Bordeaux 2009   
A quick report: cask samples of 27 leading wines

April 21, 2010: Just back from Bibendum's Bordeaux tasting, which included a number of cask samples of the much lauded 2009 vintage. Here are my notes on some of the wines.

Please note: these are cask samples and may not be representative of the final blend. I've not written an essay on each wine because of the imprecision that comes with tasting such infant wines, which is also why the scores are given as a range, out of 100 points.

This is a very attractive, ripe vintage that for me, based on this very limited sample, seems perhaps better than 2005 (whatever ‘better’ means). The wines tend to be more midweight, and Bordeaux is a region that specializes in ageworthy, midweight reds, not blockbusters. ‘One or two have tried to make big heavy wines,’ said Christian Seely when I asked him about this, ‘but they missed the point of the vintage.’ At its heart, this is a classic Bordeaux vintage, more in the mould of 2000 than 2005, which produced more structured, difficult wines.

Château Pontet Canet 2009 Pauillac
Beautifully dense and taut with backward dark fruits, good tannins and some minerality. Lovely stuff. 94–96

Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2009 Pauillac
Dense, focused and structured with lovely fruit. Concentrated with some new oak showing, as well as lovely structure. Serious effort. 93–95

Château Figeac 2009 St Emilion
Lovely focused blackcurrant nose with nice chalky edge. Dense, structured palate with lovely finish. Savoury and quite serious. 93–95

Château Petit Village 2009 Pomerol
Beautifully seductive with lovely sweet ripe fruit supported by incredibly soft but dense tannins. A forward, ripe wine but it's in balance. Very impressive. 93–95

Château Angelus 2009 St Emilion
Very supple and bright with lovely density of precise, vibrant dark fruits backed up by firm yet smooth tannins. Great balance. 93–95

Domaine de Chevalier 2009 Pessac Leognan
Supple, elegant style with good acidity, primary fruit and nice tannins. Structured and fresh, in a midweight style. 92–94

Château Malartic Lagraviere 2009 Pessac Leognan
Rich, structured and dense with lovely fruit. Elegant with lots of presence, made in a ripe but well balanced style. 92–94

Château Talbot 2009 St Julien
Nicely structured with some density and chunky tannins. Very attractive in a midweight style with attractive red berry and dark cherry fruit. 92–94

Château Beychevelle 2009 St Julien
Youthful, chunky and nicely structured with firm tannins under the vivid fruit. Juicy and bright, in a midweight style. 92–94

Château Pibran 2009 Pauillac
Likely to be one of the bargains of the vintage. Beautifully intense and rich with lovely fruit and good structure. Stylish. 92–94

Château Montrose 2009 St Estephe
Very sweetly fruited and joyful. Open, nicely proportioned with chalky tannins and pure fruit. 92–94

Château Haut Bailly 2009 Pessac Leognan
Primary, intense fruity nose. Vivid, youthful and intense on the palate. Quite tannic with sweet fruit. 91–93

Château Aiguilhe 2009 Cotes de Castillon
Very ripe and aromatic with sweet, pure red berry fruits. The palate is lively, vivid and intense with lovely acidity and chalky tannins. Likely to be one of the bargains of the vintage. 91–93

Château Gruaud Larose 2009 St Julien
Midweight, ripe and juicy with nice sweet fruit. Supple and quite elegant with some tannins. 91–93

Château Haut Batailley 2009 Pauillac
Chunky and spicy with nice tannins and some oak. Robust and structured. 91–93

Château Lagrange 2009 St Julien
Very primary and fruity with supple, midweight, vibrant fruit. Nice tannins. 90–92

Château Branaire Ducru 2009 St Julien
Vivid colour. Very primary, midweight and elegant. A bit chalky. Nice precision. 90–92

Château Meyney 2009 St Estephe
Seductive savoury style with nice fruit and distinctive chalky tannins. 90–92

Château Grand Puy Lacoste 2009 Pauillac
Slightly reduced. Overt red fruit on the nose. Spicy and firm on the palate. A tight, slightly reduced sample. 90–92

Château Beau Site 2009 St Estephe
Tight, firm and a bit spicy. Nice depth. Some reduction here and evident new oak. 90–92

Château Troplong Mondot 2009 St Emilion
Very ripe, sweet and bold and extracted, with noticeable oak, but nice structure here. Just in balance. Nice. 90–92

Château Grand Puy Ducasse 2009 Pauillac
Vibrant fruit. Midweight, supple with nice chalky tannins. 89–91

Château Lafon Rochet 2009 St Estephe
Supple, fresh with good fruit and nice chalky tannins. 89–91

Château Phelan Segur 2009 St Estephe
A lighter style. Very pretty bright sweet fruit and some structure. 88–91

Château Tronquoy Lalande 2009 St Estephe
Sweet, ripe, juicy and vibrant. Joyful primary fruit. Attractive and supple. 89–91

Château Berliquet St Emilion 2009
Sweet and ripe with nice primary fruit and some structure. A pretty wine. 88–90

Château Pavie Macquin 2009 St Emilion
Very ripe with an almost minty edge to the nose. Sweet, lush and oaky: overblown, tannic and quite extracted, with some reduction to boot. 86–88

Wines tasted as 04/10  
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