Chateau Lousteaueuf 2009, CB
Deep ruby, tight rim. Red fruit diven with lurking black fruit(cabernet-based with a pinch of petit-verdot). Quite weighty fruit for the standard. Some complexities from the use of four grapes(55% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot) coated with a delicate, chalky, tannic finesse(from the individual subsoil known as Ironpan).
Undeniably, there is an air of elegance(cold soak at 8 Celcius; cabernet majority, cool fermentation at 22 Celcius, 30 days).
Hence the palate structure is fine, feels modern, tastes smart and never clumsy. Balanced oak elements are there(dense and fresh, black fruit balanced by vanilla, saddle leather, lead pencil shavings, spice box, Light earth), despite 70% new oak and its juice kept 25% oak fermentation; 18 month or so oak ageing.
My first encounter with this wine is in 1998 in the local chapter of Commanderie of Bordeaux. There has always been a certain light being with Chateau Lousteauneuf. This elegant 2009 vintage, in particular, allows the forward, red fruit to show with some intensity. Vines are 35-year old; the size of the vineyard is 28 hectares; production is merely 40 to 45 hl.
The 28 ha vineyard is roughly 15 KM north of Pauillac. excellent commentaries. "Excellent concentration of fruit here,with crushed blackberries.Full and juicy with medium chewy tannins and a fresh finish.Impressive.Best ever from here". (91 Points). The Wine Spectator. "Cru Bourgeois.Dramatically dark purple.Some scent and impression of silkiness.Very round and flattering.Certainly different from the Medoc norm,but I would guess quite typical of 2009.Very dry finish,but it should all settle down eventually.Needs time". (16/20 Points). Julia Harding. MW. (JancisRobinson.com September 2011).
"What's so striking about 2009 - and I haven't seen this kind of excitement since 1982 - is the quality of the Cru Bourgeois and the petits vins and the generic Bordeaux that are available.In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved. Just like in 1990 and 1982,the low acidity,the very ripe fruit,the high glycerin levels from the elevated alcohols,and the stunning concentration and fruit from low yields will give most of these wines incredible appeal in their youth". Robert Parker. (The Wine Advocate. #188. April 2010).