This may be the single smartest purchase in this great and historic vintage
At a time when nearly every 95-point Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is fetching $150-$500 per bottle, the sudden strength of the U.S. dollar vs. the euro has even the most serious Cabernet collectors focused on the last of the fabulous 2009 Bordeaux.
Last week, WineAccess was offered 480 bottles of Lafite-Rothschild’s 2009 Château Duhart Milon, a Robert Parker 97-pointer that The Wine Advocate called “the single smartest purchase in this great and historic vintage.” We took them all. Of course.
We’ll never forget the scene in 2010. When the late Denis Dubourdieu prepared to address a crowd of some 300 wine professionals prior to the en primeur tastings of the 2009 Bordeaux, the room fell silent.
Dubourdieu, who headed up the enology department at l’Université de Bordeaux, went on to describe the five elements of a perfect growing season.
A warm, dry growing season providing for a uniform set
Dry, mild temperatures in the weeks just before harvest
In a vintage that Robert Parker would compare favorably to both 1959 and 1929, 2009 was five for five.
Perhaps the best example lay in the heart of Pauillac, where Château Lafite-Rothschild turned out two phenomenal 2009s. The first was the 2009 Lafite, a Cabernet-based blend of unparalleled concentration, structure, and persistence. “A tight, but potentially gorgeous nose of graphite, black currants, licorice and camphor is followed by a full-bodied wine revealing the classic elegance, purity and delineated style of Lafite,” Parker wrote, anticipating that this 99+ pointer would mature between 2022 and 2072!
The second came off Lafite’s neighboring estate, Château Duhart Milon.
The Wine Advocate described the 2009 Château Duhart Milon as “inky/blue/purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, forest floor, licorice, lead pencil, cedar and subtle barrique smells. Viscous and full-bodied, it is the most concentrated and broadest example of this cuvee I have tasted in over three decades.”
Then Parker lobbed on a final flourish that made the 2009 Château Duhart Milon one of the most sought-after bottles of the vintage: “Consumers looking to maximize value should be checking out Duhart Milon, as this may be the single smartest purchase in this great and historic vintage!”
WineAccess was offered 480 bottles of the 97-point 2009 Château Duhart Milon, all drawn directly from Lafite’s faintly lit cellars in Pauillac. We took them all, of course.
I have no intention of opening any of this wine for at least another 3 or 4 years
I ordered four bottles, drank one and cellared three. The one I drank was thin and not as full-bodied as I expected, but good none the less. I hope that the three remaining bottles improve with age. The tannin in the bottle was thin when I decanted it. I guess you get what you pay for. I give it three and one-half stars
I have not drunk this wine yet.
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