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Bordeaux Series: Revisiting the 2009 Vintage

Posted by Monica Yu on

Delighted Hostess Emilie Borie at Grand Puy Lacoste

This past month, the Bottle Shop team spent a whole week covering the En Primeur campaign in Bordeaux, tasting over 500+ wines. During the Spring of every year, the entire region of Bordeaux open up their cellar doors to showcase the latest vintage to the media and trade. This En Primeur or "wine futues" is a system that offers wines to be purchased early while the vintage is still in the barrel. This gives buyers an advantage to purchase wines that have very limited quantities  and difficult to get after they are released on the open market.There are very exciting things happening in the Bordeaux 2014 vintage, a bit early to tell however it is also a good time to revisit previously released vintages that are available on the market right now.The 2009 and 2010 vintages have been called some of the best vintages in the last 10 years, one after another. The 2009 has a riper, rich and opulent style while some call 2010 as the more classic, structured and firmer style of the two. Our founder, Christina Coulourides who has been following the En Primeur campaign for 10+ years recalls the 2009 vintage as a growing season with exceptional conditions: " The resulting grapes of the harvest reached sugar levels never seen previously. At the same time the tannins reached full ripeness resulting in powerful wines with round tannins."Here are seven outstanding 2009 wines all achieved over 90+ points.

For the Collectors Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé "A" is owned by the Bouard family, one of the top estates on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. This big showy wine is good to add to your collection for that wow factor, and to be enjoyed many years from now. This is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, fashioned from tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts a black/purple color along with a gorgeous perfume of blueberry liqueur, spring flowers and graphite. In the mouth, notes of incense and cassis also emerge from this velvety-textured, full-bodied, intensely concentrated 2009. With silky tannins, low acidity and spectacular purity, texture and depth, it is already approachable (although I'm sure proprietor Hubert de Bouard would think drinking it now is akin to infanticide), but should keep for 20-30+ years. Robert Parker 100 Points $359.99/bottle

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien is the Second Growth estate on the Left Bank that has one of the nicest gardens landscaped among the large stony soils. Afterall, Beaucaillou means "beautiful stones". One of the oldest plot of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted back in 1918. Robert Parker has said this vintage will eclipse the brilliant wines produced in 2000, 2003 and 2005. Composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, the wine has an incredible deep purple color with firm body, pronounced tannin and a long finish. Robert Parker 100 Points $389.99/bottle

Ducru Beaucauillou Chateau Palmer, Margaux 2009 is considered one of the all time great Palmers along with the 1989, 2000 and 2005. Named after Colonel Charles Palmer of England in 1814, this 2009 vintage will age beautifully, best from 2015- 2030. A blend of 52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot makes this a lovely wine with layers of complexity. "Blossoming in the glass. The palate is medium to full bodied with seamless tannins, beautiful, balanced and immense purity. The oak is well integreated. Wonderful poise on the finish and superb length..." Neal Martin 94-96 points $379.99/bottle*Starting with 2009 vintage, the estate began using Prooftag system to guarantee customers the authenticity.

A Steal for Haut BrionLe Clarence de Haut Brion, Pessac-Legonan. With the first label reaching over $800 per bottle, the little brother of Haut-Brion, Le Clarence de Haut Brion is an outstanding value for the quality. James Suckling calls this wine the best second wine of Haut Brion ever. It has just about everything Haut-Brion has in an excellent year like this. Chateau Haut-Brion is a First Growth property in Bordeaux just outside the city of Bordeaux. Grapes have been grown on the property since Roman times, with the earliest documents indicating cultivation as far back as 1423. The first records of Haut-Brion wine was found in the wine cellar ledger of the English King Charles II in 1660. Thomas Jefferson had visited Chateau Haut-Brion in 1787 and purchased 6 cases.  Wine Spectator 93 points at $149.99/bottle

For Consumption Now and Everyone Else to EnjoyChateau Pichon Lalande Reserve de la Comtesse, Pauillac is the second label of Chateau Pichon Lalande, which typically sells for over $190 per bottle, making the Reserve de la Comtesse a great way to try a Second Growth Grand Cru Classé. Wife of the Count of Lalande took over the management of the estate in 1850, and she commissioned the Bordeaux architect Duphot to build a residence inspired by the Hotel de Lalande. The wine bears the Comtesse's name. The large 89 hectares of Pichon Lalande is right next door to Chateau La Tour and Pichon Baron (all very famous neighbors). At $57.99/bottle and a Wine Spectator and Robert Parker score of 91 points, we think this is the best buy of the bunch!

Chateau Messile Aubert Montagne St-Emilion is of one of our favorite wines from the Right Bank for this vintage. We sourced this hidden gem which is also made by the Aubert family that produces Chateau La Couspaude, a Grand Cru Classé estate in St-Emilion. The Blend is 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is ready to drink and has been impeccably cellar-ed by the Bottle Shop. Wine Spectator 90-93 Points at $29.99/bottle 

Chateau Lyonnat Emotion, Lussac St-Emilion, is owned by Gerard and Brigitte Milhade 4th generation in the wine business. 100% Merlot shows off the beautiful fruit, silky tannins with a touch of new oak and additional ripeness makes this a mouthwatering wine to be enjoyed from 2015 and on ward.  Wine Spectator 92-95 points at $27.99/bottle


Contributed by Monica Yu , Assistant Wine Buyer for Plume Ridge Bottle Shop

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