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Château Pierbone, Haut-Médoc 2010

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
From the superlative 2010 vintage, this is a perfectly ready-for-drinking blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon and 32% merlot. With deep colour and an appealing cedar and leather bouquet, the wine has lovely balance, despite the heat of the vintage. Smooth, satisfying claret.
Price: £14.95 Bottle
Price: £179.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: CM23591

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Cabernet Merlot
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural
Play Video
A steal of a Bordeaux from one of the region’s greatest recent vintages, explained by buyer Tim Sykes. Video transcript

Video transcript

This is a wine that I bought recently. It’s been lying at the château since it was bottled, so the provenance is perfect, and it’s a blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, so a classic Médoc blend, and it’s from the stellar 2010 vintage, which I think is one of the best vintages of the last half century. It’s got the most fabulous mature, dark-fruit, cedary cigar-box nose, and some nice sweet-sour fruit on the palate. To me this is an extraordinary steal and would make a great addition to anyone’s lunch table or dinner table. Terrific.

Medoc, Graves

Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south,...
Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south, are made within a band no more than 10 kilometres wide at its broadest.

The Bas Médoc, centred on the town of Lesparre, is made up of more clay and sand than its southern neighbour, interspersed with outcrops of the gravel for which the Haut-Médoc is famous. The climate in the peninsula, moderated by the estuary and sheltered by the great Landes forest to the west, is the mildest of any in Bordeaux though also the wettest after Graves.

In the north many estimable red wines are made and there are numerous properties classed as cru bourgeois, a malleable classification which places properties just below the Grand Cru level, using the classic blend of merlot and cabernet, but it is to the south in the Haut-Médoc that the most prestigious wines are made.

The communes of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien, Margaux, Listrac and Moulis are contained within the Haut-Médoc, and wines that are not fortunate enough to find themselves within one of these communes may label themselves Haut-Médoc AC. However, any student of Bordeaux knows that some of the most famous wines in the world are produced in the communes named above. All but one of the five Premier Grand Cru Classé wines of the almost mythical 1855 classification are located here, with three alone sitting in Pauillac.

The soils of the Haut-Médoc are often characterised as gravelly, and indeed there is a significant amount of gravel throughout, in outcrops known as croupes, and much of the success of the great classified estate is attributed to this terroir even though the story of the soil types hereabouts is rather more complex. Gravel is free draining as well as warm in the summer and it is this, in an alliance with the influence of the estuary, that allows cabernet sauvignon to ripen sufficiently. The closer the estate to the estuary the sooner the grapes can ripen, sometimes as much as five or six days earlier than those eight to nine kilometres inland. Though the soils drain freely this causes the vine roots to delve deeply in search of water. This is an asset in regulating the supply of water to the vines which is now regarded as the key to producing high quality fruit.

The land of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc is less fragmented than that of its main rival for the affections of lovers of the finest wines, Burgundy, and estates boundaries can be somewhat more fluid as the reputation of the property is not so bound up in the precise area of terroir it occupies. For example, if Château Margaux were to acquire some vines from a neighbouring property within the commune it could quite legally add those vines to those that supply grapes for their grand vin without it affecting its classification status. As such estates here can occupy quite large tracts of land in comparison with most Burgundy producers.

Graves & Pessac-Léognan

The Graves region lies around the west and south of the city of Bordeaux, and as the name suggests, is famous for the gravelly nature of the soils. Actually there is sandy soil here too but the same free draining, warming characteristics apply as further north. Since 1987 the area has been split , with the creation of the Pessac-Léognan appellation removing the estates north of the town of La Brède and up to Bordeaux itself. This split left Graves without nearly all of its most prestigious properties, including its only Premier Grand Cru Classé in Château Haut-Brion, and a somewhat reduced reputation in the eyes of the public. Much excellent red and white wine is made here on estates that often lie in clearings among the almost ubiquitous pine forests of the area.

Pessac-Léognan is blessed with deeper, more gravelly terroir than its erstwhile compatriot appellation to the south, and has a cru classé system introduced in 1955 that, while younger and less regarded by some than the 1855 version, is at least reviewed occasionally and allows for the recognition of new quality and the demotion of the lacklustre. The classification recognises both red and white wines.

Classified Red Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château de Fieuzal, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission-Haut-Brion, Château Pape-Clément, Château Latour-Haut-Brion.

Classified White Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Laville-Haut Brion, Château Couhins-Lurton, Château Couhins, Château Haut-Brion.

