2010 Château Tronquoy-Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe (2.9.2020)
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (40%) and Petit Verdot (10%). Aged for a year in oak barriques (20-25% new). 14,5% alcohol.
Inky, still quite youthful and almost fully opaque blackish-red color. Ripe yet rather savory nose with lush and quite polished aromas of juicy blackcurrants, some savory wood spice, a little bit of mocha oak, light plummy tones, sweet oaky hints of vanilla and chocolatey toast and a touch of pencil shavings. Although the wine doesn’t see that much new oak, the overall impression is rather oak-forward. The wine is full-bodied, ripe and somewhat concentrated on the palate with flavors of ripe blackcurrants, some extracted woody bitterness, a little bit of juicy blackberry or black cherry, light oaky notes of mocha and cocoa, a leafy hint of herbaceous greenness and a hint of vanilla. The overall feel is pretty balanced with the moderately high acidity and firm, somewhat grippy medium-plus tannins. The high alcohol lends some obvious warmth to the palate. The long finish is quite warm, somewhat grippy and quite powerful with flavors of juicy blackcurrants and cherries, some woody notes of pencil shavings and extracted spicy bitterness, a little bit pf plummy tones, sweet oaky hints of toasty spice and vanilla and a touch of tobacco.
A rather youthful and quite polished St. Estèphe, but not without redeeming qualities. For me the oak is still rather unintegrated at this point, making the wine come across as quite woody and toasty with somewhat prominent chocolatey overtones, but on the other hand the wine shows nice, ripe fruit and good sense of concentration without overextraction or excessive ripeness. The alcohol is tad high, making the wine come across as rather warm with at times quite prominent heat, but nothing too distracting. Although Tronquoy-Lalande is known as a Bordeaux that is best drunk on the young side (and in its own way, the wine is drinking pretty well right now), the oak here makes me feel that this wine really needs more age to integrate the woody tones better with the fruit. Fortunately the wine feels still very youthful and the ripe fruit and the good, balanced structure promise lots of potential for future development, so it is safe to assume this wine will continue to improve in a cellar. If you don’t like your Bordeaux reds oaky and polished, I heartily suggest letting the wine wait for at least another 5-10 years. (89 pts.)
Luminous, moderately translucent and relatively youthful blackish-red color. Dry, fresh and somewhat restrained nose of brambly dark berries, some bayleaf, light meaty notes of beef stew, light gravelly mineral tones, a crunchy hint of red currant and a touch of fresh cherry. The wine is dry, medium-bodied and somewhat austere on the palate with somewhat lean flavors of raspberries, sanguine iron, some fresh black cherries, light floral tones, a little bit of gravelly minerality and a hint of red currant. The overall feel is balanced and harmonious with the moderately high acidity and well-behaved medium tannins. The finish is long, dry and clean with relaxed flavors of gravelly minerality, some red currants, a little bit of tart red plum, light notes of blood and a hint of dried herbs.
An attractive, sophisticated and harmonious Margaux that sings in a delicate voice, not with a booming baritone more typical of modern Bordeaux. The fruit here is more about freshness and flavors inclined towards crunchy berries rather than ripe, dark fruits. With no obvious oak to mask the flavors in rich, glossy tones, the wine isn’t powerful or particularly expressive, but instead rather restrained and painfully precise. I was surprised to learn how light and easy the tannins were here, considering how tannic many of the 2010 Bordeaux reds have been - most likely this is all because of Jean-Pierre Boyer’s very unextracted style. All in all, a lovely effort, but still very closed and all too young for consumption - even after 4 hours of decanting the wine really didn’t give much. Most likely this won’t be opening up before its 20th birthday. No need to hurry with this one - and expect the score to go up with age. Priced somewhat according to its quality at 44,90€. (90 pts.)
Luminous, moderately translucent and relatively youthful blackish-red color. The nose feels quite understated and earthy with rather dull aromas of ripe red fruits, some dusty notes of TCA and a hint of savory herbs. The wine is lean, medium-bodied and somewhat earthy on the palate with autumnal flavors of ripe redcurrants, some mushroomy notes, a little bit of earth, light metallic tones, a hint of apple core and a touch of cardboard. The wine is quite structured with its high acidity and moderately grippy tannins. The finish is dull, short and lacking in fruit. Flavors of sour cherry bitterness, some metallic tones and a hint of dusty earth.
