Hot, Hot, Hot 90+ Bordeaux 2009 "Greatest Vintage Ever"- Parker
2009 Bordeaux have caught fire and we are running low on inventory of wines. But of course we still have some available for you to get today but don't wait. After re-tasting the 2009 Bordeaux Vintage Robert Parker said "2009 is the greatest vintage I have ever tasted in Bordeaux. I am willing to say it loudly, and stake my reputation on it."
Here are Robert Parker's notes from the new issue of Wine Advocate after re-tasting the 2009 Bordeaux Vintage in late Jan/ early Feb 2012.
In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved. It is more consistent (many châteaux that were making mediocre wine in 1982 are now making brilliant wine) and of course, the yields are lower, the selection process is stricter, and there are any other number of factors, from investments in the wineries to impeccable, radical viticulture, that have resulted in extraordinary raw materials.
1982 Déjà Vu All Over Again – But Greater
The one thing about these wines that I love is that the window of drinkability will be enormous. Just like in 1990 or 1982, the low acidity, the very ripe fruit, the high glycerin levels from the elevated alcohols, and the stunning concentration and fruit from low yields will give most of these wines incredible appeal in their youth, but at the same time will guarantee that the top wines last for 30 or more years, as the best 1982's have certainly done. I do want to reiterate that for as big, rich, and as high in alcohol as the 2009's are, they are remarkably pure, well-delineated and surprisingly fresh and vibrant – a paradox, but a wonderful one at that.
So has there been careless scoring inflation? Of course not. The same standards that gave what looked to be super conservative and very modest scores 32 years ago, are the same criteria that are in play today. The problem is that 2009 is the greatest vintage I have ever tasted in Bordeaux. I am willing to say it loudly, and stake my reputation on it. In fact, perhaps the most remarkable thing about 2009 is that there is no “buzz.” We are all tired of the newest Vintage of the Century, but when the real one happens, it has to be recognized, and someone has to point it out. That is not called hype, but accountability, fairness, and independent professional reporting.
When I first tasted Bordeaux professionally in the late 1970s, there were probably no more than 6-12 great wines, and another 25-50 that could be recommended without hesitation. By the time 1982 was conceived, that had risen to probably three dozen or more truly world-class, great, great wines, and another 75 to 100 that were top-flight, and worthy of readers’ interests. By 1990, this had grown to around 50 to 75 great wines and approximately 200 other top wines. This number continued to soar, and by 2000, there were probably 100-125 great and compelling wines and another 250 to 300 worth buying. By 2009 and 2010, we are in a situation where the wine quality in Bordeaux has eclipsed anything that has ever been done in the past. Some of the old-timers I talked to on this last trip truly feel that 2009 may well go down, when all the dust settles 25 or 50 years from now, as the single greatest vintage ever produced in Bordeaux since records have been kept. That’s a long time. The selection process that goes into making these wines, the investments in the wineries, the extraordinary, concerted effort by entire teams of winery personnel to produce the best wines possible, the practice of culling out the finest lots, and declassifying the rest into either second wines or selling off in bulk, using less SO2 , protecting the wine from bruising with the utilization of what are called “soft techniques” such as movement of wine by neutral gas and gravity, and much less fining and filtration if it all, has resulted in smashingly high quality that has never existed in the past. Take also the radical viticultural techniques that were never used 30 years ago. Christian Moueix was the first, at Petrus, to crop thin in the mid-1980's; now virtually every classified growth crop-thins, prunes for low quantities, and does intensively detailed work in the vineyards such as shoot positioning and selective harvesting based on the different exposures within the vineyard. This has all resulted in irrefutably higher and higher quality, explaining the increase in world class wines from the 1980s through the 1990s, and now through the first decade of the 21st century. Despite the complaints about overpriced Bordeaux, and Bordeaux has lost its soul, Bordeaux wines today offer more diversity, more quality, more aging potential, and offer more different flavors, aromas and characteristics than ever before in its history. This is an irrefutable fact.
Here are our 2009 Bordeaux Offers:
All Wines will arrive Spring 2012
Both Wine Advocate/ Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Ratings are current.
These were scored after a re-tasting of the 2009 Vintage in early 2012.