spicy and lean at the moment, with the acidity a bit shrill
2010 Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc: a bit closed, but subtle oak, great juicy fruit on the palate, fresh, compact, and dense
2010 Château Olivier Blanc: again, slightly closed, with the alcohol rising up, good texture and extract on the palate
2010 Château Pape Clément Blanc: good fruit, lean, definitely closed off
2010 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc: intense sauvignon aromas here, lean, and really floral

DF and Comte Stephan von Neipperg, Director of Château Canon-La-Gaffelière


2010 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière: with the always dapper Count present, a wine that keeps getting more impressive; round sweet nose, some oak, but very integrated palate; a dense wine for the cellar
2010 Château La Gaffelière: oaky, alcohol coming up, dense fruit
2010 Château Troplong-Mondot: jammy fruit here, slightly spicy, lean with high acid on the palate


2010 Château Clinet: graphite minerality, dense fruit, tight palate, on very fine tannin; like its director, handsome
2010 Château Gazin: inky, dark fruit, really dense but fresh, tannins a bit harder; showing that cabernet profile
2010 Château La Conseillante: powerful, intense sweet fruit perfume, tannic, tight, but a very fresh wine
2010 Château Le Bon Pasteur: with the lovely Dany Rolland presenting; fruit forward with some alcohol showing, but fresh, juicy, and linear

DF with Jean-Pierre Foubet, Managing Director of Château Chasse-Spleen


2010 Château Poujeaux: oaky, dark nose, lean palate with lots of that oak replaying
2010 Château Chasse-Spleen: always a pleasure to talk to J-P Foubet, even if I didn't immediately recognize him with the beard; graphite minerality, lean palate, very fresh dark fruit, yet chewy on the palate; truly a great Bordeaux 
2010 Château La Lagune: a wine close to my heart; rustic and earthy, a hallmark; complex palate, harder tannins at the moment, great potential


2010 Château Brane-Cantenac: lean, tense red fruits, tannic, and very four-square
2010 Château Rauzan-Ségla: layers of fruit here, tight tannins, very high acid; wound up tight


2010 Château Branaire Ducru: graphite minerality, very elegant and soft right away; a plushy wine on the palate, with great fruit
2010 Château Gruaud Larose: again that graphite minerality, tight fruit, really sweet and juicy on the palate
2010 Château Langoa-Barton: dense, tannic, high acid, and very lean
2010 Château Léoville Poyferré: a bit of alcohol here, with dense fruit, harder tannin, clear potential


2010 Château Batailley: graphite minerality, lean, with an oaky palate
2010 Château Clerc Milon: coffee oak, lean great fruit, dense, linear palate; a very hard wine
2010 Château d'Armailhac: really floral and perfumed, with integrated oak, good extraction; great acidity and fine tannin
2010 Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron: the wine I'm always so impressed by yet saddened at how expensive it is; dense nose, with oak coming off as mocha; great fruit, balanced palate, beautiful structure
2010 Château Lynch-Bages: graphite minerality, dense fruit, really fine and elegant, if a bit high-strung at the moment
2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande: elegant, mineral nose, dense fruit with high acid and hard tannin


2010 Château Lafon-Rochet: more graphite, dense fruit, round palate, following on the palate; long

DF with Aline Baly, Marketing & Communication Manager of Château Coutet


2010 Château Bastor-Lamontagne: minty, great freshness, floral; almost dry on the nose; extracted minerality on the palate, long; an achingly gorgeous wine
2010 Château Climens: honey and citrus, rich, slightly candied on the palate; well-integrated acidity, really sweet, long
2010 Château Coutet: always look forward to seeing and chatting with Aline every year; apricot nose, perfume; apricots replay on palate, showing that botrytis character already; fabulous balance and finish; a star of a wine
2010 Château de Fargues: concentrated, dense fruit; great sweet, cool fruit on the palate, very fresh
2010 Château de Rayne Vigneau: fresh, clean nose; great balance already on the palate
2010 Château Doisy-Daëne: one of my favourites of the region; fresh nose, minty, with good sweetness and extracted acidity; very long
2010 Château Guiraud: floral, perfumed, with delicate sweetness; long and finishing a bit dried
2010 Château La Tour Blanche: fresh, clean nose, with some mintiness; great sweet tropical fruit on the palate, round and very elegant
2010 Château Suduiraut: some alcohol here, very tropical; rich, sweet, with a creamy texture


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