Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tasting Bordeaux '08 as '09 Budding Starts

Returned from Bordeaux last evening after tasting well over 150 blended barrel samples of the 2008 vintage, including top growths Ausone, Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Haut-Brion, Mouton Rothschild, Petrus, Margaux, and Cheval Blanc. It was an amazing week, purple teeth and all.

The 2008 vintage is surprisingly good, and will be a great one to buy as futures, as prices are expected to be decreased significantly from the less-impressive '07 due to economic conditions. The overall report on the vintage -- a very long and difficult one in the making -- is excellent fruits and balanced acids producing wines that will be long and velvety as soon as the dusty, chocolate tannins calm down. If there is a knock, it is that not all the tannins are well-integrated in some wines, especially in several second to fourth growths in St. Julian and Pauillac. The dry white Bordeaux were more spotty in their performances.

I'll be writing more on the vintage in a half-dozen publications here and abroad and will give alerts as those appear.

In the meantime, life goes on in the vineyard. Bud break was just beginning at most chateaux during the week of primeurs (Haut-Brion, always early, has young leaves already), and at Chateau Fonplegade (above) farmer Ramone and his horse Ulysse do a shallow turning of the soil on either side of the vine row.

As we celebrate Bordeaux 2008, the 2009 vintage is beginning in the vineyards.

Until next time...

Roger Morris

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