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JULIAN'S FINE WINE BLOG

Bordeaux 2009 Notes

Posted by hitnerwine on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Typed up much sooner than I anticipated, here are the first of my notes from the outstanding 2009 vintage.

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White Wines:

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Château Pape Clément Blanc 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: After Haut-Brion and La Mission, this could very well be the top white Bordeaux of 2009—a creation of magnificent posture, intensity, elegance, and breed. Pale lime in colour, the whimsical Pape Clément Blanc starts off with dazzling, slightly exotic scents of star fruit and lemon citrus, giving way to pears, orange zest, the most delicate of caramel, white chalk, almonds, quince, passion fruit, minerals, and an extraordinary hint of vanilla and spice. Insatiably complex, delivering stupendous, elegant fruit, perfect acidity, and an absolutely darling, endearing hint of lemon citrus, kiwi, almonds, and minerals on the finish. So multilayered and intense, it almost seems as if the wine is telling a story. 48% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, 6% Muscadelle, and 6% Sauvignon Gris. Now-2028. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96 $245.00 (#275495) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: Consistently one of the greats of Pessac-Léognan, the 2009 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc tops the charts as an unbelievable, incontestably fabulous wine of remarkable refinement, intensity, and breed. Pale-light lime in colour, it exhibits astounding scents of lemon citrus, pears, star fruit, kiwi, minerals, almond paste, and the slightest touch of lanolin, vanilla, orange peel, acacia, and spice. Truly complex, with extraordinary intensity of fruit and balanced acidity, ending with an unfathomably elegant hint of lemon citrus, minerals, and subtle almonds on the finish. Resolutely seductive, collectors should have no hesitation acquiring a few cases of this heavenly wine. Typically 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. Now-2025++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

95+ $149.00 (#581041) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: A liquid lesson in delicacy at its near-finest, the 2009 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is probably the most engrossing, ethereal wine co-proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard have ever produced (the ’07 is more verbose). Pale lime in colour, the wine is finely toasted, offering utterly brilliant scents of lemon citrus and pears, switching to almonds, orange zest, kiwi, gooseberries, minerals, and the slightest hint of vanillin and white flowers. Truly complex, carrying excellent, intensely delicate fruit, balanced acidity, and a magnificent, ponderous hint of lemony pears, minerals and citrus oils on the finish. Fabulously subtle, tempting, and refined. 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon, and 5% Sauvignon Gris. Now-2024+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93++ $135.00 (#201418) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Red Wines:

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Château Figeac 2009, St-Emilion AOC Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: With clear aspirations of promotion to the same status as Ausone and Cheval Blanc, the 2009 Château Figeac is a testament to what can be achieved at this terrific estate; a wine so wonderful, so close to perfection, that proprietor Eric d’Aramon might be forgiven for thinking, price-wise, that his château has already been given the nod. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this legend in the making, beautifully toasted, presents astoundingly multilayered aromas of slightly fragrant mocha and currants, plums, blackberries, black cherries, espresso, graham crackers, violets, licorice, vanilla, and spice. Blatantly complex, possessing profound, wondrously elegant yet generous fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an almost holistic, stupendous hint of perfumed mocha, currants, plums, and pencil lead on the finish. An out-of-body experience, this is a claret of tremendous allure, structure, style, depth, and finesse. Equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Now-2045++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

98+ $375.00 (#202689) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Haut-Bailly 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: As if by subterfuge, the wines of Haut-Bailly have rapidly, though almost subtly, emerged as some of the most mesmerizing, most alluring wines of the appellation. The question, however, is whether or not the ’09 is Veronique Sanders’ best ever wine? Could be: dark-opaque ruby in colour, this blossoming beauty is amazingly toasted, featuring awe-inspiring aromas of currants, mocha, spring flowers, black cherries, plums, coffee, licorice, intense graphite, asphalt, espresso, vanilla, and spice. Resolutely complex, possessing dazzling, elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a lingering, profound hint of deep graphite-laden currants and espresso on the finish. A claret of astounding layering, refinement, pedigree, and the like. What a wine! 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Now-2036++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

