I've mentioned before that I think the 09s from the left bank were consistently excellent. Where I thought this particularly shined through was the Margaux/Medoc blind tasting at Chateau Chasse-Spleen. Part of this was due to familiarity, I like wines from the Margaux appellation, so I drink more of them and know more about them than I do other regions. But, it wasn't just me, most of the journalists I talked to noted the same thing about wines from left bank, in general, and Margaux in particular.
What makes the 2009 vintage so outstanding and why is almost everyone fawning over it? It started with the perfect weather. With the exception of some hailstorms early in the season, the weather in 2009 was perfect for producing quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this allowed the winemakers, especially on the left bank, to produce the kind of wine they wanted. As I went through my tasting notes to write this post, I realized that I had written the phrase "classic Bordeaux" 12 times.
Classic Bordeaux, to me, refers to that combination elegance, structure, and aromas that can only come from a well-done Bordeaux. Almost all the wines in the Margaux/Medoc tasting seemed to have it. But there were a few that stood out, and those are below (these are only wines from the Margaux/Medoc blind tasting, there are others from that region that I will write about later).
Remember, the wines below are listed in order of tasting, not perceived score:
Chateau Malescot Saint Exupery: Very dark color, lots of green pepper and spices on the nose, well-structured tannins and very full body.
Chateau Dauzac: Black fruit and pepper aromas. Good fruit in the mouth, very subtle, slowly worked its way back nice tannins
Chateau Kirwan: Aromas of plum and black cherry. Very powerful wine, an interesting contrast to Chateau Dauzac. This one is has a full body with strong tannins and a lingering palate.
Chateau Lascombes: Lots of pepper on this wine, some hints of black fruit as well. Well-structured tannins with a medium body.
Chateau Marquis de Terme: Green pepper on the nose, surprisingly strong aromas. Good deep purple color with firm tannins and a full body.
Chateau Brane-Cantenac: This was an all-around elegant wine. It started with very refined green pepper and plum aromas. Then soft, lingering tannins, that slowly worked their way to the back of the mouth and lingered. Incredible body, a wine that feels like it will age extremely well.
Chateau Chasse-Spleen: Red fruit and some leather aromas. Very fruit forward wine with a medium body.
Chateau Fonreaud: Lots of red fruit with a little green pepper on the nose. Good structure, with a medium body.
Chateau La Tour de By: Deep purple color, the Petit Verdot really shines through. Good pepper on the nose. A complex wine with well-structured tannins and a medium body.