There has been very positive comments regarding the 2009 harvest in Bordeaux. Now that the initial hype may have calmed slightly, there seems to be some concerns about the alcohol levels (relatively high). But these richer fuller wines are similar to 2005,2003 and 2000 which all had higher than normal alcohol levels and produced some of the best wines of the last 10 years.
I was fortunate to be able to pick some Merlot at Chateau de la Riviere in Fronsac.
Xavier Buffo, (the winemaker) and James Gregoire (the owner) were both very confident for this harvest. The pure ripe quality of the grapes bodes well for the wines, which will be produced.
I will be in Bordeaux in January for business meetings as well as tastings, so I should be able to get a clearer picture from various respected Chateaux owners and tasters.
The crazy week of 'Primeur Tastings' in April should be an interesting time. The exchange rate is still not favorable for UK or US wine buyers, but if the wines are top quality people will always want to buy them .The efforts and energies of many negociants have shifted to the exciting markets in the East. Will these relatively new markets of Russia, India, Singapore, China and Hong Kong be the new future for Bordeaux wines?
I am looking forward to 2010 to spend more time at the top quality wine estates in Bordeaux.
Here are some interesting observations from Stephane Derenoncourt, who is one of the top consultant winemakers in the Bordeaux area. (Click on Stephane's name to read the interview.)