90-93/100 Robert Parker Jr. Possibly the finest wine yet produced at this estate, the 2009 is even fatter, richer, and more unctuously textured than the 2005 (which I loved). It boasts an opaque purple color, thrilling levels of sweet creme de cassis and blackberries along with hints of underbrush as well as forest floor, silky tannins, full body, and a plush, heady, opulent personality. This stunning wine should drink well for two decades. (Tasted three times.) Drink 2010-2030.
Wine Spectator (James Suckling) 91-94/100 A pretty nose of lead pencil and currant follows through to a full body, with well-integrated tannins and a silky, long finish. Stylish.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavors of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavors, but are more approachable immediately upon release.