Tackling the tannins


And so day two drew to a close and, having tried many Left Bank wines, things are starting to fall into place. It is very clear that the wines are not as consistent this year, you have to search through a few over-extracted, over-alcoholic examples to find the real beauties, but when they come along they are worth the wait.

We spent the morning at a negociant, tasting a lot of Left Bank wines. Again, the best have a real balance, a pure fruit core and a refreshing streak that is lacking in many others. Individual styles vary, but many of the top châteaux are producing classic examples of their wines (not least Ch. Margaux, whose 2010 is certainly one of the best wines we have tasted so far.)

After a spectacular start to the afternoon tasting the fantastic 2010 Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, we headed to Ch. Brane-Cantenac (left) and Ch. d’Issan, two more properties that are producing pure, ‘signature’ styles this year. Even the best wines so far have very high tannins but these are well integrated and silky smooth, allowing for great enjoyment and aging potential. Early indications suggest that this may not be the greatest year for dry white wines, as they struggle to retain freshness, but the best whites are yet to come, so watch this space.

We still have many producers to go, but we’ll leave you with Simon Staples and Alun Griffith MW’s thoughts on the vintage so far.

For up-to-the-minute tasting notes and thoughts from Bordeaux, follow Simon Staples on Twitter @BigSiTheWineGuy and see the wines as they are released on bbr.com/bordeaux