A year ago, they were inpenetrable, unenjoyable, and hard for me to judge. Here is what I wrote then:
...generally I didn't enjoy any of the 2008's. Very tight and ungiving, many with greenish character, tons of smoky wood and soapy spice, dark black fruits, extremely tannic and masculine at this point. I will come back to them in a year or two for further judgment.Now, a year later, after tasting this weekend, I am starting to become enthusiastic about this vintage, especially because there are great deals to be had, while the glorified 2009 and 2010 vintages are taking up the majority of critics' and consumers' attention. While retailers are dumping the 2008's at half the price of the next two vintages, I recommend you take a closer look. They are starting to open up, and reveal classical and balanced profiles of Bordeaux, at relatively low alcohol (13.5% range), and good aging potential, perhaps not as deep as 2005 and not as ripe and flamboyant as 2009.
Two 2nd Growths from Medoc that I tasted - 2008 Chateau Leoville Poyferre (St Julien) and 2008 Chateau Cos D'Estournel (St. Estephe) both were attractive, with Poyferre dense, tightly-wound, and showing more restraint, and the famous "super-second" D'Estournel a bit sweet and new-worldly for my palate (making me think of Opus One and Dominus), but tasty. The best value was a little known Cru Bourgeois from Margaux- 2008 Chateau Mongravey - at under $30, very enjoyable and ready-to-drink Bordeaux.