The Top 25 Wines from the Bordeaux 2009 vintage.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In many ways that old chestnut remains truer than ever when it comes to Bordeaux. I am sure you are wondering what I am talking about. Afterall, the style of Bordeaux wine continues evolving.
We are on the same page, so not too worry. In fact, those continuing changes are the point I’m making. Give or take, every 10 years or so, Bordeaux takes a leap forward in quality and in style. This is especially true in relatively modern times following World War. Think about it. The 50’s from the 40’s, the 70’s from the 60’s etc., through to today.
2009 is a big leap forward in quality from 2000. The tannins are riper, more opulent and polished. The wines are richer, deeper, more complex. They are accessible earlier. There is more purity in the fruit and the wines texturally feel more sensuous.
10 years after the vintage is a good time to see where Bordeaux wines are heading. While the top wines are not mature at that point, they clearly offer a view as to where they are going to be, once they are more evolved.
2009 is clearly one of the great vintages of Bordeaux. There is a beauty, purity and intensity to the fruit. On the palate, the wines are plush, sensuous and long. While high in alcohol for the time, the wines retain freshness and vivacity.
2009 produced great wines at all price levels in every appellation from the Left Bank and Right Bank. The remarkable level of consistency found in 2009 Bordeaux, along with its unique character is another reason this is seen as one of the future legendary years from Bordeaux.
To find the best wines of the vintage, I tasted over 100 of the top examples during both tasting trips to Bordeaux this year, as well as in subsequent tastings from wines purchased on release in my office and home. Every one of the wines in this article represents a singular tasting experience that is unequaled in the world of wine. They are also investment quality wines that as they reach maturity, can only move much higher in price.
The Top 25 Wines from the 2020 vintage.
2009 Beausejour Duffau - The intensity on the nose is instantly noticeable. The strong aromas of juicy plums, crushed stone, flowers, oceanic nuances and herbs pop right in front of you. The fireworks however is on the palate. The wine is incredibly concentrated, full-bodied, rich, flamboyant and sexy. The fruit is energetic, pure, velvety, long and intense. The wine fills your palate with sweet fruits and doesn't want to leave, which is a good thing as you don't want it to stop! 2009 marks the initial vintage for the team of Nicolas Thienpont, where they were in charge of everything from start to finish.
2009 Cheval Blanc - This is pure, unadulterated, sex in the bottle wine. The textural experience is polished velvet, silk and it really lingers. The nose, with its blend of lowers, wet earth, ripe, very ripe, under-ripe and overripe berries is off the hook. The opulent finish hangs with you for at least 60 seconds. It is scary to consider how good this wine is going to be with an additional decade or 2 of aging. If you have the money, this is a good place to spend it. 100 Pts
2009 Clinet Speciosa Seposito - If scores for special wines could hit 101 Pts, this might hit 102! Mind-blowing in every sense of the wine, it is easy to note this as soon as the wine hits your glass. At 10 years of age, the wine is still the color of glossy, dark ink. On the palate, the texture is akin to motor oil. But even with all its richness and power, the wine is elegant, refined, fresh, incredibly long and exotic. Layer after layer of dark red and black, juicy, sweet, ripe, delicious plums coat every nook and cranny of your palate. This is bottled decadence. The finish passes by the 60-second mark and keeps on going! Good luck finding a bottle, as only 300 bottles of this majestic elixir were produced. 100 Pts
2009 Cos d’Estournel - The wine is just starting to establish itself. The baby fat has melted away. Now you find a wine of intensity. Intense concentration, intense aromatics, intense palate presence and an intense finish. But everything is in balance and harmony here. The fruit is lushly textured with a velvet drenched touch. While your palate is coated with layers of fruit, nothing is overwhelming. This is power and refinement, the true velvet fist in an iron glove. Still primary, give this another 7-8 years and you should have a legendary Bordeaux in your glass by that time. 100 Pts
2009 L’Evangile - Picture smelling roses, smoked truffle with plums and mocha to get the idea of the initial aromatics. Bottled decadence is the perfect descriptor. Opulent layers of velvet drenched fruit are all over the place. The wine has concentration, purity, length, complexity and exudes sensuality. This is a deal closer that is only just now starting to show its stuff. In 5-10 years this is going to be in contention as one of the best wines ever produced at this storied estate. 100 Pts
