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2010 Bordeaux tasting notes: Pomerol

Tasting notes, reviews, and ratings of the 2010 Bordeaux primeur campaign, by Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider. You can read more by Jeff Leve on 2010 Bordeaux on The Wine Cellar Insider.

2010 Chateau Bon Pasteur

This is the home estate of Michel Rolland. The Bordeaux wine opens with black cherry, coffee, black raspberry and 5 spice aromas which lead the way to a round, soft, sweet, licorice, mocha and black cherry filled Pomerol wine. 91-93 Pts

2010 Chateau Bourgneuf

Floral, earth and plum aromas couple with a medium bodied Bordeaux wine that ends in a soft textured, black cherry finish that will drink well early. 88-90 Pts

2010 Chateau Certan de May

Tuffles, flowers, blackberry and plum aromas meld with supple textures and round tannins that end in a soft, chocolate, black cherry Pomerol finish 91-93 Pts

2010 Chateau La Clemence

Plums, flowers, chocolate, licorice and ripe, sweet jammy boysenberry scents pair well with chocolate covered plums, fennel and rich, opulent textures in this lush Bordeaux wine. 91-93 Pts

2010 Chateau Clinet

owner, Ronan Laborde, used what he called a classic Pomerol blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. At 14.6 % alcohol, than they achieved in 2009. Effective yields are also lower than in 2009. In fact, they are close to 25% less, which means there will be a lot less wine in the marketplace from this outstanding vintage. Opaque in color, explosive, floral, plum, black fruit, jammy berry, oak, chocolate and black raspberry scents create a beguiling perfume. This complex, spicy Bordeaux wine coats your palate with layers of pure, sweet, ripe plums. This is a hedonistic, sensuous style of Pomerol that blends intensity with pleasure and chocolate covered ripe fruit. 95-97 Pts.

2010 Chateau L’Enclos

Simple easy going, correctly made Pomerol without fault or distinction. 87-89 Pts

2010 Chateau Clos L’Eglise

From 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc 14.5% alcohol deep purple color, mocha, chocolate, flowers, black raspberry, vanilla and truffle scents. Mouth filling, lush and opulent, this Bordeaux wine ends with a long, deep, jammy blackberry and licorice sensation. 93-95 Pts

2010 Chateau La Conseillante

La Conseillante Produced from an assemblage of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, (which is the same as the vineyard plantings,) the wine is slightly higher in alcohol than what they achieved in 2009 at 14.5% . Due to the high levels of acidity from 3.69 pH, there is no sensation of heat. Floral, chocolate, truffle and black raspberry liqueur aromas exude from the glass. Dark and powerful, a unique character for La Conseillante, the Bordeauxd wine is rich, intens and filled with plum liqueur, chocolate and black cherry. The wine combines freshness, silky textures and a sense of refined elegance, with the volume turned up. Jean- Michel Laporte feels 2010 is in the same style as 2005. 95-96 Pts

2010 Duo

With 95% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, the Bordeaux wine is round, plummy easy to drink and will show well on release 88-89 Pts

2010 Chateau La Croix St. Georges

produced from 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc is aged in 100% new oak of which 50% is a unique cigar shaped, oak barrel. The Bordeaux wine reached 14.5% alcohol. On the nose, oak, flowers, cherry blossom, mocha and coca powder. Full bodied, concentrated and flashy in texture, the wine ends with fresh, a black cherry and chocolate finish. 91-93 Pts

2010 Chateau L’Eglise Clinet

90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc was used for the assemblage in 2010 which reached 14.6% alcohol and a pH of 3.62. Those figures equal what took place in the 2009 vintage. The Pomerol wine will be aged in 70% new oak.

