Michael and I went to my first en primeur wine tasting, arranged by Cambridge Wine Merchants, tasting 2010 Bordeaux. The 2010 is a good year for laying down, apparently, as there is ‘rich tannic structure’ in the wine, and good acidity and fruit.
The tasting was in The Kennedy Room at the Cambridge Union, which was a good room to stuffed full of wine. There was a great seelction of 80 wines: six white/rose; three sauternes and the rest reds.
I found the tasting part really difficult. I’m not very good at spitting at tastings and this wine was too young to drink, so out it had to go. I tended to like the wines that would be good drunk younger because they tasted closer to being ready. The wines with the strong concentrations of fruits and tannins I found hard to judge and get a measure of. We tried a £50 a bottle (not expensive for Bordeaux) Châteaux Marlartic Lagraviere (Pessac-Leognan) which was intense, dark and packed full of tannins and flavours but I couldn’t tell what would happen next. So some tasting experience of the ageing process would help for next time (but maybe not at £50 a bottle!).
My favourite wine of the evening was Châteaux Marquis de Terme (margaux) which was complex and long, with some warm spice and felt very classy. It has good tannin for ageing. A case would have cost about £340, so it’s not something I would have enjoyed gambling with. On the more affordable side, I liked the Châteaux de Ricaud (Cotes de Bordeaux) which was spicy and peppery and low on tannin. I also liked the Châteaux Clos Floridene Rouge (Graves) with hints of aniseed, but Michael didn’t like this one at all.
My palate quickly got overwhelmed with all the young wine and the huge variety (that I probably tried too quickly) Our teeth were black and a we had stained hands and lips. What a sight! No wine purchased (as yet). Great to try it though.