2009 vs 2010 Burgundy – Woo’s View

What Joss didn’t say.. I’ll keep it simple.  Less journalistic.  And less…..’diplomatic’. Personally, I like to see the big picture – and hear how other people perceive the big picture.  So I am not going to be polite because it is commercially expedient to be polite – or be contrarian because swimming against the tide grants me notoriety.  And I don’t mind being scrutinised.  So I am going to score the wines. In bullet points –

  • This tasting further reinforced the idea that 2010 is a truly special vintage in Burgundy.  In both red and white.  One of the great ones of my lifetime, I think.  The whites are vibrant, powerful, and will last.  The reds are laid back, pure and silky.  But concentrated. A “wow” vintage.  And wow wines.
  • The more 2009 Burgundy I taste, the less certain I am that this is the great red wine vintage I initially thought it was – assuming that you like cool, sophisticated Pinot Noir.  When one does pop bottles of 09, more wines than expected reveal flavours that are at the point of being jammy.   They remind me of how US Pinots taste.  And I like US Pinots.  A lot.  But I feel a bit uneasy about Burgundies that taste so like US Pinot.
  • That being said if I was buying an inexpensive red Burgundy for drinking now (sub £40 let’s say – because Burgundy is overpriced at the moment – yes – I said that), I’d pick 09 ahead of 10 every day of the week.   Because in appellations where ripeness is harder to achieve, 09 kicks ass.  Sub £40 – 09 is the daddy.  Over £40 – 2010 takes over.
  • We may have dismissed 2009 white Burgundy as flabby and inconsequential a bit too rapidly.  Certainly the wines of two (top) growers (who harvest early) were fabulous.

My notes on the wines:

2009 Meursault Porusots, Deux Montille                                           88/100

Modest pale gold colour.   Pleasing nose.  Open and rather Californian (the highly apposite adjective coming courtesy of Major Silk within milliseconds).  Broad and soft, with apricot and nut flavours.  Nice.

2010 Meursault Porusots, Deux Montille                                           91/100

More expressive mineral and floral nose.   Crisp, chalky, slightly leesy palate.  A bit Puligny for me, with notes of limeflower and grapefruit.  Shows how a (relatively) modest appellation can get a makeover because of the brilliance of 2010

2009 Meursault Genevrieres, Boisson Vadot                                     94/100

….but this, from a vintage I theoretically like a lot less for white wines, is the real deal.   Turbo-charged hazelnut and spice nose.  Savoury, broad and very Meursault.  Has hints of banana and mango on the palate, sure – but there is plenty of acid and structure to carry it through.  Will keep.  Lovely.  I wish I owned this.

2010 Meursault Genevrieres, Boisson Vadot                                     96/100

Considerably paler in colour than the 09.  A hit of spearmint on the nose, followed by edgy, smokey, mineral notes that Joss dismisses as “struck match” (despite his love of Coche – in which you often discern the same aromatics).  Ho hum.  It must be so very tiring swimming up hill.  Pure, very saline, very long, bracing.  All mineral and acid at this stage.  Not showing Genevrieres’ opulence yet, but this is still an infant and a very beautiful one.  Going to grow up to be a Prima Ballerina.  Or a Goddess.  It’s that good.  Really.

2009 Meursault Genevrieres, Coche Dury                                         97/100

Courtesy of (a) Major Silk….. FMOB.  (for those not familiar with this term – “Fill my old boots – or indeed any other verb beginning with an ‘F’ that one might care to use…). A-mazing.   Fuller colour than the Boisson Genevrieres 2010.  Fabulous taut and yet opulent scent of spice, spearmint and struck match (or flint ?) (yes Joss).  The palate is just complete, beguiling and totally compelling: at once rich and yet taut, gravelly and creamy.   As good as the Boisson 2010 is, at this stage at least, the Coche gives more.  Just great vin blanc.

2010 Meursault Genevrieres, Coche Dury                                         ?/100

Around the table the consensus was that this wine was faulty.  But on the only previous occasion I drank a Coche 2010, (the village Meursault) my experience was similar.  Is it just possible the emperor lost his clothes in 2010 ?   Anyway.   Tasted as it is: full coloured.  Opulent but fractionally oxidative scents and flavours of peach, pear, apricot mint and bruised apple.  Perfectly OK as a drink – if you didn’t know you were drinking Genevrieres from Coche.