Fresh picked flowers, spice box, black raspberry, earth, clay and chocolate scents pop from the glass. In texture, the wine is suave, luscious and powerful. The finish is filled with sweet ripe, plums and chocolate that builds in the mouth ending with a long, fresh, pure, intense blackberry liqueur sensation. The only drawback in 2010 according to the owner Denis Durantou is, they produced 20% less Bordeaux wine, making this Pomerol even harder to find than usual. 96-98 Pts

2010 Chateau Petite Eglise

from 100% Merlot offers jammy berries, licorice and chocolate covered plums with a medium body that ends with chocolate plum finish 88-90 Pts

2010 Chateau L’Enclos

95% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc chocolate, black fruit – green dry finish 87-89

2010 Chateau L’Evangile

With only 31 hecoliters per hectare, yields were low in 2010. From an assemblage of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, Jean-Pascal Vazart confirmed the wine reached a record high for the property at 14.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. This unique combination of high alcohol and acidity allows the Bordeaux wine to feel fresh on your palate. Deep in color, fresh flowers, chocolate, black and red plums, black cherry and truffle make a complex perfume. Rich, concentrated, plush with freshness, the wine finishes with creamy chocolate covered dark berries, licorice and plum liqueur. This Bordeaux wine could increase in score as it evolves. 94-95 Pts

2010 Chateau Feytit Clinet

Dense in color, chocolate covered black fruit, blueberry, plum and truffles make up the perfume. Dense, rich, fat, suave and polished, this rich Bordeaux wine offers length, persistence, balance and purity of Pomerol flavor. 92-95 Pts

2010 Chateau La Fleur Petrus

Fresh picked flowers, Valhrona chocolate and boysenberry liqueur perfume entices your palate to experience layers of refined, silk and velvet plums and black cherries. Luscious, ripe, rich, pure, sweet and long, the Bordeaux wine ends with a chocolate coated, fresh black raspberry liqueur finish 94-96

2010 Chateau Le Gay

In 2010, with the help of the new managing director, Jerome Ducasse, (who replaced Jean-Christophe Meyrou,) the estate produced a wine from blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Scents of oak, flowers, jammy black raspberries and chocolate are coupled with a concentrated, juicy black and red plum finish. 92-94 Pts

2010 Chateau Gazin

Black raspberry, floral and bitter chocolate aromas pair well with the soft, rich, long plum, licorice and chocolate finish. 91-93 Pts

2010 Chateau La Grave a Pomerol La Grave Trigant de Boisset

chocolate, spice, floral and blackberry aromas, medium/full bodied, elegant, supple, cassis and cherry finish. Deeper and more refined than usual, this is the best La Grave Trigant de Boisset Pomerol I recall tasting 90-91 Pts

2010 Hosanna

Deep ruby in color, this Bordeaux wine is filled with chocolate, boysenberry, floral and truffle scents. Full bodied, rich and silky in texture, the Pomerol wine ends with a luscious chocolate covered cherry and spice finish 95-96 Pts

2010 Chateau Lafleur

set a record for this legendary Pomerol Bordeaux wine when they blended 62% Cabernet Franc 38% Merlot, 14% alcohol, same as 2009 this is the highest concentration of Cabernet Franc ever used at Lafleur. For those that like to compare, in 2009, the Bordeaux wine was produced from 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot.

The owner, Jacques Guinaudeau said, “They used more Cabernet Franc at Chateau Lafleur in 2010 to remain a Bordeaux wine, as it offers better balance.” He added, “At Lafleur, we focus on ripeness and the textures of tannins, We strive to achieve elegance, balance and purity.” That’s three good things in my book.

2010 Lafleur A cornucopia of fragrances pop from the glass, cherry blossoms, sweet black raspberry, earth, truffle, forest floor, leaves and plum liqueur are found in abundance. Intense and concentrated, the wine pairs power and purity ending with a long, fresh, ripe sweet red and black fruit finish. With its unique texture, this is the essence of Pomerol. 97-99 Pts

2010 Pensees de Lafleur

is produced from 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. Pensees de Lafleur comes from a selection of terroir, not young vines. Aside from a shorter maceration time, the Bordeaux wine is produced with the same care that is received by Lafleur. The wine shows truffle, black cherry liqueur and minerality that couples with soft textures ending with black cherries 90-92 Pts

