Good year for the noses

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 April, 2010, 12:00am

The annual en primeur tasting allows buyers from the world over to taste the latest Bordeaux vintage and choose the wines they would most like to secure for their customers. These wines were only harvested six months ago, and won't be bottled and delivered until 2011 - or even 2012, in many cases. But while the wines will continue to age in the cellars, placing orders now will ensure an allocation of the most desirable wines - and ideally at prices that offer potential for growth once the wine is in bottle.

For the first time, Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) visitors were the highest overseas contingency after the British - and with near-perfect weather conditions creating wines seen as equal to the excellent vintages of 2005, 2000, 1990, 1982, even 1945, demand is expected to be high.

I would sound a few notes of warning - on the whole these were wonderful wines, but alcohol levels were high, particularly over on the right bank, and some properties tried too hard - turning superb grapes into over-extracted monsters. However, the best wines are wonderful.