Chateau PĂ©desclaux 2009

91 points

Pauillac. 13%

Whoa – Pomerol in Pauillac. A fascinating glimpse into the 2009 Bordeaux vintage.

Uber ripe, but not cooked or jammy. Seductive low acid, almost creamy, fig/plum juice. Oodles of flavour.

I suspect that wines like this can age for a good while, but I’m not sure that I would like them any better for it. I fear that the freshness might go and the wine turn pruney. Anyway it’s delicious now, I can’t ever recall a Bordeaux being so approachable so young.

This all sounds wonderful, but it’s a style that I wouldn’t want to drink often.

The Bordelaise should find such wines easy to sell in the US – expect for the price tags. If they teach the Chinese that this is what Bordeaux tastes like it might come back to bite them in later vintages.

PĂ©desclaux is a little known 5th Growth. WineDoctor has a profile here.

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Chateau Oliver 2008

90+ points

Pessac-Leognan. 13%

Dense closed nose, mostly sawdusty oak. Reminds me of some of the most concentrated 2004 Margaux (Margaux being particularly good commune in 2004).

Sleek modern wine, it’s very fresh, raw even. It should be hard to drink but it’s wonderfully balanced. Lots of flavor and vitality. Over shone some older Pauillac classed growths. Impressive.

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Chateau D’Armailhac 2004

89 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux. 13%

Pretty sawdust nose, not floral or fruity.

Classy wine but without much in the way of sweet ripe mid palate fruit. It’s a savoury mid weight wine with food friendly acid and tannin. Savoury (no added sugar) blackcurrant flavour.

Lacks the concentration to be truly exciting, but it still has class, and it’s interesting.

I imagine in 5-10 years this will be a complex, but very dry old wine. A style that few other regions can do (Hunter Valley sometimes, when the alcohols are low).

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Chateau Brown 2009

88++ points

pessac-leognan, Bordeaux. 14.5%

My first taste of 2009. From half a bottle. Consumed over 2 nights, so plenty of breathing.

I had worried that 2009 would produce wines that tasted like Margaret River, not that that’s a bad thing but I can buy those back in Oz. This has 14.5% alcohol, dense strong fruit, strong dense wine but approachable with the acid and tannin in check. It’s Bordeaux but unusual vintage style, much more like California.

There is a hint of raisin in the ripe fruit, just a hint. I’d have preferred they picked a bit earlier.

This is a Chateau I’ve enjoyed in recent vintages. Like a little brother to Domaine Chevalier. And getting better each vintage. This is very good but they have lost their charming lightness. I expect it will return in more classic vintages.

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