How is 'Modern" Bordeaux aging? Thinking of 2009 and 2010

I know they are young, but with a decade in the bottle, are they looking more like classic Bordeaux, or are they just weird?

As I am wrapping up my wine buying I am looking at a bit of a hole in Bordeaux. I bought very little between 2005 and 2015, and while i don’t need to backfill this interval I was thinking of a few bottles from 2009 and 2010 to round out the cellar selection.

I didn’t buy Bordeaux after 2005 because of the emergence of more “modern” Bordeaux, and my hesitancy was based on some general consensus regarding ageability of the wines as well as my tasting experience, which seemed to indicate a decided turn toward ripeness and lushness that didn’t really fit into my preferred Bordeaux profile.

I am not sure when the region fully committed to this move, and it might have helped in vintages like 2001, 2002, and 2004, but with enough time in bottle now to reassess I am hoping to hear your collective opinions on how “modern” Bordeaux is ageing. In particular, how are the 2009s and 2010 for those bold enough to have dipped into these relatively youthful vintages.

Maybe I should just stick to the best 2001s,2002s, and 2004s and be done with it!


Good question, one I know @Robert.A.Jr and @Mark_Golodetz will have great insight to share. I’ve found that 2010 (lesser classifications, anyway) are very much at peak now, not quite tertiary but close. I’ve purchased quite a few over the years, they are in a good space, well into secondary phases but still interesting, fruit still somewhat fresh. 2009, on the other hand, has proven to be a bit more clunky for my tastes, but I have far less experience with that vintage than I do 2010

In fact, I just enjoyed a 2010 Virginie de Valandraud this past weekend - tannins fully resolved, round, fruit still some freshness, wouldn’t wait longer.

That said, 2001 and 2004 are likely better calls, but I’ve found very enjoyable bargains in 2010 myself


Am admittedly not as knowledgeable as others, but will chime in.

Given that my taste in Bordeaux had seriously gravitated into drinking them with a lot of age, I can’t even bring myself to drink my 1995s and 1996s today. I’d likely consider checking on them after 5 more years. If they’re good to go, then at that point I will still have my 1998s to 2005s to worry about for the rest of my drinking life. Except for occasional one-ofs, I also didn’t buy any quantifiable bottles beyond the 2005 vintage.

In other words, I feel I have enough to keep my Bordeaux thirst quenched for the future and will plan on back-filling if for some weird reason I run out. Besides, it’s not the only region that I cellar and like to drink.

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Are you asking about 2009s and 2010s generally? I would be interested if there is a difference between wines from these vintages that are made in a more traditional manner and those made in a more modern style. I don’t taste that much younger Bordeaux anymore, but I attended a Leoville Poyferre vertical in 2019 and found the 2009 version to be stewed and really unpleasant to drink. Others loved it. Now, this is a winery where the wines are really no longer made in a style that I like so was the issue winery, vintage or both. On the other hand, I also preferred 2005 and 2010 Montrose to the 2009 in a separate tasting. And, this is a winery I like. TN: Chateau Montrose with Mr. Herve Berland - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers So, maybe it is the vintage.


Of course it depends on what level you are talking about. As for classified growths, 09’s were pretty accessible from the start, then maybe a mild shut down but are drinking well now. The 10’s I have had are still a bit tight and I would wait on those for a while. i don’t think 09’s will be as good as we all thought (or most of us) on release but still a very good vintage. 2010’s are a great vintage. To Todd’s point above, that sounds right, but I wouldn’t expect similar results from the big brother Valandraud though I haven’t had it.


I have yet to find a modern style wine that shows real complexity with age. Basically without the acidity that comes with very ripe fruit, you are not getting the energy, freshness and ultimately all the tertiary stuff which I want in great old Bordeaux. There are some very good wines made in both vintages, but given the nature of the seasons, you do need to look very carefully.


Any recommended standouts for '09s and '10s based on your palate/comment.

I’ve tasted probably around 50 different 2009s in the past 3-4 years. Many of the good 2009s are drinking well today, open, ready and quite complex. Always seductive but the best wines have little to no excess and remain elegant. No tertiary aromas yet for the most part. Many of the very good wines should age gracefully. BUT: Probably 7-8 of the 50 2009s are already dead or on fast path downhill. Too much extraction, ripeness, and not enough acidity to balance to start with and now 10+ years later there is not much fruit left, the wines are often alcoholic and often very drying, often with soy sauce and oxidation notes (to be fair, these are mostly lesser names).

I‘ve probably had 65 2010s. Often less ready and open than the 2009s but the best wines have everything to age very well. But as with the 2009s there have been up to 10 wines that were already over the hill, again mostly lesser names but also some bigger names (like Parker‘s 100pts Beausejour Duffau or Le Dome). In both vintages, the higher alcohol St. Emilions had the most problematic wines.


Would be great to know which impressed and which were going downhill. The OP was asking for a comparison of modern to classic in this vintage, which from your post, is impossible to glean. Would love to see the list given how many you have had.

I generally avoided 2009 and was selective in 2010 given ABV and tannins. I avoided the modern wines like the plague. I concur with Mark’s general assessment. While I cannot opine on 2009 and 2010 like you can, given my lack of depth in tasting and buying in these vintages, I think the modern Bordeaux from most prior years have been abysmal failures (2005 being a highlight of my point). I continue to avoid them like the plague, including anything touched, sniffed, looked at or made by Rolland. And these days I generally avoid anything from St Emilion, although I understand the pendulum to restraint is moving back more in my palate direction.

I had a very lovely 2009 Cantemerle last week. I found the fruit quite round and lovely, beyond primary but not yet showing those deep secondary or tertiary notes that many of us love in Bordeaux. The fruit was excellent, but given the vintage, far more on the dark side of the spectrum. With more air, the oak became more prominent. I’d still give this wine 5 or so more years before it’s prime. I’m like 90-91 pts right now.

