Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2009 in bottle: St Julien

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

As you’d probably expect from Bordeaux’s most consistent appellation, no one has put a foot wrong in St Julien in 2009. Outstanding wines have been made at Chateau Léoville-Barton and Léoville Poyferre and Chateau St Pierre has produced an absolute blinder. All three are junior first growths. The same could probably be said of Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases and Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou I imagine but they don’t show at the UGC. Chateau Langoa Barton has produced a phenomenal wine too and Branaire-Ducru, Gruaud Larose and Lagrange are all impeccable. Chateau Beychevelle looked a tad bottle shocked. It was such a wonderful wine from barrel, I’m sure this will settle. Chateau Talbot also looks good. Finally a word about Chateau Gloria which, as I mentioned a month back, has produced a wonderfully precocious and vibrant St Julien at a fraction of the cost of its peers.

Chateau Léoville-Barton

2009 Deep and very dark; colour to the edge; inky and deep; mineral blackcurrants, a nose seemingly of infinite depth; dense and inky on the palate this is terrific stuff; fresher than Leoville-Poyferre, it is not necessarily better just different in style; this is first growth stuff as I’ve said before. Brilliant wine. 97+/100

Chateau Léoville Poyferré

2009 Deep and saturated; tight to edge; thick and brooding this has crept a bit into its shell since it’s knockout primeur days; very deep on the nose with cassis and blackcurrants; very polished; palate more open and seductive than the [currently] brooding nose suggests; great minerality and density and fab purity. Great chew and length on the finish. Better than Barton? No but different, more polished maybe and certainly another first growth equivalent. 97+/100

Chateau Saint-Pierre

2009 Deep, dense; lovely purity here; lovely Cabernet; this is right behind the Leovilles for my money; beautiful, pure St Julien; real depth to the palate and class; blackcurrants; tannin and pretty long-term. Wonderful stuff and still a great buy for the quality [half the price of Poyferre]. 95-97+/100

Chateau Langoa Barton

2009 Deep, dark and inky looking; lovely seductive nose of blackcurrant fruit, earth and freshness; these Barton wines are now coming into their own  – and Langoa is every bit as impressive as it was during the primeur tastings; real density, mineral tones; crushed rocks and pure blackcurrant fruit; chewy and structured it will need time but such wonderful blackcurrant fruit. Knockout St Julien and knocking on the door of sibling Leoville-Barton. 95+/100

Chateau Gloria

2009 Deep and dense; very, very pretty on the nose; seductive; blackcurrants, earth and some roasted coffee bean notes; blackcurrants, lead and tobacco on the palate; quite forward and delicious; vibrant wine that is precocious and an absolute delight already. Chew on the finish suggests this will last well but it’s already a beauty. Buy in spades if not done so. Great wine. 93+/100

Chateau Gruaud Larose

2009 Mid red; not as dense as some; sexy, some animal and game tones, classic Gruaud; sweet oak too with blackcurrants – flashy style; leaf and blackcurrant too; very open and some jam too; maybe a fraction less impressive than at primeur tastings but this is meaty, seductive stuff. 93+/100

Chateau Lagrange

2009 Deep and dense; creamy ripe nose; layered and nicely mannered; pure and not turbocharged this may very well prove to be as good as the phenomenal 2005 and 2000; excellent palate, fresh and with grip; lots of blackcurrant fruit; tight; meaty and structured; this has put on weight and should turn out very well. 93+/100

Chateau Branaire-Ducru

2009 Deep and dense; cassis, blackcurrants and minerals; deep and thick; purity to the fruit; some undergrowth too; very ripe palate again with purity; this has put on weight and nicely polished; bite and chew on the finish and feels long term. Improved and more together now than during primeurs week. 92-93+/100

Chateau Talbot

2009 Mid red; blackcurrants, cassis and jam alongside undergrowth and tobacco; ripe style; not that complex; nice palate; quite sinewy at present; some tobacco and earth; good grip and length. 91-92+/100

Chateau Beychevelle

2009 Mid density; dark at centre; some cassis and lift; chewy palate but very closed; blackcurrants and some tobacco but far more subdued, more structured and far less exotic/flamboyant than at primeurs. Clearly this wine has tightened up during elevage and since bottling. Expect this to improve  90-92+/100

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