2010 Potensac, Médoc

Dark ruby, tight rim. Dense. Lack fruits hit first, with fruit supressed by oak and soil element. Also, it is angular to start. On 1-hour full decanting, full, deep, ripe blackcurrant fruit with earth, spice box, tobacco and coffee tying it all together. There is some lively red cherry fruit to balance, with pepper and a decent length in the finish. A blend of 52% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest a whopping 21% Cabernet Franc(which is not easy to grow in Medoc) consolidates the complexities. Very different to the other vintages(1992, 2000, 2008, 2016) the Team had tasted. Some 795 Vivino tasters rank Potensac 2010 4-Star.

Plenty of USPs :

  1. 2010 by now may have surpassed even the outstanding 2009(Parker, Spurrier); This

  2. A muscular wine for cellaring rather than immediate drinking, these seven years have rounded off the austerity;

  3. Reliable quality supported Consistent scores at a high level: Decanter91, RP91, JS92, WE91; Made by the same team for the renowned Leoville-las-Cases, St Julien Second Growth;

  4. A CBE of great value and near 5th Growth quality;

  5. Within the best drinking window frombest vintage 2010.

The wine is fermented in a mixture of temperature-controlled tanks and open fermenters, then matured in oak barrels for between 12 and 16 months, taking on complex notes of coffee and tobacco in the process. The Potensac estate had come into its own since the 1970s when the Delon family (owners of the renowned Léoville-Las-Cases in Saint-Julien) took over its management.Classified ‘Excellent’ in RP’s books, Chateau Potensac is a prestigious Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel which should have been classed as a Fifth Growth according to Parker. Total of 84 ha of vines should find good economies of scale, and hence production cost has been driven low and so cost is always competitive. The vines are aged approx. 40, but there are some plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc aged 80 years. The density of the plant is 7700 pcs. / Hectare, so there is always intensity to the palate. 25% new oak is used.

Well documented comments are as follows:

91-92 points James Suckling This is one of the fruitiest Potensacs that I remember, with loads of blueberry and currants. Full and velvety. Plenty going on underneath. (4/2011)

91 points Wine Enthusiast Firm and prominent yet dusty tannins show one side of the richness of the vintage. The other is the ripe, black fruits, with acidity in fine balance. This estate, under the same ownership as Léoville las Cases, is serious Médoc, needing to age. (3/2013)

91 RP(Neal Martin) The Potensac '10 is a blend of 42% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot including 9.3% vin de presse. It offers 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.55. There is just a slight sense of sur-maturité on the nose perhaps from the Merlot, just a hint of prune. Not over the top but it is just there. The palate is full-bodied with succulent grippy tannins...a huge Potensac that is redeemed but very silky finish. Long in the mouth, one of the few 2010's that actually reminds me of the 2009.