I’ve been enjoying 2009 red Burgundies so much since their release I was rather surprised to find this bottle had closed up. Every other 2009 I’ve had recently has had arms stretched wide in welcome, but if this is the first hint some are getting tight I shall open future bottles less wantonly.
By the way, I really think the revisionism that has happened about the 2009 red Burgundies is a load of old drivel. I loved them on release and I will love them for as long as bottles get opened in my presence. I cannot agree with the suggestion that they are too ripe, fleshy and voluptuous to be ‘proper’ Burgundy. Indeed, I get the feeling that people peddling this tripe either fail to appreciate the rich diversity of glorious styles Burgundy can exhibit or, even worse, they just don’t like having a good time. Sure, minimalism, elegance, refinement and all that, but most of all fun! Burgundy is definitely to be enjoyed in a sense that, say, Bordeaux cannot be, so vintages that display more pleasures of the flesh are to be revelled in, not derided. If you love Burgundy you’ve got to have a pretty weird relationship with it not to lust after the wonders of 2009.
Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes 2009, Domaine Heresztyn
This nose is a bit hot, alcohol shows more than a little. However, the fruit is not jammy or stewed so I don’t think it’s too ripe. Indeed, the fruit is charmingly ripe, with a good slap of lasciviousness to it. A hint of wood also shows on the nose, but again I’m not so bothered about this as the slap and tickle provided by the fruit and rich earthiness makes this not out of balance. Not a stunningly complex set of aromas, though, but everything that is there stands proud for you to admire without having to strain your senses to perceive its personality. Ah, now the palate is nowhere near as jolly as the nose. The fruit and earthiness are bound up in a tough core of tannin that is difficult to penetrate. With the palate seeming tough the alcohol stands out a bit too. Given the lovely fruit and earth aromas and the age of the wine I bet it’s entering a difficult patch. A year ago this would have been a willing participant in hedonistic pleasures – sadly now we’ve missed that window and will have to come back in a few more years. Experience suggests it will leap out of its hole flashing its lovelies for us to ogle once more, but exactly how long that will take would best be divined by someone who knows this wine better than me. It’s certainly good, and I would have drank it with relish before it closed up, but now it needs a bit of time.
I know my chum Lance Foyster represents this producer in the UK (he has all their flash stuff) but I got this bottle from the supermarket Waitrose for a shade over twenty notes. I’m not going to get more to age but I certainly didn’t feel robbed.
You’re 100% right, of course, about the revisionism that’s happened with this vintage. Apparently, they’re so easy to like that some people have simply decided that taking the opposite view makes them one of the cool kids.
Well, quite, Keith. Amazing that people who think like that are old enough to drink Burgundy… It does genuinely surprise me when I hear people rage against 2009 Burgundy; it may not be the most ultimately fine vintage of all but it’s totally lovely. How can you not like ‘totally lovely’?
One thing I should have said is that this wine was particularly ‘Gevrey’ in style – and Gevrey in a particular and perfectly reasonable style. I think it was Jasper Morris who commented that Gevrey can be the most ‘internationally’-styled of all Burgundy villages (ie. big tannins, ripe fruit, more oak), I didn’t mind at all that this wine fitted that style. I bet loads of people would get a mam-load of pleasure from this, even now it’s closed, thanks to that style-choice by the winemaker.
Am also totally with you and Keith, David, thanks for the post. Read your 2nd para comments with increasing joy – almost led me to shout out ‘Yes, hurrah’ or similar !
On the Heresztyn I bought 3 of the 2008 from Waitrose. So far tried one some months back and was somewhat underwhelmed even though I love the 2008’s generally and have enjoyed a few young. Have resolved to leave the other two some time. Seems your 2009 is akin to an ‘action replay’ of my 2008. Perhaps we should synchronise coming back to these 🙂
Cyprien’s vendange starts 25th – am gutted can’t be there this year.
Thanks for your comment, Mark. I’m actually proud of how moderate I’ve been ranting about 2009 revisionism as it really gets me incredibly angry. I think it’s a bloody stupid piece of posturing.
I’m not going to get any more 09 Heresztyn Gevrey, I shall have to compare a different 09 with your 08 at some point in the future:)
I’d love to know how the harvest is going in Burgundy but I wouldn’t actually want to do it! Hard work! Tiny, quality crop, go the rumours.
I’m not sure that it’s revisionism you’re talking about, David. Many people disliked the vintage from as far back as the en primeur tastings. As far as I’m concerned having an opinion based on en primeur tastings is just silly, they tell us rather less than nothing, at least in the case of reds.I expect that as with nearly all vintages the wines made by the best houses and growers will be absolutely brilliant if opened at the right time.
I’ve had some mixed experiences with Herestyn, I must say. I usually like this cuvee but the 1ers can be absolutely foul oak and extraction monstrosities. It could well be that they are better recently, though.
No, Tom, you wouldn’t like Heresztyn. I’ve come to have more understanding of that Gevrey style even if it’s not my favourite. There’s a great diversity of styles in Brilliant, Brilliant Burgundy and I’m pleased I’m getting a tiny bit less anal about those I’ll neck. It’s nice to enjoy things! I still think I’m several decades of mellowing away from liking any Claret I can afford, though;)
I certainly agree with you about enjoying things. The capacity for enjoyment is the most important mark of the true connoisseur.
Interesting to read these comments. For quite a small estate, Hersztyn make several different “village” cuvées, and I always enjoy comparing them when I taste there in November. I don’t buy the same cuvée as Waitrose buys, nor do I sell it to Waitrose, but I believe it is from the Brochon, i.e. north side of the appellation. All the village wines are made pretty similarly: no racking during 12 – 15 months, 30% new oak (various coopers).
The wine I choose for CF Wines we have labelled as “Les 3 Vieilles Vignes”. This is from 3 small parcels of 55 yr old vines which are all at the opposite (Morey) end of the appellation. The soil is a bit lighter here, less clay, and the wine is always a little less chunky. In every year (except 2005 when we bought both) I find myself preferring this wine from the southern side. I also find that it is usually more forward, finer and a bit more perfumed. It’s a wine we’ve always offered to the on – trade for fairly early drinking, so this is another reason why I prefer the “côté Morey” as they refer to it at Heresztyn. In some vintage, though, I might concede the “côté Brochon” has more power and concentration.
I’ve drunk the 2008 Les 3 Vieilles Vignes several times over the summer, and always found it really charming. There is a freshness, and very obvious acidity in the wine which might make it a bit crisp for some, but overall has a lot of charm. We’re just at the end of the 2008, and about to move to 2009 which I’ve not tried for a while. I think i saw some reference at the Waitrose Press Tasting recently (By Jancis Robinson?) that the 2009 was quite tannic, but I hope my cuvée is not. In my experience the Heresztyn wines are remarkably consistent from vintage to vintage – especially the village wine, and I think they are quite stable as they age, and seem to me to remain quite open.
Not such good weather for all these lads this week. I think most of them kicked off harvest in C de N at the weekend. Fingers crossed for all!
Thank you for your comment, Lance! I always thought your 3VV was quite elegant and now I know why – to be honest I think I’ll buy Heresztyn from you in future rather than Waitrose.
We must meet for lunch at some point I’m not ill;)