97++ $179.00 (#201343) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château La Conseillante 2009, Pomerol AOC, Bordeaux, France: While I have many other recent notes from La Conseillante, none come even close to matching the awesome allure, finesse, intensity, and concentration of the illustrious, poet laureate-like 2009 bottling. Dark-opaque ruby in colour and retaining brilliantly toasted oak, it offers ecstatically multilayered aromas of mocha-espresso, blackberries, black cherries, crème de cassis, Oreo Cookies®, crushed rocks, licorice, leather, forest floor, vanilla, and spice. Outrageously complex, displaying decadent, ‘classical’ fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a lasting, distinctly refined hint of espresso, plummy currants, graphite, and licorice on the finish. Incredible in almost every respect, could this be the best vintage ever? Hard to say, as La Conseillante has produced so many great wines. For my part, however, the ’09 will probably become my favourite wine from here when matching it against others in the decades to come. 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc. Now-2042++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

97 $325.00 (#201913) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Pape Clément 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: The attitudinally rock star-like wine of Pessac-Léognan, the 2009 Pape Clément seduces its audience with all the skill of a performer who knows just how to please his/her fans. Amazingly toasted, this legend in the making includes incredible multilayered aromas of espresso, currants, crème de cassis, blackberries, graphite, Oreo Cookies®, black cherries, blueberries, forest floor (very mild), vanilla, and spice. Extremely complex, showcasing amazingly elegant, multidimensional fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a wholly luxurious, emphatic hint of espresso, currants, and pencil lead on the finish. Truly the best wine proprietor Bernard Magrez has ever been associated with. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Now-2040+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

97 $225.00 (#202309) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Clinet 2009, Pomerol AOC, Bordeaux, France: Hands down the greatest Château Clinet ever, proprietors Jean-Louis Laborde and son Ronan have effectively blessed collectors everywhere with their immortal ’09. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine is heavenly in virtually every detail, revealing stupendous, hedonistic aromas of finely toasted and mocha, seamlessly switching to currants, black cherries, espresso cream, crushed rocks, licorice, loamy earth (of the highest quality), woodsmoke, vanilla, and spice. Incredibly complex, delivering unbelievably seductive, elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a long, heavenly hint of currants, black cherries, graphite, and nougats on the finish. Fantastically done: a wine of miraculous intensity, depth, multilayering, and allure. 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Now-2040++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96++ $265.00 (#165449) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Clos Fourtet 2009, St-Emilion AOC Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: Easily the greatest Clos Fourtet ever produced, quality at this estate has soared beyond measure under current owner Philippe Cuvelier and his son Matthieu. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the phenomenal ’09 is brilliantly toasted, revealing magnificent aromas of creamy black cherried mocha, plummy currants, crème de cassis, coffee, ‘dusty’ red licorice, flowers, woodsmoke, vanilla, and spice. Supremely complex, possessing elegant, almost voluptuous fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an extraordinary, lingering hint of velvety cherried currants, mocha, and plums on the finish. Of unbelievable intensity, profoundness, and desire, collectors’ affection for this gem shall certainly be considerable. 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Cabernet Franc. Now-2034++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96+ $175.00 (#580399) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Léoville Barton 2009, St-Julien AOC, Bordeaux, France: Strikingly similar to the ’05, only that much more concentrated and agile (typical of the vintage), the 2009 Léoville Barton effectively catapults this exquisite estate into the category of the ‘Super Seconds,’ even if the price remains lower—and so much more reasonable. Dense ruby in colour, the wine is finely toasted, presenting exciting, decadent aromas of ‘crunchy’ currants and blackberries, mocha, black cherries, crème de cassis, spring flowers, licorice, crushed rocks, charcoal, vanilla, and spice. Outstandingly complex and multilayered, revealing fantastically elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an amazingly pure, lingering, and slightly hedonistic hint of currants, graphite, and delicate cherried spring flowers on the finish. Fantastically integrated, refined, bountiful, and alluring. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22.5% Merlot, and 0.5% Cabernet Franc. Now-2042++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96 $149.00 (#201376) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Lynch Bages 2009, Pauillac AOC, Bordeaux, France: The best Lynch Bages ever? Hard to say, as there have been so many great vintages from this much-beloved estate. Perhaps a thorough review of the stunning ’09, the wine in question, would help: dark-opaque ruby in colour, it is brilliantly toasted, showcasing magnificent, unusually decadent aromas of espresso-laden currants and mocha (seamlessly integrated), blackberries, black cherries, licorice, charcoal, graphite, suede leather, vanilla, and spice. Immensely complex and multilayered, featuring outstanding, classic fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a lingering, extraordinary hint of currants, graphite, and black cherries (rather poignant) on the finish. Such allure, intensity, and stature, is the ’09 the best Lynch Bages ever? Could be, but even if it isn’t, it comes exceedingly close. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. Now-2040++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96 $235.00 (#274902) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2009, Pauillac AOC, Bordeaux, France: The most sensual of the Pauillacs, the 2009 Pichon Comtesse is a testament to terroir—a wine so different from its same-named, across-the-road counterpart that you’d never know Lalande and Baron were neighbours. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this intoxicating, Burgundian-inspired claret, beautifully toasted, exhibits dazzling aromas of strawberried currants, plums, blackberries, dark cherries, violet perfume (intermixed with assorted potpourri), licorice, crushed rocks, mild herbs and leather, vanilla, and spice. Truly complex, delivering outstandingly refined fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a sinful, sensually elegant hint of silky strawberried currants and pencil lead on the finish. This has all the marks of a legend in the making; the only thing now needed is time. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. Now-2036++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

