This is one of our first arrivals from the highly regarded 2010 vintage, and if the delectable style of this modestly priced petite château is any indication, wine lovers are going to be arguing for decades over which is the greater vintage, 2010 or 2009. Made from a blend of 50% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 18% Cabernet Franc, this fruit-forward wine, from the northern part of the Entre Deux Mers appellation, is made by Jean Lobre and his two sons, whose family has owned Bellevue Rougier for four generations. Absolutely ready to drink now, this easy-drinking Bordeaux offers oodles of soft, spicy fruit, lightly seasoned by notes of red berries, Provençal herbs, and cedar. Although it has sufficient stuffing to match with main courses of meat or poultry, this wine is also delicious by itself or with light cheeses.
Our friend, owner Francois Nony, just keeps raising the bar at Caronne! A perennial winner, his 2010 has a nice bit of blackcurrant in the nose, with well-integrated, ripe tannins. There are attractive Medoc earth flavors that carry through into a long and elegant finish. (tasted twice including once at the chateau)-- CW Wine Staff (April 2011)
Produced on a well-situated 30-acre vineyard located in a picturesque village near Pomerol, this 2010 petit chateau has a definite Right Bank character. Although Merlot (70%) dominates the blend percentage-wise, the 30% Cabernet component (19% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon) informs this charming wine's sense of style, adding a distinctive cassis/blackcurrant/peppery note that reminded me just a bit of Château Figeac or Vieux Château Certan (high praise indeed for an $11 wine). Quite ready to drink now, the palate impression is of crisp red and black fruit, with the aforementioned notes of blackcurrant leading the charge, followed by hints of vanilla from barrel aging on the finish. Nice drink. -Ben Giliberti, CW Director of Wine Education
A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2010 Chãteau des Laurets opens with an utterly refined bouquet of fresh cedar, violets, and crushed berries. On the palate, the bold, pure fruit of 2010 asserts itself with remarkable verve, supported by firm, well-resolved tannins. While quite enjoyable now (decant 45 minutes in advance), the firm tannic structure, which is somewhat masked by the precocious fruit at this point, will provide excellent aging ability of 7 to 10 years, if not more. A tremendous value.
Like the fine 2009, the rich, powerful 2010 Dutruch offers deep, smoky flavors of roasted cherries, cassis, and Provençal herbs, set off by a dollop of new French oak. Though approachable now with steak and chops, give this impressively structured wine an additional 4-5 years of additional cellaring to strut its stuff.– Ben Giliberti
"Floral notes intermixed with black raspberry, blueberry, mulberry, some crushed rock and forest floor notes all make for a classic, full-bodied, surprisingly intense and rich wine that can be drunk now or cellared for another 10-15 years. A sensational wine from proprietors Jean Baptiste and Nathalie Cordonnier, this blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a balance 6% Petit Verdot is another sleeper of the vintage and a major overachiever.” 90 points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
New! The just-arrived 2010 Château La Maroutine Bordeaux is what I like to call an ideal "multi-task" red. You can take it home, pop the cork, and drink it tonight, or you can choose to cellar it for 2 to 3 years, to be enjoyed as it matures gracefully. In addition, while the super-low price makes for affordable everyday imbibing, it has the style and panache to serve without the least trepidation when company arrives for dinner. A classic Right Bank blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, I found the 2010 La Maroutine particularly attractive due to its immediately enjoyable vibrant, tangy red fruit, which jumps with notes of wild strawberry, cassis, with a hint of marjoram. Although not in the least heavy or over extracted, it offers an unusual degree of definition and penetration on the palate for a wine in this price category. The tannins, which in typical 2010 fashion are crisp and a bit crunchy/taut at this point, give the wine excellent freshness, while providing the structure needed for a short-term aging potential of 2 to 3 years. In short, a terrific "house" Bordeaux rouge, at a great price.--Ben Giliberti
We tried this with our friends at Nathaniel Johnston a few years ago and fell in love with it! This 2010 has very complex, black-fruit flavors, especially given its modest price and appellation. It has excellent balance, with fine tannins and a hint of roasted coffee in the long finish.-- CW Wine Staff (April 2011)