2009 red Burgundy
Beautifully ripe and fleshy wines, and the only reason for not awarding so hedonistic a vintage the full 5 stars is that the acidity in many wines is rather low, and thus there are question marks over its long-term ageing potential. But there are few grounds for anxiety. The wines won’t require very long cellaring, but in the medium term they will be delicious and rewarding.
*Vintage guide updated January 2017
It was hot during the spring, but flowering was early, from late May onwards. Stormy spells in mid-July threatened oidium and mildew, and some treatments were required. Fortunately warm weather soon returned, and indeed there was a heatwave from 10 August. This allowed the fruit to ripen perfectly, especially since early September continued warm. A little rain, especially in the Côte de Beaune, was timely and welcome. The reds in the Côte de Beaune were picked by mid-September, and possibly picked a bit too early, but Côte de Nuits growers waited until later in the month, and some domaines may have picked too late, resulting in wines with low acidity and high alcohol. Arnaud Mortet in Gevrey-Chambertin noted that it was important to pick at just the right moment to ensure the fruit was optimally ripe.
Initial comparisons were made with the 2005 and even 1990 vintages, but that was probably a bit optimistic. The 2009s tend not to have the tannic structure of the 2005 vintage, and perhaps a better comparison, as suggested by Aubert de Villaine of DRC, is with 1959, another hot year with low acidity.
Conditions were fairly uniform in 2009, so there were no stark variations in quality between villages or sectors. Village wines can be drunk now, with few exceptions, but premiers and grands crus will probably benefit from more bottle age. But these are wines to be enjoyed for their luxurious ripe fruit, and except for the most structured wines from the Côte de Nuits they should be broached fairly soon.