Thursday 11 May 2011
2009 Reds from Côte de Beaune- Allen Meadows - May 2011
Louis-Fabrice Latour and winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas told me that 2009 is an "excellent vintage that should be extremely popular. It's ripe, the acids are average to slightly below average and thus the wines will be more accessible young. However, they should age well too because there is reasonably good concentration and the supporting phenolics are quite ripe. Because of the elevated levels of ripeness we elected to start bottling in November to preserve as much freshness as possible. The wines were already drinking well and we didn't see anything further to be gained by leaving them in cask.” Latour went on to observe that he prefers 2009 to 1999 as he believes that it is more consistent.

2009 Aloxe-Corton: A notably ripe nose of plum and dark berry fruit liqueur leads to earth-suffused, rich and rather suave middle weight flavors that offer good flesh and extract on the somewhat short and flat finish. Could this sense of fatigue be from the recent bottling? 86/2014+

2009 Aloxe-Corton "Les Chaillots”: A ripe and mildly spicy red berry fruit nose gives way to round, supple and reasonably rich medium-bodied flavors that possess good mid-palate volume as well as a delicious, balanced and persistent finish. There is a much better sense of energy here if only average depth. 88/2015+

2009 Beaune "Vignes Franches”: A deft touch of wood sets off notably ripe dark berry fruit aromas that precede the rich, supple and very round medium weight flavors that possess good balance and fine persistence. This delicious and easy-to-like offering should age well over the medium-term. 89/2015+

2009 Pommard "Les Epenots”: Here too mild wood influence frames fresh and ripe red pinot, plum and earth aromas that give way to rich, naturally sweet and quite suave flavors that possess fine depth and solid length. The tannins are firm but not hard and this will need the better part of the next decade to be at its peak. 89/2017+

2009 Volnay "En Chevret”: A high-toned nose of fresh and airy red pinot fruit liberally cut with mineral notes that continue onto the rich, intense and vibrant flavors that are blessed with good dry extract that buffers the moderately firm tannic spine on the attractively long finish. This is very Volnay in character and should drink well relatively early. 89/2015+

2009 Chambolle-Musigny: Fresh aromas of red currant and wet stone marry into light-weight flavors that possess limited depth though there is reasonably good persistence. Perhaps this will add weight in bottle? In short, this is pretty enough but not very deep. 87/2014+

2009 Gevrey-Chambertin: An attractively fresh and unusually high-toned nose speaks of primarily red berry fruit and Gevreystyle earth nuances that introduce supple, round and fleshy flavors that possess reasonably good length if less mid-palate concentration than the better villages level wines in the range. 87/2014+

2009 Nuits St. Georges "Les Crots”: An almost invisible touch of volatile acidity actually adds lift to the otherwise fresh and bright nose of earthy red currant aromas that complement well the round, rich and quite forward flavors that offer reasonably good length if only average complexity. Still, this is pretty enough in its fashion. 88/2016+

2009 Vosne-Romanée: A spicy and overtly ripe nose of cassis and plum merges into supple, delicious and sappy middle weight flavors that exhibit an appealing trace of minerality that adds lift to the mouth coating finish. This should drink well young or age for 5 to 7 years if desired. 88/2014+

2009 Vosne-Romanée "Les Beaumonts”: A lightly spiced mix of red and blue pinot fruit that also evidences soft mineral notes that can be found on the supple and refined middle weight flavors that possess fine detail and very good precision on the slightly sweet but persistent finish. 90/2016+

2009 Vosne-Romanée "Les Petits Monts”: This is more obvious Vosne as the nose is overtly spicy with notes of soy, hoisin and anise adding breadth to the black pinot fruit and cassis infused nose. There is very good richness to the detailed flavors that exude a fine minerality on the firm, serious and lingering finish. This is both classy and refined. 91/2017+

2009 Vosne-Romanée "Les Suchots”: This is also quite spicy if a touch less elegant with red and blue pinot fruit, plum and a background note of wet stone that also infuses the rich, generous and relatively full-bodied flavors that are supported by firm but not hard tannins, all wrapped in a velvety and mouth coating finish. Lovely if not as complex as the Petits Monts. 90/2017+

2009 Corton-Grancey: (the Clos du Roi was pulled out of the blend in 2009 as was the case in 2008). A ripe, pretty and, surprisingly expressive nose features aromas of red berries, warm earth, cassis and a hint of the sauvage that can also be found on the open and already accessible flavors that possess fine complexity on the long and mildly austere finish. This should age and improve over the next 12 to 15 years. 91/2021+

2009 Corton-Clos du Roi: Soft wood influence does not detract materially from the red berry liqueur, spice, earth and slightly animale-inflected nose that is very much in keeping with the ripe, suave, round and velvet-textured flavors that possess excellent mid-palate concentration and fine power and length. While it may develop more with additional bottle age, there is presently limited depth and my score offers the benefit of the doubt. 90/2019+

2009 Echézeaux: (a blend of different climats). A very spicy dark berry fruit and warm earth nose is followed by rich, round and seductively velvety flavors that possess fine intensity on the very firm and impressively long finish. This is really quite good as well as stylish. 92/2021+

2009 Grands Echézeaux: A slightly more elegant but no more complex nose of red berry liqueur, earth and a broad range of spices gives way to big, rich and muscular flavors that possess plenty of tannin-buffering dry extract on the admirably long finish. This is also really quite good. 92/2021+

2009 Clos de Vougeot: A relatively high-toned nose of fresh red currant, raspberry and cassis hints leads to earthy and serious medium-bodied flavors that possess fine mid-palate density as well as excellent length on the moderately austere finish. While the mid-palate is supple, the tannins are present to ensure a long life. 92/2024+

2009 Chambertin-Cuvée Héritiers Latour: A completely different nose of wild red berries, underbrush, pungent Gevrey-style earth and hints of game leads to rich, detailed and intensely mineral-suffused medium-bodied flavors that evidence excellent length where both a touch of wood and stone surface. This supple effort is really quite stylish and should age well. 92/2021+

2009 Romanée St. Vivant - Les Quatre Journaux: A highly spiced, pure and elegant nose that is sheer class in a glass complements perfectly the rich yet well-detailed flavors blessed with an abundance of dry extract that culminate in a delicious, complex, long and beautifully balanced finish. This stunning effort is easily the best wine in the range in 2009 and should amply reward long-term cellaring. 94/2024+