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James Suckling of the Wine Spectator on the 2009 Bordeaux Vintage
"...the vintage appears to be sensational. I have never heard such across-the-board praise for a young vintage in my three decades of tasting young vintages in Bordeaux. Even the normally cautious and reserved voices of the region are hyping the fledgling vintage."
Robert Parker on the 2009 Bordeaux Vintage
The Empire Strikes Back
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.
-Issue #199 February 29, 2012
A château in the east of the Bordeaux region producing great-value, Merlot-dominated wines with just the right amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to produce a spicy, ripe full serious style claret. Match with richer fuller flavoured food based on red meats such as beef or mature hard cheeses.
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