Structured, Intense... and Sumptuous
2009 Bouchard Le Corton
2009 Grand Cru for Under $85?
"Excellent verve to the intense, pure, robust and beautifully well-detailed flavors..." - Burghound
What surprised me when I was tasting through the 2009s at Bouchard a year ago wasn't how exceptional and delicious they were (I expected accessibility from the warm, ripe vintage) - it was how impressively structured, serene and, as the Burghound rightly says, how INTENSE many of them were.
The 2009 Le Corton from Bouchard was undoubtedly one of my favorites for exactly this reason. There's a rigor here. An impressive clarity. There's also a site-appropriate seriousness of structure that I love.
It really seems to me that in light of the vintage, and in light of the overall plusher, more immediately alluring style of the 09s, the sites that tend to be a bit stonier and more austere really turned out wines that are especially interesting, nuanced and detailed in 2009 (the Gevreys did really well, too). To say nothing of the fact that these wines will very likely age longer, thanks to their comparable rigidity. The firmer minerals and more tightly packed, darker-lined substance with that current of acidity will carry the wine on for, at the very least, a decade and a half.
I also think that this wine will show very, very well at nearly any point that you choose to drink it: The round, coating and beautiful red fruits with soft black earthiness are actually delicious right now, though they'll only get better.
It's for this reason - along with the fantastic VALUE - that I urge everyone to own this wine.
About the pricing: There's no ignoring that a lot of houses in Burgundy are pushing the pricing envelope with their 09s. It's a beautiful vintage: full of gorgeously ripe, seductive, generous fruit. More than one producer has said that it was hard not to make good wine in 2009. Almost across the board, the wines are really good. So, fair enough, pricing is also up nearly across the board. What's especially impressive here, aside from the quality of the wine, is that Bouchard is holding steady on their pricing, which means that for such a great Grand Cru wine, it comes today at a very grand value.
There are very few such reputable producers from whom you can get a Grand Cru at under $100, nevermind under $85. And if Bouchard was ever under-performing, the last decade has seen them soar back to the front of the pack with an unprecedented run of quality since 2005. Philippe Prost is doing fantastic things here, and recent vintages like 07, 08 and obviously 09 give especially good evidence to the point. It’s abundantly clear that forward-thinking winemaking and high-level quality control are pairing up with amazing tradition here. The results are wines that are finally living up to their potential: terrific site pedigree shown off in wines that are nuanced, clear, pure and yet forceful.
For those of you making room in your cellars for 09 red Burgundies, I highly recommend that you go long on this bottling and take at least one three-pack. And for those of you who maybe aren't collecting but want a great example of the heights this vintage is capable of, this is undoubtedly one of the wines to try.
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