Here are the promised tasting notes on my Top 100 wines tasted at the Bordeaux 2009 primeur tastings (check out my Top 100 post on 6 April). As I’ve said before, it’s important to remember that until these wines are bottled, they are as yet elemental, raw and unfinished and so the descriptions relate to how the wines tasted in the week before Easter and are therefore only a snapshot of how they are likely to develop over time.
It’s seriously good news that Gérard Basset has finally won the best sommelier in the world competition. Gérard has achieved much in Britain since he first worked here in 1983 after coming over to watch his football team St Etienne four years earlier, but the ambition that has propelled him forward since his first job here has always been to become the best sommelier in the world. Of course some of us already felt that he was, but he wanted the official seal of approval.
I wonder if you have heard of Mayfair Cellars, or Uvine, or Greens, or the Hungerford Wine Company, or Meyniac & Cie.? No? Well that’s good, because you’ll be able to sleep at night if you buy en primeur blissfully unaware of the losses suffered by consumers when these companies, English and French, went pear-shaped.
After Act 1, the harvest, and Act 2, the making of the wine, the curtain opened on Act 3 in bright Bordeaux sunshine on Monday last week. And then the rains came. It was a hectic week of tasting the new vintage for the many thousands of trade and press visitors descending on the region to make their assessments of the quality and value of 2009. I don’t know exactly how many visitors there were, but Paul Pontallier said on Wednesday that at Château Margaux alone, they had seen 650 visitors that day, and would have processed well over 2000 by the end of the week.