La Rive Droite


Philippe-Cuvelier of Ch. Poujeaux

Philippe-Cuvelier of Ch. Poujeaux

Despite all predictions of rain, it was a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning  as we drove to the Right Bank at the crack of dawn today.
 A brief taste of a couple of 2009s last night has only served to whet our appetites. Today would be the day when we would get our first real impressions of the 2009 vintage.

 So – what did we think? Well, so far the jury is out.

The wines were disappointing to ethereal. Balance is key for the Merlots this year and we found that those ‘cut’ with Cabernet retained the freshness that is so essential for harmony. 2009 Ch. Figeac (right) was a prime example – a fantastic wine with seriously ripe fruit and dense, savoury tannins yet fresh, fresh, fresh – thanks to the 33% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Ch. Conseillante’s 09 was also stunning – possibly aided by its 19% Cabernet Franc, the highest proportion ever. Jean-Michel Laporte at Conseillante (see the video below) spoke of the two approaches to Cabernet Franc this year – those properties that added more than usual as they felt it was truly wonderful (Conseillante, Cheval Blanc and L’Evangile) and those that added much less (Petrus and Vieux Chateaux Certan for starters). That said, 2009 VCC was one of the wines of the day – but then again, so was Cheval Blanc. The jury is still out indeed.

One of the greatest (and most pleasant) surprises of the day was Ch. Poujeaux. This wine was simply delicious – and should be affordable to boot; the best Poujeaux we have ever tasted. Larcis-Ducasse and Pavie-Macquin were also highlights; superb, silky beautiful wines with wonderful balance. The new winemaker certainly impressed us. A wonderful range of wines. And as usual the Vauthier stable was also superb – impressive even though they will undoubtedly take a long time to come round.

 Given the consistent high quality of the Cabernets so far, we are now very excited at the prospect of the first of our Left Bank visits tomorrow. Allons-y!