Well it is all over now bar the shouting but something tells me that people will be talking about the 2009 En Primeur campaign for some time with quality and prices the main discussion points.
Certainly the quality is remarkable, particularly so in Sauternes where many growers cannot remember such perfect conditions. Many have compared the 2009s to the great vintages of the past such as 2001, 1989, 1875, 1959, 1947, 1929 and even 1921. I don’t think I have ever seen such consistency with all the top chateaux in fine form and many of the lesser properties producing wines of First Growth quality.
Given the quality, prices in Sauternes have been generally reasonable with some outstanding value including Raymond Lafon (13.6% down on 2008 and 2007), Climens (13% down on 2007), de Malle (4% down on 2007 and the same price as in 2008) and Doisy Daene (only 10% up on 2008 and 2007 for a 98 point Wine Advocate scoring effort). There were some above average price increases which shocked a few people but on the whole rises have been well below those in the red wine appellations – the Sauternes average price increase was under 25% on 2008 prices compared to over 70% for Pauillac!
As usual time and the market will tell whether prices are fair and sustainable but we have no doubt that there are some oustanding Sauternes in 2009 at reasonable prices. We still have stock of some of the top wines at:
Our attention now is turning towards finding some fine Sauternes of drinking age in the run up to Christmas. We plan to make a couple of offers of older wines that we have discovered lying in Bordeaux at attractive prices. Make sure you are on our mailing list by registering to receive my 2009 Sauternes Tasting Notes and Vintage Report at the top right hand side of this page. Bill Blatch