April 3rd 2010
The home straight – the fourth and final day and we are off to the Graves and Pessac-Leognan. Slightly further south than the rest of the Left Bank there is a chance that the baked Merlot may be in evidence again.
The UGC is being held in luxurious surroundings at Smith Haut Lafitte. Once again there are many delicious wines, but also a few dense overly tannic bruisers.
It is the old favourites which have really pulled it out of the bag – lovely Domaine de Chevalier and Haut Bailly, with Les Carmes Haut-Brion and Picque Caillou also getting lots of approval. I didn’t have time to taste through the whites properly as we were determined to be punctual for our 11am appointment at La Mission Haut-Brion.
Our final chateau visit, and what a visit. Understated and traditional, there is a calm almost monastic feel to their tasting rooms.
We taste their four reds and three whites all of which are hugely impressive. It is a particularly good year for La Mission and Haut-Brion is also spectacular. Apparently they have had an unbelievable 1,400 visitors in the past four days and they are giving out goodie bags including a bottle of Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2007. That is a lot of goodie bags and a lot of wine. Our suitcases are heavier but our goodwill is ensured.
More black thunder clouds loom as we head for lunch, the airport and home. This of course is only the start of the campaign and my view is that it will be a controversial couple of months. Critics will be divided on wines and prices may well be painful. However there is no doubt that this is an excellent vintage with truly delicious wines at all quality levels. I shall be putting several cases in my own cellar and can only reccomend that you do the same.