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26 March 2010 News

We’re gearing up for the en primeur campaign for 2009 Bordeaux next month, and the initial reviews coming out are extremely promising. James Suckling of the Wine Spectator is on the ground in Bordeaux, and has the first look at some of the region’s top wines. On the Right Bank:

Some châteaus obviously got it completely right. Among them today were the 2009 wines of Cheval-Blanc, Pétrus, Ausone, and La Fleur-Pétrus, among others. And many others got it very, very close to right. I tasted a lot of excellent wines today.

And on the Left Bank:

The 2009 Cos-d’Estournel was mind-blowing, with masses of unctuous fruit, big and powerful fruit-coated tannins, and a fresh finish. I thought of Harlan or Colgin when I first put my nose in the glass, but then it was full-throttle Bordeaux on the palate, with powerful yet polished tannins and a long, long, balanced finish. This was obviously the fruit-forward school.

Château Margaux, on the other hand, featured more of the reserved, classic claret approach. It was quiet and held back on the nose and palate at first, with crystal-clear fruit and perfumes, but as I tasted the wine, it grew in my mouth, with layers of ultrafine tannins that lasted for minutes on the finish. “On paper, the 2009 is the most powerful wine that we have ever made, even more so than the 2005,” said Paul Pontailler, the technical director for the first-growth, who was emphasizing how the tannin extract in his 2009 was the highest ever. “At the same time, our 2009 has the mark of our terroir, with so much power, yet it maintains a wonderful softness and balance.”

James’ initial reviews are below the jump.

Château Margaux 2009
“The nose is so intensely fruity, but subtle and reserved at the same time. Fascinating. Full-bodied, yet superrefined, building on the palate. It’s like watching a long-distance runner starting off slowly but continuing along his or her path. Fine and dense tannins. A few minutes in the glass and the massive tannins show. Muscular and subdued.” 96-99 Wine Spectator

Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux 2009
“Love the strawberry and ripe raspberry aromas. Full-bodied, with superrefined tannins, berry, flower and rose petal. Fresh finish. Harmonious.” 90-93 Wine Spectator

Château Cos-d’EStournel 2009
“This smells like Harlan a bit. Supercharged in fruit, with intense aromas of tar, spice, cardamon, clove, blackberry and black pepper. Crazy nose. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit, yet focused and in form. Chewy tannins, with great length. This goes on and on. Incredibly exotic. Could be best ever from here?” 97-100 Wine Spectator

Goulée 2009
“Delicious red fruits and spices on the nose and palate. Full- to medium-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. Layered. Subtle. Very pretty wine. Perhaps the best I have had from here.” 88-91 Wine Spectator