2009 Bordeaux Tasting
This week we had our much-anticipated 2009 Bordeaux tasting. It’s been a while since we had a line-up of Bordeaux wines and with 2009 being such a highly acclaimed vintage, the tasting sold out pretty quickly.
There were no first growths in the line-up as it simply wasn’t possible to create an economical tasting with wines that have prices well into four digits. But there were several super-seconds which are also fast approaching those stratospheric price levels so it was a real treat to be able to taste this range of wines.
We kicked things off with what turned out to be a real surprise of the tasting. Chateau Carignan ‘Prima’. From the fairly humble Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, this 100% Merlot turned out to be an absolutely delicious, soft and ripe wine with beautiful balance and supple tannins. At around $33 it proved there is still value to be found in Bordeaux!
Next up was the Chateau Faizeau Montagne-Saint-Émilion, another affordable, Merlot based wine in a slightly headier, bigger style with cocoa and coffee notes on the finish.
The bar was raised with the Chateau Grand-Mayne from Saint-Émilion. A very sexy, perfumed nose led on to a definite step up in weight on the palate. Rich and ripe but not overdone at all, this had beautiful balance and was dangerously easy to drink at this young age.
Four Saint-Julien wines followed, starting off with Chateau Gloria. This had a darker, more savoury nose with hints of eucalyptus. The higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon was definitely in evidence. It was softer and plusher than the nose suggested.
Next up Chateau Lagrange with a very deep purple colour, beautiful perfumed, complex nose. Very velvety with silky tannins that were barely perceptible at first.
The Léoville Barton was a very interesting wine. A dark, plummy nose with hints of tobacco and earth, there was a lot going on here but all very tightly wound. Ripe, dense, and seemingly more extracted on the palate, this had a long finish with slightly drying tannins.
The last of the Saint-Julien wines was the Ducru-Beaucaillou. A fantastic nose or ripe fruit with cedary notes – very classy oak. Weighty and full-bodied, this was big, opulent and rich with sweet fruit and some oak evident but beautifully balanced tannins and acidity kept it from seeming overblown.
The last Bordeaux of the evening was the Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (to give it it’s fairly lengthy full name). A real contrast to the preceding wines, this had a fresher nose with juicier, raspberry notes. Lighter than the Ducru, this was fresh, refined and elegant with great complexity. A lovely wine and a terrific finish to a great line-up of Bordeaux.