As mentioned above, the brightest star in the Pessac constellation is Haut-Brion, with a reputation as one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to successfully emerge as what might these days be called a Brand, and is mentioned with pleasure by Samuel Pepys in his diary in 1660. The encroachment of the city has surrounded Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Pape-Clément and a good deal of prime vineyard area has been devoured by this relentless urban creep. Though mostly red wine is made there, the white wines of Pessac-Léognan have a very fine reputation, as intimated by the classification above, and are made from a blend of sauvignon and semillon with occasional additions of muscadelle, usually aged in oak and with great potential for ageing.
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Château Peyrabon

This 50-hectare cru bourgeois estate has been under the ownership of wine merchant Patrick Bernard since 1998. The odd thing here is that its vineyards are divided between the Haut-Médoc and Pauillac appellations. The 40 hectares of Haut-Médoc vineyards lie just a mile or so from the border with the Pauillac commune, and the 7 hectares of vines within the boundaries of Pauillac neighbour Châteaux Liversan and Ramage La Batisse.

The wines from the Haut-Médoc vineyards are mostly bottled as Château Payrabon while the wines from Pauillac are bottled as La Fleur de Payrabon. A second wine, Château Pierbone, is a cru bourgeois in its own right made from fruit grown in the Haut-Médoc appellation. Here the terroir is a mix of sand, gravel, clay and limestone planted with cabernet sauvignon (60%), merlot (35%), cabernet franc (3%) and petit verdot (2%).

Patrick Bernard put his money where his mouth is when buying this estate and has invested heavily to improve the vineyards and the winery. Picking is carried out both manually and by machine and vinification takes place in temperature controlled stainless-steel vats where malolactic fermentation occurs, before the wine is aged in French oak barrels.

Bordeaux Vintage 2010

This is Bordeaux at its best. 2010 clarets have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. The vintage was memorable on several counts. There is no question that some knockout wines were made. This was true all over Bordeaux and at all price levels. Of course, at the top end 2010 produced some of the finest red wines you can find in the world. Though prices were high for such a great vintage there are many other lovely wines that punch well above their weight.

Sauternes also had a good year with lovely pure, succulent, luscious wines, most picked in the second week of October. Dry whites too were aromatic and elegant.

The growing cycle ticked all the boxes required for a good vintage, the only drawback being uneven flowering that reduced the volume. Summer in Bordeaux, unlike in much of northern Europe was unusually dry, causing stress to the vines but concentrating the flavour and the fruit. This is essential in great years.

There was ideal weather at vintage with...
This is Bordeaux at its best. 2010 clarets have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. The vintage was memorable on several counts. There is no question that some knockout wines were made. This was true all over Bordeaux and at all price levels. Of course, at the top end 2010 produced some of the finest red wines you can find in the world. Though prices were high for such a great vintage there are many other lovely wines that punch well above their weight.

Sauternes also had a good year with lovely pure, succulent, luscious wines, most picked in the second week of October. Dry whites too were aromatic and elegant.

The growing cycle ticked all the boxes required for a good vintage, the only drawback being uneven flowering that reduced the volume. Summer in Bordeaux, unlike in much of northern Europe was unusually dry, causing stress to the vines but concentrating the flavour and the fruit. This is essential in great years.

There was ideal weather at vintage with plenty of light but no torrid heat during the day and cool nights over an extended period that provided good harvest conditions into late October. This was particularly beneficial to the later-ripening cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Grapes had a rich abundance of all the necessary elements: natural sugar, acidity for freshness and life, and tannins that preserve the wine. The berries were smaller than usual with a higher percentage of skin to pulp, which means more flavour. The elimination of bunches affected by poor flowering was important, as was managing the tannins in the cellar by gentle handling and cooler fermentation temperatures.

Successful wines have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. No two vintages are alike but the style is closer to a riper, better-balanced 1986 or a fuller rounder 2000 than the more polished charm of 2009. Great wines are to be found all over Bordeaux.
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2010 vintage reviews

JancisRobinson.com

Deep garnet. Savoury, peppery spice, clearly marked by the cabernet in cassis and a hint of cedar, and smells so youthful even though it has light and attractive signs of maturity. Light-bodied, dry, fine ...
Deep garnet. Savoury, peppery spice, clearly marked by the cabernet in cassis and a hint of cedar, and smells so youthful even though it has light and attractive signs of maturity. Light-bodied, dry, fine tannins. Elegant if relatively slight. Good value for a mature claret from an excellent vintage. 16/20
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Julia Harding MW

decanter.com

This is the second wine of cru bourgeois Ch�teau Peyrabon, produced from vines within the Haut-M�doc appellation. It's great value for a claret with this amount of bottle age, displaying an attractive...
This is the second wine of cru bourgeois Ch�teau Peyrabon, produced from vines within the Haut-M�doc appellation. It's great value for a claret with this amount of bottle age, displaying an attractive combination of smooth, black primary fruit and leathery evolution. Easy drinking, with chewy tannins and a fresh finish.
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Amy Wislocki

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