Neal Martin re-tastes and scores the 2010 Cru Bourgeois:
“But to reiterate my stance – the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois deserve all the support and this was another superbly organized tasting. It was disappointing that few fellow professional scribes felt the need to attend, apart from the usual grafters such as Jancis Robinson and Chris Kissack (the latter journeying down from Scotland, which is a little further than a few stops on the District across London.) No doubt these absent journalists will throng to the Grand Cru Classé tasting next month, but in many ways, this tasting is far more important because at least consumers can actually afford them.
And the proprietors in their ivory towers baptised back in 1855 should not rest easy and assume the crus bourgeois has nothing to do with them. The image of Bordeaux is not only governed by the highest, headline grabbing echelons, but by bottles that wine-lovers order in restaurants and drink at home, wines such as these. Bordeaux may be the most expensive wine on the planet and have no trouble in persuading scribes to kowtow at its feet. However there is a whole disenfranchised generation to whom “Bordeaux” is meaningless. The traditional route whereby the neophyte taking their first vinous steps starts out with cheaper Bordeaux and progresses to Crus Classé throughout their life has been extirpated by unrealistic prices, endemic avarice and the inexorable tide of corporatisation.
Crus Bourgeois has been the entrance and the conduit through which a lifelong passion for Bordeaux has been fostered. Bordeaux will forsake that at their peril.” For the full article click here
2010 Chateau Charmail 89 points: 9cs – £140 IB / 9cs Mags – £150 IB
Tasted at the Crus Bourgeois 2010 tasting in London. For a 2010, this has a relatively exotic bouquet with dark cherries, dark plum and mulberry fruit that are well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe fleshy tannins. I like the balance here and there is a lovely rounded, quite sensual finish. Very fine. Drink now-2018. Tasted September 2012.
2010 Chateau Les Grands Chenes 90 points: 4cs – £135 IB
The Les Grands Chenes is a little subdued on the nose and offers faint traces of blackcurrant pastilles and blueberry. The palate is rounded and supple on the entry with cassis and blueberry notes. The acidity is a little low, although the finish is pure and sensual. It is very generous in the mouth, but will hopefully develop more persistency in the bottle. Drink now-2018.
2010 Chateau Malescasse 89 points: 14cs – £105 IB / 10 cs Mags – £115 IB
Tasted at the Crus Bourgeois 2010 tasting in London. I was seeking more complexity on the nose of the Malescasse – very broody and introspective at the moment. The palate is much more promising with tobacco tinged black fruit and sous-bois, leading to a well defined persistent finish. This just needs time. Drink now-2018.
2010 Chateau Peyrabon 90 points: 22cs – £95 IB
Tasted at the Crus Bourgeois 2010 tasting in London. The Peyrabon 2010 showed well in barrel and more faith has been rewarded. It has a well-defined, quite succulent bouquet with raspberry, wild strawberry and a touch of vanilla. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins, a fine thread of acidity and a sense of “confidence” towards the fresh, swarthy finish. Excellent! Drink now-2018. Tasted September 2012.
2010 Chateau Sénéjac 91 points: 8cs – £118 IB / 10cs – £128 IB
Tasted at the Crus Bourgeois 2010 tasting in London. The Sénéjac has a superb bouquet with vigorous blackberry, wild strawberry and tobacco-tinged aromas that soar from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, dry tannins. There is plenty of substance here with a dash of black pepper and cedar on the finish. Very St. Estephe like: this is an excellent cru bourgeois. Drink now-2018.