Superstar Second Growth Greatest Left Bank Value
When it comes to 2009 Bordeaux from the top estates, the experts’ advice can be summarized as follows: buy on sight. This was the year which Robert Parker famously declared to be, “unquestionably the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have ever tasted.” Vinous posed the question “Bordeaux 2009: The Best Ever?” in an article headline. Wine Spectator rated the vintage 96-99 points. So we don’t expect our 100 cases of “Super Second” growth 2009 Château Léoville Barton Saint-Julien — in perfect condition and with perfect provenance — to last very long. In a year that was all about power, owner Anthony Barton’s consistently excellent Léoville Barton turned out an impossibly rich, gorgeously tannic colossus that will age effortlessly for another 30+ years. 95 points from Wine Spectator and 96 from James Suckling. Direct from château to your cellar — to be enjoyed after 2018 and until your grandchild ties the knot.
A number of factors conspired to make 2009 the greatest in at least 40 years, according to Professor Denis Dubourdieu, the internationally renowned enology professor at l’Universite de Bordeaux. Flowering came early and fruit set was uniform, thanks to a hot, dry spring. Veraison also came early, in the last week of July or first days of August. Each variety ripened fully, benefiting from just enough rainfall (but not too much) in August and September. Finally, the last weeks before harvest were warm and dry, with no sudden heat spikes. Combine those five elements, says Professor Dubourdieu, and you get 2009: literally a perfect Bordeaux vintage.
Léoville Barton’s Anthony Barton is renowned on both sides of the Gironde as one of the steadiest hands at the wheel, a man of deep integrity. Even as chateaux all around him were raising price tags to unprecedented levels with the release of the 2009s, thanks to intense demand from Chinese collectors, Barton insisted on fair pricing, just as he did in the inflationary year of 1997. That makes this superstar Second Growth hands down one the greatest values of Saint-Julien and the Left Bank.