Each January London’s wine trade shows the wines of the latest Burgundy vintage to be bottled. These 2009s are on sale now en primeur”. The tastings were covered for wine-pages by our columnist Natasha Hughes and all prices are in bond, ex VAT, unless otherwise stated. We have grouped the notes by merchant, but please note that other merchants will be selling these wines too.
Don’t believe all the hype surrounding Burgundy’s 2009 vintage. Although there are some very good wines indeed, the warm growing season allowed the fruit to ripen to such an extent that clumsy winemakers have created over-ripe wines with too little acidity, over-ripe fruit and high levels of alcohol. In short, many wines lack the tension that creates great Burgundy and there is a question mark over their ability to age gracefully.
Elsewhere, thoughtful winemaking has resulted in wines that are sensual and, in many cases, approachable in their youth. In addition, appellations that sometimes seem somewhat austere – Pommard and Nuits-St-Georges in particular – have had their structured frames cloaked in lush fruit. This is also a good year for bargain hunters as entry-level appellations that can be lean in ‘normal’ years offer vivid ripeness in 2009.
Berry Bros & Rudd
Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet, Puligny-Montrachet
(£312 ib). A hint of struck match on the nose, but the palate is dominated by and intense lime and lemon character. Crisp acidity. A very direct wine.
Domaine Patrick Javillier, Meursault Cuvée les Clousots
(£330 ib). Quite sinewy for a Meursault, with plenty of zesty lemon fruit and bracing acidity. Pure and well defined, not as opulent as many Meursaults.
Domaine Arnaud Ente, Meursault Clos des Ambres
(£246 ib for 6-bottle case). The domaine’s basic Meursault (£375 ib) is very good indeed, but this cuvée steps up the concentration of lime-lemon fruit, with toasted oak adding complexity to both flavouring and texture. Poised, persistent and rich.
Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées
(£360 ib). Not much evidence of fruit on the nose, which is dominated by buttered toast, but the palate shows evidence of ripe quince and pineapple. Despite a luminous streak of acidity, the overall impression one is left with is that of buttery, plush richness.
Domaine de Montille, Pommard 1er Cru Pézérolles
(£540 ib). Ripe mulberry fruit and dried berries, tinged with spice. Slightly chunky tannins. The vivid acidity lifts the palate and helps prolong the finish. Needs time to round out the slightly gawky edges.
Domaine du Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux
(£597 ib). Almost Volnay-like in terms of its perfumed, floral dark cherry fruit, but with Pommard’sfour-square, burly structure. Supported by a framework of oak that renders it slightly gawky at the moment. Needs time in bottle.
Domaine de Bellene, Nuits-St-Georges Vielles Vignes
(£288 ib). This wine shows some of Nuits-St-Georges’ characteristically firm structure, but it’s cloaked in so much lively, perfumed mulberry and spice fruit that it seems charming and approachable in its youth. Made in a fruit-driven, fleshy style.
Domaine David Clark, Côte de Nuits-Villages
(£174 ib). Perhaps not the most concentrated wine in the world, but great value for money. Sinewy tannins cloaked in juicy, perfumed fruit with just a hint of sous-bois. Fresh and reasonably long.
Domaine Sylvain Cathiard, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Malconsorts
(£1,290 ib). A big wine that, for the moment is caged in by tight-knit, silky tannins. As it evolves, all its richly perfumed, layered fruit will emerge from its shell: dark berries, spice, violets and earthy notes. Poised, precise and very, very long.
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Baudes
(£315 ibfor 6-bottle case). From a parcel just below Bonnes Mares. Silky texture and lively acidity in tandem with fine-grained, firm tannins. Layered, perfumed red fruit. A graceful wine with great persistence.
Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet, Meursault Le Tessons
(£375 ib). A good streak of minerality along with Meursault’s classic buttered toast and citrus fruit. Precisely balanced.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly
(£265-300 ib). Some real excitement and vibrancy on both nose and palate. The attack presents itself with a toasty richness, but gives way to a racy palate of great purity and minerality. An effortless wine with a long, luminous finish.Very good.
Domaine Vincent Morey, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru La Truffière
(£470 ib). The nose is still reticent, but already showing a wonderfully textured, creamy palate and some savoury fruit. Good streak of minerality. Shows great promise.
Albert Bichot, Batard Montrachet Grand Cru
(£1.620 ib). A bold wine with layers of fruit – lime, lemongrass, juicy white peaches, honeysuckle – interwoven with textural oak. Crisp acidity and a seam of minerality keeping it all in check. Long, pure finish.
Domaine Sylvie Esmonin, Bourgogne Cuvée Sylvie
(£110). An entry-level Bourgogne Rouge that delivers plenty of spice, violets and cherries for the price. Tannins a tad stalky, perhaps, but plenty of personality. Good value.
