Bordeaux 2009 Offer

2009 Red Bordeaux from Bottle ? Not A Myth, But Mythical

If readers go back and read Issue 188 (April 2010), my barrel tasting report on the 2009s was titled “Once Upon A Time – 1899, 1929, 1949, 1959, 2009.” In it, I suggested that many châteaux had made the finest wines that I had tasted in over 32 years of evaluating Bordeaux vintages. After spending nearly two weeks there at the end of January, this is unquestionably the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have ever tasted. Of course, 2010 is not yet in bottle, and it is going to be another fascinating vintage. However, it will not have the early charm, appeal and opulence that the 2009s already possess. What was clear in the tastings from the bottle (and most of the wines except for the first growths and a few other wines were tasted two, three and sometimes even four different times) is the remarkable consistency of the vintage. Obviously the classified growths have produced extraordinary wines, but what is so striking about 2009 – and I haven’t really seen this kind of excitement since 1982 – is the quality of the cru bourgeois and the petits vins and generic Bordeaux that are available. Of course, everyone focuses on the top of the pyramid, the first growths, second growths, and a handful of very exclusive Pomerols and St.-Emilions, then complains about greed, absurd prices, market manipulation, and the self destruction of Bordeaux. However, the global marketplace, the tendency for Asian collectors, especially the Chinese, to pay record prices for these wines are the new reality, yet, truth be known, they only represent a small percentage of what Bordeaux produces, and there are hundreds and hundreds of reviews that follow of wines under $25 a bottle that represent absolutely compelling value.

In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved. It is more consistent (many châteaux that were making mediocre wine in 1982 are now making brilliant wine) and of course, the yields are lower, the selection process is stricter, and there are any other number of factors, from investments in the wineries to impeccable, radical viticulture, that have resulted in extraordinary raw materials. ROBERT PARKER 2012

The general conclusion is that this is indeed a great vintage: the extreme richness is nicely balanced by acidity, with final blends typically at 14° alcohol, 7-9° of residual sugar and a refreshing 3.8 g/l or so total acidity [roughly 5.8 g/l tartaric]. This suggests a very different kind of wine to the fatter, softer but similarly very sweet vintages like 2005, 2003, 1990, 1976, and (I am told) 1947, 1929 and 1921, and a similar style of wine to the more vibrant but just-as-sweet and complex wines of 2001, 1989, 1975, 1959, and, I am told, 1858 and 1847. BILL BLATCH, Negoçiant Vintex, www.jancisrobinson.com

I love the way the wines have such opulent fruit backed by powerful tannins. Yet the tannins are round and polished with the top wines. In addition, the reds are fresh and vibrant. A lot of people make comparisons to 1982, which I have to agree with to some extent but, honestly, I think they are better. JAMES SUCKLING, www.winespectator.com

Overall this vintage can offer more sheer pleasure than any I can remember and may well provide delicious drinking throughout its life while we wait for the 2005s to emerge from their tannic corsets. JANCIS ROBINSON

The best thing about 2009 is that there is so much good wine at the lower levels which means decent affordable Bordeaux will be available and should be a major part of any buying strategy. MICHAEL MCNAMARA, PWS

  • Current Offers
  • Sort By
  • Sort By

Product Search

Recently Viewed