TN: Beaujolais 2009 vs 2015 head to head

The monthly blind tasting group I host ventured into Beaujolais this week, tasting pairs of the same wines from 2009 and 2015 – the ripest and most hyped of recent vintages.

Apart from one badly corked bottle, the wines were all good. But I thought the 09s should probably be drunk up. The fruit has lost some freshness and there isn’t much acid or tannin there to sustain them. I don’t see any reason to think these four 09s will get any better. No point in taking a risk they’ll lose their current charm.

The 15s really shone – great fruit plus fresh acidity. I didn’t taste enough 09s on release to compare, but the 15s seem to have very good structure. That was John Gilman’s take – that they have more backbone than the 09s.

The wines were selected to contrast soil types, ripeness and fermentations (carbonic vs. traditional), per the table below.

The background on the producers comes from the person who organized the tasting.

The wines were decanted into pouring bottles right before the tasting and consumed over about 90 minutes with food.

Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) - Morgon – From old vines in Grand Cras, a relatively high-altitude vineyard with poor and sandy (even by Beaujolais standards) granite-derived soils. Fully destemmed, no carbonic maceration; native yeasts. Tends to be structured and more difficult to drink upon release.
2009: Little on the nose. Little flavor at first, but it slowly opens up, perhaps reflecting the conventional fermentation. This got markedly better in the glass. I suspect some on the group didn’t revisit it.
Group #7 / My #4.
2015: Red currents all over the nose. Bright red fruit in the mouth, dominated by sour cherry. Gets hard and less charming with air, though. The fruit seems to vanish and the finish seems to get more tannic. Perhaps it needs time.
Group #5/6 / My #7.

Guy Breton - Morgon Vielles Vignes – From old vines in Grand Cras and St. Joseph. Breton’s style is significantly less ripe than the other producers here – he’s known for lower alcohol levels and less fruity wines.
2009: Red currants on the nose. Nice red fruits, very smooth, but less fresh and crisp, and it fades in the glass. Some oxidation shows on day 2 in the refrigerated leftovers. Drink up!
Group #4 / My #3.
2015: Stunning bouquet of sweet raspberries and strawberries. By far the most compelling nose. A trace of carbonic bubblegum. In the mouth, the fruit is ripe and it’s full bodied.
Group #2 / My #5.

Marcel Lapierre - Morgon – Marcel Lapierre died in 2010, so while the 2009 was made by Marcel Lapierre himself, the 2015 was made by his children. Organic farming, semi-carbonic maceration and low or no sulfur added.
2009: Nice, jammier berries on the nose. Spicy in the mouth. Round. Just lovely, chewy, luscious, but for me a little overshadowed by a some of the others. Perhaps a bit of oak? This held its own on day 2.
Group #1 / My #6
2015: Corked, corked, corked. Uggh. A pity, because it seemed like this might actually be the most impressive wine in the line-up underneath the TCA. There is a boatload of fruit behind the wet cardboard. Group #8/ My #8.

Clos de la Roilette / Alain Coudert - Fleurie – From Fleurie, on the border of Moulin-a-Vent, where there is much more clay, the characteristic terroir of Moulin-a-Vent. The style is otherwise similar to Lapierre and Breton : semi-carbonic, native yeasts. Because of the clay, the wines are a bit more structured and pinot-like than in Morgon. This was Coudert’s basic cuvee.
These were my two favorites, and they both hold up a day or two later.
2009: Deep, darker fruit profile on the nose and in the mouth – black cherries, dark plums. Full bodied and round. Rich, ripe but balanced and fresh. “Yum!” I wrote.
Group #3 / My #2
2015: Also darker fruit. In the mouth it’s taut. Good fruit, but fresh and not overripe. It really opens up on the finish, with a lingering taste of intense black cherry. This is a keeper. It is still delicious on day 3 from the fridge.
Group #5/6 / My #1

In case you have trouble downloading the table, the substance is:

Fermentation - Ripeness - Soils

Brun: Traditional - Medium - Sand
Breton: Carbonic - Lower - Sand
Lapierre: Carbonic - Higher - Sand
Roilette: Carbonic - Medium - Clay
Bojo table.pdf (5.65 KB)

Nice write-up and report. I have an 09 Brun Morgon I’m sitting on, so this may be the push I need to open it.

