Champagne Mandois – Blanc de Blancs Brut Premier Cru, 2010
100% Chardonnay, this is a crisp Champagne with fantastic depth of flavour and a long, biscuity finish. Light yellow with green tints. Refined, mature nose blending brioche, mineral and toast notes backed by delicate fruit. The palate shows seductively refined texture, ethereal fullness, freshness and minerality.
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 2010
A beautiful effort from Chasse-Spleen, this dense purple wine exhibits plenty of black currant and black cherry fruit with some licorice, roasted herbs and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied and supple, the final blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot has produced a fleshy, succulent style of Chasse-Spleen to drink over the next 15+ years.
Château Chasse-Spleen is a leading estate in Moulis. Although classified as a Cru Bourgeois, it regularly outperforms many of the Médoc’s more renowned classed growths.
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. It is matured in oak barriques (40% new) for 18 months and is bottled unfiltered.
Château d’Aiguilhe, Comtes von Neipperg, Côtes de Castillon, 2010
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.
Chateau Musar, blanc, 2010
Château Musar Blanc comes from two ancient native varieties that grow in the Bekaa Valley. The Obaideh variety grows at the foot of the hill on rocky and calcareous soils and the Merwah is planted on the hill on calcareous gravel soils at an altitude of 1,400 metres. They are cultivated using traditional agriculture and the harvest is low-yield but high-quality.
Château Musar Blanc is a mature white wine with intense aromas of ripe white fruits, citrus fruits and nuts. On the palate it is creamy, rich and dry with seductive notes and a long and persistent finish.
Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc, 2010
– The deep ruby 2010 Senejac has classy aromas of cedar, blackberries, cherries and plums, with vibrant acidity and fruit profile on the palate and great length. Alfred Tesseron of Pontet Canet has run this property since 2008, and the result in 2010 is a stunning wine of amazing elegance and grace
Chateau Sociando-Mallet, Jean Gautreau, Haut-Medoc, 2010
This wine has wonderfully rounded tannins and a woodland, cedary palate. The property is situated north of Saint- Estèphe and always makes big, fairly structured traditional wines.
Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva Rioja DOC 2010
– This wine is only made in “excellent” or “very good” vintages. It undergoes nearly two-and-a-half years ageing in highest quality oak barrels, followed by further ageing in bottle before release. Showing great complexity with notes of roasted coffee, spice, plum and strawberry. Powerful in the mouth with fleshy fruit and nuances of toasty, well-integrated oak leading to a long, balanced finish. Can be drunk now with grilled meats or game, or cellared successfully for the next 10 years.