Hooray! The 2009 Bordeaux, a vintage all but universally acclaimed as spectacular, began showing up in Sarasota around the first of the year and continued to arrive over the next few weeks.
Our first tastes of the ’09s were two amazingly well priced early arrivals, a Château de l’Estang Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux ($15) and a Château Tour St. Bonnet Mêdoc ($20).
The first, to which the estimable Robert Parker awarded 88 to 90 points, his highest rating to date for this house, is a deep garnet-purple beauty with an entrancing dark fruit and chocolate nose. On the tongue it balances blackberry, black cherry and black currant with grace notes of dark chocolate, anise and coffee. This glorious wine finishes long, lavish and silky. Drink it now and over the next five years.
The second, which received the same high rating from Parker, offers a more complex and heady nose compounded of dark fruit, tobacco, toffee and a bit of clove. There is less big fruit than in the first bottle we sampled and much more rich earth and spice, yielding a darker and more complex harmony structured by well-developed tannins. Simply divine. Drink it now and over the next 10 years.