Chablis Union des Grands Crus
Domaine Laroche, Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
(POA, Liberty Wines). Although still somewhat dumb on the nose, the palate is full and ripe. Powerful fruit with a backbone of firm acidity and a mouth-wateringly saline finish. Potent and poised.
Domaine Gérard Tremblay, Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir
(POA, Les Caves de Pyrene). Slightly nutty note as well as yoghurty lees-aged character allied to a hint of peaty smoke. Round texture and brisk acidity give this wine enough structure to age well.
Château Long-Depaquit, Chablis Grand Cru Moutonne
(£475 ib, Genesis Wines). A well-rounded wine with a pleasantly creamy texture and limpid fruit underpinned by stony minerality. Persistent, hints of potential complexity. Very good.
Domaine William Fèvre, Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir
(£452 ib, John E Fells & Sons). While many Chablis seemed over-ripe, Fèvre’sVaudésir maintained a lovely salty briskness, with lively citrus and green apple fruit. Not the most complex of the Grand Cru Chablis, but pleasant and approachable in its youth.
Domaine Saumaize-Michelin, Saint-Véran Les Crèches
(£140 ib). From vines grown on limestone, which lends the wine vivid acidity. The fruit is ripe, but not overly so and there’s a hint of minerality. A good, palate-cleansing finish.
Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot, Puligny-Montrachet Les Noyers Brets
(£275 ib). Tough choosing a favourite between this and the domaine’spromising, rich Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chevenottes (£365 ib), with its great length and purity of fruit. Les NoyersBretsshows plenty of youthful promise, with elements of toasty oak, reductive struck match notes and creamy lemon curd on the palate. Great intensity leavened by racy acidity and a subtle minerality.
Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Les Fairendes
(£280 ib). A powerful, succulent wine with concentrated berry fruit. The oak is still somewhat gawky, but should integrate over time. Tannins are supple and fine-grained, the acidity juicy and the finish long.
Domaine Daniel RionetFils, Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les HautsPruliers
(£405 ib). Quite fleshy, with dark cherry and raspberry fruit, tinged with a trace of dried herbs. The tannins are chewy, but ripe and fine-grained. Lively acidity lends balance.
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Cru Champans
(£480 ib). Very pure cherry and spice fruit on the palate. Graceful, despite its intensity, with generous fruit and tannins. Already showing complexity and subtlety, although the oak needs time to integrate fully. (The producer’s Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs, £725 ib, shows even more intensity of fruit and structure. It’s a wine that’s built for the long haul and should repay careful cellaring.)
Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Chapelle-Chambertin
(£725 ib). Concentrated and rather pure red fruit tinged with clove spice and caged in by tight-knit tannins. It would be infanticide to drink this taut, nervy wine before 2015 at the earliest.
Domaine Clos des Rocs, Macon Loché
(£85 ib). Some real ripeness of fruit with a touch of lees-influenced texture. Brisk acidity and a real sense of density. Far more than anyone has a right to expect at this price.
Domaine Bernard Defaix, Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet
(£124 ib). As stony and saline as a walk along a breezy coastline. Notes of citrus and crisp green apples; linear and fresh. Textbook Chablis.
Domaine Pernot-Belicard, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières
(£205 ib for a 6-wine case). A palate laden with fleshy, savoury fruit, as well as a seam of Puligny’s hallmark minerality. Just enough toasty oak to provide a counterpoint. Zesty acidity sustains a long, precise finish.
Domaine Bernard Moreau, Chasagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Vergers
(£295 ib). An opulent nose of toasted hazelnuts, but the palate is lean and pure, supported by rich oak and cleansing minerality. Pure and poised, very much a wine under the control of the winemaker.
Domaine Ballot-Millot, Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes
(£205 ib). Rich, fleshy texture enlivened by a very pure, mineral seam of lemon/lime fruit layered with a hint of toasted nuts. Direct, focused, long.
Domaine Guiton, Volnay Les Petits Poisots
Domaine Guiton, Pommard
(£228 ib). These two wines form a fascinating contrast. The Volnay is firmer than classic Volnay, with some bright fruit and good minerality. The Pommard shows the appellation’s typical robust tannins, but cloaks them in rather more fleshy, appealing fruit than the norm. There’s a hint of leather and sous-bois to nuance the long finish.
Domaine Hudelot-Noéllat, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
(£395 ib for a 6-bottle case). As you might expect from both producer and appellation, this is complex, layered wine with plenty of dense, dark fruit, albeit with a pleasingly light touch. What does, perhaps, come as a surprise is how approachable it is in its youth, thanks to its velvety tannins. You could drink it in a couple of years – although you’d kick yourself for not holding at least a few bottles back for a decade or so.