Feels like subtly corked. There is some fruit here, so the TCA hasn’t ruined the wine completely, but the overall feel is dull and dusty, lacking depth and vibrancy and making the wine come across as rather earthy and somewhat mute. The cost of the wine was 44,90€. NR (flawed)
Luminous, moderately translucent and relatively youthful blackish-red color. Somewhat dark-toned yet at the same time subtly herbaceous nose with aromas of licorice, some gravelly minerality, a little bit of fresh, crunchy blackcurrant, light notes of wet stones, a hint of fresh red plums and a sappy touch of raspberry leaf. The wine is dry, moderately ripe and silky smooth on the palate with a medium body and bright flavors of ripe raspberries, some blood, a little bit of meaty umami, light crunchy notes of cranberries, a sweeter hint of wild strawberry and a touch of gravelly minerality. The wine has a supple and silky yet firm enough texture, thanks to its moderately high acidity and quite gentle medium tannins. The finish is juicy and quite light with medium-long flavors of fresh red plums, some blood, a little bit of ripe raspberry, light stony mineral tones, a hint of old leather and a touch of tobacco.
A tasty, supple and gentle claret. Very approachable now at 15 years of age, although by no means particularly developed in style. Compared to many surrounding vintages, this felt surprisingly light and delicate, lacking a bit in both depth and intensity - which was quite surprising, given the power and richness the warm 2005 vintage has given to many Bordeaux reds. All in all, a nice and enjoyable effort, but came across as relatively underwhelming compared to the other BAMA vintages. Perhaps further aging might lend the wine some additional depth and complexity? Perhaps a bit pricey for the quality at 44,90€. (88 pts.)
Luminous, moderately translucent and slightly evolved pomegranate red color. Quite big, somewhat sweet-toned yet still relatively youthful nose of wizened red plums, some ripe blackcurrant, light and slightly off-piste creamy aromas of Brie rind, a little bit of mushroomy sous-bois and a hint of game. The wine is rather ripe, quite dry and medium-bodied on the palate with flavors of ripe cranberries and crunchy redcurrants, some wizened red plums, a little bit of stemmy wood character, light umami notes of raw meat, a slightly weird hint of something lactic and a touch of earth. The overall feel is firm and balanced with the high acidity and the textural, gently grippy medium tannins. The finish is long, savory and moderately grippy with layered flavors of crunchy redcurrants and ripe cranberries, some bloody meat, light gravelly mineral tones, a little bit of juicy cherry, a sweet hint of wizened plummy fruit and a mushroomy touch of sous-bois.
A very nice, harmonious and sophisticated vintage of BAMA that comes across as slightly more ripe and sweeter-toned than most other vintages. Although the wine doesn’t feel young anymore, the overall feel is still rather youthful and most likely the wine will not only keep but improve for many more years. There’s also a slightly odd, subtly lactic undertone to the flavors here, which might be just this bottle or will disappear with further aging. Nevertheless, a balanced and enjoyable BAMA that is now entering its drinking window. Recommended. Good value at 37,90€. (91 pts.)
Luminous, slightly developed garnet red color with a wide, pale rim. Savory, complex and somewhat evolved nose with seductively nuanced aromas of wizened dark berries, some gamey meat, a little bit of farmhouse funk, light mushroomy notes of sous-bois, a hint of ripe redcurrant and a touch of tobacco. A very classic Bordelais nose without any of the glossy polished character typical of modern Bordeaux. The wine is firm, textural and very savory on the palate with a moderately full body and dry flavors of ripe dark berries, some sanguine iron, a little bit of leathery funk, light mushroomy notes of sous-bois, a hint of game and a slightly sweeter touch of wizened plummy fruit. The wine shows good sense of structure with its high acidity and still rather grippy medium-plus tannins. Beautiful velvety texture. The finish is rich, savory and moderately grippy with long, complex flavors of ripe dark berries, meaty umami, some gravelly minerality, light funky notes of leather and barnyard, a little bit of sweet pipe tobacco, a hint of sour cherry bitterness and a touch of earth.
