When Johnny, Tom and I visited Bordeaux last week to explain the changes at Goedhuis & Co and the purchase of David Roberts Domaines to the leading negociants and Chateaux owners it gave us the perfect opportunity to get a sneak preview on the 2009 vintage. There can surely be no better way to start than my first smell and taste of the vintage being at Leoville Barton followed by dinner with Alfred Tesseron at Ch Pontet Canet.
The Langoa and Leoville Barton gave us a wonderful impression of the vintage, my initial feeling is that these are going to be wines with real depths of ripe fruit and striking weight and structure with the best supported by an excellent freshness provided by the cool September evenings allowing the grapes to preserve good acid levels. At Pontet-Canet, Alfred very kindly showed us the 08, 07 and 06 before dinner, highlighting the individuality of each of the vintages and in particular the great quality and class of the 2006. I had had the chance to taste this at a comprehensive tasting of the 2006 vintage over three days at the beginning of the year and it was one of the star wines in the medoc and last week its strength of layered fruit was again highlighted. During dinner we had the lovely 2004, which is a favourite vintage of mine with its natural purity and whilst not a powerful vintage they have great balance and are beginning to drink beautifully now. This was followed by the very fine 2001 tasted blind and my immediate reaction was that it was a 2000 it had so much structure and depth. Our evening finished with Alfred generously showing 1995 Leoville Barton and the most hedonistic of all sauternes 1997 Ch d’Yquem which was quite simply divine. We left the Chateaux very happy indeed and more importantly extremely excited for the forthcoming 2009 primeur tastings and I look forward to updating you on these on our return.