2009 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
After tasting it three times from bottle, I am convinced this prodigious wine is one of the greatest young Bordeaux I have ever tasted. Inky blue/purple with notes of camphor, forest floor, blackberry, cassis, sweet cherries, licorice, the wine has stunning aromatics, unctuous texture and an almost inky concentration, but without any hard edges. With considerable tannin and just enough acidity to provide definition, this wine transcends even its premier grand cru classe terroir. It is certainly the finest Clos Fourtet ever produced. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring to allow some of its baby fat to fall away. There is certainly enough structure underneath to keep for 30-50 years. Bravo! From my barrel score of 95-98, I suppose I should have seen this perfect score coming, particularly considering what proprietor Philippe Cuvelier and estate manager Tony Ballu have accomplished over the last decade. This is one of the great terroirs of St.-Emilion, nearly 50 acres high on the clay beds and deep limestone plateau of the region, just a stone’s throw from the luxury hotel and restaurant Hostellerie de Plaisance. Yields were moderate at 34 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend is 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon (somewhat unusual) and the rest Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 80% new oak.
Elegant as well as rich, this is a beautiful wine. It has great depth of flavor, the sweetest fruit, deliciously ripe. At the same time, the tannins are an underlying sustenance to the impressive ageworthiness.
Lots of wet earth and minerals on the nose with hints of sliced meat. Dark fruits galore. Full bodied, with a beautiful velvety texture and a juicy and delicious finish. Try after 2017.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, deep ruby. Slightly porty yet fresh on the hugely ripe nose, offering scents of medicinal cherry, minerals, licorice and roasted meat. Plush, seamless and wonderfully deep, with sexy sweetness leavening by strong minerality. One of the fullest and most mouthfilling wines of this fleshy vintage. Not hugely complex--in fact a bit youthfully monolithic today--but wonderfully dense wine with fully ripe, sweet tannins and superb persistence.
Rather ripe, but nicely framed by singed apple wood, which keeps the core of damson plum, black currant and black cherry flavors at bay for now. Licorice root and black tea notes undercut the finish, which is on the grippy side. This opens steadily in the glass, too. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2027. 3,750 cases made.
Tight, focused, neat, non-showy wine. Really rather luscious and juicy. Complex. Great balance and a beginning, middle and end. 17.5/20 points.