There’s a pretty much all-pervasive sense of contentment across Burgundy with the 2009 harvest. August did the trick – ‘hot, sunny, magnificent August’ in the words of Louis Jadot winemaker Jacques Lardière – by setting the scene for perfect harvest conditions.
‘Analyses of grapes and juice were good for both reds and whites, the acidities a little lower than sometimes, but this will mean supple, soft, silky Pinots,’ Lardière adds.
Generic body the BIVB describes the whites as having a ‘very attractive’ aromatic profile, backed up by roundness and depth. Meanwhile, the reds are lauded as ‘a feast for all the senses’, boasting red and black fruits, spicy notes, depth and round, silky tannins.
Philippe Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin is wary of jumping to premature judgement of the vintage, but is happy with the maturity and sanitary conditions of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. ‘Grapes of such a quality never gave bad wines,’ he says.
And for Berry Bros’ Jasper Morris MW, the year has more of an air of 1999 than 2005 about it. ‘Sounds good to me,’ he says.
Burgundy endured a long winter into March, but bud break still came early, thanks to warm weather in April. There followed an extended period of unsettled weather up until July, alternating between rain and sun and requiring vigilance in the vineyard against fungal disease.
But any fears were dispelled by warm, sunny weather throughout August and continuing into September and harvest time – allowing a relatively calm and unruffled picking from around 6 September. A few August showers preserved freshness and balance in the grapes.
Morris expects a decent-sized crop, although drier conditions in the Mâconnais will have reduced bunch weights and overall yields in the south. But most other areas report a plentiful crop, with Lardière describing the grapes as healthy and, in certain parcels of Pinot, abundant.
Drouhin tells a similar story. ‘The yields are fairly high and prove that we were right to proceed to green harvest during summer,’ he says.