BBR's blog on Bordeaux 2009
There's a lot of excitement around about the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux, which is still being picked as I write.
I enjoyed reading the report on the 2009 harvest on Berry Bros & Rudd's excellent blog. It's written by Max Lalondrelle, and you just have to love someone who in replying to a comment on the blog begins with 'Dear Sir'! I think Max is new to blogging.
I particularly liked the reference to the optical sorter, which selects individual berries. Now that is cool.
But it makes me think. Here we have a vintage where people are surprised by the hygeinic conditions of the grapes. They have, as in 2005, elevated levels of physiological ripeness, and elevated levels of potential alcohol. And the top properties are taking more care than ever, for example with the selection of grapes.
Could it be that Bordeaux is better than ever before? Perhaps. But could it also be that Bordeaux is different to the Bordeaux of yesterday? This seems to be the case.
The potential difficulty is that the current 'paradigm' (sorry, horrible word) of fine wine has been largely based on Bordeaux as it used to be, and as it used to develop in bottle. This may need to change in light of the fact that Bordeaux has changed.
Might it be that the top 2009 Bordeaux wines will resemble, say, Margaret River Cabernet/Merlot blends? Personally, I love Margaret River Cabernets, and this is not meant as a slight to them. The issue is that there is a sort of contract with the consumer of top Bordeaux that these are wines destined to age and develop in a certain way, and this may no longer be the case.
What do you think?