Back to the OP, @Gregory_Dal_Piaz , why fill a hole if you are just filling with what some might call wines to be avoided? Who cares about a hole in your vintages, especially when you can perhaps fill it with truly classic 2008s, 2011 and 2012 Pomerols and 2014 anything. The 2014 vintage is for classicists. I loaded up, and then avoided 2015 and 2018. The 2016 vintage is gorgeous.

And if you just cannot refrain, and need some 2009 and 2010, look to Bel Air Marquis d’Aligre, Sociando, Lanessan, d’Issan, Magdelaine, etc.


In my experience- many '09s are drinking well now. None of the '10s I’ve tried have felt ready. All of my '10s (Sociando, Cantemerle, Rauzan-Segla, Prieure-Lichine, a few others) are back in the cellar for a while yet.

I rarely mess with the super-modern stuff. I think '09 Lascombes is fine now, I wouldn’t buy more and wouldn’t expect it to age long, but it’s enjoyable for its style IMO.

And, if it’s helpful, with some “mid-modern” chateaux, I found '09 Domaine de Chevalier drinking well with a long decant, and '10 Prieure-Lichine too tight/closed for my liking.

I don’t think I’ll buy many (any?) more '09s. I will keep grabbing some '10s when I find them.

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I have liked 2010 more than 2009, which I would not have expected to feel, when they were released. But I have not tasted broadly among those.


Shoutout to an overachiever: It’s a huge, commercial property but the 2010 red Graves from Chantegrive is very good. I’ve been chewing through a box of that since release, and it just keeps getting better.


Great points and perspective. I’d also ante that if looking farther back, 04 is huge value for me, more classic in style and cheaper. With the modernist vintages taking a stage, there’s a ton of value on the bookends mote often then naught.


Doesn’t this accurately describe 1982 Bdx?

I think it’s waaaaay too early to be having this conversation about 2009 and 2010. We might be only a few years away from talking about the '05’s, though …


The notes are all on Cellartracker incl. two larger vintage horizontal tasting stories (see some links below). The best names with world class performances in both vintages are Margaux, Mouton, Le Pin and Cheval (many of those I tasted twice or more). What to avoid: Michel Rolland consulted wines, as you suggest, is a good start (and being picky in St. Emilion in general). Some of the better wineries consulted by him certainly can deliver joy today even in hot, ripe vintages like 2009 but I still wouldn’t bet my money on them ageing gracefully for decades, just out of experience with lesser wines foreshadowing what’s coming. Fitting here is a recent 20 vintage vertical of Troplong Mondot which was horrible with almost 75% of the vintages being dead (see link).

47x Bordeaux 2009

61x Bordeaux 2010

Horrible 20 Vintage Troplong Mondot Tasting


Based on my limited experience so far, if you prefer “normal” wines to the lush variety, I would choose 2010 over 2009, because of the higher acidity. Even though the ABV levels are high, the 2010s actually taste quite crisp. Most of the Crus Bourgeois I have tried so far have started to taste more classic and less spicy than before, although a Lilian Ladouys 2010 last night was really too international and bland (I suspect it’s a Rolland Child of Oakenstein).

But if you just want some older wine, try some 06s. I have found several to be much better than their 05 counterparts and they’re still good value.

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Wasn’t the average alcohol level in 1982 bordeaux about two points lower than what we found in 2009 and 2010?


I was thinking of filling the hole because I have no Bordeaux between 2005 and 2014.

Before 2005 I purchased the wines regularly through the vintages of the 80s, then skipped much of the 90s, buying again with regularity between 1999 and 2005. So today i have lots of properly aged Bordeaux, lots of entering plateau of maturity Bordeaux, and lots of young Bordeaux. However, i do sometimes want more youthfully mature wines, what the wines of the 90s would be offering today. That’s why I was thinking of adding in a few vintages that would straddle the divide between 2005 and 2014.

As far as filling with wines that should be avoided, that’s why I’m asking the question!

I agree regarding 2014, totally rekindled my interest in Bordeaux.

Thanks for the specific recommendations.

Why do you need a vintage between 2005 and 2014? Bordeauxs last a long time. I don’t buy much Bordeaux anymore but if I did I would have been buying over this period wines from 2000, 2001, maybe 2004 (I like 2004s but I really think of them as a poor man’s 2001 or 2014), 2005, 2014, maybe some 2015s (they are rich but at least when young seemed a bit flabby) and a bunch of 2016s. I would not be surprised if 2016 turn out to be the best vintage of the bunch, although in my somewhat limited experience some 2000s are really starting to drink well these days. A few examples not necessarily at the highest end are Cantenac Brown (which I really liked), Cantemerle and Grand Mayne. I thought a 2000 Talbot was good, but actually liked the above wines more.

But, if you “need” Bordeauxs between 2005 and 2014, are 2009s (which seem too risky to me) and 2010s the better bet or are 2008s?

All my comments assume we are limiting the discussion to more traditionally made wine. My guess is that you are not considering Rolland wines in any case.

Definitely don’t need anything!

You know how this goes, we think we’re missing something so we can excuse buying more wine.

No idea if the 2009 and 2010 will be better than 2008. Trying to get a better feel for the wines, to help my decide how much I really need them.

As far as that final statement goes, you are correct. In no world do I need, or want, any Rollandized wines, as interesting a chapter in the history of wine as that may prove to be!

Gregory, while I have not had a bottle in a handful of years, they are nestled away in off-site storage, I was very impressed with the 2010 Chateau Cantemerle on release. I bought a six pack. I think that is worth a check-in, and it does not break the bank. I just bought some 2010 La Providence, Pomerol. And more 2011.