Parker releases scores for “mythical” 09

2nd March, 2012 by Rupert Millar

Critic Robert Parker has released his in-bottle scores for Bordeaux 2009, describing it as “not a myth but mythical”.

He stated that the most striking aspect of the vintage is its consistency across producers, particularly cru bourgeois and petits vins.

In total, 19 wines garnered a perfect 100 points, including a white, and 11 received 99 or 99+.

The 19 100-pointers are: Latour, Léoville Poyferré, La Mission Haut-Brion, La Mondotte, Montrose, Pavie, Pétrus, Le Pin, Pontet-Canet, Haut-Brion, Pape Clement Blanc, Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse), Bellevue Mondotte, Clinet, Clos Fourtet, Cos d’Estournel, Ducru Beaucaillou and l’Evangile.

Other high-scorers were Margaux (99), Lafite (99+), Cheval Blanc (99) and Mouton (99).

Parker’s scores differ slightly than those of James Suckling, who gave a total of nine wines a perfect score, including Ausone, Vieux Château Certan, Margaux and Lafite.

Ausone and VCC got 98+ and 99 points respectively from Parker.

Where they did not differ was on their effusive praise of the vintage.

Parker has always lauded the vintage and on his site erobertparker.com, refers back to his first note after the en primeur tastings when he called it “unquestionably the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have ever tasted”.

This view has only been intensified by his latest tasting. He concluded: “In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved.

“It is more consistent (many châteaux that were making mediocre wine in 1982 are now making brilliant wine) and of course, the yields are lower, the selection process is stricter, and there are any other number of factors, from investments in the wineries to impeccable, radical viticulture, that have resulted in extraordinary raw materials.”

“Just like in 1990 or 1982, the low acidity, the very ripe fruit, the high glycerin levels from the elevated alcohols, and the stunning concentration and fruit from low yields will give most of these wines incredible appeal in their youth, but at the same time will guarantee that the top wines last for 30 or more years, as the best 1982s have certainly done.

“I do want to reiterate that for as big, rich, and as high in alcohol as the 2009s are, they are remarkably pure, well-delineated and surprisingly fresh and vibrant – a paradox, but a wonderful one at that.”

Parker’s Magical 20 tasting in Hong Kong last year renewed interest in the vintage, as have various reviews and scores released prior to Parker.

There is every reason to believe that news in the following weeks will centre on price hikes for 09 Bordeaux, particularly from châteaux such as Cos d’Estournel, Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Montrose, La Mondotte and Clos Fourtet, which are not normally the most talked about names on the market and more with more room to appreciate quickly as a result.

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