Domaine Lucieet Auguste Lignier, Chambolle Musigny Les Buissières
(£269ib). A really charming wine, with plenty of pretty fruit and silky, elegant tannins and bright acidity. The long, perfumed finish is redolent of cherry stones and violets, allied to darker notes of incense and smoke.
Domaine Les Lebreuil, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Serpentiers
(£205 ib). At the moment the oak on this wine seems a bit gawky and disjointed, but there’s little doubt that, within the next couple of years, it will meld with the vibrant red fruit, zippy acidity and firm, fine-boned tannins to create a very appealing wine indeed.
Domaine Gilbert Picq, Chablis 1er Cru Vosgros
(£120 ib). Fairly ripe for Chablis, with floral and peach notes underlined by a pleasing chalkiness. The creaminess of the texture hints at batonnage, while lively acidity keeps it all in balance. A precise finish and good persistence.
Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard, Criots-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru
(£445 ib for a 6-bottle case). At the moment this is a bit dumb on the nose, but the palate opens up to show intense layers of ripe fruit leavened by bright acidity and minerality. A powerful but precise wine that is a bit gawky in its youth but shows promise of deliciousness to come.
Domaine Patrick Javillier, Meursault Les Tillets
(£285 ib). More lean and mineral than many Meursaults, especially in this vintage.Piercingly fresh with stony minerality showing on the finish.
Dujac Fils et Père, Chambolle-Musigny
(£249 ib). A pretty, graceful wine with crisp raspberries and redcurrants interwoven with hints of flowers and autumn leaves. Supported by fine-grained tannins and brisk acidity. The finish is long and haunting.
Domaine des Lambrays, Morey St Denis (£315 ib).Perfumed and silky with pretty dark fruit, fresh acidity and supple, silky tannins. Not the most complex wine in the world, but refreshing and easy to drink.
Domaine Sylvain Cathiard, Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru aux Murgers
(£480 ib for a 6-wine case). Very perfumed and fresh with a floral lift. The tannins are chewy but tight-knit, the acidity vivid and the texture refined, creating an impression of an iron fist in a silk glove. Real potential to age well.
Domaine Vincent Dampt, Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet
(£170 ib). Although there’s a certain richness of texture on the palate, the fruit is characteristically Chablisienne in nature, with a brisk saline twang to go with a hint of fresh white peaches. Intense, vivid and crisp.
Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Beaune 1er Cru les Teurons
(£250 ib). A pleasant, easy-to-drink wine, even in its youth, with good, crunch red fruit and a touch of sweet oak spice. Open-weave tannins and a pretty, perfumed finish.
Domaine Gilles Jourdan, Côtes-de-Nuits-Villages La Robignotte
(£195 ib). Although this producer’s entry-level Bourgogne Pinot Noir ViellesVignes (£110 ib) offers great value for money, the pick of the wines on offer is La Robignotte, made from the grapes from a single parcel. Deep raspberry/mulberry fruit with a distinctly earthy streak. Ripe, fleshy fruit cloaks some fairly austere, chewy tannins. Smoky minerality on finish.
Domaine A & P de Villaine, Bouzeron
(£125 ib). The wine shows a yoghurty-sour milk character as well as a saline minerality. Good creamy texture and fresh acidity. Bats well above appellation weight, as you might expect from such a talented winemaker.
Lea & Sandeman
Domaine Anne Gros, Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc Cuvée Marine
(POA). Zesty lemon and apple fruit allied to textural oak. Rich and full, but balanced by brisk acidity. Moderate length.
Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Grandes Ruchottes
(£327 ib). A fair amount of weight and richness on the palate, along with some creamy oak, counterpointed by minerality and crisp acidity. The overall impression is of a lithe, long wine with intense, layered fruit.
Domaine RémiJobard, Meursault 1er Cru Poruzot Dessus
(£393 ib). Classic Meursault nose and palate, showing buttery toast and a limpid seam of lemon zest fruit. Stony minerality, pure, with crisp acidity and an intense, prolonged finish. Oak still needs time to integrate fully.
Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot, Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
(£1,239 ib). A bit closed down at the moment, but hints of layers of flavours and minerality to come. The palate is richly textured, the acidity seamlessly crisp and the finish long and vivid.
Domaine Henri Boillot, Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets
(£543 ib). Good old-fashioned Volnay, with a touch of leather to accompany the floral fruit. Concentrated and long, with silky tannins. Oak needs time to integrate fully.
Domaine J Confuron-Cotetidot, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Suchots
(£426 ib). Dark fruit and spice on the attack, although the long finish is decidedly floral in character. Concentrated, though not clumsy, with fine-grained tannins and nervy acidity. The oak is still a bit gawky, but this is a promising wine.