Updated 8th June. Look away now if you think wine and points don’t go. Here is a top down list of my (GQ) scores alongside those of US guru Robert Parker (RP) – both using the 100 point scale – and Jancis Robinson’s scores out of 20, plus my estimate of anticipated maturity. There are 130 90+ point wines in my book, with 90 meaning outstanding. I tasted all the top wines, except Château Ausone and a few garage/boutique wines from St-Emilion, and Le Gay and Le Bon Pasteur from Pomerol.
It’s fair to say that RP and I agree on many of the top dogs, only he’s given higher points, with a stash of potential 100s (in 2005, he awarded just two wines 100 pts). I think he’s slightly underrated the 2009s from Palmer and Pichon Baron but that’s splitting hairs. Keep reading
As expected, the Bordeaux 2009 En Primeur campaign has got off to a sluggish start, with fine wine merchants trying to urge the Bordelais to get off their derrières and release prices. With the exception of last year’s futures campaign for the 2008s, ’twas ever thus over the last decade.
More worrying but, again, not exactly unexpected, is the direction that the prices are taking. Even some of the more modestly-priced wines are substantially more expensive than they were for the last outstanding vintage: 2005. The exchange rate plays a part of course, and buyers with sterling can expect to pay 25% more for the same wine four years on, even assuming no increase in price from the château. Keep reading
Latour, Château Margaux and Pétrus are among my favourite wines from Bordeaux 2009. My interest in those wines is, regrettably, academic – yet if I could afford to stuff my cellar with the following wines from the next tier down, all for under a grand a box, or much less in some cases, I certainly would. (OK, the four top Pomerols here will be over a thousand a case so my rules have gone out the window.) Keep reading
I tasted all the top 2009 red wines from Bordeaux in late March and earlier this month, with the exception of Château Ausone. I didn’ t taste any of the so-called garage wines from St-Emilion*, so this list represents – in my humble opinion – nearly all that is worth considering as an en primeur investment.
As it happens, the random figure of 150 relates to all those wines which should have an ‘outstanding’ rating of 90 points or more when bottled next year. In separate articles, I’ll list a few potentially ‘good value’ buys, and the best dry and sweet white wines. Keep reading
This post was also written for the Liv-Ex blog. The London International Vintners Exchange is the leading exchange for fine wine, and their site is a superb resource for knowing the value of top Bordeaux. They kindly asked me for ‘An Insider’s View‘ on 2009.
“Exceptional”. That’s the refrain at the leading châteaux in Bordeaux in 2009. Since mid-June, it has been warm, dry and sunny, and the glorious weather in the last ten days of September and the first week of October has allowed the top estates – on both Banks – to pick their Merlot and Cabernets in perfect condition.