2010 Fleur de Château Pédesclaux Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
This left-bank (Médoc) Bordeaux wine is the second label of Pauillac winery Château Pédesclaux.
The wine’s higher proportion of Merlot compared to the Chateau Pédesclaux’s Grand Vin is meant to give it a smoother feel and make more approachable at a younger age.
This red Médoc from the famous village appellation of Pauillac, comes in a rather dark red color. Not hugely intense or concentrated, but still fairly black to the core, with bright and intense red to the rim.
The nose also strikes with solid aromatic intensity. It feels fruity, and ripe at that, with notes of dark cherry liqueur and blackberry, touches of strawberry jam too intensifying the ripeness feel to it.
But there’s much more than just fruit. Deep sweet spices, clove, nutmeg, some vanilla and toasted hazelnut tones from the oak as well. Add a pinch of black pepper.
To round up the overall nose’s complexity, there is some good earthiness to it providing much character to this fruity and oaky profile.
Complex, ripe and characterful then it is to smell!
Put the wine in your mouth, and you are (I was) immediately struck by a world of smoothness. The tannins are so soft. Velvety they are more than silky. Too big for being silky, but velvet with a silky edge they feel like.
It is overall dry obviously, but sweetened by the ripe fruit flavors and richness of the oaky tones (a lot of vanilla and caramel).
The spiciness detected on the nose just bursts on the palate, with the sweet spices element amplifying the smoothness sensation, while some more robust spices like pepper and almost chili give a satisfying burst of lifted flavors.
The finish brings back touches of earthiness and allows the experience to end on complex savory notes, with a delightful umami feel (the salivating taste of soy sauce or mushroom).
We’ve found here a delightful second wine of a Grand Cru Classé, that has nearly anything that you’d from a Grand Bordeaux left-bank wine: complexity, maturity, elegance, and depth combined with the richness of ripe fruit from a favorable vintage.
Of course, it doesn’t have the absolute tannic structure’s density, and won’t have the ageability of a Grand Vin (the top wines from the top Medoc estates), but this makes it all the more approachable and enjoyable to drink now.
When to drink then?
Well, as I said, it’s really good to drink now, to enjoy its ripe yet fresh fruit characters.
If you’re after more savory tones and further complexity, you like the ashes tones and earthy characters it will develop, give it another 3 to 10 years.