Monday, March 22, 2010

Barrel Tastings

Barrel-tasting season is upon us, at least for the big magazines. James Suckling announced on his Wine Spectator blog this past Friday that he was heading to Bordeaux to begin his early tastings of the much-heralded 2009s.

Of course, it’s still early in the game: Seven months ago, the grapes were still growing on their vines. But, as I covered here last year, the word was that that fruit had the potential to produce wines that could possibly rival those of the great vintages of the past fifty or one hundred years.

Many estates,” Suckling writes, “thought that 2009 would be an early harvest because of the warm summer, [Jean-Charles] Cazes [of Lynch Bages and Les Ormes de Pez] said, but in his area, they picked their grapes during the third week of September, which is fairly normal. The clear, warm weather during the harvest allowed them to slowly pick their grapes, choosing just the right moment of ripeness. He said the grapes were near perfect at harvest.”

As a result, the level of excitement about these wines is already exceptionally high. And though the wines themselves are far from finished, these preliminary tastings will provide a useful guide for consumers when it comes to deciding whether or not to participate in the 2009 vintage’s en primeur campaign.

Regarding our own barrel tasting here at Wine Chateau--last week, we had the chance to taste a number of Louis Jadot’s 2008 Burgundy offerings, including standout Chassagne- and Puligny-Montrachets and a magnificent Echezeaux Grand Cru--I’ll post my impressions of the wines, as well as some short video from the event, right here in the next week or so.

Stay tuned...


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