2009 Bordeaux: the Baltimore Bounce

A brief addendum to last week’s drabble.

An educated guess is that the top three UK merchants (that would be us, them and those other guys that neither of us like) have sold about five million pounds’ worth of 2009 Bordeaux since Robert Parker published his in bottle scores.  That is rather good business.  Add the rest of the UK fine wine trade and you might have double that number, maybe more.  “Gosh” is my new favourite word and it fits here.  Prices for the wines that get Mr Parker’s approval have moved considerably.  Have a look at what Liv-ex have to say to get the idea.

The odd UK critic and a few others have spouted off with the usual “ridiculous, lost the plot, etc” rant, but the world is what the world is.  Robert Parker is (IS) the (THE) wine critic that has this sort of effect, and not without good reason.  Three of these reasons: ability, consistency, integrity.  You might disagree with his appraisal of a wine (I frequently do when it comes to the more modern St Emilions, for example) but it’s his opinion, he’s got a rather good track record of calling young wines (read his barrel notes on 1996s, then open a bottle – it really is something else), and he’s honest – there is no angle in what he’s saying, he’s just saying what he thinks.  Which is why buyers of wine, Bordeaux in particular, follow his lead.  Do you follow Warren Buffet or do you follow the very clever, slightly idealistic guy who writes for the local paper?

Personally I think it’s all good news.  Brilliant wines get brilliant reviews mean happy customers have brilliant wines bought from happy merchants and in virtuous circles to boot.  There’s lots of happiness, lots of positivity.  A good thing, no?  The only losers in the room are the guys who think football is for thugs yet have never been to a game.  I couldn’t afford Pontet-Canet at release either, I don’t move markets either.  But I salute Mr Parker and congratulate those chateaux that now have a magic 100 in the bag.  Good show.  Well done.

For the sake of it, my note on 2009 Pontet-Canet from barrel in April 2010:

65 CS, 4CF, 1PV, 30M

“Very serious nose.  Weight.  Cassis, though restrained.  Grown up.  A great deal underneath here.  Invites you back to search for more in the same way as Latour.  And a great deal of sweet and complete fruit in the mouth.  Yes, there is some push here, but more grown up than the Lynch.  Some new wood tannin but all the fruit to absorb it.  Long.  Very good.  Structure.  Another fifty year wine.  Very impressive.  Very serious.  Getting better.  Yup.”

I don’t do points but I reckon that’s 95-98 and the Latour reference (and the “yup”) is key.

And the 2010 is better no matter what Mr Parker says….