Bertrand Ambroise makes some of the best value Burgundies on the market, from his basic wines right up to his Grands Crus. They are characterised by restrained use of oak, subtle, understated fruit flavours and considerable finesse. This is light, perfumed and refreshing, but with complex wild starwberry and forest floor notes, tangy acidity, great poise and a fine, tapering finish.
Deep ruby with purple notes. Evidence of over-ripeness on the nose and palate, with some volatility, oxidation and extraction. Pruney and tannic, this is the sort of wine that gives Clos de Vougeot a bad name as a Grand Cru.
Famous for its amazing Grand Cru holdings, Jacques Prieur hits the heights more often with its whites than its reds. That’s not to play down the quality of this wine, which is very good indeed; rather it is intended to praise the Côte de Beaune wines. This is aromatic and smoky, with subtle oak, sweet red fruits and enough structure and tannin to age.
Very, very pale, almost transparent Pinot. Delicate and very subtle with red fruits, a hint of forest floor and wild mushrooms. Long and refined with grainy, sculpted tannins, refreshing acidity and a long finish. The wine needs a little more concentration perhaps.
The quality of this Boisset-owned domaine within a négociant is consistently outstanding, thanks to very good vineyards and the talent of winemaker Pierre Vincent. This is very pale and elegant on the nose and palate, almost ethereal in fact. It may not age for a long time, but it’s delicious now, with notes of redcurrant and sweet raspberries.
Mid garnet/pink. A little closed on the nose and showing some reduction, possibly pre-bottling. Red fruits, cherry and a hint of int, with fresh acidity and some minerality. Not massively complex, but more than acceptable.
Pale garnet in colour, very delicate. A little oak-dominated on the nose and palate, with a note of burnt meat. There might be a little whole bunch character here, or it could just be the slightly intrusive oak. Whatever it is, it reminded me of an Islay malt whisky’s peatiness. Strange wine.
Mid ruby/garnet. Aromatic, modern style with quite a bit of oak. Firm and slightly chunky on the palate, but there’s more than enough fruit underneath for balance. A wine that is still in the starting blocks. Give it some time and it will hit its stride.
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.
Another heavy bottle award contender from Burgundy. The nose is a little over-ripe and alcoholic (a pitfall in 2009), with lots of oak and a tannic finish, possibly from slight raisining. I’m not convinced this will age.
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.
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.