A vintage to savour in the flush of youth

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am


It is always difficult to assess Burgundy vintages, as quality depends on harvest conditions, vineyard site and individual winemaking practices. The consensus among wine writers is that 2009 Burgundy is a good but not great vintage for white wines. Master of wine Clive Coates has given white Burgundies an overall score of 17/20. He describes the wines as 'ripe and ample and most attractive, but they are more variable. Many are quite delicious. Others lack just a little zip. The energy is missing.'

Weather conditions in August and September were described as ideal. Warmer weather meant an early harvest in September. The fruit was generally healthy and ripe, but acid levels were on the low side. Jancis Robinson says this 'means many white 2009s are relatively soft and rich. Ripe grapes meant no added sugar to boost alcohol levels, but yields were relatively high. This suggests they will make satisfying early drinking but should probably be consumed long before the more structured and long-term 2008s.'

What does this mean for the wine drinker? If you are impatient and enjoy fruitier, fuller bodied wines that are ready to drink now, this is your vintage.

Domaine Jean Chartron

This is a fifth-generation winery established in 1859. Today the family owns about 12 hectares.

Vineyards are cultivated organically but do not have official certification.

Restrained nose with good minerality. Full body with refreshing acidity. Long finish. High quality, still tight and closed.

Domaine Jean Chartron, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres 2009

Olivier Pacific Fine Food and Wine, wine@olivierpacific.com, HK$468

Domaine Matrot

Owner Thierry Matrot says: 'Wine is made in the vineyards and, far less than people think, in the cellar.' His vineyards are farmed organically, and only organic compost is used.

Refreshing citrus lemon notes. Medium body with good fruit concentration, some minerality and crisp acidity. Delicious to drink now. It won't tire your palate and will have you returning for another glass.

Domaine Matrot, Meursault 2009

wellspringwines.com, HK$420

La Truffiere

This is a family winery with patriarch Robert Comte at its helm. His son Romain is based in Hong Kong and distributes the wines regionally.

This wine is from a small plot of land totalling 0.7 hectares and made from 25-year-old vines. The commune of Savigny-les-Beaune may not be so familiar to Hong Kong people, but is worth exploring as it offers good quality wine at reasonable prices.

Lemon, peach notes. Fuller bodied with well-balanced acidity and good fruit concentration. Very approachable and ready for drinking. Great value for money and a pleasure to drink.

La Truffiere Savigny-les-Beaune 'Les Vermots-Dessus' 2009

comte-truffiere.hk, romain@comte-truffiere.hk, HK$225