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Château Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc 2009

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
‘Mature, full, rich and smooth as silk’ was Bordeaux buyer Tim Sykes’ verdict on what turned out to be the 2009 Peyrabon. Popular with members since its introduction to our range last year, this wine’s 14 months of oak ageing have integrated beautifully, while maintaining lively freshness and energy. This is at its peak and a 2021 Wine Champion.
Price: £22.00 Bottle
Price: £264.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: CM23191

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 14% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Medoc, Graves

Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south,...
Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south, are made within a band no more than 10 kilometres wide at its broadest.

The Bas Médoc, centred on the town of Lesparre, is made up of more clay and sand than its southern neighbour, interspersed with outcrops of the gravel for which the Haut-Médoc is famous. The climate in the peninsula, moderated by the estuary and sheltered by the great Landes forest to the west, is the mildest of any in Bordeaux though also the wettest after Graves.

In the north many estimable red wines are made and there are numerous properties classed as cru bourgeois, a malleable classification which places properties just below the Grand Cru level, using the classic blend of merlot and cabernet, but it is to the south in the Haut-Médoc that the most prestigious wines are made.

The communes of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien, Margaux, Listrac and Moulis are contained within the Haut-Médoc, and wines that are not fortunate enough to find themselves within one of these communes may label themselves Haut-Médoc AC. However, any student of Bordeaux knows that some of the most famous wines in the world are produced in the communes named above. All but one of the five Premier Grand Cru Classé wines of the almost mythical 1855 classification are located here, with three alone sitting in Pauillac.

The soils of the Haut-Médoc are often characterised as gravelly, and indeed there is a significant amount of gravel throughout, in outcrops known as croupes, and much of the success of the great classified estate is attributed to this terroir even though the story of the soil types hereabouts is rather more complex. Gravel is free draining as well as warm in the summer and it is this, in an alliance with the influence of the estuary, that allows cabernet sauvignon to ripen sufficiently. The closer the estate to the estuary the sooner the grapes can ripen, sometimes as much as five or six days earlier than those eight to nine kilometres inland. Though the soils drain freely this causes the vine roots to delve deeply in search of water. This is an asset in regulating the supply of water to the vines which is now regarded as the key to producing high quality fruit.

The land of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc is less fragmented than that of its main rival for the affections of lovers of the finest wines, Burgundy, and estates boundaries can be somewhat more fluid as the reputation of the property is not so bound up in the precise area of terroir it occupies. For example, if Château Margaux were to acquire some vines from a neighbouring property within the commune it could quite legally add those vines to those that supply grapes for their grand vin without it affecting its classification status. As such estates here can occupy quite large tracts of land in comparison with most Burgundy producers.

Graves & Pessac-Léognan

The Graves region lies around the west and south of the city of Bordeaux, and as the name suggests, is famous for the gravelly nature of the soils. Actually there is sandy soil here too but the same free draining, warming characteristics apply as further north. Since 1987 the area has been split , with the creation of the Pessac-Léognan appellation removing the estates north of the town of La Brède and up to Bordeaux itself. This split left Graves without nearly all of its most prestigious properties, including its only Premier Grand Cru Classé in Château Haut-Brion, and a somewhat reduced reputation in the eyes of the public. Much excellent red and white wine is made here on estates that often lie in clearings among the almost ubiquitous pine forests of the area.

Pessac-Léognan is blessed with deeper, more gravelly terroir than its erstwhile compatriot appellation to the south, and has a cru classé system introduced in 1955 that, while younger and less regarded by some than the 1855 version, is at least reviewed occasionally and allows for the recognition of new quality and the demotion of the lacklustre. The classification recognises both red and white wines.

Classified Red Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château de Fieuzal, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission-Haut-Brion, Château Pape-Clément, Château Latour-Haut-Brion.

Classified White Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Laville-Haut Brion, Château Couhins-Lurton, Château Couhins, Château Haut-Brion.

As mentioned above, the brightest star in the Pessac constellation is Haut-Brion, with a reputation as one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to successfully emerge as what might these days be called a Brand, and is mentioned with pleasure by Samuel Pepys in his diary in 1660. The encroachment of the city has surrounded Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Pape-Clément and a good deal of prime vineyard area has been devoured by this relentless urban creep. Though mostly red wine is made there, the white wines of Pessac-Léognan have a very fine reputation, as intimated by the classification above, and are made from a blend of sauvignon and semillon with occasional additions of muscadelle, usually aged in oak and with great potential for ageing.
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Château Peyrabon

This 50-hectare cru bourgeois estate has been under the ownership of wine merchant Patrick Bernard since 1998. The odd thing here is that its vineyards are divided between the Haut-Médoc and Pauillac appellations. The 40 hectares of Haut-Médoc vineyards lie just a mile or so from the border with the Pauillac commune, and the 7 hectares of vines within the boundaries of Pauillac neighbour Châteaux Liversan and Ramage La Batisse.

