Bordeaux 2009 – Four new releases

Following the quiet of last week, we are pleased to have the first Bordeaux 2009 releases of what promises to be a much busier week. This quartet of wines includes two that feature on our “Essentials” list for good value and they have not disappointed us regarding price; Châteaux Chasse-Spleen and Fonbel offer excellent value in this vintage and are sure to be snapped up by those looking for a delicious wine to drink within the next ten years.

 One of the stars at the Médoc tastings in Bordeaux, Château Cantemerle received a score of 92-94+ points from Robert Parker, who described the wine as “the best they have ever produced, even eclipsing the 2005.”

In the past, we have championed Château Berliquet as offering a classic St-Emilion style and avoiding over-extraction.  Under the expert stewardship of the talented Nicolas Thienpoint (of Pavie-Macquin), this is certainly the case once again in this vintage and it impressed us greatly with its refinement, purity and freshness.     

2009 Château Cantemerle, Cru Classé Haut-Médoc
£243 per case of 12 bottles in bond
Very ripe blackcurrant and raspberry fruit kept in check by pepper and toasty oak. The palate is dense and fresh, with fine-grained, grippy tannin and lots of polished red fruit. A really good effort from Philippe Dambrine and his team, this has a long, bold finish and good ageing potential.  Drinking: 2015-2022   Robert Parker: 92-94+ points (Wine Advocate 188)

2009 Château Chasse-Spleen, Cru Bourgeois Moulis
£210 per case of 12 bottles in bond

With attractive notes of red fruit, lavender and Provençal herbs on the nose, this is a mouthfilling and grippy wine that shows great elegance and verve. The tannins are ripe and supple, providing sufficient structure to ensure that this will be lovely in around five years time. A very good Moulis.  Drinking: 2015-2022

2009 Château de Fonbel, Grand Cru St-Emilion
£165 per case of 12 bottles in bond

Owned by the Vauthier family of Château Ausone fame, Fonbel is one of several ‘junior’ wines which share at least a resemblance to their more famous cousins. At a tasting in the partially-renovated château at Ausone itself it showed a taut, slightly herbaceous nose, but after that a lovely sweet palate, mid-weight powdery tannins and a long, very pretty finish. Drinking: 2015-2022

2009 Château Berliquet, Grand Cru Classé St-Emilion
£234 per case of 12 bottles in bond

The nose here is of scented berry fruit, dark-skinned and intense, vying with notes of cream and spice. Creamy berry fruit spreads gently across the palate and the fruit core is focused and pure. The tannins are firm, but derived of ripe fruit and give a fine structure to this full yet fine St Emilion. Drinking: 2015-2022

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