I watched as about 1,000 people showed up for the 2009 Pessac-Léognan tasting at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte today. Despite the global economy and overabundance of quality wine in the marketplace, no one looks worried in Bordeaux about the current market for his or her new top wines. You won't believe what one wine merchant told me to expect when the 2009 futures go on sale.
Today I visited with Stéphane Derenoncourt, who consults for wineries around the world, and is a master in Bordeaux. I blind-tasted more than 50 of his 2009 Bordeauxs, from Margaux, Pessac-Léognan, St.-Emilion and more, and his winemaking style works beautifully with this amazing vintage. I found some potential classics among his lineup; here are my notes.
I think that for value and style, Bordeaux is still one of the most exciting wine regions in the world. Despite that 2009 may not match 2005 for overall quality, I am especially impressed with some of the smaller, lesser known producers in some of the top appellations such as Margaux and St.-Estèphe. They seem to have made some wonderful rich, ripe and structured young reds, and I have written in many of their tasting notes "best ever."
I am finding that despite the obvious excellence of 2009 in Bordeaux, some wineries did too much with the great grapes they harvested, resulting in overextracted wines. This was not the case, however, at Lafleur, La Conseillante and Vieux-Château-Certan. Here are my notes.
I tasted some amazing 2009s today on Bordeaux's Right Bank, and many more that were excellent. The vintage may not have been as easy as some make it out to be, but the 2009 Bordeauxs from Cheval-Blanc, Ausone and Pétrus will all be exceptional wines. Here are my notes.
I have tasted all the 2009 Bordeaux first-growths over the past two days while on a tasting road trip through Pessac-Léognan and the Médoc, the Holy Grail area for Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux. And, as you probably expected, their 2009s are excellent from barrel. A couple are amazing, notably Mouton-Rothschild and Latour, and here are my notes on them. Montrose and Pichon-Longueville-Lalande also may have made better wines in 2009 than in 2005.
I am just getting my first impressions of the highly anticipated 2009 vintage in Bordeaux. It may not prove to be as great as 2005 in terms of across-the-board quality, but I have already found some undeniably great wines. Today I drove up the Médoc to taste at some of the famous châteaus, including Cos-d'Estournel, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Giscours, Latour, Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Barton, Malescot-St.-Exupery, Margaux, Palmer, Pichon-Longueville-Baron and Rauzan-Ségla.
As I am about to arrive in Bordeaux, I can't wait to start tasting the 2009 barrel samples. The Bordelais are comparing the vintage to the legendary 1982.
After hearing that investments in blue-chip Bordeaux supposedly outperformed the London stock market, I decided to take a look at the price of 2000 Bordeaux at release compared to what the bottles are selling for today in the United States. The results are pretty impressive.
On assignment in Cuba, a friend introduced me to three quality wines from Serbia, illustrating that more and more excellent wines are coming from all over the world, and those are what we all have to look for, no matter if they're from Serbia, France, Italy, Spain, China, India, Chile or anywhere else.
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