The best 2010s from lesser known Appellations

16 April 2011
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


The quality of a vintage is a product of both the top chateaux and the petit chateaux from lesser known appellations. There are plenty of great wines to choose from in this vintage at all price points and from all appellations across Bordeaux. From Haut Medoc, Listrac and Moulis to Cotes de Bordeaux and Fronsac, there are numerous reds from these less familiar regions that are of a very high standard. For those with a limited wine budget, 2010 will be a great vintage to purchase good value red wines that will keep for at least 5 to 10 years. The quality of these wines reflects the quality of the 2010 vintage – it will be firmly ranked as among the best vintages of this decade. The wines listed below are fantastic value and are worth seeking out.


1. 2010 Château Poujeaux, Moulis en Medoc, Bordeaux, France

The 2010 Poujeaux is a fairly deep ruby colour and offers up aromas of cedar, blackcurrant and plums. On the palate it is delicate yet intense, with a wonderful depth to flavours which unfold layer by layer on the very long finish. Impressively in the context of this vintage, the 2010 Poujeaux is made in an elegant style without heaviness or extraction. Tasted twice and equally good each time. (90-92)


2. 2010 Girolate, Bordeaux Controlee, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Girolate offers up a nose of cedar, plums and blackberries, followed by precise fruit flavours with good definition, great intensity and depth, and a seamless oak integration.. Vinification and aging is in barrels, grapes are 100% Merlot, planted 10,000 vines per hectare, and 8,500 bottles are produced per year. (90-91)


3. 2010 Domaine de l’A, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France

The Domaine de l’A is the home of Stephane Derenoncourt in the Cotes de Castillon. The deep ruby 2010 Domaine de l’A offers up aromas of violets, sweet plums and blackberries, followed by sweet, lifted fruit flavours of lovely depth and freshness, and velvety tannins. This wine is very long and good value at less than 20 Euros/bottle. (90-91)


4. 2010 Château Sociando Mallet, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Sociando Mallet is a very classy wine with intense aromas of violets, cassis, blackberries and plums, echoed on the palate by amazing layers of generous fruit flavours, lifted by ripe dense tannins. This fresh and vibrant wine is great value at less than 25 Euros; and can be enjoyed now or kept for at least a decade. (90-91)


5. 2010 Château Senejac, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Senejac has classy aromas of cedar, blackberries, cherries and plums, with vibrant acidity and fruit profile on the palate and great length. Alfred Tesseron of Pontet Canet has run this property since 2008, and the result in 2010 is a stunning wine of amazing elegance and grace for its price level. (89-91)


6. 2010 Château Goulee By Cos d’Estournel, Medoc, Bordeaux, France

The deep purple ruby 2010 Goulee by Cos is a succulent, supple, full-bodied red from the Medoc made by the talented team at Cos d’Estournel. Aromas of plums, cocoa and ripe blackberries are followed on the palate by rich, juicy, upfront fruit and firm rounded tannins. This is a wonderful modern expression of Medoc. (89-90)


7. 2010 Domaine de Courteillac, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Courteillac is a very expressive wine redolent of plums, a hint of cocoa and blackberries, with a freshness and gentleness to the ripe and vibrant fruit flavours, velvety tannins and good length. This is an excellent Bordeaux Superieur, with a very nice flavour profile and good balance.(88-90)


8. 2010 Château Puygueraud – Cuvee George, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Puygueraud, Cuvee George has aromas of ripe plums, blackberries and blueberries, followed on the palate by a fantastic seamless quality to the lively fruit flavours and generous, ripe tannins. The structure and concentration of this wonderfully-balanced wine suggest it will age very well. (88-90)


9. 2010 Château Fontenil, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Fontenil has aromas of violets, plums, blackberries and cedar, followed on the palate by succulent fruits with wonderful freshness and velvety tannins. This is a wonderful Fronsac, of good balance and depth, which will be a lovely near-term drink but will also keep well for the next ten years.(88-90)


10. 2010 Fourcas-Borie, Listrac, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby purple 2010 Fourcas-Borie offers up aromas of fresh berries, vibrant blackberries and plums, followed on the palate by nice full-bodied lifted fruit with firm dense tannins and good length. Only in its 2nd vintage, this is a big, generous and well made if not overly complex wine that will be ready to drink in about 5 years. 15% of Petit Verdot, on clay soil. (88-90)