The 2010 Château Laronde Desormes is an exclusive offering of The International Wine of the Month Club and a few of the nation’s finest French restaurants, which pour Château Laronde Desormes at no less than $14.00 per glass. Having been stunned by the quality of Laronde Desormes in lesser vintages, we eagerly awaited the release of the 2010 Laronde Desormes, which is nothing short of outstanding. Cabernet Sauvignon fared particularly well in 2010, resulting in a downright irresistible 2010 Laronde Desormes that is deep in color, hauntingly aromatic, and packed with blackberry and cassis fruit. Complex and beautifully textured, the 2010 Château Laronde Desormes drinks well from start to finish. In this wine, Claude Gaudin has produced another exceptional Petit Château that puts to shame more expensive Haut-Médoc wines, including some very pricy Margaux offerings. For optimal enjoyment serve this exceptional red Bordeaux at cool room temperature (62° F) after 30 minutes or more of aeration. Salut!
When Bordeaux is good, it is very, very good, and it provides the perfect foil to poultry, red meats, rich sauces, and hearty stick to your ribs kinds of dishes. Needless to say, the 2010 Château Laronde Desormes is indeed very good and it pairs well with veal, chicken, duck and fine cuts of beef. Roast duckling, prepared with a blackberry sauce and served with wild rice, is a perennial favorite. Grilled veal chops topped with wild herbs provides another exceptional pairing. Filet mignon gets our nod, too. Soft creamy cow’s milk cheeses such as Gouda, Morbier, Muenster and Port Salut also provide beautiful complements to this wine. In our experience, simple, fresh, high quality foods provide the most rewarding accompaniments to fine red Bordeaux such as the 2010 Château Laronde Desormes. Bon Appétit!
Château Laronde Desormes fashions one of the finest and longest lived of Bordeaux Petit Château wines. This little gem of a property produces only a few thousand cases of Bordeaux wine each year from the estate’s 22 acres of vines. But unlike most Petit Château offerings, which hail from far flung corners of the sprawling Bordeaux appellation, Laronde Desormes is located in Macau in the Haut-Médoc. The Haut-Médoc is Bordeaux’s most renowned appellation for Cabernet Sauvignon and home to the world’s finest wine addresses: Château Margaux, Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton, and many more. As is the case with real estate, location is everything in the world of wine. Laronde Desormes, as it turns out, is the “small house” in a wonderful neighborhood. It’s separated from the prestigious Margaux commune by just a row of trees and several meters, and because Laronde Desormes’s vineyards are located alongside the river Garonne, the resulting wine can only be labeled as Bordeaux Supérieur and nothing more. Not so lucky for Laronde Desormes but very fortunate for wine drinkers who are searching for top notch Bordeaux at a price they can afford. If Château Laronde Desormes were positioned just a few more meters away from the river, its price would be at the very least double or triple of what it is now.
Château Laronde Desormes is under the expert guidance of winemaker Claude Gaudin. Gaudin is renowned for his viticultural expertise and enormous success with a half dozen of the Haut-Médoc’s most illustrious Petits Châteaux, including nearby Château Barreyre. His success at Laronde Desormes lies in extracting extremely low yields from dense plantations in the vineyard and a strict selection process. Laronde Desormes’s yields are much lower than their more famous and much more expensive Cru Classé neighbors a few meters away in Margaux, which is mind boggling. In addition, Gaudin selects only the best barrels for inclusion in the château’s grand vin (this month’s feature), and the rest is un-oaked and sold in Europe for early consumption. All these factors contribute to the quality of wine produced at Laronde Desormes. The cépage or blend at Château Laronde Desormes is typically 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, which is nearly identical to the nearby Margaux properties. The strict selection process practiced by Gaudin and the predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon allow Château Laronde Desormes to age beautifully for up to a decade or more.
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