Anthony Rose: The 2009 Burgundy vintage is an abundant crowd-pleaser. What’s not to like?'

The phrase "hurry while stocks last" is so trite that it would be easy to ignore the clamour for 2009 Burgundy if there weren't a risk of being crushed in the stampede for it.

Burgundy's 2009 vintage showed its hand in a series of London tastings in January and such is the demand for it that any wine lover who hasn't already secured a case of six or more might need to start giving some thought, and fast, as to whether this is an opportunity not to be missed. But is it all wine-trade hype?

There was a time when the only en primeur game in town was Bordeaux (unbottled samples of the new vintage, that is, delivered once the wine is in bottle). Keen not to be left out, every self-respecting UK Burgundy specialist worth their salt now holds a January en primeur tasting for trade, press and customers.

In a year as special as 2009, this makes absolute sense. Arriving on the coat-tails of the genuinely fabulous Bordeaux 2009, lauded by enthusiastic bloggers and Twitterers, Burgundy has seized the opportunity to sell, sell, sell, and the UK wine trade has grasped the baton and run with it.

It might be overegging the pudding to say that January's consumer evenings were frenzied events. But the well-heeled, spoken and coiffed were making a B-line, as it were, as if lives, or dinner parties at least, depended on it. Wine lovers who attend these bun fights are a savvy bunch and apart from quizzing growers on the arcana of vineyard and vintage, they were in no mood to come away without some sort of booty.

Lay & Wheeler, the fine wine arm of Majestic, had sold out of half their available wines before their tasting even started. Other merchants talked about having to re-stock. All of them were grinning like Cheshire cats.

All of which is interesting because few claim that 2009 is quite on a par with the great reds of 2005 or the intense whites of 2008. And the wines are not given away. Among typical descriptors, "sexy", "hedonistic", "charming" and "graceful" are common along with the cheesier "nature's gift", "the child you want to have" and "wines with smiles on their faces".

All these are true – 2009 is an abundant, immensely crowd-pleasing vintage for early- to medium-term drinking with plenty of delicious chardonnay and seductive pinot noir. Quality is harmonious from bourgogne rouge and blanc at the base of the pyramid to grand cru at its apex. This level of consistency is unusual for Burgundy, so to the extent that it's being hailed as an "exceptional" vintage, that's fair enough.

Burgundy 2009 is a "what's not to like" vintage. That isn't to say that you can stick a pin in it, but there's a broader range to choose from, even if more limited quantities compared to Bordeaux make it advisable to get in there in good time.

Every wine merchant whose tastings I attended reported intense demand, with many top producers, such as Cathiard, Mugneret-Gibourg, Fourrier, Barthod and Comte Armand, often sold out. Despite the hype, some merchants who are less well-known for Burgundy still have reasonable stock levels, while others have yet to release their wines. If you're keen on the idea of buying a case or more, check out anthonyrosewine.com with my tasting notes on nearly 200 recommended wines, including 20+ wines under £150 a case, plus a how and where to buy guide.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week