Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lafite Rothschild, Lynch Bages, Mouton Rothschild, Pontet Canet,

The spectacular tasting area at Chateau Pontet Canet, with Melanie Tesseron explaining biodynamics
It has been a busy day visiting Chateaux and tasting some fantastic wines in the Pauillac appelation of Bordeaux.
This time I am running a wine tour with two very pleasant characters from Lancashire and Yorkshire. We tasted at Lafite Rothschild at 10am (not a bad start to the day). The wines were showing very well. The Carruades 2009 is so soft and open but with great intensity to back up. The Chateau Duhart Milon 2009 is still showing a slightly darker almost coarser edge to the fruit. But the Lafite 2009 is sensational. An absolute joy to try this wine twice in two weeks. Silky smooth, powerful, yet balanced between the intensity of deep spicey fruit and the rich enveloping tannins. A classic Lafite for the long haul.
We then dropped in to Chateau Lynch Bages, where we tasted the 09 which was also power packed and rich. A lovely elegant style, but not quite as showy as previous vintages. We tried the 2001 Lynch Bages, which had surprising evolution and secondary fruit characters. The fresh fruit had disappeared and the wine was very much old style claret...slightly disappointing.
The 'naked' Mouton! (The label will be selected later this year by Baroness Philippine from a selection of artists)
However our visit to Mouton Rothschild was uplifting. The 2009 Mouton was fabulous....and seemed to be better than when I tasted two weeks previously. The wine seemed to show more flair and balance between the dense cassis and dark bramble intensity and the steely edge of acidity with great tannins. There was a hush in the tasting room as we all thoroughly enjoyed the wine.

Our final visit was to the up and coming Chateau Pontet Canet, which is next door to Mouton and very close to Lynch Bages. The 80 hectare estate has converted to Biodynamic viticulture. Although they were forced to spray in the vines in 2007 they will be re instaed to full Biodynamics in the 2010 vintage. The delightful Melanie Tesseron explained the wines eloquently. The 2009 has a beautiful sweet ripe attack backed up by incredibly dense concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon. An elegant and powerful wine that should be highly rated by journalists this year.