Bordeaux 2009 'en primeurs' EP: first impressions (MERGED)

Tasted through around 40 of the '09s in Bdx today. I must say that I am quite impressed with the vintage in general - it’s not all hype in my opinion. Better balance on the average than '05 - again in my opinion. Will be tasting more tomorrow.

Best to all,


Thanks! How do the “petits Châteaux” look? Any really interesting ones?

Hi, Peter. I haven’t tried any of those yet, but will today. Hope to put up more specific comments when I’m back in Spain. The schedule is pretty hectic in Bdx - not enough time to start transcribing the written notes.



While you may read on ebob the report of Kevin Shin, a fascinating taster so keen in his analysis, some impressions after 3 days around.

a : it will be vain to try to compare left and right banks : on each side, you will find outstanding wines as well as not so great wines, those where owners didn’t have enough confidence in the quality of the grapes and who have practiced an over-extraction.

b : you will find definitively 3 kind of wines :
• those where the finesse is simply incredible, like VCC and Haut-Brion which are my favorites by far. In the same category :Pape-Clément is simply outstanding. What a change in the quest for finesse ! The AOC Pessac-Léognan will be most probably the best example of the respect of a so fascinating terroir. Truffles, fumé, smoothness, density, but never with a dominant taste over others. I just love these wines. La Conseillante belongs to this category. An appealing wine, so charming too !
• those where the power is extremely intense and will develop in the future something outstanding : Pavie, Latour, LMHB are the best examples
• those with a perfect balance between both styles : Ausone, Lafleur, Margaux, Tertre Roteboeuf, La Mondotte, Le Pin (so charming) and Cheval Blanc being there the good examples. Lafite, though very close for me, should be in this category. But every one knows that this is the best example of a wine which reach his top only after 10 to 15 years !

c : you will certainly find many unknown names or not under the usual radar of the US consumers who did succeed over all expectations in doing truly great wines :Lascombes, Rol Valentin, Larcis-Ducasse, Pavie-Macquin, Château d’Aiguilhe, Clos de l’Oratoire, La Tour Carnet (which will be the truly best QPR in absolute).

I do like very much this difference in style - finesse and power - since it will offer to the amateurs a wide range of selections for their cellar. This is quite unusual at this level in Bordeaux. Yes, by all means, this vintage will offer many wines of supreme qualities.

In the white, do not miss very simple wines like Marjosse and if you like the “Vegas” style : choose Monbousquet or the wines from Mr Magrez.

This year, it will be, more than ever, interesting to follow closely what will say Mr Parker and where will go his preferences.

Of course, I did try only very few and I wait the comments and scores of my fellows journalists members of GJE like Bettane, Perrin, Burtschy, Moser, Duhr.

Be sure I will keep this Board informed about various opinions of those tasters who are not able to write in english :frowning:

With Kevin, we were lucky enough to have a lunch at Cheval-Blanc with Pierre Lurton. The wines :

Petit-Cheval 2000 : a great confirmation of our impressions when we tasted it “en primeurs”. Yes, a great, great wine !
Cheval-Blanc 2000 : still a baby
Cheval-Blanc 1998 : simply : mama mia !
Yquem 2009 : you love sweet wine ? Save money ! This one will simply be a must.

Thanks, François! I love hearing about surprising gems like the La Tour Carnet and others!

Great to hear Francois and thanks for taking the time to write.

One question:

On an appelation by appelation case, which AOCs were your favorites and which seemed to succeed the most? Which are the most spotty (those to be careful of)?

Many thanks,


Thanks for the impressions. I solicited Francois’ opinion on this but I would like to ask whether or not there were favorite appelations, and which seemed to succeed the most? Which are the most spotty (those to be careful of)?

Many thanks,

Since everyone here knows that for me, Burgundy is the summum in wine (so : finesse), I am more than happy to see that in Bordeaux EP 2009, many wines are in this way : finesse over power, but the power is never out : just a top balance.

I guess the future of various comments will say : Pomerol is the best in right bank while Pauillac and, (more over for me) Pessac-léognan.

Why Pessac-Léognan ? Because, in tasting Pape-Clément, LMHB, Haut-Brion, I did find in these wines simply outstanding in the expression of what you expect from their terroirs. HB will be compared later to the 1989, no doubt.

And I am so happy that Mr Magrez did choose a smoother approach in respecting his terroirs.

So Francois,

Perhaps Domaine de Chevalier will be very nice (red and white) and it seems to still offer good value.


Any TN/impressions of La Lagune, Domaine de Chevalier, or Branaire Ducru? How about Pichon Lalande?

What about the recently loved Pontet Canet? I’m surprised by the paucity of comments (either way) from everyone considering it has become such a darling over the past 10 years.


Suckling’s impression coincides with Francois in that while there are excellent wines produced in 2009, there are also overextracted wines with bitter/dry tannins. He seems to think that 2005 produced better quality overall.

As discussed tonight at the official presentation of Yquem 2009 at the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux, with Chef Alleno at the kitchen, I discuss extensively with various GJE Members like Bettane, Perrin, Duhr.
Yes, Domaine de Chevalier will be amongst the very best from Pessac-Léognan. Yes, Margaux may be difficult to understand by novices like me, but I got strong confirmation it is outstanding, like Lafite and Latour.
Yes I agree with Suckling about this general situation where properties which did not have enough faith in their work and grapes have over-extracted which will create some growing problems.
Yes, homogeneity may be seen superior in the vintage 2005 but again, we do not care about this kind of comparison since we have to compare the same cru in both vintages. In this respect, trust me, Haut-Brion and VCC are vastly over what they have achieved in 2005.
Again, this is a tiny view : we have to wait more. But, as discussed tonite also with Yan d’Agata who is tasting for Tanzer, you will be very surprised by some scores on the top ! Most of the guests tonite were quite smiling.


it may be worthwhile to merge some of the other 2009 bordeaux threads, including Alex’s tasting notes