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BORDEAUX 2009

by Tom Cannavan, 03/10

Merchants offering en primeur:

         

Report from Bordeaux

Wine-pages was lucky enough to have friends with very good palates in Bordeaux for en primeur week. This report on the vintage comes from Derek Smedley MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Charles Metcalfe and Chris Kissack. Their brief vintage summary reads: Cabernet Sauvignon performed well. Some estates put a higher percentage of Cabernet in their blends, some also picked early to ensure good acidity. In all these are bright and profound wines, especially where alcohols well controlled: Mouton, for example, has just 13.1% ABV.

Top picks Pauillac, St-Julien & St-Estéphe

Pauillac
Lafite - structure yet grace and elegance. Fine tannins and length
Latour - profound, with massive power. Built for long life
Mouton - complete, natural balance - sweet fruit, yet good acidity
Grand-Puy-Lacoste
Pichon-Baron
Pichon-Lalande
Lynch-Bages
Pontet-Canet

St-Julien
Léoville Barton
Langoa Barton
Léoville Las Cases
Ducru Beaucaillou
Gruaud-Larose
       St-Estéphe
Cos d'Estournel (CK less convinced)
Calon-Ségur
Phelan-Ségur
Ormes de Pez
De Pez
Montrose

Top picks Margaux, Péssac-Leognan & Médoc

Margaux
Margaux - beautiful, very approachable, balanced and sleek
Palmer
Lascombes
Malescot Saint-Exupery
Rauzan-Segla
Giscours

Péssac-Leognan
Haut-Brion - more structure with power and depth
La Mission Haut-Brion (CK less convinced)
Pape-Clement
Haut-Bailly (split vote)
Smith Haut Lafitte
Domaine de Chevalier
Brown

Médoc
Not as impressive overall. The best four wines:
La Lagune - 15% Petit Verdot, and very good
Chasse Spleen
Belgrave (Haut-Médoc)
Citran

Top picks Sauternes

d'Yquem - one of the best young ones we have tasted
Rieussec
La Tour Blanche
De Fargues
Climens
Lafaurie-Peyraguey

Top picks St-Emilion and Pomerol

St Emilion
Cheval Blanc + Ausone - both beautiful, stylish, well-balanced, bright, well managed tannins
Troplong Mondot
Figeac
Canon
Angelus
Bel Air Monange

Pomerol
Le Pin + Petrus really great. Petrus probably one mark higher. Both rich, but lovely acidity giving sleek elegance
Vieux Chateau Certan
Le Gay
Trotanoy
L'Eglise Clinet
La Conseillante

and remember...

If you plan to invest, do so wisely. As a minimum you should pay by credit card, which carries some protection from the issuing company, and make sure the wines will be identified with your name or transaction number, not held in the merchant's name. Make sure you are happy to deal with the company, and are satisfied that they have a good trading record.