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New Arrivals from 2009 and 2010: Lafite-Rothschild Neighbor Delivers Rare Pauillac Value — Direct from Bordeaux!
July 17, 2020



New Arrivals from 2009 and 2010: Ten Years Later, the Lafite-Rothschild Neighbor Delivers Rare Pauillac Value — Direct from Bordeaux! The Finest Release to Date from Near-Perfect Vintages! Featuring Duhart-Milon, Pontet-Canet, Smith Haut Lafitte, and More!

“2009 Bordeaux is the greatest vintage in my 37 years covering wine…. It is a modern day 1982, but even better… Since few consumers can afford wines such as Lafite Rothschild, perhaps it is time for readers to take a look at Duhart Milon, which sells for less than Lafite’s second wine. The Rothschilds have invested heavily in resurrecting this property to near super-star status, and the 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart I have ever tasted.” — Robert Parker

“One of the best young Duhart-Milons ever, and in this vintage it bears more than a passing resemblance to Lafite-Rothschild.” — Antonio Galloni, Vinous

There is nothing surprising in this Parker quote; we all know how important the 2009 and 2010 vintages were to Bordeaux. Certainly, if Robert Parker was still actively tasting and writing, 2015, 2016 and 2019 would be added to his list. As we have mentioned, our Bordeaux collectibles with age are starting to arrive, and they include highlights and sleepers from the towering vintages of 2009 and 2010 — direct from Bordeaux with a decade of age and perfect provenance.

Ever since IWM team and I re-tasted the jaw-dropping 2009 Smith Haut Lafitte with Robert Parker just a few years back, we have felt inspired by the ripe and approachable vintage, searching for rare relative values or overlooked selections. Well, we have found some, and we were stunned by what might just be one of the last great value finds of the historic vintage — the 2009 Duhart-Milon. We were not alone, Neal Martin had conducted a blind tasting, and “to the astonishment of our group of experienced palates, the Duhart-Milon '09 took on all-comers under blind conditions and triumphed. I always regarded it as a fantastic Pauillac but this good? I mean ... it received a higher average group score than almost every Grand Vin.”

This Lafite Rothschild sibling is an under-the-radar château to watch, and it has been on the rise for the past decade. In fact, Robert Parker made a strong statement about Duhart-Milon in saying that “It is probably better than many of the Lafites of the 1960s and 1970s, and even some of the vintages in the 1980s.” Even more exciting, it is available at a fraction of the price! Today’s offer is one of those true rare Bordeaux values with a First Growth pedigree coming from the historic and benchmark 2009 vintage.

It should be noted that up to the early 1800s, Duhart-Milon was known as the second wine of Château Lafite-Rothschild. It grew into its own wine and in 1855 was classified as a Fourth Growth; as Robert Parker noted, “the 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart I have ever tasted.” We also love the 2016 and 2018. Baron Eric de Rothschild’s effort here offers enthusiasts and collectors the Lafite touch with some price relief, and we are presenting the benchmark 2009 at just $129.99 for only 48 hours! It should be noted that this wine can command upwards of $200 elsewhere.

FEATURED WINES: VALUE AND PROVENANCE FROM THE 2009 AND 2010 VINTAGES (Click to Order)



Note: all wines are just arriving in the US and will be ready for shipping August/September

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:

2009 CHÂTEAU DUHART-MILON
97 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, it displays an 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 cuvée I have tasted in over three decades. It will be ready to drink in 5-7 years and should last for three decades or more. 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! Since few consumers other than Chinese billionaires can afford wines such as Lafite Rothschild, perhaps it is time for readers to take a look at Duhart Milon, which sells for less than Lafite’s second wine. The Rothschilds have invested heavily in resurrecting this property to near super-star status, and the 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart I have ever tasted.”

2009 SMITH HAUT LAFITTE
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!” 4/12

2009 LEOVILLE POYFERRE
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “One of the more flamboyant and sumptuous wines of the vintage, this inky/purple-colored St.-Julien reveals thrilling levels of opulence, richness and aromatic pleasures. A soaring bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers is followed by a super-concentrated wine with silky tannins, stunning amounts of glycerin, a voluptuous, multilayered mouthfeel and nearly 14% natural alcohol. Displaying fabulous definition for such a big, plump, massive, concentrated effort, I suspect the tannin levels are high even though they are largely concealed by lavish amounts of fruit, glycerin and extract.” 2/12

2009 PONTET-CANET
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “An amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who continues to reduce yields and farms his vineyards biodynamically – a rarity in Bordeaux. Black as a moonless night, the 2009 Pontet Canet offers up notes of incense, graphite, smoke, licorice, creme de cassis and blackberries. A wine of irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness, this is a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years. The tannins are elevated, but they are sweet and beautifully integrated as are the acidity, wood and alcohol (which must be in excess of 14%). This vineyard, which is situated on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, appears to have done everything perfectly in 2009. This cuvee should shut down in the cellar and re-open in a decade or more.” 2/12 “…One of the stars of the vintage, it will be interesting to see if Poyferre ultimately eclipses Las Cases as the finest of the three Leovilles. The 2009 is even better than the 2000, 2003, and 2005.”