2009 Haut Brion - Not a lot of wines leave me speechless from start to finish. But this wine did! Still deep, dark, almost inky in color, the wine offers off the hook aromas of smoked truffle, cigar box, tobacco, black and dark red fruit with spice box, tobacco leaf and smoke filled nuances. Deep, rich, full-bodied and with this incredible blend of elegance, power and sensuality, this wine is going to age for decades. The wine was made from blending This 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Cabernet Franc. 100 Pts
2009 Latour - You can sense the ripeness of the sunny vintage in the nose, with its joyous red berries, tobacco leaf, oyster shell, vanilla smoke, mint, cigar box and dark chocolate. Sensuous on the palate, with silky tannins and sweet, ripe, pure fruits, the wine is all power, grace, symmetry and elegance. This is a sexy vintage of Latour that you can really feel, as the wine rests and expands on your palate. Yes this is young. So if you are going to open a bottle, give it 2-3 hours of air, or wait another decade. This is one of the memorable tasting experiences that was impossible to spit. 100 Pts
2009 – Margaux - If you are wondering what heaven in a glass feel, smells and tastes like, look no further. This is everything a great wine needs. The texture is pure silk and velvet. And speaking of purity, the fruit delivers that in spades. The sensual texture really brings everything together. If you have a bottle and can wait another decade, as good as this is today, it will be even better! 100 Pts
2009 Montrose - Full-bodied, powerful and concentrated, the wine clearly takes up a lot room on your palate. Opulent, as well as refined, now, you find an oceanic influence with its saltiness in the tannins. The wine has depth, freshness and perfectly ripe, soft tannins. If you are lucky enough to have a bottle of this gem in your cellar, try to wait another 10 years for it top really start opening up and displaying all of its incredible charms. 100 Pts
2009 Petrus - 2009 Petrus is deep ruby with purple tints at the rim of the glass. Spice, plums, blackberries, and blueberries, with cinnamon, clay, mint, mocha, and kirsch, make up the complex perfume. From a blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine is rich, concentrated and packed with surreal levels of glycerin. This viscous, thrilling treat provides a seamless, intensely pure finish of spice, jammy cherries, and chocolate. 100 Pts
2009 Vieux Chateau Certain - Off the hook! This is so sexy, sensual and hedonistic, it is probably illegal in some countries. The fruit is dripping with velvet, the wine coats your mouth, filling your palate with layer after layer with opulently textured, perfectly ripe fruit. Hints of flowers, truffle and chocolate are all over the place. Even in its youth, it is impossible not to be wowed by this stunning wine. It is going to age for decades. But if you have a case and want to take an early look, pop a cork and enjoy the ride. 100 Pts
2009 Clinet - With all its sublime layers of concentrated, lusciously textured fruit, there is more than meets the eye here. Voluptuous in nature, the wine is sensual, plummy and packed with all the dark cocoa and truffle you desire. Full-bodied, deep and rich, this opulent wine has a finish that is close to the 60 second mark. Young, yet approachable, the best years are in its future. 99 Pts
2009 Clos Fourtet - With additional years of aging, this has exploded. The wine has dramatically much more weight, density, softness of tannins and length. The wine is opulent, showy, sexy and feels like crushed velvet on your palate. Layers of perfectly ripe, dark red fruits, licorice, smoke, wet earth and black cherry coat your mouth and palate. The finish hangs in there for at least 50 seconds. With another 5-10 more years of bottle age, this will be screaming! 99 Pts
2009 Ducru Beaucaillou - Now the truffle, crushed stone, Cuban cigar, flowers and crème de cassis is starting to bloom. With ample weight, density, length and purity, silky tannins and vibrancy, at just 10 years of age, this is really starting take off. Nothing is out of place, everything is in balance and the finish, with all its layers of fruit, spice and freshness lets you know, this is a wine of unique character Age this for another 5, 10-15 years and its only going to get better. This stunner should age and evolve with little effort for at least 30 more years or longer. 99 Pts
2009 l’Eglise Client - Starting to show its edge, with a lightening in the color the nose is just display its secondary nuances with truffle, smoke, spice box, licorice, incense, flowers and red pit fruits. With the texture of Cashmere, the power of a great vintage and all the sensuality of Pomerol, this is bottled decadence. You can start to drink this now, but if you can wait 5-8 more years, it will be close to off the hook!
