The 2009 vintage is being hailed by some commentators as a ‘mythical’ vintage – one that will rival the 1982 vintage. While that remains to be seen, and we will only know for sure 10-30 years from now after the wines have aged to their full potential, there is no doubt that the growing season in Bordeaux was excellent last year – providing the potential for excellent to classic wines.
Winter: Winter conditions were ideal with lots of cold spells and intermittent periods of rain. The cold helps to eradiate disease and reset the vegetative cycle of vines. The rain allows the land to store moisture for the rest of the year.
Spring: Spring came early and allowed a quick and even flowering.
Summer: July had alternating heat and humidity which allowed good development of both the bunches and the foliage. August was hot and dry.
Harvest: September had cool nights and hot days which allowed for a slow maturing of the grapes. There was much needed rain mid-month – otherwise the vines would have been under too much stress. Harvest was relaxed and lasted until Mid-October.
Early Assessment of the Vintage
Bordeaux Vins Select believes that the vintage could be mythical. Here is how they concluded their December Vintage Report:
“Purely by analysing the year’s climatic conditions, we can already say that everything points to an exceptional vintage. Having visited many chais on both the Left and Right Banks during the harvest, we can attest to the fact that the grapes were gathered in incredibly good condition. The work in the chai however remains critical for any vintage and the technical teams worked as hard and as well as required even though the richness of the must has not been equalled since the 1982 vintage.”
“The wines for this year are rich in density, fruit and freshness. The PH, whilst being slightly higher than in other vintages remains sumptuously balanced. The roundness of the tannins and the succulence gained from a few weeks ageing makes us think more and more that this could be a mythical vintage. No two vintages are ever alike in Bordeaux – something that adds to the diversity and complexity of our region. Nevertheless we can begin to compare the 2009 with the 1982 and 1989. Some amongst us have even mentioned the 1947; despite our long experience, our memories don’t quite stretch back that far.”
The information in this report was taken from the Bordeaux Vin Select 2009 Vineyards Reports and Updates.