Top-table 2010 reds…



In November 2013 I a wonderful invitation to dinner, it was an exceptional opportunity to taste some of the great wines from the 2010 vintage with winemakers. With a twist, these were German winemakers – some very famous names – and nice people too. The venue was Mainz, just around the corner from Nierstein…

I should eventually write about it, but I also attended another fine dinner (in August) with super wines in Zürich, we drank flights of wines as we progressed through the meal – in that case I felt our perceptions of the wines altered by the meal. This was not to be the case in Mainz – we tasted flights of wines and finished with dinner. It worked perfectly! In each case the wines were revealed at the end of the flight.

Flight 1:

A heavy scent of musk and faint vanilla – there’s an impression of sweet gooseberry too – that’s unusual – but rather nice. The palate is even nicer than the nose, again with a creamy gooseberry impression – very fine delineation of flavour here and very, very long too. Just a hint too much oak showing at the moment, but this is incredibly looooong! (2010 de Vogüé, Musigny Vieilles-Vignes )

There’s perhaps more oak here, though less vanilla – less massive aromatically, though similar – a dark core of fruit lurks below. Plenty of oak texture (and flavour!) just now, but the wine seems up to the task of overcoming it. There is a more obvious minerality in the narrower but muscular palate. Also very, very long but not quite as impressive as wine #1. (2010 Jacques Prieur, Musigny )

Flight 2.

Here the nose is much more understated, almost shy after the first two wines; still, there are fine floral notes, high tones and faint stems. Hmm – a beautiful palate that’s fine, long and just a little padded with vanilla. Beguiling, mouth-watering, lingering flavour. Yum. (2010 Comte Liger-Belair, La Romanée )

Higher-toned, intense and faintly volatile – this becomes more jammy and spiced in the glass – Vosne then! In the mouth there’s a little oak texture and a dense core of vivid red fruit. The finish seems a little hot. In the context of this flight, easily the most ‘modest’ wine. (2010 Dujac, Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts )

A very forward, warm, round and stemmy nose, very stemmy. it is impressive but not for every day of the week! Vivid, energetic and with very fine acidity. There’s a growing intensity of clean, finely boned fruit and very faintly drying tannin provides the back-drop. It may be a little over the top aromatically today, but it is the most fabulous and energetic of wine in the mouth. (2010 DRC, La Tâche )

Flight 3.

A powerful nose that shows some herbs. This has a lovely, transparent minerality yet is still lithe but deep. There is just the faintest of padding to the palate. Not quite the same length as some of the previous wines, but beauty none-the-less. (2010 Méo-Camuzet, Richebourg )

The aromas have hints of torrefaction, some floral notes and darker-red fruits. Here the intensity is very special – a wine that’s hard to keep in the mouth. Lovely length and energy – brilliant! (2010 Méo-Camuzet, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cros Parantoux )

Flight 4.

A high-toned nose that also shows gooseberry – another from de Vogüé? Just a hint of padding and very fine acidity from which flows a very wide frame of flavour – which only very slowly fades – lovely! Not the same power as many previous wines but simply gorgeous. (2010 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses )

A hint of herb and high-tones – very different to the previous wines and not that pretty – a ringer? Plenty of power and good intensity on the palate – fortunately – the finish is also rather good. Just a shame about the nose. (2010 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Chatelots )

A deep nose with warm fruit and dark notes of barrel. In the mouth there’s plenty of oak texture, only slowly does the fruit grow enough to put up a fight. Lovely acidity brings that fine flavour into the finish. (2010 Groffier, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses )

Flight 5.

Oof! I am assailed by toasty oak – another taster says it simply – ‘it stinks’. In the mouth, however, there is a good line of (admittedly oak-toast influenced) flavour and a little coffe too for good measure. There is little structure to see. Very easy to drink if you like the style – I don’t. (2010 Leroy, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Boudots )

The nose is fuller and rounder and certainly more clearly defined, higher toned and eventually showing some coconut. Fuller in the mouth too, with both dimension and width. I like this very much, despite a little coconut oak action in the flavours too. (2010 d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Clos des Ducs )

Deep, almost roast fruit but remains clean and pretty – just a few faint herbs too with time. Sweet, with very nice acidity and good intensity. The fruit has a confiture personality yet is perfectly fresh. I’m not sure that the length is special in this company, but it tastes lovely….. (2010 Ponsot, Clos de la Roche )

Flight 6.

