2009 white Burgundy
Just as the sumptuous red 2009s were affected by low acidity, the same was true of the whites. But with white wines there is more cause for concern. There are some flabby wines and it took skill if growers and winemakers were to retain freshness in these wines. On the other hand, these are rich crowd-pleasing wines that will give much pleasure in the medium term.
*Vintage guide updated January 2017
Spring was warm and flowering early and uneventful. Nor did the stormy conditions in mid-July do much serious damage, and the vines cruised on through August and early September, reaching high ripeness levels. Some growers picked early simply to retain acidity; those who waited found that the acidities remained stable and did not decrease dramatically with longer hang-time. Most estates were picking by the end of the first week in September, and the harvest was completed by mid-September, and the wines were fruity if rather soft and forward. Conditions were very similar in Chablis, delivering fruity wines for medium-term drinking.
This was not a year for energetic lees-stirring, a technique that could only increase any tendency to blowsiness. These are wines to be enjoyed for their immediacy of fruit, though some of the top premiers crus and the grands crus may still have plenty of life in them.
This is a vintage that should have favoured the cooler zones and villages, such as St Romain. On the other hand, the wines from those spots rarely have the structure for ageing, and such wines will be getting long in the tooth by now. The higher slopes of the Côte de Beaune should have delivered slightly fresher wines than those on rich soils lower down, but much will have depended on the picking date. On the whole the grands crus justified their exalted reputation, delivering wines of texture and nuance as well as weight. In Chablis there were many delicious wines, but village wines should be drunk up, and premiers crus broached soon.