Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2009 in bottle : Sheer brillance

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

2009: Unbelievably delicious Bordeaux like Chateau Gloria above

Don’t panic, rest easy. For those who invested heavily en primeur in Bordeaux 2009, either for their drinking pleasure, or to make a bob or two, I think your money’s safe. In Octover 2001 130 of Bordeaux’s finest chateaux, members of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, turned up as they do each year at London’s Royal Opera House showing their most recently bottled vintage. I don’t know about you but with all the hype and price controversy that surrounded this vintage on release it seems 2009 has been around for ages, certainly a lot longer than 24 months. Widely praised by many as one of the finest ever Bordeaux vintages, now that it’s finally in bottle, this vintage is still a delight. Never has there been such joy drinking young red Bordeaux at this age, nor for that matter its fabulous sweet Sauternes and Barsac. The whites from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, whilst maybe not having the freshness and delicacy of say 2010 or especially 2007, have generally developed well into big, full, spicy whites.

Despite the fact that 2009 was one of the most expensive Bordeaux vintages on release, the quality is so good at the top level that the chateaux can almost be forgiven. Almost. What’s more, many of the less prestigious properties have produced their finest wines in a generation, and there’s still a lot of these about. Don’t moan if your Léovilles or even your Langoa are now out of reach. There’s many a Gloria, Cantemerle or La Pointe that have produced absolute stunners and can still be had for a fraction of the price. Then there’s Citran, Fonréaud, Fourcas Dupré and Beaumont and the like that have made hugely enjoyable, delicious wines, great to drink from the word go. Yes there are some misfires, mostly in the jammy overripe sense, where things feel too heady, alcoholic or extracted, but many that felt that way at the primeur tastings have settled down nicely in élevage, yes, even at 14.5%. Admittedly sometimes you wonder if you are in Bolgheri rather than Bordeaux but that’s mostly the richness of the vintage. A few that were glorious en primeur have gone all sullen and resentful now they’ve been captured in bottle, Beychevelle immediately springs to mind here, but these felt like the exceptions.  Bordeaux 2009 truly is an embarrassment of riches at every level and in every appellation.

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