96 $295.00 (#202200) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Canon-la-Gaffelière 2009, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: Quite likely the most decadent, luxurious wine Stéphan von Neipperg has ever created, the 2009 Canon-la-Gaffelière is a masterpiece at appealing to the lusty, provocative side of our senses. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this seducer of cellar space presents unbelievably opulent aromas of beautiful toasted oak and mocha that eventually switches to black cherries, plums, blackberries, crème de cassis, espresso, licorice, vanillin, graphite, and spice. Really complex, possessing abundant yet magnificent fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a lasting, luxurious hint of plummy blackberries, creamy mocha, and black cherries on the finish. About as profound and inviting as a wine of this type gets. 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Now-2035++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

95++ $145.00 (#200196) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2009, Pessac-Léognan AOC, Bordeaux, France: Could this be the Cathiards’ opus vintage? Subtle in some respects while prodigiously enticing in others, the 2009 Smith Haut Lafitte is a stupendous achievement no matter which way you look at it. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this wondrous wine is finely toasted, possessing classic, elegant aromas of exotic coffee-laden mocha and currants, blackberries and cherries, plums, graphite, licorice, sushi wrapper (top notch), forest floor, vanilla, and spice. Almost dramatically complex, delivering outstandingly elegant, multilayered fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a fantastically refined hint of currants, plums, and graphite on the finish. With such personality, subtleties, and depth, collectors needn’t shy away from this beauty. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Now-2035+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

95++ $145.00 (#580241) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2009, Pauillac AOC, Bordeaux, France: Quintessential ‘Baron,’ the 2009 Pichon-Longueville encapsulates the spirit of (arguably) the greatest appellation on the Left Bank. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine is beautifully toasted, presenting pure ‘Pauillac’ aromas of mocha, currants, blackberries, plums, black cherries, pencil lead, violets, licorice, saddle leather, premium coffee brew elements, minerals, and a seamless hint of vanilla and spice. Intrinsically complex, delivering magnificently focused, intense, and elegant fruit, firm yet slightly supple tannins, balanced acidity, and a lingering, amazingly polished hint of currants, black cherries, and graphite on the finish. Immensely elegant, generous, stylish, and robust, this closely resembles the ’05, only with more concentration—such is the only really substantial difference, in my opinion. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot (according to one source). Now-2036++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

95 $209.00 (#201764) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Canon 2009, St-Emilion AOC Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: A startling improvement in comparison to most of its other vintages, one can only hope that Château Canon has turned over a new leaf (for good) with its astounding ‘09—a wine of such style, intensity, and structural brilliance that it’s almost unrecognizable from many of the estate’s other bottlings. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this astonishing wine exhibits ultra-unique, alluring aromas of beautifully toasted oak, mocha, black cherries, currants, plums, coffee ice cream, licorice, red currants, graphite (almost fragrant), minerals, spring flowers, vanilla, and spice. Amazingly complex, featuring fantastic, elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a decisively refined, superlative hint of mocha, plummy currants, and coffee ice cream on the finish. The best Canon ever? It sure as hell looks like it. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. Now-2036++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

94++ $209.00 (#209270) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Rauzan-Ségla 2009, Margaux AOC, Bordeaux, France: Restored to its original lustre under the prudent administration of John Kolasa since 1994 when the estate was taken over by Chanel, Rauzan-Ségla has quietly yet steadfastly assumed its place as the best château of the appellation, after the eponymous Châteaux Margaux and Palmer. Hence, the fabulous 2009: dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine, finely toasted, presents absolutely exquisite aromas of subtle, fragrant mocha and currants, giving way to dried raspberries and violets, black cherries, crushed flowers, licorice, pencil lead, vanilla, and spice. Sincerely complex, boasting stupendously elegant, wonderfully integrated fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a wholly refined, tantalizingly silky, yet texturally expressive, hint of pure fragrant currants and violets on the finish. Probably the best Rauzan-Ségla I have ever tasted. Bravo! 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot. Now-2035+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

