The hot and dry vintage conditions in 2009 were ideal for the clay soils of St Estèphe. On the basis of the half-dozen wines that I tasted, St Estèphe looks to have had a excellent vintage. Chateau Lafon-Rochet in particular was outstanding, as were Chateau Ormes de Pez and Chateau Haut Marbuzet. The following wines [except for Haut Marbuzet] were tasted at the Union des Grand Cru tasting of the wines from St Estèphe at Chateau Batailley on 30 March and 1 April.
Chateau Cos Labory, Cru Classé, St Estèphe
Dark black, purple; fresh nose; some raspberry and oak lift; little oak resin; good entry, ripe fruit; more chew here and sweetness; lacks complexity but big and ripe. 88-90/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
Chateau de Pez, St Estèphe, 2009
Mid black, vibrant at edge; fresh nose, mulberry, some plums; also minerals and graphite; this is good; well structured palate, mid weight with grip. Will settle down. 88+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2009
Deep and dark; very ripe and pure; lots of chocolate; very concentrated; mulberry, tar, liquiorice; very full and with ripe round tannins. Already drinkable; great length. Lots of extract and material. 13.8% alcohol, Bruno Duboscq reckons this is the richest wine they have ever produced. Terrific. 93+/100. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Tasted 1st April 2010 at the Chateau.
Chateau Lafon Rochet, Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2009
Deep black; real depth; tight to rim; lovely nose, real ripeness here, layers, mulberry, plums, very ripe and attractive; palate very polished and supple with layers. This is VERY good. Attractive palate with real chew and texture. Tannins but real ripeness to them and lots of fat fruit. Coffee and mocha. The best ever Lafon Rochet. 94+/100 [Second] Deep and arterial; very ripe and creamy; dense but round and attractive; cassis and blackcurrants here; cream – ripe and focused; terrific sweet, ripe palate; intense and extracted but in check overall. Tannic but there is so much fruit here. Potentially fantastic. 94+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April 2010.
Chateau Ormes de Pez, St Estèphe, 2009
Deep black, purple at edge; creamy note here; real ripeness to the nose; quite fat; plums and mulberries; attractive; palate less fat than Lafon Rochet but well structured with tannic bite. Good density. Very ripe, lots of extract and concentration. Great Ormes de Pez on par with the 1982 but with riper tannins. 92+/100 [Second] Ripe strawberry and lots of fruit here; attractive nose; minerals and roses; excellent wine here; tannins a bit present here but lots of ripe fruit to match. 90-92+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April 2010
Chateau Phelan Ségur, St Estèphe, 2009
Dark, purple at edge; creamy, some resin from oak; some roses. Stalky and fresh. Feels a bit raw at present. Disjointed but should meld. 88+/100. Tasted 30th March 2010.