Cabernet is King


Ch Brane-Cantenac (photography credits - Patrick Durand)

Ch Brane-Cantenac (photography credits – Patrick Durand)

We spent yesterday morning tasting at the warehouse facility of one of Bordeaux’s largest négociants. ‘Warehouse’ is a somewhat misleading term – this was a very slick operation. The atmospheric tasting room was dripping with fairy lights (left) and we were able to choose samples from an extensive list which were then served at perfect tasting temperature.

Our afternoon was spent chateaux-hopping in Margaux; Chx Issan, d’Angludet, Brane-Cantenac (right), Margaux and Palmer. There were some fabulous wines. D’Angludet was yet again superb – another potentially great value buy. Our wine of the day however was Palmer. This was simply extraordinary; juicy, succulent, rich and intense yet with wonderful poise and freshness – one of only a handful of wines we have found so far to be a true rival to 2005.  Here is a video of  Thomas Duroux from Palmer talking about his 2009 wines:

Our train of thought as it stands is that Cabernets Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc seem to be king and where they are within the blend is where the brilliance lies. The tannin levels are the highest ever recorded, yet they are ripe and juicy with no hint of bitterness.

The consistency of Margaux as a commune also impressed us, with the resurgence of chateaux such as the beautiful Issan (left) and Cantenac Brown a testament to the vintage – we found this commune much more consistent than 2005.

The omens are all extremely promising as we move further north today to Pauillac and St Julien – bring on the Cabernets!