2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron and the Parker Praise Effect
The English MW Clive Coates, while a brilliant taster of Bordeaux (we’ve tasted with Clive several times), has no influence whatsoever on the pricing of vintage Bordeaux. But Robert Parker’s ratings are not only closely tied to prices, they actually SET the prices on the Place de Bordeaux.
Since February 2015, when Parker announced that he’d no longer be tasting young Bordeaux at the spring barrel-tastings, prices for the 97- to 100-point wines from the fabulous 2009 and 2010 vintages have skyrocketed, with prices for the top wines climbing up to 75%!
The 2010 growing season was Bordeaux’s second consecutive drought year, but unlike 2009, while hardly any rain fell on Pauillac, there were no significant heat waves in 2010. June was warmer than 2009, yet there were more cloudy days. July was hot and dry. Then came the marvelously mild yet sunny months of August, September, and October, which proved miraculous for the Cabernet Sauvignon of Pauillac.
At Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, one of Pauillac’s two “super second” growths, winemaker Daniel Llose turned out what gérant Christian Seely thinks is the greatest Pichon Baron in three decades. Robert Parker saw things just as Seely did, publishing a jaw-dropping tasting note shortly after the en primeur tasting of 2011 and sending the price of the 2010 Pichon-Longueville Baron into orbit.
In his review of May 2011, Parker wrote: “Black/purple-colored with super concentration… an awesome display of creme de cassis, blackberry liqueur, licorice… this superstar of the vintage is definitely a wine to purchase as a future.” Anticipated maturity: “2015-2040.” 97-99+ points.
Given the steady price escalation ever since Parker’s industry-rocking news, you won’t find better bargains on 2010s from Bordeaux’s elite anytime soon; in fact, we’re amazed we still found these at all. But these are the times our long relationships and many years on the wine trail pay off.
Elsewhere: $359. $249 today as supplies continue to dwindle in Bordeaux. 200 bottles have been earmarked for WineAccess, drawn directly from the cellar in Pauillac. Shipping included on all orders.