Bordeaux 2009 – A Legendary Vintage

The 2009 vintage in Bordeaux was outstanding.  Great and very good wines were made across the region and at all levels of classification.  We like to stress here the importance of talented, engaged producers; it is usually best policy to find and follow exceptional producers through sun, rain, drought and hailstorms.  Such producers will make concentrated, opulent wines in temperate, moderately wet years as expected, but will conjure mid-weight, ethereal elegance in cool, difficult years.  Both are good.  And yet . . . there is nothing like the match of a great producer with a great vintage. The 2009 growing season was almost ideal in spring, summer and fall.

There was hail in Pessac-Leognan on the Left Bank and in Saint Emilion on the Right Bank, but the vineyards that were affected mostly recovered as weather improved.  An astounding nineteen wines were scored 100 points by Robert Parker.  Even Sauternes produced exceptional sweet wines.  And now is the perfect time to dip in to the 2009s.  The top vineyards are just entering their drinking window.  Those in lower classifications are fully mature, more casual drinkers, ideal for a fine balcony or backyard barbecue or cookout.

We offer today wines across price scale and classification range.  The selection below includes one 2nd Growth (Leoville Barton), two 2nd Growth second wines (Sarget de Gruaud Larose and Croix de Beaucaillou), a 4th Growth (La Tour Carnet), 5th Growth (Cantemerle), Cru Bourgeois (Rollan de By) as well as Premier Cru Sauternes (Coutet).  The Malartic is Graves Cru Classe and Haut Bergey, though not notably classified, is a very highly regarded biodynamic producer in Passac-Leognan.  A final word from Jamessuckling.com: “From our point of view, 2009 Bordeaux has an enormous amount to offer and remains one of the most exciting vintages of the 21st century.”
 
Chateau Cantemerle Haut-Medoc 2009
Regular: $67.99
Sale Price: $59.97

James Suckling, 95pts. - “Gorgeous ripe fruit character, with loads of blueberries, blackberries and flowers. Full body, with velvety tannins and a fruity, fresh, grapefruit aftertaste. Really beautiful. Best ever from here. Best after 2018.”  (2/2012)

Chateau Leoville Barton Saint Julien 2009
Regular: $159.99
Sale Price: $145.97

Wine Enthusiast, 98pts. - “A major success of the vintage. The wine exhibits extreme richness of the fruit, with all its sweet blackberry flavors. It also has underlying firm structure, density and solid tannins. Bring in the acidity at the end, and this is both impressive and ready for long-term aging.” (2/2012)

Chateau Malartic Lagraviere Pessac-Leognan 2009
Regular: $89.99
Sale Price: $74.97

Wine Enthusiast, 93-95pts. – “Barrel sample. Ripe fruit, but with great packed spicy wood, sweet tannins and black currant fruit flavors.”  (8/2010)

James Suckling, 93pts. – “Aromas of blueberries, spices and bark follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a long silky textured finish. Very fine indeed. Best ever from here. Try it in 2017.”  (2/2012)

Sarget de Gruaud Larose Saint Julien 2009
Regular: $49.99
Sale Price: $44.97

Jancis Robinson, 16/20 – “The second wine of Gruaud-Larose, farmed organically. Not overblown. Well mannered with an undertow of the drama of the vintage. Drink 2013-2020.”  (4/2013)

Chateau Rollan de By Medoc 2009
Regular: $38.99
Sale Price: $32.97

Wine Advocate, 92pts. – “Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois 2009 tasting in London. The Rollan de By has a well-defined bouquet with meat-tinged blackberry and sage, with well-integrated oak and lots of character. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, very cohesive and very pure with superb delineation and poise towards the finish. This is a top quality Cru Bourgeois. Tasted September 2011.” (11/2011)

Chateau Haut Bergey Pessac-Leognan 2009
Regular: $54.99
Sale Price: $49.97

Wine Advocate, 94pts. – “. . . the opaque ruby/purple-colored 2009 reveals notes of scorched earth/burning embers/charcoal, black currants, ripe cherries and lead pencil shavings. Full-bodied and pure with sweet tannin, this is an under-the-radar, high quality claret . . . As powerful and rich as the 2000 and 2010, Haut-Bergey's 2009 is another of the over-achieving, value-priced Bordeaux that are increasingly difficult to find. The estate . . . is situated near Malartic Lagraviere and Domaine de Chevalier.” (2/2012)

Chateau La Tour Carnet Haut-Medoc 2009
Regular: $60.99
Sale Price: $54.97

Wine Advocate, 92pts. – “This dense purple wine displays notes of charcoal, subtle toast and white chocolate as well as blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with hints of graphite and licorice. Dense, full-bodied, unctuously textured, and quite long and thick, this concentrated, impressively endowed wine is silky-textured and already accessible . . . It should keep for a minimum of two decades. One of the few classified growths in the southern end of the Medoc south of Margaux, La Tour Carnet has been owned for a number of years by Bernard Magrez. It is one of the most picturesque chateaux in Bordeaux, dating from the 12th century . . . they have been making top-flight wines for well over a decade, yet the prices remain very realistic for a classified growth Bordeaux.” (12/2011)

Chateau Coutet Sauternes Barsac 2009
Regular: $89.99
Sale Price: $79.97

James Suckling, 96pts. -  “A triumph for the vintage with spices, dried mushroom, dried pineapple, peaches, and honey. Full and sweet with bright acidity and a long, intense finish. Powerful wine. This could be the best Coutet ever.” (5/2013)

Wine Advocate, 96pts. – “Pale to medium gold colored, the 2009 Coutet leaps from the glass with warm apple pie, dried mango, fresh straw, lemongrass, ginger and crème caramel notes. The rich, concentrated, unctuous flavors are lifted by amazing freshness, finishing epically long, layered and with a tantalizing nuttiness.” (3/2019)

Chateau La Croix de Beaucaillou 2009
Regular: $96.99
Sale Price: $89.97

Decanter, 94pts. – “The 10-year barrier is just about perfect for such a great second wine in an exceptional vintage, and I highly recommend that you start opening and enjoying it soon. It's silky smooth and juicy, with saline touches, exotic spices and edges of black truffle - and yet it's super-elegant. I keep waiting for this to drop off through the palate but it keeps holding on, opening up to reveal a floral edge that adds an extra layer of complexity and balance, with mouthwatering flavors and textures. A brilliant yet softer reflection of the grand vin in this vintage.” (9/2019)

Past Cellar Selections:
Walter Hansel Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2018
Muga Rioja – Old World and New
Luigi Scavino Azelia Barolo 2016
Clos i Terrasses “Laurel” 2018 - Homage to Garnacha
Canon la Gaffeliere St. Emilion '15 & '16
Keenan Cabernet Reserve 2016 - Cult Wine for the Masses (Ha!)
Casanova di Neri 2016 – Historic Vintage & 99pts.
Falletto Giacosa – Grand Cru Barolo
Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo 2016
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Magnum Bottles from CVNE Imperial
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias

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