Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

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Bordeaux 2009

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Word on the steps of the major Chateaux is that 2009 is indeed an extraordinary year for red Bordeaux. What! I hear you say, another ‘legendary’ vintage maturing away in the vats of these great estates? First it was 2000, then 2003 the big heatwave year which was seen as a contender for a while, only to be trumped by 2005, described by virtually everyone at the outset as the best Bordeaux vintage ever – except Robert Parker – though he later revised his opinion upwards too. I got wrapped up in it all and bought as much as I 2005 could afford. I don’t regret it, but I’m not sure I can afford to do it all over again. But then again, do I want to miss out in such a potentially great vintage?  So what is the story about 2009 then?

Well the weather conditions looked ideal with a very sunny and warm conditions and great ripeness was achieved in the vineyards – a key ingredients for a great vintage. Let’s not also get too cynical here either. Most decades give at least a series of vintages which could produce ‘great’ wines. In the 1980s there was 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1989 all of which were excellent. Most famously the late 1940s yielded a string of great vintages from 1945, 1947 and 1949 – and even 1948 was pretty good amongst them. Who, today, would complain about having any bottles of wine surviving from those vintages – and so, I guess, it will be for future generations fortunate to have the 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009 vintages in their cellar in 2050. Of course until the wines are released for tasting it won’t be exactly clear just how good the 2009 vintage really finally is, and even then it will be only a promise as to the eventual quality in the bottle. Whatever the vintage statistics, degrees of ripeness, days of sunshine, it is what’s in the glass that counts. Expect scores to be high – as well as the prices that will follow – after all it’s already five years since the last ‘Vintage of the Century’…

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