55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark cherry red. Smells more pure-fruited than the 2009 and doesn’t have its dusty mineral character. Much more down the line Cabernet aroma of cassis and cedar but the fruit is intense so that there is also a touch of dark chocolate – in a thick, chewy texture as well as in the flavour. Firm and chewy and with real mass as well as structure and still finishes fresh thanks to the fruit clarity. This has some way to go but has fine St-Estèphe direction and firmness and the fruit to fill out the middle. Long and satisfying and attractively aromatic as well as powerful.
Château Meyney is a Cru Bourgeois estate located in St Estèphe. Owned by Domaines Cordier, it neighbours Château Montrose and has relatively small production of 30,000 cases per year.
Fourcas-Hosten has long had a reputation as one of the best Châteaux in the commune of Listrac in the Médoc. This vintage is very classically profiled with a nose of cassis, cocoa, and cedar followed by a complex array of black and red fruits on the palate. Exceptionally well-balanced, this is a wine that can improve over the next couple of years, but is already a joy to drink. Jancis Robinson MW said “…quite an intriguing nose, full, firm and dramatic. Nicely balanced with polished tannins and very appetising, the type of wine that could be a pleasure to drink all its life.”
One of the best-run estates in the underrated and undervalued appellation of Cotes de Castillon is Chateau d’Aiguilhe, which is owned by Stephan von Neipperg. As with all of von Neipperg’s wines, Stephane Derenoncourt is the consulting winemaker. The blend is usually 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, although I did not see the statistics on this particular vintage. The 2010 (10,000 cases produced) achieved 14% natural alcohol from modest yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple hue, lots of cassis, crushed rock and floral characteristics, a round, generous, savory, broadly textured style and sweet tannins. Drink it over the next decade.
A rich, ripe core of dark fruit, tobacco, leather and spices, cassis, plum and cedar too. A wonderful blend of classic Bordeaux styling with modern fruit purity.
Impressive generosity of flavour (delicious, rich dark fruits) with elegant structure, the greatness of the vaunted 2010 vintage is confirmed at every point from the succulent entry to the long, fine finish. Supported by a velvety bed of fine ripe tannins with a spine of juicy acid and liquorice spice, it’s approaching its very best drinking – released at 5 years old, it will only improve over the next 5 years.
90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“This wine, which is a blend of the three basic varietals planted in Bordeaux – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – is a major sleeper of the vintage and far exceeded my expectations, and that, of course, is all good news. Lots of red and black currant fruit, licorice, spice and soft tannins have resulted in a silky, opulently styled wine that far exceeds its humble origins and appellation. Drink it over the its first decade of life, although the position of Prince Robert is to release this wine only when it is showing some maturity, as their target market is largely consumers desiring immediate gratification and restaurants seeking similar qualities. (RP)”
Chateau d`Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet wine in the world. Yquem is located on the highest hill in Sauternes and enjoys the best growing conditions in the whole appellation. The 110-hectare vineyard is planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Only fully botrytized fruit is picked by the 150 highly skilled pickers and yields are so low that each vine produces only one glass of wine. Yquem is fermented in oak barrels (100% new) and is left in barriques to mature for up to 36 months. Intensely opulent when young, Yquem develops an extraordinary complexity and exotic richness when fully mature, with the best vintages lasting for over 50 years. Château d’Yquem is classified as a 1er Cru Classé supérieur.
This classic and well vinified Bordeaux wine has a pleasant nose of ripe red fruits, a very expressive, fruity mouth with a fresh finish. 10-12 months in barrel. Enjoy from 2-3 from vintage up to 8-10 years. Pair with games dishes.
Domaine de Mayat
Family farm for 3 generations, Domaine de Mayat is located on the plateau of Fougueyrolles, and dominates the Dordogne valley at 90 meters altitude.
With a southern exposure, the soil is clay-siliceous and clayey-limestone with a high iron content.
The vineyard therefore benefits from the best criteria for the elaboration of its fine wines.
A strong effort for this vintage, the 2008 exhibits a dark plum/purple color, plenty of firm, rugged, austere tannins, copious red and black fruits, admirable flavor intensity and medium body. Cellar it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 15.
Château Lafon-Rochet is a 4ème Cru Classé St-Estèphe estate that has been owned by the Tesseron family since 1959. The property has one of the best terroirs in Bordeaux: its one block of 45 hectares is on a gravelly rise not far from Pauillac, and overlooks first growth Lafite Rothschild and second growth Cos d’Estournel.
– 92 points Wine Enthusiast
For the vintage, this is a particularly rich wine. It is structured and firm with opulent black-plum fruit that gives the wine a ripe character. Dense with supporting tannins, the wine is going to develop well over the medium term. Drink from 2022. (RV) (2/2017)
– 91 points James Suckling
The forthright cassis note is immediately appealing, then the rather bold tannic structure sneaks up on you and shows that this is a serious wine. Maybe not quite the power and length of the appellation’s top wines in 2014, but still an impressive wine. (2/2017)
– 90 points Wine Spectator
Ripe and racy, with a graphite streak that drives the core of cassis and plum fruit along, picking up an anise edge on the finish. Not big, but fresh and well-defined. Shows some sneaky grip. Best from 2018 through 2026. (JM) (3/2017)