A beautiful, classic claret that feels like a time capsule depicting a style of wine virtually gone now. The wine shows wonderful finesse, exceptional sense of balance, good structure and almost Zen-like harmony. If pitted against a modern Margaux, this would probably feel noticeably underwhelming in comparison, but in a long lineup of Bel Air-Marquis d’Aligre wines, this comes across as more impressive than most other wines tasted in the evening. Although I preferred the more rustic roughness of the 1999 vintage, this 2000 vintage seemed to be the overall winner of the evening for many, and no wonder - the elegance here is peerless. The wine is now in its drinking window, but thanks to its intensity of fruit and terrific structure, I can imagine this wine will not only keep but improve with additional cellaring. Highly recommended. Great value at 44,90€. (94 pts.)
Moderately developed rusty pomegranate-red color with a thin, colorless rim. The nose feels savory, robust and somewhat smoky with aromas of roasted game, some ripe redcurrants, a little bit of burnt hair, light wizened red plum tones, a hint of earth and a touch of dried flowers. The wine is dry, sinewy and medium-bodied on the palate with focused, savory flavors of crunchy redcurrants, some sooty notes, a little bit of tart lingonberry, light funky animale tones, a hint of sour cherry bitterness and a touch of licorice root. The overall feel is surprisingly tightly-knit and structure-driven for a BAMA with high acidity and rather grippy, grainy tannins. The finish is dry, quite tannic and very complex with long, intense flavors of leather, some animale funk, a little bit of ripe redcurrant, light sanguine notes of iron, a hint of smoke and a sweet, pruney touch of wizened red plums.
A very distinctive and structure-driven vintage of Bel Air-Marquis d’Aligre with a somewhat evolved and relatively funky overall character, yet still brimming with intense, vibrant fruit that can still take many more years of aging - which is great, since the relatively tightly-wound structure of the wine feels like it could really use some additional cellaring. While moderately ripe, the wine tastes very savory, dry and crunchy, exhibiting only subtly sweet undertones amidst its generally dry and somewhat rustic flavors. With its firm, sinewy overall feel and funky complexity I’d go as far as to say this was my wine of the night, even though the 2000 vintage came across as equally vibrant and complex with more poise and finesse. it’s just that the unpolished, rusticity of 1999 really spoke to me. Very highly recommended. Simply outstanding value at 34,90€. (95 pts.)
Quite translucent but also relatively youthful pomegranate red with a slightly bloody hue and a clear, colorless rim. Quite rich and expressive nose with complex aromas of wizened blackcurrants and juicy black raspberries, some gamey meat, light dark-toned plummy notes, a little bit of herbaceous leafy character, a savory hint of bayleaf and a touch of leather. The wine is juicy, full-bodied and relatively concentrated on the palate with a silky mouthfeel and clean, vibrant flavors of ripe blackcurrants, some meaty notes of umami, light iron notes of blood, a little bit of bayleaf, a hint of gravelly minerality and touch of brambly black raspberry. The structure relies more on the high acidity than on the grainy yet easy medium tannins. The finish is silky and gently grippy with long, savory flavors of fresh blackcurrants, some autumnal notes of sous-bois and herbaceous leafy character, light pruney notes of wizened dark plums, a little bit of licorice root, a meaty hint of rich umami and a touch of stony minerality.
A beautiful and very balanced Margaux that is stylistically more Burgundian than Bordelais: despite its full body, the wine is relatively delicate for a Bordeaux with flavors that show freshness and minerality that would be more in place in Côte de Nuits than in Left Bank - qualities only accentuated by the lack of obvious oak, low alcohol and high acidity. The overall feel is seductively silky and while the wine isn’t young anymore, it certainly isn’t going to be falling apart anytime soon. Truly a positive surprise considering how the wet 1998 vintage wasn’t that memorable a vintage on the Left Bank. Most likely the wine will continue to improve for a handful of years and then keep for a long time. Comparatively speaking, this wasn’t as great as the neighboring vintages 1999 and 2000, but nevertheless among the best BAMA vintages we had. Fine stuff, highly recommended. Terrific value at 34,90€. (93 pts.)
