Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Château Cantemerle, Grand Cru Classé en 1855, Haut-Médoc 2010 red Bordeaux

Château Cantemerle, Grand Cru Classé en 1855, Haut-Médoc 2010 red Bordeaux, $53.99-$59.99, 95 points, appears consistently near-opaque purple red, to almost black in color, with a now familiar thin transparent surface rim.
A toasty vanilla, crushed savory herbs, and black cherry, coalesce into a subtle, but lovely aroma.
Early palate, this near full bodied red wine coats with silk, but the moderate to moderate-plus acidity quickly quickens the excitement intensified by serious tannins which are persistently dynamic, yet not uncomfortable, and bode well for a brilliant future.
Black fruit dominate, with black currant and blackberries leading the way, with floral plum, mocha and tobacco notes folding into a sleek, supple, and elegant drinkability.
The long finish extends the pleasure with an earthy pomegranate, white pepper, and cayenne.
Though I haven't tasted that many of the 2010 Bordeaux wines, however, of those available in NH, I'd say this one, not as complex as the Bellevue for example, is more focused and pleasurable, at least at this stage of their development, and though a bit pricy, is definitely worth the money (high QPR). If you buy this wine and don't like it, spank me in the comments section.
Varietals are 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.


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  1. Spank you!? I thought this was a G rated forum. God, I remember when Cantermerle was about $19. I shouldn't bitch about Italian wine.

    1. John, I've been watching too many movies!
      I'm afraid inflation is a furtive monster that eats away everyone's savings, that's why, if you are going to drink good wines, this one cost me $53.99, you need to buy the good ones now, and put them in you Eurocave for the future.
      John, a digital spanking isn't dirty:-)

  2. Just a note on the Château Bellevue, though this wine arrived only 2 weeks ago, and eight days had passed when I was looking to buy more of this excellent bargain from Bordeaux, the full case(s) from which I purchased the three bottles were all gone. The Cantemerle could face a similar fate.
    Some sad facts for us poor folk is that traveling to another State is expensive, but that doesn't mean we poor folks can't celebrate a great wine once and a while, so I just want to remind you NH wine lovers, that just as the 2009 Bordeaux wines have arrived, many are now history, so will these 2010s, and unless you know how to purchase them from out-of-State dealers, then I suggest you take advantage of what maybe a once in a life-time wine tasting enjoyment.

  3. Hi Dennis,

    This is a great review for a fine wine from an exceptional vintage. In my opinion, of the two back-to-back wonderful vintages of 2009 and 2010, the latter exceeds the former on a number of levels and as you suggested, will improve with age. In fact based on your review, I am wondering if the wine is 'going dumb' right now, which is very common for Bordeaux wine to do. Usually a few years after release they just kind of go dormant and close down for two to five years, and no one really can explain this phenomena in scientific terms (but there's a lot of wine related things that science still cannot explain).

    Anyhow I'm glad you enjoyed it and I think you hit on one of the things that struck me about the vintage when I was in Bordeaux barrel tasting these in 2011: there is an amazing purity of fruit in these wines and great precision that markedly stood out. You used the term 'focused', which is exactly right in my experience. The barrel tasting consisted of approximately 125 Classified and unclassified 2010 Bordeaux and over and over again I was amazed at the purity of fruit.

    Also, according to my research, New Hampshire is one of only a handful of states that allow shipping from out of state wineries and retailers. If you go to, you should have no problem finding good retailers that will ship pretty much any kind of wine you want. Just be cognizant of the weather during shipping (don't take a chance on receiving cooked wine), and make sure an adult is there to sign for the shipment. I wish things were so easy in Austin!

    As you know, I'm always pleased that you're open to reviewing French wines but you do a really great job of reviewing everything. Keep up the excellent work!

    Best regards,

    David Boyer

    1. David, thanks again for your "obi wan Kenobi" comments (Not sure if that's better than Ram Dass).
      Primarily, I have you to thank for encouraging me to get past my timidity toward Bordeaux, but if it wasn't for the new interest in retailing the 2009 and '10 Bordeaux wines by the NH Liquor stores, I'd still be testing the "waters", and probably would never have dived in. That is why I want to encourage NH wine loves to test some of these once or twice in a life time back-to-back vintages.