Yields were very small – one third less than in 2007 – due to the hot and dry late season. But the grapes were picked in perfect health and exceptional depth of color and tannin structure – significantly more so than for the 2007s. The tannins are magnificently ripe and sweet and are buried in the opulently ripe fruit. The wines have tremendous depth, power, and richness, with aromas and flavors of violets, black-berry, cassis and cherry fruits, espresso, and spices. The wines finish with great length and lingering, mouth-coating flavors. All of these elements (and more) and framed in a very balanced, elegant, supple package, which is the hallmark of the Autard house style.
The Cuvee La Cote Ronde (50% each Grenache and Syrah) highlights the unique terrior of its origins in the stony soils on the plain between Chateauneuf du Pape and Courthezon. It is structured and powerful with intense fruit and great length.
"This is beautifully rendered, with sleek, polished layers of blackberry, cassis and boysenberry fruit inlaid with toasty spice and sweet anise notes. The long, ganache-coated finish glides along despite its heft, with a great roasted mesquite note that lingers on and on. Drink now through 2013."
"Autard’s quasi-modern-styled offering is the dense plum/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde, a blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah from relatively old vines (60 plus years) that sees some new oak barrels. However, the 2009 shows only subtle evidence of vanillin and toast. It is a seductive, full-bodied, opulent effort displaying notes of caramelized red and black fruits, herbs, licorice and a hint of ink. This full-bodied, rich 2009 is ideal for drinking over the next 12+ years."
The Wine Advocate