The Vintage 2010, some facts
And then there was the 2010. 2008 was excellent in Bordeaux. The vintage 2009 was outstanding and couldn’t be beaten. And now the 2010 astonished tasters at the En Primeur tastings where the newborn vintage was presented to the international press and trade. I must say, I was astonished myself as well.Of course I live in Bordeaux, so I had experienced the near perfect weather conditions first hand. And on my many trips into the vineyards I had seen the great shape the vines were in this year. Nearly all my contacts at the chateaux were hinting that this was another outstanding vintage in the making and seemed almost embarrassed by the possible quality. How to sell this to the market? Well after the tastings I think this vintage will sell it self…
The 2010 growing season
Let’s go back to the growing season in the vineyards. March and April were sunny with an average rainfall in March. May was dry and cool without much sun. June was like most years with some heavy rain towards the 15th. No rain would be seen until October. A very sunny and hot Julyand the water stress forcing the vegetation to grow helped the grapes to ripen. August was warm and sunny like usual but without rain. September again was sunny and dry with average temperatures for this month.October gave us even more sunshine than we usually get in this month. There was a short period of rainfall relieving the thirsty grapes and the cool nights not only prevented rot but also helped to create the much needed acidity.
How Bordeaux should taste
Ronald at work at Mouton Rothschild
The vintage 2010 showed as a more classic Bordeaux than it’s lush twin brother the 2009. Classic should be read here as: more in the traditional style of Bordeaux and not as a euphemism for unripe or green.
The weird thing however is the alcohol level; even higher than the record setting 2009. Thanks to the strong acidity the wines express a great freshness.
For me the 2009 is an example of how Bordeaux can taste and 2010 illustrates how Bordeaux should taste.
The fact that the American critic Robert Parker for the 2009 awarded a 22 wines with a possible 100 point score but granted a mere 10 possible 100 pointers for the 2010 vintage, may illustrate my point.