2009 was, indisputably, a very good year for all of the Bordeaux vineyards. The summer had a great deal of sun and this continued through to September, resulting in a high concentration of anthocyanin and aromas that are necessary to produce quality wines. Unfortunately, this was not enough to produce a great vintage. A good balance of alcohol and acidity is also very important.
That year, the stakeholders and wine experts were impressed by the quality of the fruit: a flavoursome and delicate fruit that was present in all harvests picked early enough. One of the risks of this vintage was a late harvest, resulting in slightly cooked and heavy aromas.
Those that harvested at just the right degree of ripeness, managed to capture the quality of this fruit in a remarkable balance of tannins/alcohol/acidity. This made relatively easy-to-drink young wines which also proved to be ideal for cellaring. Hence, 2009 is not far off 2005, but slightly less ¿square¿ and more open. Other characteristics of this vintage: generally good wines throughout the appellations and types of wine, including reds, of course, but also dry white and sweet wines.
Medoc had a harsher than average winter up until March when the region was blessed with a prolonged period of sunshine, longer in comparison to the last thirty years and excellent for ripening the grapes. April was very damp and May had quite a lot of storms. Flowering at the beginning of June was quick and homogeneous. The summer provided plenty of sunshine, without being excessive. The high levels of water stress and good conditions allowed the grapes to reach full maturity. The cool nights and warm days in September were ideal. The majority of the harvest was in perfect condition.
In Saint Emilion and Pomerol, on the right bank, the same weather conditions produced a very good vintage, although perhaps with slightly too much alcohol for the Merlots. The Cabernet Francs and Sauvignons were better-balanced.
In the Sauternes and Barsac regions, six consecutive months of drought and moderate heat resulted in perfectly ripe grapes, which were possibly even richer in sugar (an in alcohol) than those of 2005. The vegetative stage was unusually good and the cool summer nights preserved the grapes' acidity and potential aromatic. Botrytisation was outstanding, particularly thanks to the rain on 19th September (which was not torrential as had been forecast!) and the three hot and dry weeks that ensued.
Yquem picked its last grapes on 19th October; opulent like in 1990, intense like 2003; concentrated like 2001, magical like 1893, 2009 promises to be great, unless... Only time will tell.¿