Robert Parker's report on Bordeaux 2009 is clear about one thing: for the Left Bank, 2009 is the greatest vintage he has ever tasted.
As Parker states: "I have never tasted such powerful and concentrated Médocs….the overall style of this vintage is one of opulent, voluptuous textures with abundant fatness and succulence. In short, I do not think I have ever tasted such extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignons."
"Reports of excessive alcohol are, for the most part, absurd. Most of the Médocs are certainly higher in alcohol than the 2005s, 2003s, or 2000s, but the 2009s tend to range from 13.3% to 13.8%."
He adds that for the Right Bank, "some profound wines have been made, [although] 2005 remains the vintage of reference."
So just how high are his scores?
Below is a table that compares the scores for popular chateaux from the 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009 vintages. For the 2008 and 2009 vintages, the mid-point of the score range is used.
On this basis, the 2009s are out in front. Only the 2000 vintage comes close and with Parker's notes pointing to many of these wines being rated at the top of their score ranges, 2009's lead may well be greater come the final reckoning in 2012. Could we eventually see an average score of above 97 points? (To view those wines that he has judged as potential 100-pointers, please see our earlier blog.)
* mid-point of score ranges / source: erobertparker.com
Another interesting aspect of Parker's scores are those that he has judged have "the finest potential of all the offerings I had ever tasted from that estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux" and marked with an asterisk. Overall, just over 100 wines were given this designation and we have listed a selection of these below.
For those interested in how Parker's scores compare with those of Jancis Robinson MW and James Suckling, please take a look at the Liv-ex 2009 En Primeur Pages (this is also a subject we will also look at further on the blog).
Please also see the results of the Liv-ex En Primeur Survey, in which Latour was judged the wine of the vintage and the Liv-ex membership gave its views on the 2009's potential release prices.