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.
Youthful mid garnet/ruby. Made in a very aromatic, modern style, that might be OTT to some. It’s got quite a bit of grip and tanni, with lots of flashy oak and ripe, sweet fruit. I’d like fewer splinters, but this is still an ambitious wine.
Consistently among my favourite négociants in Burgundy, Drouhin makes very good wines at every level. This is delicate pink in colour. On the nose and palate, it’s remarkably elegant for a 2009, with no sign of high alcohol. Refined and aromatic with rose petal and tomato leaf scents, leading on to fresh, cherry and wild stawberry fruit. Appealingly understated.
A new name to me, but one to remember, for this is a stylish wine. Youthful and light, albeit in a modern, fruity style, with sweet oak backed up by scented pomegranate and raspberry fruit and subtly interwoven oak. Fresh and lively on the palate with very good length and appealing sweetness.
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.
Mid ruby/garnet. There’s some slightly off-putting reduction on the nose here, that’s emphasised by the smoky oak. The wine finishes with high acidity and not enough friut. In short, it’s out of kilter. Or was when I tasted it.
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.
Not the most exciting Clos de Vougeot on the market. It’s decently made, with lots of sweet fruit and oak, but the wine seems rather four-square, with too much extraction and a rather firm, dry finish.
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.
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.
Mid ruby with a hint of purple. A muscular wine: big and bold and aromatic. But the oak seems excessive to me somehow, with lots of coffee bean and smoky oak that’s smothering the fruit flavours. The domaine could spend less on barrels and improve its wines in my view.
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.