MD & FOUNDER OF FINE WINE MERCHANT BORDEAUX INDEX
MORE column inches have already been devoted to 2009 Bordeaux than to all the campaigns over the past decade, it would seem. This en primeur has been the biggest, craziest and most highly talked-up in memory. So as the dust settles and we can finally begin to think about the impending summer holidays, let’s take a few questions and see what’s going on with the 2009 Bordeaux.
How good are the 2009s?
No question, it is the best vintage that I have ever tasted from the barrel – ripe, super-concentrated and with amazingly soft tannins that mean they’ll drink well when they are young. As for the critics, Robert Parker’s scores marginally pip both the 2005 and 2000 vintages. He also emphasises how approachable the wines will be – a big win over 2005 for me.
Are they good value?
This is the million-dollar question. At the top end, these are the most expensive releases ever – surpassing even the madness of 2005 with stomach-churning prices for the first growths and the top left- and right-bank wines. However, if you start to look a little further down the price range, then there are more great wines than ever in the £250-£400 bracket. Having the option to buy some of these in the format of your choice will certainly make for rewarding drinking over the next 20 years.
Have they sold out?
From what we have heard, yes. We have held back a small amount of stock so we can continue to offer a few lines that we particularly liked through to the autumn. But the vast majority of wines have already been sold and not much more is being released.
What else should I look at?
As we’ve been predicting all year, many back vintages have proven to be excellent value, underwriting much of the 22.35 per cent return year-to-date shown on the Bordeaux Index.
Many of these wines still seem to offer exploitable value differences compared to their 2009 cousins, which speaks volumes about how fully priced the new releases are.
The 2006 Mouton looks interesting, it’s unquestionably superior to the 2009, is physical and offered at a healthy discount – it could be just the type of thing that gets picked up over in Asia for the mid-autumn festival later this year.
Did they buy 2009 Bordeaux in China?
It’s been our biggest campaign ever in Hong Kong. That said, and as we predicted, the focus there is still on a fairly narrow universe of wines. Such was the competition from private buyers in the UK, it has been difficult in many ways to allocate enough wine to Hong Kong demand.
Still, it’s clear that Chinese buyers are beginning to wake up to en primeur and we can expect even more in the way of competition over the next few years.