High-tones with pretty fruit and faint smoke. Nice width in the mouth with an insinuating density and faint salinity. Long with just a hint of dry texture. Very long. Nice wine. (2010 Louis Jadot, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots )

With plenty of stems, the nose is still warm, powerful but clean. There’s density and good intensity in the mid-palate with a mild rasp from the tannin. The finish is very long, but stay on a low, insinuating level… (2010 DRC, Romanée St.Vivant )

Creamy and bright with dense fruit. The palate is wide and intense with no obvious oak texture. The flavours are quite high-toned and mineral, leading into a lovely finish. Some oak flavour intrudes right at the end – but very, very fine… (2010 Louis Jadot, Grands-Echézeaux )

Flight 7.

This nose isn’t so wide, yet offers an impressive depth of aroma with just a faint halo of coconut. Full, round and concentrated with a growing intensity – this is very impressive. A faintly dry accent and a little mocha anecdote at the end. (2010 Cathiard, Vosne-Romanée 1er En Orveaux )

The nose is deeper, riper and very clean – the crystalline just edged with a few herbs. In the mouth it’s a little drying but has a lovely, lingering length. The last drops in the glass have a gorgeous redcurrant/balsamic edge that I simply love. Fine finish. (2010 Anne Gros, Echézeaux )

The aromas are also deep here, but with a whole-cluster dimension and a little oak too. Wide, round and mineral – some salinity too. A lovely mid-palate and fine length. Super wine. (2010 Dujac, Echézeaux )

Flight 8.

Modest but pretty aromas of red and darker-red fruits. Full and intense – indeed very intense – this is hard to keep in the mouth. Some velvet tannin and some less velvet oak tannin, minerality and really super length – really! (2010 Dujac, Charmes-Chambertin )

Round, tight but very clean fruit – maybe some whole-cluster elements(?) Higher-toned fruit in the mouth – just a little tannic ‘drag’ to the texture but you forget as you experience the very fine high-toned mid-palate flavour dimensions. Not longer than the last wine but a gorgeous wine in any company. (2010 Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Clos de Bèze )

There seems to be some little whole-cluster notes on the nose – eventually intensifying. Rounder and fuller versus the last wine, but not with the same level of delineation and definition. Lovely length borne on fine acidity. (2010 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Clos St.Jacques )


Really, more a few words about my surprises. I guess the aromatic fireworks of the two Musignys are not surprises, but the creamy goosberry note of the de Vogüé wines is – yet it was beguiling, even though you could so easily spot it – strange. Anne Gros’ Echézeaux – what a beauty and not a bit oaky – unlike many! Oh, and didn’t the d’Angerville Clos des Ducs really stand up to the grand crus around it – chapeau! The La Tâche may have shown much more stemmy than when tasted two weeks early, but the electric palate was completely consistent. The Dujac Charmes-Chambertin was also a lovely surprise – just a brilliant wine even when standing next to The Rousseau Bèze.

My favourite of the night was not the most concentrated, nor most electric, but maybe the most beautiful, it was de Vogüé Amoureuses. Stinker of the night – well that was easy 😉

Massive thanks to the organisers, and to Felix for the über-kind invitation – this was brilliant in both concept and delivery, plus lots of new friends!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 2 responses to “Top-table 2010 reds…”

  1. adrian latimer29th January 2014 at 12:45 pmPermalinkReply

    Very intersting. The only sad thing is that none of these wines should realy be drunk for at least another 12 years and in some cases much longer, and looking at the pedigree of them that is several thousand euros ‘worth’ of wine…slightly OTT?!

    • billn29th January 2014 at 9:09 pmPermalinkReply

      Well, I’m all for drinking wine Adrian.
      Much better to do that with these than trade them, and along the way we might even learn something.
      And there were quite a number of us…

  2. adrian latimer30th January 2014 at 6:56 amPermalinkReply

    thanks Bill, and deligted you are ‘back’! Yes I guess it is a lot better to drink, even too young, than to speculate or trade…next time just save me a bit!!

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