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IWC Bettane & Desseauve presents 2009 Bordeaux ratings

Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve are the most respected French wine experts in the world! Talk to chateau owners and grape growers anywhere in France and you will very quickly get a strong sense of how well respected these veteran wine writers and tasters are. Every vintage, they walk the vineyards throughout France before, during and after the harvest, talking to growers, tasting their juice and wine and very often assisting them with their blending.

Bettane & Desseauve have compiled reviews of hundreds of 2009 Bordeaux based on their comprehensive tastings in November 2009, February 2010 and the April 2010 Primeur Campaign. Where practical, wines from each chateau were tasted three times.

Click here to access the full 200 tasting notes and scores

Click here to see the Bettane & Desseauve's answers to 2009 Bordeaux questions.


Below are the top scores from each commune

The overall quality of Pomerol is remarkable and many wines – most of the top wineries included – have, at this point, made the greatest wines in their recent histories. It will be, of course, necessary to re-taste they have been bottled. Though the wines are ample and sometimes quite full-bodied, they are also powerfully structured, but with remarkable freshness, in short they are perfectly balanced.

Chateau Petrus, score 98-100


In an appellation as vast as Saint-Emilion, we found the situation to be more heterogeneous than in Pomerol, it's slightly smaller neighbour. Though some 2009s are the best we've seen in 20 years of primeurs tastings, others seem to be quite uneven at this stage, suffering from unbalanced sensations of poorly integrated alcohol. On the other hand, some of the wines with the highest alcohol levels were among the most harmonious and balanced of our tastings.

Château Cheval Blanc, score 98-99


Never in our early tastings have we found such quality and consistency from appellation to appellation. The richness, the intensity, but also the charming aromatics of the vintage truly place it in a class of its own. The sweet wines of the right bank of the Garonne clearly benefitted from the same weather, and it will be fascinating to discover the best wines when we taste them again a year from now.

Château d'Yquem sweet white, score 99-100


A memorable vintage for an appellation that has all too often fallen victim to unpredictable weather, keeping it from producing perfect fruit. In 2009, it's all there, fine tannins and a suave texture that is unique among the other wines of this vintage. All of this without taking into account the spectacular improvements made by a few of the cru classés and cru bourgeois winemakers who are finally working with the same precision as their colleagues in Saint-Julien. The most exciting 2009s of the Médoc will come from these producers.

Château Margaux , score 100


We were delighted by the overall quality in this appellation, and it's with a bit of regret that, through to 100-point system, we are obligated to create a hierarchy of the wines. Power, concentration without heaviness, graceful and elegant tannins, it's all there, in every wine, even the second wines, or as they are now being called "other wines".

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, score 98-99


The wines of Pauillac convey the monumental character of the vintage without losing sight of their traditional style, thanks to the location of the vineyards and the dedication of the winemakers. Our team of tasters loved the wines as a whole, but did have a slight preference for the ones with a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of the rich gravel and clay soils of the appellation.

Château Lafite-Rothschild, score 98-99
Château Latour, score 98-99
Château Mouton-Rothschild, score 98-99


The balance of Merlot and Cabernet plantings in this appellation contributed to the overall success of this vintage and since they both were wonderful, the proportions didn't really matter: the Calon-Ségur blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, Montrose and Cos d'Estournel 65%. The wines are magnificently structured, with a rare tension for wines that are so high in alcohol (13.5° to 14.5°!), with rich, voluptuous tannins. It seems that they will easily out perform the excellent 2005 vintage.

Château Calon-Ségur, score 96-97 Château Montrose, score 96-97


The appellation can celebrate because it is rare that the reds and the whites achieve the same heights in one vintage, and for 2009 they are at the highest level imaginable! The whites benefitted from cool summer nights as well as the heat of the day, which made for rich, aromatic grapes. Vinification techniques get better every year, and are now at a level that would be nice to see in other regions. Sometimes the wines lack a bit of acidity or concentration, but the balance of the best wines is admirable. The reds are naturally restrained compared to the wines of the Médoc, but the wines finish with harmonious tannins and rich substance worthy of a great vintage.

Château Haut-Brion, score 98

Click here to access the full 200 tasting notes and scores


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