The Circle of Life

From year to year, winemakers get the opportunity to begin again and make a new wine from a new harvest. Each vintage sharing some of the same elements as the one before, yet making its own mark on the world.

The newest vintage of wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank (Rive Droite) was premiered at a Le Cercle Rive Droite tasting in March. Accordingly, barrel samples from 2010 were on offer from chateau in Pomerol, St. –Emilion and other Right Bank appellations.

Baronne Guichard owns three separate properties, each with a unique terroir – Chateau Vray Croix de Gay in Pomoerol with gravely soils; Chateau Siaurac in Lalande de Pomerol with clays and gravels; and Chateau Le Prieure in St.-Emilion with soils of limestone and clay. Accordingly, the ability to do a mini-vertical and mini-horizontal tasting presented itself.

Proprietor Paul Goldschmidt describes the Chateau Le Prieure wine as being feminine and notes that the slopes are south-facing. The 2010 was very mineral in character with herbal notes (which Paul qualified as “Herbs de Provence, but under the shade”) and red fruit. The 2008 was similarly herbal with red fruit, but the minerality wasn’t present.

Paul characterizes the wines from Chateau Siaurac as being more masculine and explained that its appellation is known as the “poor man’s Pomerol” due to its lower price. The 2010 was intense with a concentrated nose of blackcherry, while the 2008 had mellowed and showed more red than black fruit.

The sample of Chateau Vray Croix de Gay has a slightly different make-up than its brethren, featuring more Merlot (90% vs. 80%) and thus less Cabernet Franc. The 2010 was concentrated with floral aromas while the palate had firm, tight tannins, blackcherry, some spice and long length. Similarly, the 2008 was rich, lush and ripe, but with the flavors and structure more closely knitted together with time.

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