90

2010 Château Clément-Pichon, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

( £12.50, 14%, Fine + Rare )

A cru bourgeois that punches well above its weight, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot typifies the best feautures of the 2010 vintage: freshness and concentration of flavour. It’s ripe, yet well balanced with flavours of cassis and plum, a hint of damson and fine, structured tannins. Needs time. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Red, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
94

2009 Thibault Liger-Belair, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

A Nuits St Georges-based producer whose wines are improving with every vintage, Thibault Liger-Belair makes wines that age well, but have plenty of fruit in their youth. This is a little alcoholic on the palate (hard to avoid in 2009), but has attractive cherrystone and raspberry fruit, subtle oak and enough frehsness and minerality to develop in bottle. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
91

2009 Maison Champy, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Pale garnet/pink. There’s some smoky reduction on the nose and palate initially, but it’s balanced by attractive red fruit flavours. The acidity is suprisingly high for a 2009 (is this yield related?) and the wine is just a little short on texture and weight, but it’s still an enjoyable Pinot. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
92

2009 Louis Latour, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Another winery that is in the running for my heavy bottle Burgundy award. Mid garnet/red in colour. The palate shows sweet oak, reasonable concentration, some raspeberry coulis notes and good acidity, with appealing balance. It’s more of a village level wine than a Grand Cru, but it’s still a decent Pinot. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
89

2009 François Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Better known for its holdings in Vosne-Romanée, this domaine produces densely powerful wines with a lot of oak. That’s the case here too: big, dense, low yield-derived Pinot with the barrel staves a little too dominant on the palate and a dry, almost Italianate finish. Not my style of Pinot. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, France, Red, Pinot Noir
93

2009 Jean Grivot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

I am a huge fan of the 2010s from Etienne Grivot’s Vosne-Romanée-based domaine, so the 2009s inevitably suffer by comparison. But this is still a very good wine: quite oaky at the moment, but with excellent underlying sweetness, crunchy acidity and rich black fruits. The oak should intergrate over the next five years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2017-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
97

2009 Jacky Confuron-Cotetidot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Yves Confuron’s wines are very distinctive, partly because of his use of stems but also because of his way of expressing his vineyards. Mid garnet/pink, with a stemmy, but highly aromatic nose. Quite traditional in style, with a firm tanninc backbone giving structure to the sweetness of the fruit. Fresh acidity, finely poised. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir
98

2009 Jean-Jacques Confuron, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

To me, this was one of the wines of the tasting: a pale, scented, delicately crafted Clos de Vougeot that deserves a slot in any Burgundy lover’s cellar. Aromatic and fine, with well integrated oak, wild berry fruit, sappy acidity and superb texture and balance. Who says the 2009s aren’t well balanced? 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-22Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir
96

2009 Daniel Rion, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Mid ruby/pink. Very youthful, with just a hint of (acceptable) reduction. Scented, sexy, plush fruit on the palate with fine-grained tannins and minerally, lip-smacking acidity. Perfumed, complex and mouthwatering, with a long, tapering finish. An impressive wine that will improve further in bottle. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir