As expected, the scores are very high. So far, the quality of the top wines look on a par with 2005 - which (in contrast to Robert Parker) he considers superior to the 2000 vintage. "There are definitely going to be some great wines," he reports, "some will be better than their counterparts from 2005, as well as from 2003, 2000 and other modern classic vintages". He also states, however, that the "2009 vintage might not be as great as 2005 in terms of across-the-board quality".
"What strikes me the most about the 2009s is the intensity of tannins and alcohol, yet at the same time the best wines are not overdone, or made in that blockbuster style that you get from so many other wine areas outside of Bordeaux. The wines are still reserved even though they are some of the most structured I've ever seen."
Of the First Growths, Latour, Mouton and Haut Brion (all 97-100) are judged marginally superior to Lafite and Margaux (96-99). Both Latour - "this reminds me of the 1990, but better made and better raised" - and Mouton - "best Mouton since 1982 or 1986; in fact, it's like a bend of the two" - look like early favourites to be awarded perfect scores.
Other big winners include Cos d'Estournel - "could be best ever from here?" - and Malescot St Exupery - "this is absolutely fabulous" - both of which were awarded 97-100.
All the wines awarded 90-93 and above are listed below, along with the scores for the 2005 and 2000 vintages. His scores for the top names from the Right Bank are expected early next week.