For several weeks last year, I was based in Beijing and enjoyed the range of hearty, flavourful dishes of Northern Chinese cuisine such as braised offal and chewy fat noodles with salty, black soy bean sauce. I enjoyed jiaozi, meat dumplings, nearly every day and had wonderful spicy meals in the abundant Szechuan restaurants dotted throughout the city. Even with tongue-numbing Szechuan peppercorn in my mouth, I reached for wines to experiment with flavour combinations.
The quality of a vintage is a product of both the top chateaux and the petit chateaux from lesser known appellations. There are plenty of great wines to choose from in this vintage at all price points and from all appellations across Bordeaux. From Haut Medoc, Listrac and Moulis to Cotes de Bordeaux and Fronsac, there are numerous reds from these less familiar regions that are of a very high standard. For those with a limited wine budget, 2010 will be a great vintage to purchase good value red wines that will keep for at least 5 to 10 years. read more
The red wines from Pessac Leognan show beautiful restraint in 2010, with typical earthy, cedarbox characters. The 2010 is far less expressive than the 2009s but for many wines this vintage will likely evolve more slowly and open up to challenge the 2009s in a few decades. However, at this moment in the wine’s life, the flavours are fairly closed, and austerity and very firm tannins dominate. The one exception to this rule is La Mission Haut-Brion, which was singing from the glass – spicy and seductive with layer upon layer of subtle flavours with a long finish. read more
2010 was a great year for Margaux, nearly as good as 2009. For most properties, 2010 resulted in very high tannins and alcohol, which needed gentle handling in the winery. Most properties succeeded in producing aromatic, fresh styles with a fair amount of tannins which will soften over time. Overall, however, I preferred the 2009s to the 2010s in Margaux.