A Cabernet year

I’m dashing between tastings at the moment so won’t report in full, but just from our tastings so far it’s becoming clear that on the left bank at least 2009 is definitely a Cabernet year. That isn’t to say that Merlot isn’t good, but generally Cabernet has performed better and this is being reflected in blends, especially in the northern Médoc.

Most tellingly perhaps, several producers have commented on the unusually silky tannins they’ve been able to extract from Cabernet Sauvignon. Usually you would expect the thinner-skinned, fleshier Merlot to be the smoother element of the blend, with Cabernet’s tannins firmer and “grainier”, but it seems this is reversed in 2009.

Overall though, there’s very little to criticise, and for Bordeaux lovers the great news is that purchasing 2009s will mean choosing from superlatives rather selecting good from bad.

The bad news for us is that there are a record 6000 people due to attend the Union des Grands Crus tastings this year, up from 4000 last year, reflecting the intense interest and excitement in the vintage. Everywhere is packed, and I’ve never seen a longer queue for lunch… meaning our team didn’t get any!

As a consolation we’re just arriving at Château Palmer…

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