The LDB is releasing its 2010 Bordeaux purchases this Saturday (September 28th).Details on the release (including the stores where the wines will be available) can be found here.
2010 is probably the most celebrated vintage we have had in a long time and the wines will be in hot demand. So, to help you shop- I have put together a quick guide of my recommended purchases from the LDB Bordeaux catalogue (which you can find here).
I tasted most of the wines in barrel at en primeur in 2011 and, in many cases, again out of bottle over the last couple of years. I have identified the ‘big boys’ I think you should buy – which are what I believe to be the best wines of the vintage. I have also identified some ‘value selections’ that will out-perform for the money you will spend on them. I have left 1st growths off the list – you do not need me to tell you that Lafite, Latour, Margaux, etc. are great in a vintage like 2010. This year I have also added a few ‘caution’ wines – these are wines that the scores would lead you to believe are good or great – and which I felt were not. Buy these wines with caution and in 10 years when they are dissappoint – don’t tell me I did not warn you!
Also, please note that my strong personal recommendation is that you do not purchase current vintage Bordeaux. My recommendation is to purchase Bordeaux wines that are already mature (~10 years old). This is because many of the wines recommended below will probably be enjoyed by your children – given how long they will need to age before they are at their peak (20+ years). . . If you are interested in mature wines contact me and I can help you acquire some at prices not much more than (or much cheaper than) the 2010?s are being offered at. . . But if you must buy wines from the 2010 vintage now – here is what I recommend.
The ‘Big Boys’
*Ch. Pontet-Canet – Paulliac – $388: The metoric rise of this Chateau is unprecedented but well deserved. Bio-dynamics is just a part of it. This wine is unbelieveable. If you can get a bottle – rush to the cash and laugh as you escape the store. You just made $130. It now trades for about $520 a bottle.
*Ch. Haut-Bailly – Pessac-Leognan – $259: I always love Haut Bailly – and this is maybe the best one they ever made.
*Ch. Rauzan-Segla – Margaux – $200: This year the wine was made in a softer style – if it is possible to say that about Rauzan-Segla. Rauzan-Segla is a very tannic wine that is built for long aging. The wine-making team’s toughest task each year is to tame the tannins and keep them soft and silky. In this vintage, with the huge natural tannic structure of the grapes – it is stunning how soft and elegant this wine is. Hats off to the wine making team.
*Ch. Branaire-Ducru – St. Julien – $150: Had multiple chances to taste this wine and came away more impressed every time. This will not disappoint. Better than the Leoville Barton in 2010.
Ch. Leoville-Barton – St. Julien – $195: Always an over-performer and the family keeps the price down so that (some) people can still buy it – although the LDB price seems to keep creeping up.
Ch. Lagrange – St. Julien – $100: This wine is a great value. I felt it was in the same quality level as the Beychevelle but at a much more reasonable price. Grab a few bottles if you can.
Ch. Beychevelle – St. Julien – $168: One of the stars of the appellation – right in there in quality with Lagrange and just a step below Branaire Ducru and Leoville Barton.
Ch. de Fargues – Sauternes – $100: Excellent again this year. It had an intense nose of beautiful aromatic botrytis with tropical fruit and vanilla. On the palette it had refreshing acidity with with sweet fruit that was in almost perfect balance. I love this wine. I tasted it twice.
Ch. Suduiraut – Sauternes – $50: Just a notch below de Fargues with intense tropical fruit and the longest finish of the wines. Great price this year.
*Ch. Sociando Mallet -Moulis – $68: The value wine of the vintage for me. This is the most bang you will get for your buck.
Here is a list of wines I would buy with caution: Ch. Talbot, Ch. Faugeres, Peby-Faugeres, Ch. Angelus, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Brane-Cantenac.
Missed Out on Wines? Looking for Something not in the LDB Release?
There were a number of amazing 2010 wines that were surprisingly not purchased by the LDB. They included: Ch. Ausone, Ch. Le Pin, Ch. Lafleur, Ch. de Valandraud, Ch. Malescot-Exupery, Ch. Carmes Haut Brion, Ch. La Tour Carnet, Alter Ego de Palmer, and Clos Les Lunelles, among others. If you are interested in getting any of those wines I have them. You can view my offer here.
Also, if you miss out on any 2010s you wanted to get – be sure to contact me and I will be happy to special order them for you. Here is my latest offer of the LDB Allocated Wines – ‘De-Allocated’.
To see my full notes from the 2010 tastings follow the links below:
Left Bank Tasting: Here.
Bordeaux Superieur Tasting: Here.
Sauternes tasting: Here.