The 2009 is very clearly exceptional...
Sampling revealed a fantastic high quality and gourmand vintage with exceptional concentration and high colour potential, as well as balance that is already very harmonious.
Harvest conditions were excellent. The number of very hot days (over 30°C) in July and August was higher than usual, and this combined with low rainfall resulted in an early harvest. Ideal weather conditions in September allowed the grapes to be harvested with peace of mind. Less productive harvests with less than 2.82 million hectolitres. Yet the main component - quality - is there.
The red wines at the end of the alcoholic fermentation stage are intense and well-defined, much more so than in the very successful vintages of 2007 and 2005.
The wines are gourmand, flattering and expressive. The tannins are very clearly present and of high quality, allowing this vintage to match the successes of 2005.
Secondary grape varieties left to reach full maturity tempered the generous spirit of the Grenache. Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre once again prove their worth in boosting the quality of blends.
2009 is a particularly successful vintage for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where late grape varieties such as Grenache and Mourvèdre were prioritised and late harvesters were rewarded for their patience, as mid-September rainfall resulted in wonderful balance in the maturity of grapes that had initially suffered through the dryness of July and August. The best cuvées of 2009 are wines with solid structure and beautiful tannins that will ensure excellent ageing potential. Despite being powerful, the 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines won't have the occasionally excessive character of those from 2007.