What a place to spend Christmas and New Year in! We came with friends who have returned to London for New Year and the only disappointment has been the lack of snow on Mont Ventoux on Christmas Day. Never mind; a delicious capon and all the trimmings that all four adults demanded from their own childhoods made up for this. The weather has been reasonably kind too - whereas it is barely above freezing at home, we have seen temperatures of up to 17 degrees (although it was minus seven on the mountain so, perhaps, not such a bad thing there was no snow).
The wines I have tasted from 2009 have been exceptionally good. I don't remember 2007 being any better. Critics who have suggested this is, perhaps, only a four star vintage compared with the 2007's five stars may be right of course. I can only judge it by what has passed my lips and, given the quality of the estates I have been fortunate enough to befriend over the years, I won't be passing these up either personally or professionally.
A few highlights from the last week or so (estates are listed alphabetically; see individual blog entries):
Domaine des Anges, Ventoux 2009 "Seraphim" is an exciting new wine from Ciaran Rooney and his 2010 Viognier is going to be lovely this summer.
Domaine Bressy-Masson, CDR 2009 punches well above its weight (but wait a couple of years and Paul-Emile will sky-rocket).
Domaine Brusset, CDRV Cairanne 2009 "Les Chabriles" continues to be a perennial favourite (but the CDR is a superb bargain) and, of course, the Gigondas should sell themselves.
Domaine de la Charite: Christophe Coste's Chateau Capucine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009 is a star in the making but I was extremely impressed with some really fabulous 2008s and the excellent 2007 "Les Ombres" Syrah.
Domaine des Coteaux des Travers, Rasteau 2009 "Prestige" and Cairanne were both irresistible.
Domaine de Cristia's old vine Grenache CDR is packed with potential and as for the Chateauneufs...
Domaine Grand Veneur, Lirac 2009 "Clos des Sixte" (all the red wines, really, and the old vine Roussanne)
Domaine de Mourchon's Grande Reserve (in two or three years time) should be as good as the 2007.
Raymond Usseglio's 2009 Part des Anges is simply stunning, one of my wines of the vintage, but the Imperiale is rather special too (and the regular Chateauneuf and Cotes du Rhone are rather good too!)