2010 Chateau Lafleur Gazin

The property takes its name from its strategic location, next to Lafleur and Gazin and not from Petrus. Earth, chocolate, and spicy plum flavors are found in this medium bodied Bordeaux wine that ends with a fresh, blackberry, cocoa powder and cherry finish. 88-90 Pts

2010 Chateau Latour a’ Pomerol

Truffle, forest floor, chocolate and cherry aromas open to a supple, medium/full bodied, soft textured Bordeaux wine that ends with a black cherry, licorice finish 89-91 Pts

2010 Chateau Montviel

Medium bodied with plum, black raspberry and cherry notes, this Bordeaux wine will drink well shortly after release. 86-89 Pts

2010 Chateau Le Moulin

This Pomerol opens coffee, blackberry and plum scented wine offers a medium/full bodied that finishes with coffee and dark berry sensations. 89-91 Pts

2010 Chateau Nenin

From a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc, the Bordeaux wine reached 13.9% alcohol. Ruby colored with floral, chocolate and plum scents, for a Pomerol this has a stern personality. Boysenberry, coca and plum are found in the finish. 89-91 Pts

2010 Chateau Petit Village

Produced from 73% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc, this medium bodied, soft textured Pomerol offers light cherry, plum, coca powder and licorice. 89-91 Pts

2010 Chateau Petrus

From 100% Merlot, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol, the same level achieved in 2009. In a discussion with Olivier Berrouet, he said “In 2010, the key to making great Bordeaux wine was avoiding over extraction due to the combination of high alcohol coupled with high acidity levels.” Berrouet added, “To avoid even higher levels of alcohol, they reduced green harvesting and like many top properties, they only allowed for daily pump overs. The previous Petrus winemaker and father of Olivier Berrouet, Jean Claude Berrouet was also at the tasting. When asked, Jean Claude said he was worried about how well the current vintages of Bordeaux wine would age.

I have no doubt about how Bordeaux wine like this will age. Remember, 1947 Cheval Blanc was over 15%. The few lucky wine lovers that have been able to taste ’47 Cheval today can attest to how well that Bordeaux wine has aged.

2010 Petrus – This deep ruby tinted wine opens with complex aromatics of flowers, black raspberry, jammy plums and chocolate. Powerful, structured, intense, deep, structured and, mouth coating with densely packed ripe, racy plums. Elegance, sensuality and refined power ending with a complex finish that remains on your palate for close to one full minute that morphs from dark spicy fruit to red berries. Petrus fanatics will be forced to pay even more money for the 2010 Bordeaux wine as the estate produced 10% less Pomerol wine in this vintage they did in 2009. The Bordeaux wine will be aged in 50% new oak for 18-20 months, 97-100 Pts

2010 Chateau Le Pin

fills the room with pungent scents of oak, spice, exotic citrus oils, smoke, plums, fennel and fresh flowers. The Bordeaux wine drenches your palate with silky, velvet laced textures and waves of rich, ripe, sweet, pure extract of plum liqueur, Maraschino cherries and orange rind. The long, seamless, intense finish is pure decadence. 97-99 Pts

Le Pin is one of the most interesting Pomerol wines to taste. Aside from amazing high prices, its main problem is, the wine lacks consistency. It doesn’t always perform as one would expect. Yet, when it is on, Le Pin is a wine without peer. 2010 Le Pin is set to be one of the best Le Pin’s ever produced!

