T/N: My Best EVER Bourgogne Rouge - AND IT'S AN '09!

And now for a different change of pace (well, for me anyway)…

I admit, I don’t drink much below 1’er level now days, having discovered in the past too many times that I have been let down, and would rather drink something else than Burgundy at anywhere near this sort of price point…
(and my cellars are kind of bulging over with too much good wine in need of tasting).

So I must admit to being surprised at this wine, which over delivers in what I would have expected (based on many previous experiences) by a very loooonnnnggg way…

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Rouge Les Ursulines:

Nice bright pretty fruit. Still young purple color and medium weight with good acidity, and will definitely benefit with more time in the bottle. Really very pretty drinking, the red/black cherry and floral fruit is really
quite solid and very fresh, and the wine is more complex and interesting than any similar level wine I can ever recall tasting. Really nice drinking and amazing value here (thanks Jeremy!). [thumbs-up.gif]

I bought 2 cases, mostly to give away to relatives and friends over Christmas…

Nah, forget that! I think I have found my new house red, now to keep my hands off the remaining bottles, well, at least for a few more days…

Seriously though…If this wine is any indication of the quality of '09 reds, then this is going to be a very, very good vintage.

Thanks Paul, glad you enjoyed it. Winemaker Gregory Patriat is a great believer that one’s Bourgogne must over-deliver. A fair proportion of the 09 is declassified Savigny-Les-Beaune fruit and I have to agree that it is delicious with plenty of floral nuance and I love the screwcap.

Thought Gina Gallo was the winemaker. newhere

Kidding! Glad to hear. My budget limits me to regional & village (within reason) Burgs these days.

Hi Paul,
Sounds great. Should help keep your hands off all those great GCs. BTW had a 09 F Esmomin Estournelles Saint Jacques earlier in the week, possibly the best I have had from them, better than the Lavaux. Also, bought the 09 F Esmonin Gevrey on recommendation and certainly hope it is good for village wine, has not been sent to me yet. Seems the vintage has highlights at the mid/lower level. Had both GC but they really need time the 1ers drinking much better now. All looking good for 09…
Cheers Mike

Thanks for the note Paul. I suspect '09 will be a good year for the lower rungs and I eagerly store these data points as they come in!

I agree Mike.

One bottle doesn’t mean much as a real data point, but I have noted in the great recent vintages ('99 and '05 in particular), the wines were great all the way through, from top to bottom. If that is also the case with '09, then I would be optimistic about this being great also…

From what I have tasted this week, 2009 has the potential to be a legendary vintage for Bourgogne rouge and other “lower level” appellations like Cote de Beaune or Cote Nuits etc. It is a superb vintage, but not consistent, wtih some folks ending up with overripe wines, while others have produced a simply stunning range. For those who really hit the ball out of the park, 2009 will offer up stunning purity, fidelity to terroir and early succulence at these more affordable levels in the AOC hierarchy. The problem with Bourgogne rouge in many top vintages is that it shares the structural integrity of the more vaunted appellations and the premier and grand crus- for instance, 2005 is not a particularly good vintage for Bourgogne rouge unless one is willing to sit on these wines for five or six more years. At this point they are bound up in their structures and not particularly enjoyable. Top 2009 Bourgogne rouge will be completely different, as they are succuelnt, but also suave and open, with lovely signatures of soil, so they will probably be the most delicious vintage for this level of Burgundy since 1985- as long as one steers clear of the overripe examples.

Examples of 2009 Bourgogne rouge which are flat out stunning and worth keeping an eye out for when they eventually find their way into the market include Michel Lafarge, Robert Chevillon, Denis Bachelet, Meo-Camuzet and Mugneret-Gibourg (of the domaines I have tasted at thus far on this trip). This will also be a very, very stong vintage at the “villages” level in appellations that traditionally offer good value- such as Marsanny, Fixin, Auxey-Duresses and the like. I should also note that I just tasted some truly stunning values from Joseph Roty in the 2008 vintage from Marsannay, as well as their Bourgogne rouge.

All the Best,


Thanks very much for the insight John,

Your views are always interesting and much appreciated by all.

It is good to also have someone’s opinion who has tasted widely recently also. A few questions, if I may?

Do you believe this quality is going to translate in to upper wines (is the hype really true and somewhat justified, or is that sometimes over ripeness an issue), and does this vintage remind you of '99 at all?

Just flew home from Burgundy yesterday - amazed that 1) I managed the drive to Geneva through the snow and 2) the flights were actually taking off. Phew.

