Here at TWH, this has been quite the eventful week! I just got word that our next container from France is almost full and will be on the water shortly. On it will be some goodies from the Loire Valley and Burgundy as well as more 2009 Bordeaux. 2009 Bordeaux. Pinch me, I’m dreaming. They’re that good. As I’ve said recently, you don’t need a second mortgage to fill your cellar with high-quality 2009 Bordeaux. I’ve been excitedly writing about this subject ever since April 2010 when I returned from the En Primeur tastings. We sold healthy quantities of some of my recommendations as futures, and I’m grateful for those of you who participated in that. Things are different now. Today, as I write about yet another fabulous, budget-friendly 2009 Bordeaux, just know that the wine is here, ready to be tasted. Many customers have been picking up their 2009’s, and guess what? They’re loving it! No doubt they will be great in 15-20 years, but what’s simply amazing is that they’re already showing brilliantly. And this week, several customers have entered TWH elated at the quality of the 2009’s they’ve bought here, like longtime customer Ken, who was radiating about one that I recommended.
One of the reasons why it’s great to have an independent family-style wine shop staffed with folks who love wine at your beckon call is that we pay attention to what you buy, what you like, and just as important, what you don’t like. Many years ago, Ken and I had a conversation about modern styled wines versus old-school ones. He mentioned that he preferred the latter, and when he said that, I knew I had something for him! I told him that we just so happened to have an atavistic Bordeaux from the celebrated 2000 vintage. He tried a bottle. Then another. Then another. Eventually it sold out. Ken came in this past week, and when I saw him, I rose from my desk and put a bottle of 2009 Château Larrivaux, Haut-Médoc in his hands. He bought several other wines that day, but when he and his better half came in today, she exclaimed, “He’s so excited about this wine that he brought in the cork!” What was it? The 2009 Château Larrivaux, of course. He was so happily excited that he went back and emptied the bin. Using terms like “lean”, “mannered”, and “very adult”, he then went on about its “cheap price.” It’s always such a good feeling when we’re able to find something affordable that resonates so well with a customer that they can’t contain themselves when they come back to the shop! He went on to say, “Once upon a time, you found an atavistic Bordeaux, and I loved it. I bought bottle after bottle, and then it sold out and we cried. You kept prospecting, kept on tasting, and low and behold, you’ve found another winner; thank you!” No. Thank you, Ken.
A little research yields some interesting tidbits. First off, the château is run by Berangère Tesseron, the wife of Basile Tesseron of 4th Growth Château Lafon Rochet in nearby St. Estephe. Basile is the nephew of Pauillac high flyer Alfred Tesseron of Château Pontet Canet fame. Larrivaux has been in existence since the late 16th century, and has been run by the women of the family throughout the generations. The wine has a particular degree of finesse and elegance, which could lead some to call it feminine, which just makes sense, considering the château’s history. Though Ken argued this point with me, saying that Red Bordeaux is masculine by rule. Either way, it is a fantastic wine from a legendary vintage for a very fair price that will bring pleasure to all who taste it for years to come. I highly recommend that all you budget-friendly Bordeaux lovers jump on this opportunity to taste this delectable wine.
So yes, I get more and more excited every time I hear about any customer’s experience with any of our 2009 Bordeaux, and it has begun to happen with regularity! The Blues won a huge match this afternoon and last week’s Wilco shows were sensational! Good times! Even better, there’s budget-friendly 2009 Bordeaux here at TWH. Come and git it! – Peter Zavialoff
Neal Martin’s notes: “A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot, this has a fine crisp dark brambly nose: good definition with hints of black olive tapenade and a touch of smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with a lovely, slightly “digestif” entry, good acidity, very well balanced with and fine, quite racy finish. Very fine. Tasted March 2010. (89-91 points)”
Above photo of Berangère and Basile Tesseron from