2009 MONTROSE
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: Harvested between September 17 and October 5, this wine seems always open for business, so to speak, much like the great 1982s. The summer of 2009 was very hot and dry, which got the harvest off to a reasonably early start. The blend was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Jean Bernard Delmas’ goal was to find perfect equilibrium between freshness and concentration, given its incredible opulence and the voluptuous character this vintage offered. That’s what this wine has in abundance. With an astounding dense purple color, the wine has velvety, sweet tannins, and an extremely open-knit and opulent blueberry, blackberry and creme de cassis nose. There is scorched earth, vanilla and, again, telltale licorice and spice. It is unctuously textured – thicker and juicier than the 2010 and more forward. This wine should come into its own in another five years. And again, it has at least 50+ years of aging potential.”

2009 L’EVANGILE
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: An astonishing effort from the Rothschild family, the 2009 l’Evangile may be the reference point offering from this estate for decades to come. A blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak, with 15% natural alcohol, it exhibits a sumptuous bouquet of caramels, black raspberry liqueur, blackberries, violets, graphite and truffles. Thick, viscous flavors are reminiscent of such super-ripe vintages as 1982, 1959, 1949 and 1947. The striking aromatics, massive, full-bodied mouthfeel and multilayered palate that resembles a skyscraper in the mouth offer an abject lesson in great winemaking, extraordinary terroir, and the ability to combine power with precision, elegance and freshness. This is unquestionably a huge wine, but it also possesses mindboggling complexity and finesse. Because of its sheer extract and velvety personality, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and will keep for four decades or more where well-stored. The most profound L’Evangile ever made?”

2009 Château Palmer, Margaux
99 points Jeb Dunnuck: “The 2009 Palmer is unquestionably one of the greatest young Bordeaux I’ve tasted, and it has a rare mix of richness and elegance that’s incredible. Blackcurrants, violets, lead pencil shavings and a touch of minerality all emerge from this rich, massively concentrated Margaux that still glides across the palate with no sense of weight or heaviness. It’s perfectly balanced, has a ripe, hedonistic core of fruit, as well as integrated acidity. It’s a dream today, but is going to have 30-40 years or more of prime drinking. Drink now through 2057.”

97 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “One of the all-time great Palmers (along with the 1961, 1966, 1970, 1989, 2000 and 2005), the 2009 Palmer is a blend of 52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and a whopping 7% Petit Verdot that came in at close to 14% natural alcohol. An opaque blue/black color suggests a wine with thrilling levels of concentration and intensity, and That's exactly what a taster gets. Subtle smoke, incense and Asian spice (soy?) notes interwoven with graphite, blueberry, blackberry and cassis characteristics lead to a full-bodied, phenomenally concentrated, viscous, opulent wine with plenty of sweet tannin. This sensational Palmer reveals even more floral notes than vintages such as 2005 and 2000. It should drink well for 50 years.”

2009 BRANAIRE-DUCRU, SAINT-JULIEN
96 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “Only time will tell whether the 2009, another great effort from Branaire, will eclipse the 2005 and 2003. Certainly at 13.6% alcohol it is the most powerful Branaire ever made, and the final blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot showcases what a great vintage 2009 is for Cabernet Sauvignon….Haut couture becomes a wine! This dense purple wine has the tell-tale notes of flowers and pencil shavings, and its broad aromatics are intense and totally captivating. Powerful, rich, and full, but less tannic than the 2005 and more opulent, this is a dazzling Branaire to drink between 2017-2035.”

2009 MALESCOT-ST-EXUPERY, MARGAUX
96 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “An inky/purple color is followed by notes of Asian plum sauce, forest floor, creme de cassis, black raspberries and a floral component that is unusual for a Margaux. A wine of exceptional intensity and purity with a full-bodied, sumptuous texture, lots of fresh vibrancy and excellent definition, this beautiful 2009 exhibits high but sweet tannin. It is more sexy than the 2005 was at a similar age, although their level of extract and concentration is relatively equal. Something about the 2009 reminds me of a Margaux version of St.-Julien's Leoville Poyferre ... if that makes any sense. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040. This is another fabulous effort from an estate that has been doing extraordinary work over the last 10-15 years. I enjoyed the 2009 as much as the 2005, perhaps even slightly more because while it has structure, the tannins are less aggressive and there is more succulence, flesh and texture in the 2009."

2009 CANON, SAINT-EMILION
96 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: “John Kolasa mentioned that in 2009 he increased the percentage of Cabernet Franc up to 25% and that his intention is to dial it up to 35% in several years. The 2009 was matured in 60% new oak. This is more reticent on the nose, very classic in style but beautifully defined with just the right amount of reserve and austerity. The palate is fresh and very elegant, with disarmingly svelte, silky tannins. Good depth, not powerful but succulent and mineral-rich on the structured finish. Excellent – but it will need several years in bottle and is perhaps more 2010 in style than its peers. Tasted December 2012.”

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders subject to confirmation and IWM is not responsible for typographical errors on pricing.

All my best,
Chris