The wines from the Haut-Médoc vineyards are mostly bottled as Château Payrabon while the wines from Pauillac are bottled as La Fleur de Payrabon. A second wine, Château Pierbone, is a cru bourgeois in its own right made from fruit grown in the Haut-Médoc appellation. Here the terroir is a mix of sand, gravel, clay and limestone planted with cabernet sauvignon (60%), merlot (35%), cabernet franc (3%) and petit verdot (2%).

Patrick Bernard put his money where his mouth is when buying this estate and has invested heavily to improve the vineyards and the winery. Picking is carried out both manually and by machine and vinification takes place in temperature controlled stainless-steel vats where malolactic fermentation occurs, before the wine is aged in French oak barrels.

Bordeaux Vintage 2009

It was immediately clear on tasting the first samples of the wines that 2009 was a thrilling vintage. At the time of our opening offer for 2009 claret we headed our assessment of the vintage with the simple statement: ‘A must-buy vintage’. The statement holds good and will for some time to come.

Growers were delighted and there was excitement all round as it became clear that the vintage had been a huge success. Comparisons with previous great years were happily made and the quality of the wines stood those comparisons very well indeed. The link with the successful vintages of 1989, 1990 and even 1947 is great charm, depth of flavour and structure, excellent balance and natural sweetness, and the bloom of healthy, ripe fruit. 2009 has all the virtues of such great vintages in abundance.

Comparisons with earlier vintages can mislead of course. The best growers these days take greater care in their vineyards to produce less volume but finer quality. They select more rigorously at harvest, ...
It was immediately clear on tasting the first samples of the wines that 2009 was a thrilling vintage. At the time of our opening offer for 2009 claret we headed our assessment of the vintage with the simple statement: ‘A must-buy vintage’. The statement holds good and will for some time to come.

Growers were delighted and there was excitement all round as it became clear that the vintage had been a huge success. Comparisons with previous great years were happily made and the quality of the wines stood those comparisons very well indeed. The link with the successful vintages of 1989, 1990 and even 1947 is great charm, depth of flavour and structure, excellent balance and natural sweetness, and the bloom of healthy, ripe fruit. 2009 has all the virtues of such great vintages in abundance.

Comparisons with earlier vintages can mislead of course. The best growers these days take greater care in their vineyards to produce less volume but finer quality. They select more rigorously at harvest, and in the cellar, and they understand much better than they did 20 years ago how to vinify such wonderful material. It is clear, even now, that the ‘personality’ of 2009 differs from the firm, classic 2000 or bright, fresh attack of the 2005s, fabulous though those vintages are proving to be. The charm, balance and seductiveness of the 2009s is expected to make them taste good at all stages of their development.

In vintages such as 2009 it is extremely rewarding to find outstanding quality in less well-known districts and properties. There is terrific value to be had here and much that will provide generous and sweet-fruited earlier drinking. The best wines, of course, will have great longevity.

In many ways 2009 was a perfect summer for growing grapes in Bordeaux. The even heat was different to the long, torrid, high temperatures of 2003 or the days of excessive heat in 2005, 1989 or 1990. A drop of rain was welcomed in August and apart from a short downpour on 19th and 20th September the harvest took place in ideal weather. The light throughout the year was excellent and helps to explain the high levels of sugar and ripeness in the grapes. The only blot on the climatic copybook was a series of hailstorms in May which scythed through parts of Saint-Emilion, Entre-Deux-Mers and Margaux, in some cases drastically reducing the potential crop.

The onset of pourriture noble, which is key to greatness in Barsac and Sauternes, was rapid and abundant, and some great sweet wines were made.
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2009 vintage reviews

JancisRobinson.com

Nuanced ruby colour.Luscious, round, mature nose. Sweet start with no tannin left and very rich andsatisfying. No raisin character and quite enough freshness. Great for currentdrinking. Very good value.

16.5/20 Jancis Robinson

The Times

The 50 best red winesfor winter: In Bordeaux 2009 was a great vintage, and this cabernetsauvignon-led, cru bourgeois claret, plumped up with merlot and a dab of petitverdot, aged for 14 months in French...
The 50 best red winesfor winter: In Bordeaux 2009 was a great vintage, and this cabernetsauvignon-led, cru bourgeois claret, plumped up with merlot and a dab of petitverdot, aged for 14 months in French oak barrels, is a Christmas cracker.Anyone celebrating with this lovely, leafy, cedary claret will have a greattime. I will definitely be enjoying a glass on December 25.
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- Jane MacQuitty

JancisRobinson.com

This is a no-brainerfor a classic red Bordeaux from a ripe vintage that’s at the peak of itspowers. … The Wine Society understandably went back for more. Lusciously ready.

- Jancis Robinson

Surrey Comet

Anything selected by Tim Sykes is going to be good and this is no exception. Rich silky fruits with plenty of cassis and a surpisingly refreshing finish.

- Gerard Richardson

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