Quite translucent and moderately evolved red with a somewhat rusty maroon hue and a clear, colorless rim. The nose feels surprisingly restrained and slightly dusty with very understated aromas of developed blackcurrant-driven fruit, some campfire smoke, a little bit of sappy leafy character and a hint of earth. The wine is silky, medium-to-moderately full-bodied and somewhat dull on the palate with quite reticent flavors of ripe blackcurrants, some red-toned plummy fruit, a little bit of dusty earth, light gamey notes of meat, a hint of tobacco and an autumnal touch of old leaves. The wine is rather high in acidity with rather grippy and somewhat angular medium tannins. The finish is quite long, dry and dusty with some tannic grip and rather light flavors of blackcurrants, some dusty earth, a little bit of leafy greenness and a hint of tobacco.
A surprisingly reticent, dull and underwhelming vintage of BA-Marquis. People were wondering if the wine was suffering from a very mild case of TCA - not enough to make the wine feel corked, but enough to mute the fruit - but reading the CT tasting notes it seems quite obvious that we had a textbook 1996 BAMA. In this vintage when almost everybody else made thoroughly impressive powerhouses of wine, BAMA seems to have made a very reticent, dull and underwhelming wine that was rather a dud upon opening and never really got any better over the evening. Almost a polar opposite to 1998 - a vintage which was rather poor on the Left Bank yet in which BAMA excelled. I can imagine this wine will keep just fine for many more years - perhaps even decades - since it doesn’t show much evolution, but I doubt it is going to be a memorable vintage, no matter how old it gets. If you get to choose, pick any other 1990’s vintage of BAMA over this one. Rather poor value at 39,90€. (83 pts.)
Moderately translucent and quite evolved rusty red color. Aged, meaty and somewhat tertiary yet still wonderfully vibrant nose with aromas of ripe blackcurrants, evolved earthy notes, some blueberries, a little bit of bloody game, light perfumed floral tones, a sweet hint wizened dark fruits and a touch of balsamic richness. The wine is dry, quite acid-driven and somewhat lean on the palate with a medium body and harmonious, savory flavors of crunchy cranberries and ripe redcurrants, some tart notes of lingonberries, a little bit of meaty umami, light sanguine notes of iron, herbaceous hints of cooked bell pepper and herbal bitterness and a sweet touch of raisiny dark fruit. The structure relies more on the high acidity whereas the resolved medium tannins contribute more to the silky texture. The finish is long, savory and moderately grippy with dry, evolved flavors of gamey meat, some sour cherry bitterness, a little bit of old leather, light sweet notes of wizened blackcurrants, a hint of beef jerky and a touch of dried herbs.
A wonderful, harmonious and immensely enjoyable vintage of BA-Marquis that is smack in the middle of its drinking window. The flavors are getting quite tertiary, but the wine is still brimming with fruit and intensity - yet, true to the BAMA style, the wine isn’t a particularly fruit-forward wine, but instead somewhat understated, savory and structure-driven effort in the vein of a good, proper claret. All in all, a terrific old Bordeaux. Will keep, but most likely won’t develop. Drink now or within the next 10-15 years. A terrific purchase at 34,90€. (94 pts.)
Deep, luminous moderately dark pomegranate red color with an evolved mahogany hue and a thin, colorless rim. Somewhat dull, earthy and slightly dusty nose with understated aromas of charred game, some damp soil, a little bit of wizened dark fruit and a touch of old leather. Feels slightly musty and lacks vibrancy. The wine is somewhat dull, dusty and understated on the palate with a medium body and slightly thin flavors of earth, some sweeter notes of wizened dark berries, a little bit of ripe plummy fruit, light sanguine notes of iron, a hint of gamey meat and a touch of old leather. The wine is high in acidity with moderately grippy medium-plus tannins. The finish is dull, quite grippy and somewhat bitter with rather short flavors of crunchy cranberry, some sanguine meaty notes, a little bit of wizened blackcurrant, light dusty notes of earth, a hint of tobacco and a touch of sous-bois.
A wonderfully structured and still quite tightly-knit vintage of BAMA that was surprisingly dull, musty and understated for a Margaux clocking at 35 years of age. We wondered whether the wine was mildly corked or if it was suffering from an extreme case of bottle stink. Since BAMAs are known to require very long periods of decanting, we had the wine decanted for 3 hours prior to pouring it, yet still it was very dull and inexpressive from the start and didn’t seem to open up in the glass during the evening. Without further experiences with 1985 BAMA it is hard to assess whether this was a representative bottle or not, but based on this taste, I wouldn’t say this was really worth the 127,90€. Leaving the wine without a score for the time being.
Posted from CellarTracker