A First Look at 2009 Burgundies


There has been much speculation about the 2009s. Similar to the 2005s, they have received lots of attention claiming this to be one of the greater vintages in the last 10 years.

David Roberts and I are spending the week tasting from Chablis to Beaujolais, taking in our first personal assessment of the 2009 vintage as well as tasting current releases and looking out for possible new domaines.

Our first stop today was Chablis, visiting the honest and true, Isabelle and Dénis Pommier, the incredible yet modest Benoît Droin, the charming and passionate Daniel-Etienne Defaix and the noteworthy Bernard Billaud of Billaud-Simon.

Pommier's 2009s
Pommier’s 2009s

Based on what we tasted today, 2009 Chablis look incredibly promising. Both the Pommier’s and Benoît’s wines are full of sweet fruit, yet they have been able to retain an incredible sense of purity, finesse and freshness. They are more balanced than 2006s, offering a notable amount of crunchiness too. They also look to be drinking earlier than many 2008s.

The bon vivant, Etienne Defaix releases his wines much later. His current 1er Cru vintage, for example, is 2001! They are unique in style in that he keeps the wines on their lees for a substantially longer time. The results are wines that are richer and often more earthy (and of course, leesy). He has a tremendous and loyal fanbase and is a good producer to seek out wines that are a bit different.

Daniel Defaix
Daniel Defaix

Our last stop was Billaud Simon where we got a glimpse of the powerfully fruity, yet pure 2009s as well as the incredibly fresh and taut 2008s. These latter wines look to be long agers. We only recently shipped them so an offer will be presented shortly.

Tomorrow’s destination…the Côte d’Or…