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2009 and 2010 Bordeaux: Châteaux Duhart-Milon, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Pichon-Lalande

2009 and 2010 Bordeaux:
Châteaux Duhart-Milon, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Pichon-Lalande

Three compelling wines at competitive market prices

2010 Château Duhart-Milon - £380 per 6 bottle case in bond/£760 per 12 bottle case in bond
2009 Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande - £1660 per 12 bottle case in bond
2010 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - £2000 per 12 bottle case in bond


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No-one who has been following Bordeaux for many years could forget the clamour for stock that was witnessed when the 2009 Bordeaux vintage was released.

Robert Parker was in his pomp, at the peak of his powers, and boldly claimed that ‘2009 may turn out to be the finest vintage I have tasted in 32 years of covering Bordeaux. From top to bottom, 2009 is not as consistent as 2005, but the peaks of quality in 2009 may turn out to be historic.’  And then as the 2010 Bordeaux vintage was due to be released, he claimed; ‘it is an inescapable truth that 2010 has produced another year of compelling Bordeaux that will go down as a prodigious vintage alongside 2009’.  Release prices were lofty in 2009 and stepped even higher in 2010 as everyone was swept along by the expectation of legendary quality.
Both vintages are now approaching a stage where various wines can be broached and as I recently commented, greatness is determined most clearly in maturity. You may recognise the potential in an unfinished barrel sample, but wines can deceive in their youth. Some Bordeaux vintages have offered great promise that hasn’t quite been delivered in bottle. Certain examples struggle to find balance in later years, with some wondering whether the structure will ease before the fruit fades. I can think of a few notable examples that meet that description. Other vintages were downplayed or overshadowed in their youth, when initial comments from critics may have suggested that the sense of terroir wasn’t apparent, only for the identity of the vineyard to reassert in full maturity. For a long time 1990 was considered to be a hugely successful Bordeaux vintage that dwarfed the 1989 in terms of quality and generalised success. Yet today, a number of 1989s comfortably place their 1990 counterparts in the shade.
So, prices have ebbed and flowed, critics views or scores have adjusted, and the wines from 2009 and 2010 have gently matured. A recent tasting of 2010s revealed that this vintage remains a cause for optimism. The wines will be long-lived, relatively speaking, but there is a fine sense of balance and intensity that looks sure to reward patience. The 2009s are evolving a touch faster and are likely to be accessible that bit earlier. It is clear this is a generous and appealing vintage, with lower acidity and copious, soft-textured fruit. I will be fascinated to see how they continue to age and whether the all-important terroir reasserts as they continue to mature.
All of this is a hopefully interesting introduction to an offer that focuses on three wines, one from 2009 and two from 2010, which we have available in good quantity. All the stocks are stored with us and have been since a couple of years after initial shipment.
Given the current softness of the market, now represents an opportune moment to purchase. Prices in the fine wine market have eased on the back of the increase in interest rates brought about by inflation as well as broader economic conditions. There are some great deals to be done in what can only be termed a buyer’s market. I have therefore included below the initial release price as well as the peak market as determined by Liv-ex, the online exchange for wine merchants. I have also added the original bracketed score awarded by Robert Parker when he tasted from barrel.

2010 Château Duhart-Milon
£380 per 6 bottle case in bond/ £760 per 12 bottle case in bond
Released in 2011 at £1000/12
Market peak at £1250/12
Parker barrel score – (94-96) points
Availability – 15 cases of 6 bottles and 4 cases of 12 bottles

93 points, Neal Martin, (April 2020)
The 2010 Duhart-Milon has an intense but tightly coiled nose of black fruit laced with cedar and mint. I would have liked to see a little more precision. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and very well judged acidity. There is an appealing sense of symmetry here with fine precision and tension on the finish. Excellent. Drink: 2022-2045.

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2009 Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande
£1660 per 12 bottle case in bond

Released in 2010 at £1395/12
Market peak at £1900/12
Parker barrel score – (96-98) points
Availability – 10 cases of 12 bottles

94 points, Neal Martin, (March 2019)
The 2009 Pichon-Lalande offers copious scents of boysenberry, cassis and blue fruit on the nose, a little smudged compared to the Pichon Baron but very pure. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very rounded in the mouth thanks to the precocious Merlot content, sage and orange rind developing towards the caressing finish. A very sensual Pichon-Lalande, tempting. A great wine although the 2010 has the upper hand. Drink: 2022-2040.

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2010 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
£2000 per 12 bottle case in bond
Released in 2011 at £1735/12
Market peak at £2550/12
Parker barrel score – (96-98) points
Availability – 3 cases of 12 bottles

96+ points, Neal Martin, (June 2021)
The 2010 Ducru-Beaucaillou, picked 29 September to 14 October, was matured in 100% new oak for 18 months. This is more backward, sultry compared to the 2009, but there is a payload of black fruit laced with violet and cedar, a very faint ash scent emerging with time. The palate is full-bodied with powerful black fruit, a lovely granular texture and a killer line of acidity. There is a certainly headiness on the finish, atypically more so than the 2009, although it delivers extraordinary persistence. It needs another 10 years before it even thinks about entering its drinking window. Tasted at the Ducru Beaucaillou vertical at the château. Drink: 2030-2070.

Please let us know of your interest.

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Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

Blackwell House, Guildhall Yard
London, EC2V 5AE
T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
F: +44 (0) 20 3017 2290