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TASTING NOTES: Coming soon: 2010 Bordeaux release
My friend Barbara Philip, a locally celebrated Master of Wine, cheerily greeted me at the door of a Farimont Pacific Rim ballroom in what’s become a much-anticipated annual event in the local wine scene. The 2010 French Bordeaux release will be occurring in the BC Liquor Stores’ Signature Stores throughout British Columbia on Sept. 28 and the Fairmont occasion gives the wine trade a sneak peek of what will be on offer. As the European wine buyer for BC Liquor Stores, these wines are the fruits of her Bordeaux travels, tasting and research two years ago; purchasing ‘“en primeur,” when they were still in barrel.
Before I pass along my recommendations, many of which Barb gave me a personal “heads-up” on, here’s what she has to say about these lovely wines composed mainly of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that are heading our way.
“In 2010, for the second vintage in a row, the region of Bordeaux produced spectacular wines. Since being selected for BC Liquor Stores more than two years ago, wines for the 2010 release have been maturing in Châteaux cellars.
“Here, the tannins have softened, flavours have become more complex and the wines, overall, have become more approachable. Like the excellent 2009s that preceded them, the 2010 Bordeaux have concentrated flavours and tannins that are both bold and ripe. Generally, the international wine trade and journalists describe the 2010 as more ‘classic,’ ‘restrained’ and ‘long-lived.’”
Of course, it’d be easy to highly recommend the big classics, Château Mouton Rothschild and such, which run $1,800 per bottle. The bigger challenge for Barb as a buyer, and myself as a writer, is to find those gems with price-points that are a little more, ahem, “realistic.” Here’s what I got:
Château Carignan ‘Prima’ | Premières Côtes de Bordeaux | $28
Sure, there was a buzz in the room for all the wines that’ll break the bank, but there was just as much enthusiasm for this killer value with pencil shavings and fennel-tops on the nose, then currants and blackberries that glide across the palate. A nice little flinty grip gives it great structure.
Château la Garde | Pessac-Léognan | $39
Good and juicy with generous purple fruit and layers of dark chocolate, while bright and lofty in its tone. Can lay down for five or more years.
Château Plince | Pomerol | $38
A Christmas cake full of currants, raisins and cinnamon. Fine-polished tannins make it drinkable now, but feel free to tuck it away for a decade or more.
Château Poujeaux | Moulis | $55
This one will come in handy of the rainiest of winter days. Rich and warm with mocha, figs and a gorgeous lift of bergamot keeping it from getting too heavy.
Château la Serre | St-Émilion | $78
This reminds me of long summer days in cabin country back east. Boysenberries, Saskatoon berries, huckleberries, forest floor and a pinch of cinnamon. A charming walk through the woods.
For more information on the big Bordeaux release, head to BCLiquorStores.com.