Wonderful! Thanks, Johnny!

Is interesting to read as I’ve been enjoying the 2015s more than some of the Beaujolais classicists on this site, but was not as equally thrilled with the 2009s. I bought a lot of 2009s and liked them a lot, but on some of my fave producers, think Thivin, I prefer 2015 over '09, and 14 and 11 over 09 as well.

Love the notes on Roilette, another personal favorite.

I was disappointed that you did not bring up the DZ arsehole anecdote. :wink:

Ohhh sheeeit! [wow.gif]

The Clos de la Roilette was not the Tardive…I’ve found those wines still needing time sideways.

Here are three '09s including ones drunk recently:

This note covers several bottles. All were MTR09 S 09/09/10 (on back label)
C: Beautiful clear red Gamay.
N: Sour cherry, with notes of lilac.
P: Sublime, ethereal. Sour cherry, cherry pit, floats like a fairy. This wine is almost magic!
Just as good, but maybe a touch darker. Took about 1 hr to open.
Decanted about 90 min, then back in bottle. A bit acid or tannic to start, but with air it really sang! A great, great wine. Everything integrated. I would be hard put to tell it from a Burg. Didn’t get any cranberry notes, the slight creaminess was not there either.
(Double) decanted about 1 hour. No signs of fading, or being shut down! Nice lively fruit and acid, deep and interesting palate. Just lovely.
Decanted one hour.
Very smooth and integrated. After the decant, not much sign of the Bojo “cranberry crunch.” This wine has grown up and left home, it’s still very interesting but a much suaver, integrated and more interesting
personality than in its youth. Complemented roast chicken very well indeed.

  • 2009 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Morgon - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (3/31/2017)
    Decanted 40 min.
    C: Darkish red
    N: Red fruits
    P: Opens acid and not very interesting. Another 30 min and it’s much better. Nicely integrated, smooth and balanced, with consistent length. Medium weight. More on the Burg than Bojo side. After a few days in the fridge, still very good.
  • 2009 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie (5/15/2016)
    1st bottle, 12/2010:
    C: Nice darkish red.
    N: Not much, a bit of oak.
    P: Audouzed for about 5 hrs. This took off the tannic edge, tho it remained a bit young without food. Otherwise, dark berry, very smooth, incredible length and balance. A great wine! Again, more like a Burg than a Bojo.
    Chambers: “A fantastic example of the exceptional 2009 harvest in Beaujolais. As usual the Coudert has a deep meaty mineral complexity that will unfold in the coming years, but for those that are eager there is plenty of coiled dark berry fruit to be enjoyed now.”
    Paul Bortin, WB: “Full body and nice sweetness from sheer extract. Deep Gamay nose and flavors of succulent cherry pit cuts thru and compliments all the turkey sides like sweet potato and cranberry jelly.
    Last bottle, 5/15/2016:
    Fully mature now. Took ca 30 min to open up completely. Rich, deep and fascinating–this has wings! More like a Burg than a Bojo.

Posted from CellarTracker

That’s too bad about the LaPierre. Of all the '15s I’ve had this might be my favorite.


Don’t tell Alan Rath!

There were several of us who suspected that a good bottle would have been the wine of the evening. Luckily, it doesn’t cost too much to check that hypothesis.

I had a 2009 Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent Domaine de la Tour du Bief last week that was out of this world fantastic!

Based on what I have had lately, I would disagree. I think the 2009s have plenty of runway.

Apart from the Breton, I wasn’t saying the 09s were crashing. I just didn’t think that these are likely to get more interesting.

John, thanks for the notes. Excellent vintage matchup.

Despite their huge (relative) popularity, I’ve never been a fan of the 09s and have largely been avoiding the 15s. I own plenty of Bojo and maintain confidence that preferable vintages will be on the way.

Been told several times to keep waiting for the 09 Lapierre. So I wait…without much hope it’ll ever ring my bell.


Too bad about the 2015 Lapierre.
I absolutely love that wine, loaded up on it.