See our guide to Bordeaux 2009 coverage.
Wine merchants Bibendum are patting themselves very loudly on the back over the success of their consumer primeurs tasting on Wednesday, with the press release in italics below apparently confirming that British wine lovers are extremely interested in this new vintage.
Many more prices are expected next week once the American wine critic Robert Parker has published his scores. Since he gave such high points for so many 2008s, many proprietors are feeling confident of excellent scores for wines made in the much more widely celebrated 2009 vintage. I suspect that once prices for the more famous wines start to come out, we will all realise that we should be snapping up the best wines from humbler appellations, such as some of those in Bordeaux 2009 - more tasting notes just published.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the Bordeaux pyramid, the CIVB has just announced its latest £1 million generic advertising campaign, pushing what is surely red bordeaux's most significant attribute: its suitability for the table. Gone are the vacant-looking models to be replaced by something much edgier.
I still think generic advertising campaigns are of extremely dubious value, but to me this one looks more sensible than all of its predecessors.
Over 900 wine lovers rush to taste Bordeaux 2009 at Bibendum's Bordeaux Tasting
The excitement surrounding Bordeaux 2009 reached fever pitch in London yesterday as over 900 wine lovers, sommeliers and journalists descended on Lord's cricket ground for Bibendum's Annual Bordeaux Tasting.
The only notable absentees were some of the chateau owners who were unable to travel to London from Bordeaux owing to the infamous volcanic ash cloud. For once, it seems that the ashes and Lord's is not a perfect combination! To their credit, nearly 30 producers did travel including AXA Millesimes's Christian Seely, and the hero of the hour, Anthony Barton, who flew in by private jet so as not to disappoint his public.
Those who were able to get to Lord's had a fantastic day. Wines from over 85 châteaux were on show and the tasting featured over 75 wines from the feted 2009 vintage. Bibendum Fine Wine Director Ben Collins said: 'Many of the 2009s were simply fantastic. In many cases the wines tasted even better than they had in Bordeaux a few weeks ago. This is clearly a vintage that has produced some outstanding wines, especially in the Medoc.'
Favourites included Pontet Canet, Pichon Baron, Montrose, La Conseillante and Léoville Barton but some less celebrated names also excelled. Dauzac, Lanessan, Pibran and Tronquoy Lalande are just a few of the wines that will offer superb value for money in 2009.
In addition to the 2009s many chateaux showed an older vintage, with wines stretching back to 1994. Demand to taste wines such as Cheval Blanc 2004, Lynch Bages 2008, Leoville Las Cases 1996 and d'Yquem 1996 was unsurprisingly high.
The tasting rocked. It was the biggest public Bordeaux en primeur tasting ever held in the UK and gave wine lovers their best opportunity to taste Bordeaux 2009 before they buy the wines.
Writing on his blog (www.wineanorak.com), Jamie Goode wrote: 'I love the way Bibendum treat their private customers like adults: for the last few years they have persuaded the Bordeaux producers to send cask samples and representatives over to let customers taste the new vintage for themselves, rather than forcing them to rely on critics.'
It is clearly an approach that works. Bibendum received a record number of wish lists for en primeur wines from attendees as well as plenty of orders for the older vintages. Alex Marton, Bibendum Director of Fine Wine, said: 'We are looking forward to an exceptional Bordeaux 2009 campaign. It was brilliant to speak to so many new customers at Lord's who have not bought Bordeaux en primeur before, who are looking to buy this year.'