An inky/blue/purple color is followed by aromas and flavors of incense, flowery black currants, and subtle smoke and oak. This full-bodied 2009, which exhibits wonderful intensity, purity, and length, is an exceptional effort, but in this vintage, it must take a back seat to some of its peers, such as Pichon Lalande, Pontet-Canet and Lynch-Bages, not to mention all the first-growths. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful wine that should drink well for 30+ years. 93-95/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Loads of currant and blackberry, with mineral and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with ultrafine, very long tannins. Really builds on the palate. A racy style, with excellent length. 92-95/100 Wine Spectator
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 flavours 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 flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.