By: Chiara Shannon
There's a lot of hype about the 2009 Bordeaux vintage. From Robert Parker's pronouncement that 2009 is "unquestionably the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have ever tasted" (he went on to issue a whopping nineteen 100 point scores) and rival critic James Suckling's assertion that it is "the vintage of my career as a wine specialist" (Suckling awarded nine 100 point red wine scores), there is no scarcity of points and praise for countless wines from this vintage.
Incredibly, it's all true.
Perfect weather stretched over a long growing season in 2009, allowing for fruit to develop its full phenolic potential while also achieving absolute ripeness. Ideal conditions at harvest yielded fruit of impeccable quality, from the high rent districts to the satellites. While prices have soared for the top wines, superb quality exists across the board, and there are some incredible buys for the budget-minded consumer.
The beauty of the 2009s is that they are loaded with ripe fruit and thus immediately tasty, but possess firm tannins and the structure to age. Though it is hard to tell beneath the omnipresent fruit, 2009 was the most tannic vintage in Bordeaux to date (eclipsed in average tannin level only by 2010). Ripe and powerful, these wines will always be good.
For wines to drink now over the next 3-5 years, you will get the most bang for your buck shopping the modest appellations - Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux Superiour, Médoc/Haut-Médoc, etc. Spend a little more, and you can obtain some gorgeous wines in the $30-$60 range to hold for 5-7 years and enjoy over the next 15-20.
With so many options, it might be hard to decide what buy! So, I've rounded up some of our favorite under- the-radar values to share with you (as pictured from left to right) tasted this week at our last Bordeaux staff tasting. These are in stock now and guaranteed to offer years of drinking pleasure, that is if you snag yours before K&L staffers buy them all...
2009 Roc de Cambes, Côtes de Bourg ($69.99)
2009 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc ($21.99)
Also in magnum ($39.99): http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1085286
2009 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe ($22.99)
2009 Poitevin, Médoc ($13.99)
Also in magnum ($24.99): http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1085365
2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc ($24.99)
Shop all K&L 2009 Bordeaux wines in stock now!