In his vintage report entitled “Un Train (2009) Peut Cacher Un Autre (2010) (One Train Can Hide Another),” in describing the back-to-back 2009 and 2010 vintages, Robert Parker wrote: “While Bob Dylan may have been talking about his own country when he wrote the song With God On Our Side, it sure looks as if fate has smiled on Bordeaux in an extraordinary way...”
As Parker suggests, 2009 and 2010 may well go down as the most exceptional back-to-back growing seasons in Bordeaux history. While the 2009 growing season was hotter and exceedingly dry, 2010 is generally considered the superior vintage, as large diurnal temperature swings made for riper tannins and firmer acidity.
For the superstars of the Right Bank — Petrus, Ausone, Clos Fourtet, Le Pin, and Cheval Blanc — harvest began in late September and continued well into October. While not quite as forward out of the gate as the 2009s, the 2010s are endowed with herculean concentration and structure. The top wines will live gracefully well into the 2050s!
Production on the Right Bank is far smaller than on the Left. As the last of the 2010s disappear from châteaux cellars, prices for the 97-100 pointers have soared. A single bottle of the 2010 Château Petrus (100 points) will now set you back $4,500. Le Pin ($3,200/100 points), Cheval Blanc ($1,800/100pts), and Ausone ($1,200/98+) follow close behind.
But for the second year in a row, the Right Bank’s most extraordinary bargain was authored by the Cuvelier family off their 19 hectares at Clos Fourtet.
The 2010 Clos Fourtet was hand-harvested between the last week of September and the fourth week of October. Yields were 2.5 tons per acre. Berry size was small, with high skin-to-juice ratio. High natural sugars made for a Right Bank powerhouse that came in at 14.5% in alcohol — standing shoulder to shoulder with Petrus, Cheval Blanc, and Ausone for wine of the year honors.
Parker came on like gangbusters, describing the 2010 Clos Fourtet as “dense, full, rich, unctuously textured and very full-bodied, with its extravagant glycerin, fruit and extract covering the wine’s somewhat tannic structure. … Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 30-40 years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2058.”
98 points from The Wine Advocate. 120 bottles have been secured directly from the cellars in Bordeaux. Offered at $179. Shipping included on 2.
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