The dry whites generally thrive in cooler years, and, sure enough, the warm, dry summer has blunted their attractiveness in 2009. Fruit is very ripe, but with acidities low the wines are plump, generous, exotic and full, but it is doubtful if they will make old bones, with one or two notable exceptions in Pessac-Léognan, Domaine de Chevalier and La Mission Haut Brion for which the vintage rating is considered to be closer to 8/10.
For all their initial appeal they lack the fresh, zingy crispness which characterises them in an exceptional vintage such as 2007. The sweet whites are a different kettle of fish; I must confess to having tasted very few, and greater authorities than I have proclaimed this to be an exceptional Sauternes vintage.
The style amongst those I have tasted leans more towards a complex, fresher kind of wine, rather than the opulent, massive sweetness of vintages such as 1990 or 2003. Certainly conditions for the development of noble rot were ideal, and we need to take a more in-depth look at the Sauternes wines to form a more comprehensive opinion of their merits. Alun Griffiths MW, BBR Wine Director (12.04.2010)