94 $145.00 (#200725) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Troplong Mondot 2009, St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: Likely the most powerful of the ‘09s, though it logs in at a massive, unprecedented 15.4% alcohol, the 2009 Troplong Mondot retains all the necessary constituents to both handle itself and excel like few other ‘blockbuster clarets.’ Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine delivers rich aromas of ‘thick’ mocha, currants, plums, kirsch liqueur, licorice, sesame oils, leather, port-like black fruits, vanilla, and spice. Fabulously complex, proffering amazingly velvety fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an astonishing, lingering hint of smooth plummy currants and mocha on the finish. Excellent, powerful, and wholly unique—my, my, my. But will this wine last as long as its peers? Only time will tell. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Now-2030++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

94 $209.00 (#201004) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2009, St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: With this wine, along with a terrific ’08 and several other excellent back vintages, Beau-Séjour Bécot has now firmly secured its place as one of the most improved, most collectible Premier Crus of St-Emilion. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the fantastic ’09 is finely toasted, displaying startlingly alluring, surprisingly fragrant aromas of spring flowers, currants, blackberries, plums, licorice, mild incense, graphite, leather, forest floor, vanilla, and spice. Truly complex, delivering excellent, elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an incredible, almost heavenly hint of spring flowers, currants, and pencil lead on the finish. Even at 14.5% alcohol, a wine of superlative purity, style, structure, and breed. 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Now-2036++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93++ $109.00 (#580274) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Gruaud Larose 2009, St-Julien AOC, Bordeaux, France: As elegant and graceful as ever, the 2009 Gruaud Larose performs like a Schubert string quartet: so lyrical, harmonious, and emotionally relevant that all one can do is sit back, take a sip, and enjoy the music. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this gem is finely yet delicately toasted, offering amazingly refined aromas of slightly fragrant currants and black cherries, switching to mild mocha shavings, blackberries, licorice, graphite, subtle grilled herbs, vanilla, and spice. Truly complex, possessing strikingly elegant, extraordinary fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an almost ‘strict,’ pedigree-oriented hint of currants, plums, and flowers (plus a few black cherries) on the finish. The epitome of great St-Julien, from one of my favourite wineries in Bordeaux. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot. Now-2032++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93++ $125.00 (#580753) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Cantenac-Brown 2009, Margaux AOC, Bordeaux, France: Indisputably the best vintage ever, the 2009 Cantenac-Brown should settle all doubts as to the potential of this long-underperforming estate. Dark ruby in colour, this great wine features enticingly fragrant aromas of dried raspberried black currants and violets, switching to blackberries, blueberries, flowers, pencil lead, minerals, mild graham crackers, vanilla, and spice. Truly complex, presenting exceptional, unusually decadent yet decisively delicate fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a lingering, absolutely marvellous hint of silky violet currants, black raspberries, and graphite on the finish. Uncannily focused, supremely elegant, and stylish. Fantastic claret. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. Now-2030++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93+ $199.00 (#580639) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2009, Pauillac AOC, Bordeaux, France: For Pauillac lovers, the wines of Grand-Puy-Lacoste are continual must-haves for any thoroughly assembled collection; and while the 2009 is just a shade less ambitious than the phenomenal ’05, there is absolutely no reason not to adore this wine. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, it is finely toasted, with—what I assume to be—deliberately ethereal yet superb aromas of currants, blackberries, plums, roasted herbs, graphite, black cherries, licorice, vanilla, and spice. Very complex, possessing excellently structured, supreme ‘Pauillac’ fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an elegant, stylish hint of currants, graphite, and black cherries (all extremely pure) on the finish. Marvellously assembled: focused, upright, and sincerely harmonious. Now-2030++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93+ $115.00 (#199406) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Saint-Pierre 2009, St-Julien AOC, Bordeaux, France: A shame this smaller-sized estate isn’t better known, for its wines are often of superlative calibre, with the exquisite ‘09 ranking among the best ever made. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this brilliant wine is beautifully toasted, displaying magnificently engaging, assertive aromas of suggestively fragrant currants, blackberries, plums, dried black cherries, licorice, burning embers, forest floor, vanilla, and spice. Innately complex, featuring excellent, harmonious fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a wonderfully elegant hint of delicate mocha, currants, and flowers on the finish. In the end: a claret of incredible purity, structure, depth, and finesse. The vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc—a shame I was unable to learn the exact percentages of the vintage. Now-2034++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93+ $119.00 (#229526) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Brane-Cantenac 2009, Margaux AOC, Bordeaux, France: Remarkably similar to the ’05, only a shade fuller, the 2009 Brane-Cantenac is a claret of unabashed pedigree, finesse, balance, and fragrant, sensual delight. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine is wonderfully perfumed, featuring superlative aromas of raspberry-driven currants and blackberries, plums, spring flowers (mostly violets), licorice, delicate graphite, minerals, vanilla, and spice. Very complex, offering excellent, aristocratically pure fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an utterly refined, (appellation-) ‘Margaux’ hint of violet currants, black raspberried plums, and minerals on the finish. Likely the best wine owner Henri Lurton has ever presided over. Beyond enviable. 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc. Now-2032+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93 $109.00 (#580621) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Langoa Barton 2009, St-Julien AOC, Bordeaux, France: The greatest Langoa Barton I have ever tasted, while other recent vintages have also been excellent, it’s the extra concentration and finesse that puts the ’09 in a league of its own. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine, with a shade of the ‘Margaux’ appellation about it, reveals sensational aromas of finely toasted oak and fragrant currants, switching to blackberries, violets (spring flowers), black fruits, black cherries, fresh herbs (extremely subtle), forest floor, asphalt, and spice. Very complex, boasting wonderfully pure, elegant fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a refined, suggestively velvety hint of currants and flowers on the finish. Pure, smooth, and refined, collectors will want to hurry and secure a case or two of the stuff. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Now-2032+. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93 $95.00 (#201061) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Pavie Macquin 2009, St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé AOC, Bordeaux, France: Burgeoning with unfettered uniqueness, generosity, and character, the 2009 Pavie Macquin is a testament to proprietor Nicolas Thienpont’s refusal to rest on his laurels after securing his estate’s well-earned promotion in 2006. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, the wine shares extraordinary aromas of fig-laced mocha, currants, black cherries, kirsch, forest floor, licorice, subtle wild game, flowers, woodsmoke, vanilla, and spice. Truly complex, possessing wonderfully vibrant, expressive fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and an outstanding hint of figs, mocha, and red currants on the finish. So delicious and fulsome, its otherwise sinewy characteristics only serve to enhance its allurement. 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Now-2032++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

93 $145.00 (#229260) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Château Beychevelle 2009, St-Julien AOC, Bordeaux, France: A St-Julien of extraordinary finesse, structure, and style, the excellent 2009 Château Beychevelle, to put it mildly, continues to put the estate on a firm footing of successful, successive improvement. Dark-opaque ruby in colour, this superb claret is finely toasted, displaying extremely refined, inviting aromas of slightly raspberried/black cherried currants, blackberries, plums, licorice, asphalt, charcoal, dried herbs, and a hint of perfumed flowers (extremely subtle), vanilla, and spice. Very complex, showcasing remarkably refined fruit, firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a plentiful, elegant hint of black perfumed currants on the finish. Outstanding effort from an outstanding vintage. 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. Now-2028++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

92 $105.00 (#200543) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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Dessert Wine:

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Château Climens 2009, Barsac AOC, Bordeaux, France: Widely considered second only to d’Yquem, the wines of Château Climens have an uncanny ability to excite the ‘sweet senses’ like few other stickies. Pale-light golden-yellow in colour, the prodigious ’09 reveals astounding scents that seem like they’re only beginning to present themselves: exotic lemon blossom, honeycomb, Honey Nut Cheerios®, acacia flowers, orange zest/peel, marmalade, melon rinds, and spice. Extremely complex and pure, possessing amazingly intense, preposterously elegant, and alluring sweet fruit, balanced acidity, and a long-lasting, ‘golden liquid’ hint of honeycomb, lemon blossom, and Honey Nut Cheerios® on the finish. About as intense, elegant, and enticing as they come—a definite candidate for ‘sticky of the vintage.’ 100% Sémillon (as intimated by their website). Now-2055++. (Julian Hitner, The Successful Collector, January 2012)

97 $175.00 (#274936) Vintages 2009 Bordeaux Futures

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