2010 Chateau Plince

Medium bodied, soft and light textured, the offers spicy red plums and feminine textures. 86-88 Pts

2010 Chateau La Pointe

From an assemblage of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc Soft entry, stony, plummy, structured Pomerol this chateau gets a little better each year thanks to efforts of Hubert de Bouard began consulting the property. 87-89Pts

2010 Chateau Providence

Truffle, 5 spice, jammy black raspberry, licorice and cocoa powder aromas open to a refined, elegant, polished Pomerol. Black cherry, ch0colate, licorice and raspberry find their way to the finish which builds in intensity. 93-95 Pts

2010 Chateau Sacre Coeur

makes it debut in 2010. This small .6 hectare estate owned by Jean-Philippe Janoueix sits on sandy clay soils. Janoueix plans to focus on organic farming for this Pomerol wine. Produced from 100% Merlot, the wine reached 14.4% alcohol and will be aged in 100% new oak. Oak, floral, earth and raspberry notes are found in the perfume. Medium bodied, with round textures, the wine finishes with chocolate, spicy plum, jam and blackberry. 89-91 Pts

2010 Chateau Trotanoy

Deep ruby in color, flowers, truffle, Asian spice and earthy scented. Opulent, rich, supple, and luxurious, the refined black and red fruit Bordeaux wine is very strong. But it seems restrained, like a race horse being held back from entering into a full gallop. This is not at the level of the other worldly 2008 or 2009. Those vintages remain the modern day reference points for Trotanoy. 95-97 Pts

Vieux Chateau Certan

The chateau produces Bordeaux wine in vintages that favor Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, or Merlot. 2010 as well as 2009 are vintages where the Merlot clearly excelled and became the preponderance of the blend. The assemblage in this vintage is 86%Merlot, 8% Cab Franc 6% Cab Sauvignon. This is even more dominated by Merlot than the 2009, which came in at 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc. Shaped by low yields and high alcohol, the Bordeaux wine clocked in at 14.5% alcohol. The IPT levels are equally high at 90. As a point of reference, this level of IPT recorded in 2010 is the same as the chateau recorded in their press wine a decade ago.

Alexandre Thienpont, the lanky, soft spoken, bespectacled and witty owner of the property compared the two most recent vintages with previous Bordeaux legends from the property. He said, “2010 is close to 1950, while 2009 resembles 1948.” When asked why neither vintage reminded him of 1947, he slyly replied, “The 47 was even more potent!” He added, “The 1948 was the silkier wine of the pair.” If God could grant me one wine wish, it might be to find out for myself I casually mentioned. Theinpont smiled. I questioned him if they had any old bottles left. He shook his head from left to right, indicating no. He concluded with, his family liked to drink far too much. We both laughed and began tasting his newest Pomerol vintage.

Having spent a good amount of time with Thienpont over the years I know he prefers vintages favoring either Cabernet Franc, or Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends. Yet, he made me keenly aware 2009 and 2010 are reference years for the property. I questioned him about the dichotomy. He tackled the issue saying that while he realizes the Bordeaux wines of 2009 and 2010 are extraordinary, for a meal, he still prefers vintages like 2001. His answer was as complicated as Vieux Chateau Certan. I’m going to discuss this with him when we have the opportunity for lunch over a few bottles the next time I am in Bordeaux.

2010 Vieux Chateau Certan resembles dark, purple ink. Exotic liqueur aromas, plums, truffle, flowers, chocolate and spice aromas are found with little effort. The mouth filling wine paints your palate with sexy, ripe, liquid silk sensations. Spice, rich black licorice, pure plum and blackberry flavors coat your taste receptors. The long, seamless, intense, pure finish was too good to spit. When Alexandre was not looking, I put the Bordeaux wine where it belonged, twice! Sadly, this will not be cheap. However, if you’re seeking a historic Pomerol legend in the making, this is the Bordeaux wine to buy. 99-100 Pts

2010 Chateau La Violette

From 100% old Merlot vines located on the Pomerol plateau, the Bordeaux wine pops with scents of violets, chocolate, black raspberry jam, licorice and truffle. In the mouth, lush black plum, dark cherry and earthy flavors are discovered in the finish. 92-94 Pts

2010 Chateau Vray Croix de Gay

The property increased the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the wine to 25% from 10% starting with the 2010 vintage. The remainder of this Pomerol is Merlot. Showing deep color, floral, chocolate, jammy black raspberry and earthy scents open to a medium/full bodied Bordeaux wine that’s filled with round, supple blackberry and ripe plums. 89-91 Pts

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