A tasting of Bordeaux’s leading labels from 2000 saw Chåteau Latour emerge as the best wine of the vintage.
Wine writers such as Jancis Robinson MW, Neal Martin and Steven Spurrier gathered at fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index last week to assess top claret 10 years on.
On leaving the tasting, each commentator was asked to fill in a form listing their favourite five wines of the vintage.
Having collated the results, Latour took the top slot, followed by Haut-Brion, Lafite, Cheval Blanc and Pétrus.
Tasters were also asked to rate their five “best value” wines of the vintage. According to this criteria, first place went to Château Langoa Barton, followed by Smith Haut-Lafitte, Cos d’Estournel, Domaine de Chevalier and Léoville Barton.
“It’s a great time to look at these wines,” said Gary Boom, manager director at Bordeaux Index. “If just to see how they are coming on.”
The merchant put on its first tasting of 10-year old claret last year with the ’99 vintage.
With just under 50 wines presented, including every first growth and Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Le Pin and Pétrus, the tasting was not easy to organise and cost over £16,000.
Right bank wines such as Ausone, Le Pin, Pétrus and Lafleur supplied wines for the tasting but Bordeaux Index had to buy the first growths.
Of the leading second growth wines, Boom noted that it was only Château Ducru-Beaucaillou that he “couldn’t get in time” and speculated that around 30% of the wines from the 2000 vintage had probably been drunk already.
At the end of the day Boom invited his top customers to taste the wines, pointing out that some would be “flying in” especially.
Interestingly, the press and private customers only agreed on two wines in their selections. Just Latour and Cheval Blanc feature in both groups’ top fives and there was no crossover in “best value”.
The results from Bordeaux Index’s private clients were:
La Mission Haut-Brion
Ch. Cheval Blanc
Ch. Mouton Rothschild
Ch. Palmer and Ch. Latour (even score)
Five best value:
Ch. Gruaud Larose
Ch. Du Tertre
Had the wines been rated by Bordeaux Index prices alone, the top five would have been:
Pétrus (£33,500 per case)
Le Pin (£30,000 per case)
Ausone (£17,000 per case)
Lafite (£17,000 per case)
Margaux (£8,500 per case)
The journalists at the tasting included:
Jancis Robinson MW
David Peppercorn MW
Derek Smedley MW
Patrick Schmitt, 25.03.2010