A bit like 2009 Bdx - horrid comparison to make, I know - red Burgundy doesn’t seem as consistent as 2005, yet I think the highs are higher. There were some disappointing wines which, strangely, seemed light or dilute. Guess this is a result of excessive yields. On the other hand, the successful wines are sensational. I had expectations of wines of great power, density and mass and was thrilled to find elegance, terroir expression and scent with no shortage of power, yet great finesse.

Saw some delicious Bourgogne Rouge from Louis Boillot, Laroze de Drouhin (a micro negoce operation from Caroline, daughter of Philippe Drouhin) and Hudelot Noellat. Would also agree about the quality of selected Hautes Cotes wines. There are some delicious Chalonnaise wines too.

(best bear in mind my ITB status with regards to domaines in my post, the ones I mention are pretty widely distributed though)


Which producers did you find disappointing?

Hi Paul,

I have only just finished one week of two solid weeks of tasting, so it is still pretty early to say definitively about the style of the vintage, and I will be back again in March for another two weeks. But from the first week’s impressions, I would say that 2009 is a less consistent vintage for reds than 2005 for instance, but also more elegant and will drink earlier as well. The best of these also have simply stunning balance should also age a very long time as well. As Mathew pointed out, there are a lot of really lovely wines with great breed, terroir and plush, pure fruit components. There are also some that are borderline overripe, or quite low in acidity, and a few that are either dilute or decidedly overripe. The picking date was critical this year and one really had to hump it once they started to get all the fruit in fast, as one went from perfect ripeness to overripeness in a matter of a couple of days. So in terms of stylistic comparisons with other vintages, it is tough to make a generalization. There are some wines that are a bit like the 1990s, others that are like the 1999s (only with even suaver tannins and more early elegance), and some that are a bit like the 1985s. On the other hand, there are also a few 1997 wannabes out there as well. The best wines of the vintage are very much worthy of the hype of the vintage, but one will want to pick and choose depending on their own stylistic preferences. There are also an awful lot of simply stunning whites this year, with great elegance, ripe and very fresh and pure fruit, excellent acids and superb terroir. But then again, there are some that are up in the 13.6 or 13.7 percent range and more tropical and less interesting. Selecting will be key to enjoying this vintage to its fullest, which at the top levels of each appellatioin are really fantastic. By this I msean those who succeeded the most at each level, so that there will be as many great examples of Bourgogne Rouge as there will be Richebourg.

All the Best,


Thanks, John. Whites have not been getting so much endorsement in my scattered reading so far. Must be great to actually taste and form your own opinion.

Hi Ian,

From what I have tasted so far of the whites (tomorrow I’ll be in Chablis for the day), amongst those domaines who maximized the potential of the vintage, the whites are every bit as good as the reds. This is in notable contrast to vintages like 2005 or 2006, where the whites are not even close to the same league, or 2007, where the whites are superior. The top whites are going to be very warmly received and will offer up the same generally earlier appeal as the reds, and in an age of premox potential problems, this will be a very welcome style of white Burgundy.



Hi John,

Succulent is a great word to describe the 09 reds. The wines are indeed ripe and somewhat creamy in the mouth, as I look through my 09 notes I see the words ‘succulent’ and ‘creamy’ appearing regularly. There are some fabulous drinks at the lower levels and some villages such as Santenay and Auxey are where some outstanding values will present themselves. There are some examples of wines that have a little too much confiture and the top winemakers seemed to be very much aware of preserving freshness in their wines from this year.

The vineyards that have good natural structures will also be the one’s to seek out in 09. Gouges 09 line-up is spectacular and I suspect NSG is a village where there will be some great wines to be had at a relatively modest tariff. I’m not sure 99 is the best comparison (a year that is still my favourite of all time). The reds seem to have just a tad more ripeness and lower acidity with more creamy textures. There is some wonderful floral perfumes emanating from many 09’s a la 99, but I think the overall finesse of 99 is just lacking in 09.

Paul, at the top end wines such as Rousseau’s 3 big boys, de Vogue’s Musigny, Bonnes Mares and Amoureuses and L’Arlot’s RSV were quite stunning from cask.

I must admit to having some pre-conceptions about the white wines, thinking that they may be a bit too ripe and generous for me, but Roulot and Domaine Leflaive’s 09’s, as an example, were stunning and with none of the tropical notes of say 06.

Best Regards

Very interesting to say the least.

Thanks again John and Jeremy for the insights…

'09 is my sons birth year, so I have an (sort of feeble but it will do) excuse to go long (again…).

That is a great reason.