Robert Parker’s “Magical 20”, Ten Years On
To celebrate the ten year anniversary of Robert Parker’s “Magical 20”, we’re revisiting the extraordinary 20 Bordeaux wines that the renowned critic handpicked from the excellent 2009 vintage. Although these wines weren’t classed as First Growths, Parker proclaimed that they were “of First-Growth quality” and because of that “they are undervalued and very smart acquisitions.” As you can imagine, sales of these wines skyrocketed after his list was released.
It was at the packed Wine Futures fair in Hong Kong in 2011 that Robert Parker’s “Magical 20” was unveiled to a 1,000 person strong audience which comprised both the industry’s finest, as well as wine lovers from around the world. Every attendee was served each wine in a new glass at the perfect serving temperature while Parker spoke about his observations. This was quite a feat and we can only imagine what the atmosphere in the room must have been like.
The selected wines came from estates from both the Left and the Right Bank and featured incredibly fine, high-scoring wines. While his entire selection are top-performers, stand-out properties include: Château Cos D’Estournel, Château Lynch-Bages and Château Pontet Canet.
For Parker, there were two types of great Bordeaux vintages, as he outlined during the tasting. 2009 could be compared to “elegant” years such as 1982, 1990 and 2003 as they expressed “finesse” and were both approachable when young but also had great ageworthiness. The other type of great Bordeaux vintages - which include 2000 and 2010 - take decades to develop.
The effect Parker had on the wine world is undeniable and it’s arguable that Robert Parker’s “Magical 20” was his swan song as, several years after the event, he would step down from reviewing Bordeaux before finally retiring in 2019. Whether he knew at the time the full impact that the tasting would have years after or not, one thing that is undeniable, is the fact that the 2009s will be “complex and interesting 75 years from now.”
Westgarth Wines is proud to have the 2009s from the “Magical 20” available to buy, just click on your favorite châteaux below: