Checking in with 2000 Bordeaux before going large on 2009

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Offers to buy 2009 red Bordeaux on futures are arriving in my inbox on a daily basis.  Although I'm skeptical of the hype surrounding this yet-to-be-released vintage, the quality-to-price ratio of these wines is impressive.  Assessed simply by the Wine Spectator/Wine Advocate range derived from barrel tasting relative to the prices the wines are being offered, it appears there are some values that eclipse even the vaunted 2005 vintage.

I don't claim to be an expert on buying Bordeaux.  Far from it.  It's a highly confusing category on a number of levels and these 2009s will likely be only the second vintage I buy more than a few bottles of.  I haven't bought any Bordeaux since 2005.

I guess I'm fundamentally adverse to buying futures in general.  Shelling out money now for wine that's not going to arrive for a couple of years seems risky to me.  The retailer could go out of business.  Further, it feels like buying into a timeshare: Although I'm pretty sure I'll be up for a vacation or some nice Bordeaux in a couple years I like to keep my options open.

But more than anything, it's nice to get a feel for what you're buying before you commit to it.  With Bordeaux, however, this can be tricky because the wines are long-lived and therefore are just entering their optimal drinking window somewhere around 10 years after the grapes are harvested.  That means, roughly speaking, that the 2000s are just now becoming ready to drink.

Depending on which part of Bordeaux we're talking about, the 2000 vintage was even more highly rated by the pros than 2005.  Keep that in mind next time someone tells you that 2009 is the vintage of the century of even the decade.  There may be better buying opportunities in back vintages that are ready to drink.  We're on at least our 4th "Vintage of the Century! TM" and we're only 10 years into it.

With that in mind, it was with great interest that I attended a tasting of some choice 2000 Bordeaux at a friend's home recently.  One of the wines in particular was so good I had a hard time concentrating on the other 6 in the line-up, which is quite a feat given that all of the wines were outstanding in their own right.

Head on over to Corkd to hear more about the tasting and see which wine in particular I was so impressed with.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the current Bordeaux market.  Are you buying futures?  Playing wait and see?  Not interested in the category at all?

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