I keep thinking back to my Bordeaux Right Bank tasting with Christian Moueix during the Wine Experience last weekend in New York. The Frenchman is a living icon for the great wines of that area, particularly Pomerol. His family has owned or controlled some of the greatest names ever from there including Pétrus, Lafleur (no longer), La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy and Latour à Pomerol, among others.
I have known Christian since 1983, when I made my first trip to Bordeaux. If I remember correctly, Gerard Yvernault, who was then in charge of imported wines for New York-based importers Kobrand, introduced me to Moueix. And Christian and his late father Jean-Pierre invited me to lunch. I was in my mid-twenties then, and I had no idea that the two Frenchmen were legends in Bordeaux. I remember the conversation about Bordeaux and how their family established the Right Bank as such an important zone for the famous appellation.
But I also remember Christian's dad talking about 1982. He said that it was the greatest vintage since 1945, and if the grape yields had been a little lower, the wines could have equaled what Bordeaux calls the "victory vintage." I remember tasting many wines from barrel that June, and I recall how fruity and rich they were. They had nothing aggressive to them at all. Their tannins were ripe and velvety.
A number of wine producers as well as wine merchants told me during that trip that the wines were so good in 1982 that they were already enjoying them straight from the barrel. Normally, young Bordeaux, particularly during that period and before, were hard, tannic and aggressive from the barrel, with the rare exception of wines from very hot vintages. But 1982 was extremely sunny and dry, so it produced ripe and generous wines. Hence, they were seriously yummy from the barrel. I think I drank some with the late great wine scribe and promoter Alexis Lichine and a number of his buddies one lunch during VinExpo in 1983.
Anyway, Moueix was saying during the Right Bank tasting last weekend that he had already been doing the same with 2009. He says that he regularly takes barrel samples home from the fledgling vintage, and drinks them. I am sure you have already read a number of extremely positive comments about the prospects of 2009 in Bordeaux. Apparently, the growing season was near perfect. Combine this with the improvements in viticulture and winemaking in the region over the last nearly three decades, and 2009 is almost assured to be superb.
I can't wait to taste, and drink, some myself in the very near future, and get a better idea of the potential quality of Bordeaux's new vintage.
Dr J Rosenblatt — Montreal, Canada — October 30, 2009 12:05pm ET
James Suckling — — October 31, 2009 12:48pm ET
Johnny Espinoza Esquivel — Wine World — October 31, 2009 1:13pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — October 31, 2009 6:02pm ET
Lorenzo Erlic — victoria canada — November 3, 2009 10:37am ET
Kevin Truax — Parkersburg, Iowa — November 4, 2009 4:06pm ET
Chris Tenggren — Elburn, IL — November 18, 2009 10:59am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions