Le Gay 2009


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Tasting Notes

Tiny yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare and a final blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc have produced an enormously concentrated, black/purple-colored wine exhibiting notes of roasted meats, smoked game, blackberries, coffee, incense and forest floor. This distinctive, large-scaled, viscous, thick Pomerol may be as concentrated as some of this estate's all-time classics (1947 and 1950). I am puzzled by why I could not see this a few years ago. In any event, this is one of the most profound Le Gay's ever produced. Forget it for at least a decade and drink it over the following half century.

Wow! Did I underestimate this wine from barrel! I remember when tasting it at that time, Michel Rolland, who consults at this property, told me he thought it was the best they have made to date. After having it three times from barrel, I could not see that. However, cask aging has certainly been beneficial to this masculine, backward wine. From bottle, the 2009 Le Gay is remarkable.

Score: 96+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

I tasted this wine three times, and while Michel Rolland thinks it is the finest Le Gay yet made, I must disagree. For now, I think it comes in behind the 2008 and 2005. There is no question it is an outstanding wine, but I feel it lacks the concentration and intensity that put both the 2008 and 2005 in the superstar category. Yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare were extremely low, and the final blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. A dark ruby (but not opaque) color is followed by aromas of sweet raspberries and black currants with dusty, earthy, loamy soil notes in the background. The wine is medium to full-bodied and rich, but much lighter and less intense than I expected given the vintage conditions. Three separate tastings over the course of 12 days were inconsistent. (Tasted three times.)

Score: 91/93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

I once described the 2009 Le Gay as monumental and I have no reason to alter that view under these blind conditions. It has a tightly wound bouquet with blackberry, truffle, forest floor and light tobacco scents that gather momentum in the glass. Captivating. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very well poised with an elegant but very persistent finish. This is extremely promising - a sophisticated and refined Pomerol that has exchanged its initial weight and girth for something more profound and long-lasting. Chapeau. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2022 - 2055

Score: 96Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

Tasted at Wine Future in Hong Kong. The Le Gay just has a spellbinding bouquet with brilliant definition and purity with notes of black cherries, warm gravel, dark plum and boysenberry. The palate is beautifully balanced but what I adore is the slightly grainy texture. Effortless poise, perfect acidity with an enthralling sense of symmetry on the finish. Heavenly! Tasted November 2011.

Score: 96Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012

Tasted at Chateau Le Gay. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, picked 26th , 29th September with the Cabernet Franc picked on the 7th or 8th October. The '09 Le Gay has a ripe, blackcurrant, briary, limestone tinged bouquet with very fine definition, opening up nicely with aeration with hint of orange sorbet and apricot. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly chalky tannins, very fresh and well defined with a beguiling sense of symmetry and focus towards the precise finish. Very assured, but so tightly-wound at the moment. You know, I might prefer this to La Violette. Tasted April 2010.

Score: 94/96Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

The deep garnet colored 2009 Le Gay simply sings of minted cassis, baked plums and blueberry pie with touches of cardamom, cloves, tree bark and pencil shavings plus a waft of lavender. The palate is medium to full-bodied and exquisitely textured with satiny tannins and bold freshness framing the vibrant, multilayered fruit, finishing long and perfumed. 2020 - 2050

Score: 98+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2019), March 2019

Lots of plum jam and berries on the nose. Hints of olives and milk chocolate. Full body, with pleasant and velvety tannins and plenty of fruit. Soft and very friendly. Try in 2018.

Score: 93+James Suckling, Robert Parker's Hong Kong Tasting, 8th Nov 2011, November 2011

Blueberry, sea shell and blackberry aromas. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins, yet polished and cool, with a long, racy finish. Dense, with a solid core of everything.

Score: 93/96James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010

Dark crimson. Very gamey and ambitious with amazingly soft tannins. This one virtually crawls towards the consumer asking them to love it. Interesting chalky finish. Some freshness. Pretty damned good! But for early consumption. Date tasted 1st April 2010. Drink 2013-2018.

Score: 17+Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

Formerly owned by the same family as neighbour Chateau Lafleur, Le Gay is now owned by Catherine Péré-Vergé along with other Pomerol properties Montviel and la Violette. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc in 100% new oak. Nevertheless a restrained colour. This is a wine full of finesse with a pleasant, balanced structure. Lovely ripe blackcurrant fruit with a really pure, pristine core of cool cassis. Elegant, subtle and with a real air of quality. Beautifully weighted. Lots to it yet light and poised. Excellent.

Score: 18Farr Vintners, April 2010

Very fresh and pure, this displays a lovely tobacco streak cutting through the enticing core of crushed plum, mulled raspberry and dark fig fruit. Long and racy on the finish, with singed cedar nicely embedded. Has opulence but stays focused. Best from 2013 through 2029.-J.M.

Score: 94James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider (Vol 8, 3), January 2012

The fruit is lovely and rich with depth and power giving fleshiness to the nose. The palate has voluptuous richness, ripe black plum and blackcurrant, the supple power balanced by some fresher fruits that ensure a sleeker feel to the finish. Drink 2020-2040.

Score: 91/95Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

A real explosion of aroma and flavour. Burgundian red fruit nuance. Good depth of succulent fruit. Silky, suave tannins. Persistent and long. Drink 2016-2028.

Score: 17.5James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010

A typical Pomerol with the combination of ripe black fruits and elegance that's traditionally associated with the appellation. Plenty of mushroom and some truffle character too. I love the long almost crisp finish that pulls you back to the glass for more. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)

Score: 95Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, March 2019

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.