Fete de Bordeaux 2013 – Year Five

This was the year to put the 2010’s to the test.  2009 vs. 2010 – the raging debate – the only thing standing between me and the final verdict was the fact that we couldn’t taste the vintages side by side.

The guests of honor this year were Jean-Charles Cazes of Chateaux Lynch-Bages and Ormes de Pez and Anthony Barton of Chateaux Leoville-Barton and Langoa Barton.  We were sad to miss Nicolas Glumineau, who represented Chateau Montrose in years past, because he had moved on to a roll as head of Roederer’s Bordeaux Properties including Chateau Pichon LaLande.  Herve Berland, now representing Chateau Montrose and Tronquoy Lalande had a last minute conflict and could not make the dinner, we hope to meet him next year.

The wines served were:

  • 2011 Blanc de Lynch-Bages
  • 2010 Chateau Tronquoy Lalande
  • 2010 Chateau Ormes de Pez
  • 2010 Chateau Langoa-Barton
  • 2010 Chateau Lynch-Bages
  • 2010 Chateau Leoville-Barton
  • 2010 Chateau Montrose
  • 2005 Chateau Langoa-Barton
  • 2003 Chateau Lynch-Bages
  • 2000 Chateau Montrose
  • 1999 Chateau Leoville-Barton
  • 1995 Chateau Lynch-Bages
  • 1995 Chateau Montrose
  • 1997 Chateau Suduiraut

So now, the big reveal.  2009, or 2010?  Honestly, I have to be as cagey as the critics and say the proof is in the aging.  I have happily begun putting down both vintages in the anticipation of a future vintage taste-off.  My wife, however, is firmly in the 2010 camp, having declared the 2010 Montrose her Wine of the Night in an unusual twist (normally, the older the better as far as she is concerned).  She described the 2010’s as more round and approachable and having darker fruit than the 2009’s, but to be clear, she’s not saying the ’09’s are any less complex than the ’10’s – it’s just a style she prefers.  They say that the 2009’s are more of an American vintage with a little more plush fruit and the 2010’s are more of a European vintage, being slightly more tannic with blacker fruit.  If that’s the case, I’m definitely okay with her assessment – but only time will tell.

I leaned towards the  Montrose as my top pick of the 2010’s, followed closely by the Leoville-Barton and the Lynch-Bages.  My Wine of the Night was the 2000 Montrose, though I have to agree with my wife – the 2010’s were very compelling that night.

The surprise of the night was the impressive 2011 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, with strong minerality and great acid energy.  Jean-Charles said a customer once described it as a real “porch pounder.”  (He was quite pleased with that description!) It’s not exactly how I would put it, but I admit, I’d happily drink more of it!

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