Robert Parker releases his Bordeaux 2009 Report

Robert Parker is the American lawyer-turned wine critic who came to prominence during the 1982 Bordeaux en primeur campaign. Parker was amongst the first publicly to endorse the high quality what was seen by many as an untypical vintage. Parker’s forthright judgements have since found widespread favour both in his native US and elsewhere, though inevitably his scores attract criticism in equal measure.

Love him or hate him, Robert Parker has an enormous and undeniable effect on the market for fine wines; his recommendations can propel wines to stardom and can lead to prices being increased astronomically.

Last night, he released his definitive report on the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux, in which he claimed that “…for some Médocs and Graves, 2009 may turn out to be the finest vintage I have tasted in 32 years of covering Bordeaux. From top to bottom, 2009 is not as consistent as 2005, but the peaks of quality in 2009 may turn out to be historic.”

Tipping over 20 wines as potentially deserving the maximum 100 points, his report is generally positive (while making allowances for there being exceptions to broad generalisations). He describes the vintage as follows: “The vintage displays many of the characteristics of such creamy-textured, opulent, fat, succulent years as 1959, 1982, 1990, and some of the northern Médocs of 2003. Yet, the 2009s also have the structure, freshness, acid levels as well as vibrancy and precision of such cooler years as 1986, 1996, and 2000. In that sense, this is the glory of the 2009s. For as big and rich as well as high in alcohol as they are, they are also remarkably delicate, fresh, and pure. This paradox, albeit a wonderful one, is unprecedented in the three plus decades I have been tasting Bordeaux barrel samples.” (Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Issue 188).

You can find our views and tasting notes online,  but we have included the list of Robert Parker’s top recommendations (those deemed deserving of up-to-100 points) below:

2009 Château Cos d’Estournel, Cru Classé
2009 Château Montrose, Cru Classé
2009 Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Classé
2009 Château Latour, 1er Cru Classé 
2009 Château Pontet-Canet, Cru Classé 
2009 Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Cru Classé
2009 Château Léoville-Poyferré, Cru Classé 
2009 Château Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
2009 Château Haut-Brion, 1er Cru Classé 
2009 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, Cru Classé 
2009 Château Clinet
2009 Clos l’Eglise
2009 Château L’Eglise-Clinet
2009 Château l’Evangile
2009 Château Hosanna
2009 Château Pétrus
2009 Château Trotanoy
2009 Château Angélus, 1er Grand Cru Classé
2009 Château Bellevue-Mondotte, Grand Cru Classé
2009 Château Cheval-Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A)
2009 Château Pavie, 1er Grand Cru Classé

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