Bordeaux 2009 - A legendary hedonistic vintage

  • 3 min read

"In my personal memory, from old wines I've tasted when young for the last 30 years, I don't think I have been as impressed as I am today. Now time will tell. We will see. But I would be surprised if 2009 doesn't emerge as one of the very few top, top or maybe the best... I think I have never tasted a young Margaux like this" - Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux talking about 2009

Before we go into Bordeaux 2009, here are a few important events that happened around the World during this year.

  • The Bitcoin Network was created.
  • All passengers survived the US Airways Flight no. 1549 that landed on the Hudson River.
  • Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America.
  • Neymar made his professional debut for Santos at the age of 17. 
  • Tiger Woods announced his indefinite leave from golf. 
  • Michael Jackson died.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed at 12-year lows in March.

When the 2009 vintage was released, depending on who you asked, many considered it the best vintage of the past 50 years in Bordeaux. What made 2009 such an extraordinary vintage was that all elements that make a perfect vintage came together simultaneously. A very rare event to happen. Ideal weather for harvest, excellent acidity, perfect amount of fruit, perfect amount of sun hours and rain, etc. Additionally, other very subtle factors that aren't evident were aligned to create the difference in quality and balance of this vintage. 

On top of this, the 2009 crop was so generous that many producers could be very selective about which grapes went into their top wine, choosing only the finest berries. Such a significant quantity of grapes also helped second labels receive quality fruit to make fantastic entry-level wine. 

A powerful, lavish vintage marked 2009 in Bordeaux for red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon achieved exceptional ripeness, full of color, tannin, and flavor. While on the right bank, Merlot had very high sugar and very low acidity. These unquestionably outstanding wines will appeal to those who seek power and ripeness with layers of fruit and bold, ostentatious personalities.

2009 is an example of a great year from a region with several famous vintages during the 2000's decade (2000, 2005, and 2009). However, 2009 is well known for winning high scores from several critics. In the years following the release, many predicted there would be a debate over the best vintage of the decade. The 2010 vintage, which has also become legendary, made comparing 2009 to 2010 a difficult task.

In 2009, Robert Parker was the most influential and famous wine critic, especially in Bordeaux. During that time, the style of wines that critics favored receiving perfect scores was overripe, concentrated, big, and powerful. The wines from 2009 provided all those characteristics wine critics were looking for, especially Robert Parker.

You could wait to drink 2009, but that doesn't mean you can't drink them now. Many wines are drinking nice, with potential in the years ahead. Most of the second labels from top Chateaus are great options to get a taste of 2009 without spending too much money. We highly recommend this alternative, as it can indicate the quality or style of a wine before opening or buying the top wine.

In reality, nobody knows at the end what makes a perfect vintage that stays perfect through time. It can be a long debate as factors such as favorite producers, bottle variability, and personal preferences also come into play.

Bordeaux 2009 available at Vinonueva

Second labels:

Grand Vin/First label: