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Bordeaux 2009 in bottle: Pessac-Léognan

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan made great red in ’09

Graves and Pessac-Léognan looked strong in 2009 at the primeurs tastings and the wines look extremely composed now they are in bottle. The white wines are big, not delicate or especially aromatic, but powerful certainly. Chateau Pape Clément, Chateau de Fieuzal, Domaine de Chevalier, Chateau  Malartic-Lagravière and Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte are super but Chateaux Carbonnieux, Bouscaut, Olivier, La Louvière and Latour Martillac were also very good. Overall the reds have moved on very well indeed and Chateau Pape Clément and Chateau Haut Bailly are remarkable and of first growth quality. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte and Chateau Malartic-Lagravière are close behind. The truth is that there are excellent wines all over the appellation and I was also impressed with Larrivet Haut-Brion, Olivier, La Louvière. At the value end Chateau Pique Caillou also looked a good buy.  I only had time to taste the Graves whites and de Chantegrive and Rahoul looked good.


Chateau de Chantegrive

2009 Blanc Pate straw; melon and guava, fresh grapefruit and spices; nice full palate; grapefruit and spice; attractive and zippy with grapefruit and zest. 90/100

Chateau Ferrande

2009 Blanc Golden; more forward looking; grapefruit, some wax, fuller broader style less complexity; wet wool and soap on the palate; wax; broad palate but lacks a bit of zip and acid. 86/100.

Chateau Rahoul

2009 Blanc Pale straw/some green; integrated oak, some oyster shell; taut palate quite closed but nice zip here. This should broaden out nicely with a few years of bottle age. 88+/100


Chateau Bouscaut

2009 Blanc – Pale straw/some green; deep, barrique influence, some oyster shell, developing well and attractive; palate taut but will open up . Good full style but not at all flabby. Needs a couple of years to round out. 90/100

Chateau Carbonnieux

2009 Blanc Pale straw/green; some wax and wet wool; bit closed; waxy palate; quite broad but currently a little dumb. Carbonnieux white often a bit backward and sullen but tends to age well. Should be good 88-90?/100

Domaine de Chevalier

2009 Blanc Pale straw; full nose, some wax but dumb and pretty taut feel; broad in feel; some spice, wax and wet wool on palate; weighty palate; lots of depth. Excellent weight , should be brill in 5+ years. 92-94/100

2009 Rouge Mid depth; nice lifted nose; good and deep; briary notes, blackcurrants; oak influenced palate; lifted; some leaf. Polished wine. 91+/100

Chateau de Fieuzal

2009 Blanc Pale straw; cashew, oyster shell and fruit; pretty forward and big with minerals tones too; good tight palate; lots of grapefruit and spice here; oyster shell; deep and substantial palate. Very good length here. Showing extremely well. 92-94+/100

Chateau de France

2009 Blanc Pale straw/shade more golden; wax; warmer style; seems Semillon dominant; simpler and vastly overshadowed by de Fieuzal [and in price to be fair]. Lacks complexity. 87/100

Chateau Haut-Bailly

2009 Deep and saturated looking; cream and blackcurrant, ripe and lifted; deep and concentrated palate; mocha and chocolate tones too; this is dense and deep winemaking; much more settled and complete than when stated en primeur [as you’d expect]. Very deep, ripe but not overdone. Powerful stuff. 96+/100

Chateau Haut-Bergey

2009 Blanc Pale straw/some gold; fresh, some apple; quite fine in feel; some wax and oyster shell; little straightforward at present; full palate but with some bite on the finish. Should develop well. 88+/100

Chateau La Louvière

2009 Blanc Pale straw; healthy; fresh some grass, some wax; full waxy palate; spicy and weighty; full and bold. Lees notes on the finish. Strong wine. 90+/100

2009 Rouge Mid depth; lifted red; ripe blackcurrants on the nose; cassis and blackcurrants on the palate; good chew and depth. Nicely done. 90/100

Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion

2009 Blanc Pale straw; nice lift; some oak; cashew; grapefruit, cashew and melon notes; tight palate but lots of depth here; oaky palate but fruit here too. Strong and full white wine. Excellent. Should develop well 91+/100

2009 Rouge Mid depth; ripe earthy, quite deep; ripe blackcurrants and sappy notes; fruit and some rose perfume here too; good length and density too.  Good effort. 91+/100

Chateau Latour-Martillac

2009 Blanc Pale straw; grapefruit, guava, candy and lees; attractive; full and waxy; big deep palate; lots of fruit and oak; big. Nice length; lots of fruit here on the palate; guava, spices etc; good length too. Excellent effort. 91+/100

Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion

2009 Mid red; ripe red fruits; stalky blackcurrant fruit and cassis; some structure here but with depth. 88-90/100

Chateau Malartic-Lagravière

2009 Blanc Pale silver/gold; appetizing nose; not overt but with wax, citrus notes and class; waxy palate; nice bold style; full again, spicy tones, this is very good and will age well over next 5 years 91-92+/100

2009 Rouge Deep and dark; riper, redder more jammy fruits; [little on the jammy side?]; inky palate; some minerality here too but this is pretty thick and big. Grip and tannin too. On the hefty side but loads of fruit and extract.  91-93/100

Chateau Olivier

2009 Blanc Pale straw/some gold; lush grapefruit nose with some grass and nettle; like this; fresh and lively note; also spice and freshness; oak and some oyster shell n the palate; grapefruit; some race here; like this. 91+/100

2009 Rouge Mid depth; fresh, mineral, density; some cassis and blackcurrants but more minerals; dense and tannic [ripe] old fashioned but this works. Traditional and grippy. 90+/100

Chateau Pape Clément

2009 Blanc Pale straw/some gold; oak, grapefruit, gooseberry; big, bold style; fruit and spices; very, very classy nose; lots of oak here but lots of ripe fruit; toasty, strong styled palate; big and bold. Great length here. Big bold style. 94+/100

2009 Rouge Dense and deep looking; dense red fruits with meaty tones beneath; very big and thick; this has calmed down a bit since primeur tastings; fresh and rich palate; vibrant, bright and  seductive; lots of depth. Remarkable stuff. 96+/100

Chateau Pique Caillou

2009 Blanc Pale straw/gold; wax, rather simple and quite fat; broad palate with some race; quite fat and satisfying though 88+/100

2009 Rouge Dense and deep; glossy; blackcurrants, minerals, strong nose; feels quite fresh with some cream at the edge; ripe palate, mineral tones; depth and chew; tannin a bit coarse but should settle. Not bad effort. 88+/100

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

2009 Blanc Pale straw; gooseberry, cashew, citrus notes too, grapefruit tones; attractive palate; full and with real depth; wool and wax; lees notes; full, spicy has good length. Maybe lacks a bit of zip but big full style. 92/100

2009 Rouge Deep looking; minerally nose with primary fruits – blackcurrants, cassis – and obvious depth; palate similarly loaded with fruit and deep and saturated in flavour; tannic and dense. 93+/100

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