Burgundy 2009 - A taste of Cote de Beaune

Burgundy 2009 - A taste of Cote de Beaune

Wednesday 3rd November 2010
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

November has come around all too quickly, but so much the better! For the autumnal colours and bright skies are a joy here in Burgundy, and the temperatures are unusually balmy. 

The first three days of our trip has been spent in the Maconnais and Cote de Beaune.

My expectations were, tentatively, high. These 2009s that appeared so flattering and round in May, will they have lasted a summer in barrel unblemished? The answer is resoundingly yes. Initial reports seemed to indicate a great red vintage but I have found that there are some incredible whites too. Dominque Lafon thinks is the best vintage he has made for white wine, whilst not everyone can say that there plenty of beauties up and down the Cote nonetheless. Certainly those who have picked early, before grapes became too overripe, have made wonderfully balanced Chardonnays, admittedly less racy than in 2007 or 2008 but with absolutely tremendous balance: Silky, ripe, fresh and strong mineral identity, and, it must be said, huge length of flavour even at villages level.

I have not made it to the Cote de Nuits yet but this seems to be a quite excellent vintage for Cote de Beaune reds, particularly Volnay. My tasting with Marquis d'Angerville was exhilirating. Whilst you can not really say for all of the wines that they are better than 2005, I think you can for the Champans, it was simply breathtaking. And as a whole range, from villages upwards, I think they are a hair ahead of 2005. In general the Pinots have the silkiest of textures without losing precision or characteristic varietal bitter-sweetness.

More updates from the Cotes de Nuits on the weekend and over the coming weeks look out for video interviews on the 2009s with some of Burgundy's top growers.

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