2009 Lafleur -Dark garnet in color, to understand the perfume it's easy. Take a shot of chocolate, sprig of mint, handful of truffles with a bushel of plums and cherries blending it all together you get the idea. As good as that is, the fireworks is on the palate where the wall of fruit coats your palate with layer after of ripe, black plums, kirsch, wild cherries and powdered dark chocolate. Intense, but not over the top, the wine is hangs with you, builds and expands for over 60 seconds!99 Pts
2009 Lafite Rothschild - Elegant, fresh, vibrant, lively, focused and refined, there is a beautiful purity to the fruit found here. Classic Pauillac here, but the wine is also lush and almost opulent in nature. Medium/full-bodied, with delicious array of red and black fruits, tobacco leaf, crushed stone, smoke and crisp red fruits in the end note, this beauty demands at least 15 more years to start delivering its true potential. The wine was made from blending 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and .5% Cabernet Franc. This is the highest percentage of Merlot in the blend since 1995. The wine reached 13% alcohol. 99 Pts
2009 Leoville Las Cases - If you like great Cuban Cigars, the nose here has your name on it. From there, add forest floor, leaf, red fruits, spice, flowers and a waft of smoke. Full-bodied, powerful, graceful and concentrated, this is a perfect example of classic Bordeaux at its best. The wine is firm, focused, fresh, pure and mouth-filling, Light on its feet, especially when you consider the level of density found here, the fruit is what stands out the most, for its vibrancy, purity and length. If you need to see what this is about now, give it 2-3 hours of air. If you can wait, this will rock your glass in another decade or so! 99 Pts
2009 La Mission Haut Brion - Powerful, full-bodied, youthful, mouth filling and packed to gills with layers of dark, red and black fruits, the wine is big. But it is also balanced, long, deep, regal and complex. Made from blending 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, the finish does not seem to quit. The texture is equally dense and regal, with layer after layer of smoky, tobacco infused fruit. This is still a baby. Give it 10-15 more years and this will be a truly majestic wine. 99 Pts
2009 La Mondotte - Intensely concentrated, the wine combines all its power with a strong sensation of minerality, layers of ripe, sweet, velvet textured fruits, salty tannins and purity. The wine lingers and expands on the palate for close to 60 seconds. Still young, give this stunner another 7-8 years and it will repay your patience with an incredible tasting experience. 99 Pts
2009 Mouton Rothschild - Even at this early stage, it is impossible not to be awed by what's in your glass! Concentrated, opulent, flamboyant and compelling, the wine explodes from the initial scent. Full-bodied, deep, sensuous and rich, the unique concoction of Asian spices, tobacco leaf, dark red fruits, smoke, wet earth, cedar and crushed rocks grabs you. The intense, long, textural finish builds and lingers. The wine needs another 12-15 more years to really hit its stride. But it is going to be worth the wait! 99 Pts
2009 Palmer - Just starting to knock on the door of secondary aromatics, you can peek into the wine and find truffle, flowers, tobacco leaf, smoked cherries and spice. But that is only the beginning. Once you taste the wine and you feel those sensuous textures as the wine glides across your palate, you know this is special. The wine has more than ample density, but it is not heavy. The lift in the mid-palate keeps all those layers of ripe, dark red, earthy fruits alive. Vibrant, elegant and silky, the end note remains with you for at least 50 seconds or more. If you like more youthful fruit in your wine, you can drink this now. If you want to enjoy the wine as it heads to its peak, give it another decade of rest. This should age effortlessly for decades. 99 Pts
2009 Pontet Canet - What makes this all work, is the perfectly ripe fruit that shows off its purity with ease. Supple textured, multi-layered and with a finish that seems to never leave, the wine is rich, luscious, opulent and mouth-coating. Intense, yet not heavy, everything is in balance. The mouth-coating finish hangs with you for close to 60 seconds. Not quite primary, but still obviously young, if you like wines with sweet, exuberant fruit, why not pop a cork and check it out? Else wait another decade for its real character to kick in. 99 Pts
2009 Trotanoy - Majestic in every sense of the word, this wine rocks! With the texture of polished velvet, the waves of perfectly ripe red and black plum, cherry and boysenberry never quit. Hedonistic and impossible to put down, the finish must be tasted and felt to be believed. This is a wine for the future. Give it 5-8 more years and it could hit triple digits as it clearly has all the right stuff. 99 Pts
2009 d’Yquem - Still just a baby as you would expect, yet it is impossible not to be blown by the juxtaposition between the insanely concentrated levels of ripe and over ripe, honey drenched tropical fruit and the bracing acidity that gives the wine life. Everything here is off the hook. This is so good today, I wish I had a bottle tonight. But if I had the wine in my cellar, as tempting as it might be, I'd wait at least 1 more decade, or better yet, 2 before I started thinking about popping a cork. 99 Pts