We recently had the good fortune to recently attend a tasting of Bordeaux’s 2009 vintage: A ripe, generous and warm vintage. Some of the highlights:
The Chateau Doisy-Daëne is set to become a favourite in our cellar with its gorgeous nettle and blackcurrant nose. The name Doisy-Daëne was inspired by an owner in the late 1800’s, Jacques Emmanuel Daëne, who took the vineyards name of Doisy and used his name to come up what he considered to be the correct representation on the chateau. The 16.3 hectare vineyard, situated close to Chateau Climens, has a terroir that consists of red sand, clay and limestone soil. The vineyards are planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Denis Dubourdieu also owns Clos Floridene in the Graves appellation, and aside from his work in Bordeaux, he is involved with several projects in different regions in the world; one of his most interesting ventures is in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa with 4 G Wines in a partnership with Girogio Dalla Cia.
Sauternes very seldom disappoints and the Chateau de Myrat over-delivered with generous apricot, honey and straw. The balance was simply exquisite in both sweet wines. The 30 hectare Sauternes vineyard of Chateau de Myrat has 22 hectares under vine on clay with limestone in the Barsac commune, close to Climens, Coutet and Doisy Daene. The vineyard is planted to 88% Semillon , 8% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Muscadelle and today the fruit comes from young vines about 20 years old. Each grape variety is vinified separately, Semillon is vinified in 30% new barrels and Sauvignon Blanc in tank and finally the blended wine is aged in 33% new oak barrels for an average of 18 months.
Chateau Raymond Lafon Sauternes is a young vineyard, by Sauternes standards, and was founded in 1850 by Raymond Lafon. It then passed through the Pontallier and Bourdier families and in 1972 was purchased by Pierre Meslier who was the managing director of Chateau d’Yquem. This small Sauternes property is located next door to the vineyards of d’Yquem and very close to Suduiraut and unsurprisingly the Raymond Lafon is produced in the same fashion.
The Haut-Medoc was particularly generous in 2009 and the Chateau Belle-Vue was opulence in a glass. Chateau Belle-Vue comes from a young 10.4-hectare vineyard in the Haut Medoc appellation, first vintage was 1996. The estate was purchased by Vincent Mulliez in 2004, he earned his fortune while working at JP Morgan investments in London, made considerable improvements to the estate and its wines.
Margaux was very focused; broad, integrated tannin with an almost OTT ripeness. the property is named after a previous owner – Durfort de Duras, a well connected family from South West France and several hundred years later, in 1824, Chateau Durfort took the second part of their name from the owner at the time, the Viscount of Vivens and became Durfort Vivens. In those days, the wines were popular and the 1844 vintage was priced higher than every other Bordeaux wine in the appellation, except for Chateau Margaux, and the 1855 classification ranked Durfort Vivens as a Second Growth.
Chateau Marquis de Terme is another wine estate with a long history since 1661. It was one of the largest properties in Bordeaux, so large that it gave birth to four classified growths: Rauzan-Segla, Rauzan-Gassies, Desmirail and Marquis de Terme. The 38 hectare vineyard is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc on gravel, sand, limestone and clay soils.
Other wines tasted (all 2009):
Chateau Olivier Graves Pessac Leognan
Chateau Moulin Haut Laroque Canon Fronsac
Chateau Fontenil Fronsac
Clos Lunelles Cotes de Castillon
Chateau La Croix du Gay Pomerol
Chateau Fombrauge St Emilion
Chateau Barde Haut St. Emilion
Chateau Haut Bergey Pessac Leognan
Chateau Poujeaux Haut Medoc Moulis
Chateau Cantemerle Haut Medoc
Chateau Gloria St. Julien
Chateau Moulin Riche St. Julien
Chateau Le Crock St. Estephe
Chateau Tronquoy Lalande St. Estephe