Frederick Wildman & Sons recently held a 2009 Burgundy barrel tasting at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. Though much of the wine has not yet been bottled, it was, nevertheless, interesting to taste the first sips of the vintage.
I was able to speak with several winery representatives, including Vincent Avenel, Faiveley’s Export Director, and he had this to say about the 2009 vintage, “2009 is the pleasure vintage..most of the wines have ripe, not strong tannins…not the same ageing potential as the ‘o5’s, but they are voluptuous and over deliver at their entry”. He went on to say that it is very likely that ’09s will drink earlier, and it may very well be that 1er Crus will be at their peak when they are between 10-15 years of age, earlier than ’05’s.
Faiveley’s Nuits-Saints-George, 1er Cru “Les Porets St-Georges ” greeted me with the characteristic violet aromas of the region whereas the Gevrey-Chambertin, 1er Cru “La Combe aux Moines” or “Monk’s Valley” softer, smokier aromas beckoned. As I tasted the Chambertin “Clos de Beze” (which was previously the name of the Abbey at the site), I inquired as to the oak treatment. The amount of time this wine spent in barrel after fermentation was 14-16 months in French oak, 2/3 in new oak, 1/3 in 1-2 year-old barrels. Oak is a contributing factor to the structure and adds to the complexity of aromas and flavors of this wine without overpowering it.
At D. Jacques Prieur, Enologist Nadine Gublin agrees with M. Avenel when she says “‘ 2009 is more accessible, round and very smooth…2005 is tighter, bigger, more structured”. After tasting the Beaune, 1er Cru ‘Champs Pimonts” and the GC Clos de Vougeot, ripe, fruit-forward aromas dominated within a firm structure. By the way, D. Prieur can toot its horn when exclaiming to the world that it is the only domaine in Burgundy that owns vines in all five GC appellations of Chambertin, Musigny, Clos de Vougeot, Corton
Charlemagne and Montrachet.
Also noteworthy was Chateau Fuisse, the premier white Burgundy producer in the Macon, has just come out with its first sparkling wine. Cremant de Bourgogne, a Blanc de Blanc,is a light straw-colored refreshing sparkler. All I was missing was a few fresh oysters on the half shell.
A glass of Burgundy a day definitely keeps the blues away…