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Friday, 23 May 2014

Bordeaux Grands Crus Classés: 2010-2013‏

In terms of spoiler alerts, I don't think I'm giving too much away up front if I say that the 2010s stood out at this 2010-2013 Grands Crus Classés and that the 2013s were, at best, light and delicate.

It is instructive to compare across terroirs and across vintages and, passing in my lunch hour, I had to make some hard choices about what to try and whether to chat.

In the end, I tasted as many wines as I could, picking areas and producers of some familiarity, at the expense of saying hello to a number of people - sorry, you know who you are.

Whilst all the wines were pretty much textbook examples with nothing faulty or statistically untoward, at a more detailed level, it was hard to judge them on a quick taste as some will be years off their peak, whilst lesser examples may show better in their youth but not develop as well.
Right Bank

Ch d'Aiguilhe, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2010 ripe plump and spicy, drinking nicely now.

2011 good freshness and stuffing, nicely balanced.

2012 fresher with less plumpness.

2013 perfumey, light and fresh with a grippy firmness. Gently infused rather than overextracted.

Ch Gazin, Pomerol 2010 Merlot nose of fruit and coffee grounds; fresh, soft and plump with assertive grip.

2011 more of everything - fruit, perfume, substance and freshness. More stuffing.

2012 fresher and readier for drinking right now.

2013 lighter and fresher, nicely infused. Slight and delicate.


Ch Rauzan-Segla 2011 focused cassis and savouriness with cool mint. Precise and elegant. Tannins very fine but still grippy.

2012 more cassis and cool-mint custard with freshness and savouriness.


Ch Branaire-Ducru 2010 ripe, smooth and spicy with savouriness. Still grippy.

2011 more perfumey, less plump. Feels less substantial but plenty of acidic structure.

2012 soft, smooth and ripe with sweet vanilla; drinking nicely now but still some grip on the finish.

2013 the lightest, thinnest and freshest.


Pontet-Canet 2013 violets and berry fruit, savoury minerality, firmness and persistence. Well balanced.


Ch Guiraud 2010 peaches, honey, beeswax, floral; sweet spice and roasted peach skins in butter with freshness.

2011 like the 2010, rich, unctuous and complex.

2012 fresher, with more honeysuckle character and no roasted elements.

2013 fresher again, like pureed peaches.

See here for Sediment Blog's distinctive take on the event.

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