Château Caronne-Ste-Gemme, 2010 Update

One taste of the wine of Château Caronne-Ste-Gemme provided an early realisation that both good quality and good value can be found outside the long-ordained hierarchy that is the 1855 classification. It was the 1996 vintage, a wine that stood up well when it was experienced alongside a number of other cru classé wines in a Bordeaux 1996 tasting, about ten years ago now.

It was this realisation that convinced me that Caronne Ste Gemme was a worthy addition to the cellar. The obvious vintage to buy at that time was the 2000, and most of these bottles still slumber peacefully; this is not a vintage that you should be in any rush to approach in my opinion. Nevertheless, I must hang my head in shame, perhaps with good reason; since that purchase I have been remiss in not returning to subsequent vintages. It is, sadly, not a wine I have encountered in many of the relevant tastings I have attended, both in the UK and in Bordeaux, and I have long since given up trying to buy every bottle from every château in order to keep my palate educated and up to date.


To the rescue then comes Caronne proprietor François Nony, the latest generation of the Nony family to take the reins here. He sent over a range of vintages for me to taste, from 2002 to 2007, in order to try to fill in the gaps. It seemed only fair that I pluck a bottle from my own cellar to go along with the theme of the tasting, so the notes below also include my latest opinion on the 2000.

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