Clos Cantenac 2010

Made from 100% Merlot the fruit for this wine was picked in the cool early morning of 16th September in fine weather and absolutely perfect conditions, and is a deep dense black in colour. On the nose, it displays luscious and enticing aromas of cherry, violets and liquorice, underlined by sweet fresh dark fruits with hints of fragance, creme de framboise, subtle distant spice and havana cigars.

On the palate, it shows of succulent and tangy grilled red and black juicy fruit flavours followed by a gentle touch of dark chocolate but charged with depth and energy that leads to an intense velvety attack of soft rounded tannins to nicely balance the structure of the wine and produce a long subtle finish. Drink 2013-2025

Vineyard: 1.3 hectares

Grape variety: 100% Merlot

Harvesting: 100% by hand

Winemaking: Saignée, fermentation and maceration

Ageing: Oak barrels (65% new & 35% 2nd year)

Alcohol by volume: 13.5%vol

Residual sugar: < 2 g/l

Production: 6,000 bottles

The 2010 growing season was something of a 'roller-coaster' with the season starting 10 days later than the previous year. This was due to a very cold spring, and with lower than average rainfall in March, followed by two uncharacteristically dry months, by the end of May the water table was unusually low.

A sudden rise in temperature mid-May led to an abundant flowering, however, the growth cycle slowed down again with the return of the cold weather at the end of the month.

The hot, dry weather returned in June, however, by July signs of water stress were beginning to show in some parcels. Water stress is often mistakenly thought to be the sign of a good vintage, but it also means that vines concentrate on ripening their grapes, rather than developping sufficient foliage to protect them. August was predictably hot, but also extremely dry, with less than half the average rainfall, but despite over 220 hours of sunshine, there was also plenty of cloud cover to protect the vines.

However, due to a successful fruit set our vines were laden with healthy fruit and the warm, sunny weather reduced the risk of mildew and the number of treatments in the vines. Generally speaking, the success of the 2010 vintage depended on the terroir being able to provide the right amount of sustenance and the clay-over-limestone soils at Clos Cantenac enabled vines to absorb sufficient moisture throughout the year.

Harvesting started early in the morning of 16th September with the first block (0.61ha) of Merlot and continued on the 23rd September with an older block (1.2ha) of Merlot, halted only briefly by a quick downpour. The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were picked on 1st October in fine, but slightly cooler weather.

2010 certainly looks likely to complete a trio of excellent, consecutive vintages in Bordeaux, comparable to the dryness of the 2005 and 1995 vintages and the overall coolness, particularly in August and September, of the great 2005 vintage.

A more assertive style than the 2009 and I think better. Deep colour. Ripe, crème de framboise nose. Smooth attack. Good weight and vinosity to match the acidity. Firm finish.”

James Lawther - Decanter Magazine