2010 Bordeaux

2010 Bordeaux: Return To Terroir

2010 Bordeaux: Return to Terroir

Post by Chuck Hayward | February 4th, 2013

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UGC 2013 in San Francisco’s stunning Palace Hotel

Each year in January, the Union des Grand Crus, an association of 134 estates in Bordeaux, conducts a series of tastings across the United States designed to introduce the latest vintage to consumers and the trade alike. For us at JJ Buckley, the tastings provide a perfect opportunity to reassess these wines after assessing them as barrel samples one year earlier.

The latest tastings turned towards the 2010 vintage, an excellent year that was considered a return to classically-styled Bordeaux. Critics and merchants alike agree that the hallmark traits of the vintage – precise flavors, focused structure and a strong tannic backbone – will provide long-lived wines that will act as a perfect foil to the more forward and opulent qualities of the 2009s. (more…)

Closing It Down At Lascombes (Again!)

Closing It Down At Lascombes (Again!)

Post by John Perry | April 5th, 2011

Every year that I’ve been to Bordeaux, the weather has been completely unpredictable and variable.  Not this year though—seems we brought

Lascombes vintages 1881 & 1892

California with us!  With warm, clear days, and cool,comfortable evenings, I couldn’t have asked for a better scene for our visit to Chateau Lascombes. We started out with a tour of the property, and as dry as technical details can be, it’s essential to understand how the rebirth of Lascombes has taken place over recent vintages.

Under its previous ownership by brewing company Bass Charrington, this 2nd Growth was considered by most to be an unqualified underachiever. Although some improvements were made, particularly towards the end of this era, the wines were pretty forgettable and certainly unheralded. Revitalization came in 2001 when Lascombes was purchased by Capital Colony and Yves Vatelot, who hired the super-talented team of Dr. Alain Reynaud and Michel Rolland to oversee the turnaround. Various improvements were made, including the construction of a gravity-fed winery, use of optical scanners on the sorting table, a new, innovative racking system for wines resting in barrel, and the replanting of (more…)

At Pontet-Canet, Everyone Feels Like The Big Cheese

At Pontet-Canet, Everyone Feels Like The Big Cheese

Post by Chuck Hayward | April 14th, 2011

Tasting at Maison Joanne

Maison Joanne is one of leading Bordeaux negociants and a tasting there is a marathon of immense proportions. Donning Joanne’s signature bibs (to avoid staining our shirts), we sit down and rapidly evaluate some 200 to 300 barrel samples, ranging from simple Bordeaux Superieurs to grand cru classés. It’s an intense experience for anyone, even those of us who’ve logged a quarter-century of “flight-time” in the biz. A break in the action this year brought welcome respite in the form of a bottle of 2010 Chateau Pontet-Canet, which arrived to the table with JJB co-founder Shaun Bishop’s name affixed to the bottle. Ah…it’s the little things.

The Pontet-Canet personal touch

This year, as last, Pontet-Canet made more than just a statement of class, and the sample we tried left us gobsmacked as we passed the bottle around. And just like last year, even after tasting a squillion palate-challenging barrel samples, it made an impression, standing out as one of the best wines tasted and giving the First Growths a serious run for their money. When you consider the prices those wines fetch, at under $200 (for the 2009) Pontet-Canet represents a relative bargain. (more…)

JJ Buckley Takes On 2010 En Primeurs

JJ Buckley Takes On 2010 En Primeurs

Post by Chuck Hayward | April 4th, 2011

The JJB Team Infiltrates Pavie

With the entire JJ Buckley team finally assembled in Bordeaux, we’ve begun our first forays into discerning the potential of the 2010 harvest. We came to Bordeaux to make our own assessments, but without blindfolds and earplugs…  it’s hard to look at the new vintage without being affected by early coverage from the front. Whether it is journalists who got the first peek at the harvest or the negociants and the winemakers themselves, opinions are already floating around. Early reports have focused on three aspects of the vintage: the elegant profile and high-toned nature of the fruit, the amount of tannin in the wines and the alcohol levels.

Yet if there is one word that can describe our tastings so far, it would be “surprising.” It’s only been one day and the JJ Buckley team has recorded a little less than 100 wines in our notebooks. While that might not be much in the bigger scheme of things, there are definitely a few conclusions that can be drawn, and I feel confident that these observations will hold true as we taste more. (more…)

Bordeaux 2010: You’ve Got Questions, We’ll Get Answers!

Join Us For Bordeaux En Primeurs!

You’ve got Questions…We’ll get Answers.

Each year, our team of wine specialists spends a week in Bordeaux at En Primeurs, meeting with winemakers, Chateau owners and negociants on both banks. We taste literally hundreds of wines during the course of the week, make our tasting notes, and choose what we’ll offer on futures that year.

Our Bordeaux customers have always enjoyed our coverage of the events and our perspective and buying recommendations for the vintage at hand. But this year, in addition to our usual blog and Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and annual Bordeaux Vintage Report, we’ve decided to do something a little bit different…

Video journalist, blogger, and winemaker Hardy Wallace (yeah !!!) will be embedded with our team, capturing all the action on location at the UGC events and posting updates to our social media channels.

But the fun doesn’t doesn’t end there! This year, we want you to be a part of our adventure. Ask us anything you’d like to know about the 2010 Bordeaux vintage, or any other Bordeaux-related question for that matter. We’ll film the response on location and post it back to you here!

Maybe you’d like to ask Jean-Guillaume Prats a question about his 2010 Cos d’Estournel, or Alfred Tesseron a question about his Pontet-Canet. Or perhaps you’d like to know more about exciting Bordeaux up-and-comers—ask Jeffrey Davies, one of our top negociant suppliers who always has his finger on the pulse of Bordeaux.

Scroll down for our week-long schedule of activities, then post those burning questions to the comments area below. We can’t promise we’ll be able to answer each and every question, but we’ll do our best. (more…)