2009 Bordeaux Tasting: Plutocrats vs. Troglodytes   2 comments

We are not plutocrats, my buddy Sam and I.  Though we would like to drink like as if we were.  But there are college tuition installments and mortgage payments to be made after all.   

Sam is a lover of all things Bordeaux and especially that little thing named Margaux.    

With premium Bordeaux prices going through the roof for the 2009 vintage, we will not be drinking Chateau Margaux any time soon.  At $900 to $1,400 for a singular bottle of the 2009 vintage from this legendary producer, the First Growth Masters of the Universe have effectively barred many people from ever being able to bring even a sip to their lips.  (The 2008 vintage, BTW, can be had for about $500 a bottle if you are so inclined– such a deal.)  Whether you go for 2009 or even the more relatively “humble” 2008, that’s still a lot of coin.  But humility is not in strong supply these days in Bordeaux.  Greed, avarice and the mechanics of Keynesian economic principles– those are different currencies that are carrying the day.

Still in a good vintage, as 2009 no doubt is, you can find some great values at the lower end of the spectrum.  I spent a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago tasting through a some 2009 Bordeaux at a tasting sponsored by the boys at Suburban Wines in Yorktown, NY.  No, these were not Chateau Margaux.  And not all the wines we tasted were from the 2009 vintage– though that is the focus of the tasting notes below.  At any rate, while not exactly inexpensive, many of the wines were in the $25 range, I had change left over from my $100 after I left the store– all right, maybe change leftover from 3 Benjamins.  

Do I detect a whiff of irony in this posting?  Neither a Troglodyte nor Plutocrat be.  Just call me Citizen Sybarite.

Here are some of the 2009s we tasted and purchased.  A note on the prices: all of these wines were being offered at a 20% discount to the normal prices in the store and the prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.  Also, if my notes seem a little um, shorter than usual, blame it on the venue– it’s difficult to take detailed notes while standing with wine glass and pencil in one hand and tasting sheet in the other.

Chateau Picampeau Lussac-St Emilion 2009 ($16).  Although this had a good nose, it seemed to lack presence on the palate which fell short of the aromas I was getting.  Rated *1/2

Chateau Lanessan Haut-Medoc 2009 ($23).  Good fruit, but seemed a little too soft on the back-end, lacking structure.  But that’s just an initial impression.  Rated **

Chateau Lalande Listrac-Medoc 2009 ($14).   A good serviceable “everyday” Bordeaux.  Rated **

Chateau Moulin de la Lagune Haut-Medoc 2009 ($28).  Twenty-eight dollars, two stars, why didn’t I buy this?  See Petit Courret, below.  Rated **

Chateau Taillefer Pomerol 2009 ($26).   Impressive concentration and fruit at a very attractive price point.  And, hell, it’s a Pomerol.  Rated ***

Chateau de France Pessac-Leognan 2009 ($26).  Had this right after the Pomerol.  It went mano-a-mano with its predecessor, without blinking.  Rated ***

Chateau Petit Courret Bordeaux ($7) The day’s best buy and a subject to be further addressed in NGW.  Rated **

Chateau L’Argilius du Roi Saint-Estephe ($24).  This is my enigma wine.  Why?  Although it made a very favorable impression, somehow, I never purchased any.  My wallet, already screaming from my buying binges, gave a me a hearty “Thank You!” for that.  Rated ***

Chateau du Glana Saint-Julien ($30).  A bit of a disappointment here with a somewhat metallic finish.  Rated **

Chateau Siaurac Lalande-de-Pomerol ($22) This one will require some patience as the tannins are simply too strong at the moment.  However, the fruit and some pipe tobacco notes have shown through and once those tannins subside, this will be a lovely wine that I suspect, I will regret not having purchased more of.  Rated ***

Roc Castillon 2009 ($22) More a approachable but still a big wine.  **1/2

Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin St-Georges St-Emilion 2009 ($18).  A little bit heavy-handed with the oak treatment.  **

Chateau Picque Caillou 2009 ($26).  Decent, but better values in this tasting at that price point.  Rated **1/2

Chateau du Seuil Cerons 2009 (500 ml $20).  A dessert wine with ample acidity and beautiful and approachable fruit.  It did not have the viscosity of the Sauternes reviewed below, but it was much more to my liking.  Call me a troglodyte.  Rated ***

Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste 2009 (375 ml $20).  Perhaps, I’m just not a Sauternes guy.  All right, I can own that.  Too viscous and too sweet for me.  But there will be people out there who will love this.  Rated **

Posted April 15, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love

2 responses to “2009 Bordeaux Tasting: Plutocrats vs. Troglodytes

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  1. I’ve had a number of people who are experts on the subject of French wines try and help me with understanding them, but I believe that only by tasting them will I know. This is yet a good list to consider next time NH has its French wine discount.

  2. Like you, when it comes to French wines, I am an expert only in what tastes good to me.

    Of course there are many petit chateau out there and these days, this is where to look for good QPR. Tasting a bunch side-by-side is always the best way to see what works best. Happy Hunting, DT. Enjoy those NH State Liquor shops!

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