2009 Volnay Champans, Lafon (selectionee par Fowler)                 85/100  &  90/100

I have a problem here.  This is good wine.   But I am with 8 of the 10 other people at the table, in feeling that, at this point of it’s evolution, I doubt I’d guess it to be Pinot Noir if I were to taste it blind. Very deep coloured.  Big scent featuring peppermint, meat, liquorice and eucalyptus.  Also somewhat animal-ey.  This is feral and a bit Southern Rhone.  On the plus side it is long, powerful, rich, meaty, gamey and structured.   So an 85 point Pinot – but a 90 point wine.

2010 Volnay Champans, Lafon                                                           91/100

Also very deep coloured.  Much fresher, more primary nose, with crushed dark fruit, although this also has a choc-mint aspect I don’t think of as entirely Burgundian.  Tauter, livelier and purer – with a really good texture I found missing in the 00.  Long.  Certainly very good.

2009 Volnay Champans, Angerville                                                    92/100

Notably lighter in colour than the Lafon wines.  Looks like Pinot, smells like Pinot, tastes like Pinot.  And yes, it’s Pinot.  And rather lovely Pinot too.  A textbook example of why the Cote de Beaune shouldn’t be overlooked by Pinot-philes.   Perfumed, full Pinot scent.   As Joss says “glossy”. Explosive and floral with sexy, juicy red berry fruit.  Just a touch jammy.  But luscious.  And a bit of a tart.

2010 Volnay Champans, Angerville                                                    94/100

Darker, deeper, cooler raspberry coulis scent.  Quite lovely.  Gorgeous fruit flavours which span red fruit and black fruit; call it blueberry if you like.  Truly sexy but this also has considerable class and poise.  Cashmere smooth.  Gorgeous.

2009 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand                         90/100

Not my bag, I confess.  Good in it’s way, with leathery, spicy, animal, meaty notes on the nose and palate – and, to my mind rather too much oak in evidence to the point I find it intrudes a bit.  Again I find myself thinking ‘Rhone’.  There is some violet and plenty of cherry fruit, but it is just a bit too chunky for my liking.

2010 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand                         93/100

Also a powerhouse, but on this occasion a classy one.  Tons of liquorice and spice.  Silky textured, flashy, chocolatey and moreish.  Quite obviously oaky but here it is enveloped by the texture and panache of this lovely big Burgundy.  Not quite the grace of the Angerville 2010 for me but perhaps that is just Volnay vs Pommard.

2009 Ruchottes Chambertin, Rousseau                                              96/100

……And then there is Rousseau.   The last disappointing wine I had from Rousseau was 1994 Chambertin.  Tasted in 2007.  In a park.  From a plastic glass.  (Just possibly this may not have done the wine any favours, I accept).   Since then I haven’t had a bad bottle.  Not one.  Thus, and as predicted, this is brilliant.  Spicy, smokey, long, herby, earthy, rich and completely palate saturating ; whilst retaining great delicacy.  Completely transcends all the other 2009s reds tonight.  And my score is miserly: I’ve (only) given it 96 because the CSJ, Beze and Chambertin are -no doubt- even better.  But this is special, special wine.

2010 Ruchottes Chambertin, Rousseau                                              95/100

Neck and neck with the 2009.  Maybe longer, maybe more laid back, maybe purer.  Certainly slightly darker, slightly higher toned and maybe a teeny bit brighter.  Lovely crystalline fruit.  Gorgeous also.  Nervy.  A thoroughbred.   But for me today it is the 09 which pips it to the post.

2009 Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Fourrier                           ?/100

I don’t think this is necessarily quite right, as the last bottle I had (courtesy of Marcus Titley) was quite different (and lovely).   On the night, meaty, savoury, animal, and muted on the palate without the characteristic Fourrier abundance of fruit.  What is going on here then ?

2010 Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Fourrier                           94/100

But this is totally Fourrier.  Lifted, ultra-sexy pure fruit nose, like a confit of blueberry, raspberry and cherry.  So concentrated it is almost a cordial.  But it’s so pure.  On the palate there is a bit of Co2 and it needs a shake, really, but you can past that to taste the lovely pure, bright fruit.   Might be even better if it wasn’t tightened by the gas.

2009 Clos de Tart, Momesin                                                              ?/100

This also is materially different from the (much better) version tasted courtesy of Corney & Barrow earlier in the week.  Has the herbal aspect that I found in a number of more recent Clos de Tarts earlier in the week though – did they move over to a percentage of Vendange Entier in or around 2008 ?   Answers on a postcard please ?   However this bottle is not showing well: a bit metallic and not quite right, somehow.  Lacks grace.

2010 Clos de Tart                                                                                93/100

Cool, very fresh fruit aromatics, then spicy, and mineral.  Again, showing slightly different from the bottle earlier in the week but this has lift and grace.   Aerien.   Long flavoured, racy and pure on the palate.   Really good.