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Bordeaux 2010 completes another great trilogy

Published:  05 November, 2010

Bordeaux 2010 is being heralded as a great vintage ? with producers claiming that coming on the heels of 2008 and 2009, it completes "another trilogy".

Bordeaux University oenologist-consultant Nicolas Vivas told Harpers this year's Merlots, despite some having a high alcohol content of 16% abv, "are gourmand, like eating cakes with a lot of cream".

Sunny conditions and late rains caused concerns that wines would be very dark in colour, or would dry out, but Philippe Delfaut of Château Kirwan in Margaux said light but persistent rainfall, from September 6, penetrated the soil, allowing the grapes to fully ripen".

After last year's "magical" harvest, 2010  was always going to be a challenge, but Jean-Claude Berrouet of Pétrus in Pomerol believes it promises to be a fine follow-up to 2009, "like 1990 was to 1989". The same sentiment was expressed on the Left Bank, as Didier Cuvelier, owner of Château Léoville Poyferré in St Julien and Château Le Crock in St Estephe, said: "It looks like a great vintage in terms of tannin, colour and alcohol. We have another trilogy (2008/2009/2010 as to 1988/1989/1990)."

But Vivas thinks 2010 will not last as long as 2009. "It will be a vintage that one should drink young; it will be most impressive in its youth," he said.

"2009 will prove to be a far better vintage because it is more complete, and everything was in the right proportion, with better balance between tannins of the skins and tannins of the pips. In 2010, there was less margin for manoeuvre."

See this week's Harpers Wine & Spirit for a full analysis by Panos Kakaviatos, p14-15.