Now In Stock!!! 2009 Château Cantemerle

cantemerlelabelAs we head full-steam into the dog days of summer, things are getting pretty exciting around here. Our next container from France has been collected and is awaiting transport! What’s on it, you ask? More 2009 Bordeaux, that’s what! I have gone on the record declaring 2009 to be “my favorite Bordeaux vintage for the rest of my life”, and am happily squirreling bottle after bottle away in my cellar to remind me lest I forget someday. There are some unbelievable wines on that container. Off the top of my head, I know there are good quantities of a couple sub $25 bottles that will blow you all away with their quality. I’ll be sure to let you all in on what they are when they get here.

Let’s focus instead on what is already here. We recently received our 1st container of 2009 Bordeaux, and boy has it been fun tasting and recommending them! Despite their youth, these wines are open, accessible, and expressive, revealing exactly what makes 2009 such a great vintage: fresh, rich, deep, and expressive fruit framed by a perfect balance of tannins and acidity. The precocious fruit leads me to believe that many wines will be consumed before their respective maturity dates, but who cares? See joy, feel joy. My strategy has been to taste and experiment with the lower priced 2009’s (I’m cellaring them too), but also to carefully select some more serious bottlings to get a chance to know what 2009 will taste like in say … 2025!


cantemerlechateauxThe first serious 2009 that I’ve socked away is the Château Cantemerle. This Haut-Médoc Fifth Growth property has been on my radar for many years now. It’s about a 5-iron from Margaux, and stylistically, Cantemerle’s wines have that Margaux-like charm. You may remember a recent write-up about the 2009 Château Cantemerle, written shortly after having tasted it out of bottle for the first time. It was being sold on pre-arrival at the time, and sold so well, we went back to our negociant and bought some more. Guess what? It’s here now! Tasting a 2009 Château Cantemerle today is a bit of a crime, but it will reveal how incredible the 2009 vintage is. I wouldn’t recommend tasting/drinking more than 1 bottle at this stage of its life, but for scientific purposes, I caved, and is it ever great.

Robert Parker had this to say about the wine:
“Readers looking for the more ethereal, elegant side of Bordeaux need search no further than Cantemerle, one of the estates in the very southern end of the Medoc. Dense ruby/purple (nearly opaque), this wine offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, raspberries and black cherries. The wine is ethereal, medium-bodied, and by no means a blockbuster, but long and intellectual. However, the tannins are present, and the wine is certainly capable of putting on weight with time in the bottle. Give it 3-4 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 25+ years. – 91+ points”


And The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin had this to say:
“Tasted at the Union de Grand Cru in London. The Cantemerle 2009 has a lovely floral, almost Margaux-like bouquet with fine delineation and intensity. The palate is well balanced with fine delineation, a little grainy on the entry but very focused on the supple finish. This is a very attractive Cantemerle that should age with panache. Tasted November 2011. – 91 points”


I don’t want to open up Pandora’s box here and regale you all with my quirky beliefs and and prejudices about points and wine, but let’s just say that if I look up a wine that I haven’t tasted yet, I am more likely to enjoy a wine in the 88-92 range than I will a 96-100. Just sayin’.


I sure hope everyone’s enjoying their summer. We’re plugging away for you all tasting this and tasting that, looking for liquid gems for drinking now and for laying down. Here at TWH, our palates never tire! As I said, we’re excited about the next Bordeaux container coming soon, but let’s continue to relish in the one that has already arrived. For after all, it brought us the 2009 Château Cantemerle!Peter Zavialoff


Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments regarding 2009 Bordeaux, Château Cantemerle, Points and Wine, or how I’m passing the time until footy season starts:


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Filed under 2009 Bordeaux, Bordeaux, Haut-Medoc, Peter Zavialoff

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