Wine of the Year #3 - Ian's Pick...

Posted by Ian McFadden

Ian's Wine of the Year...
2009 Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune
1er Cru La Dominode
Everything that Makes 09 a Blockbuster - Except the Price

A "stunning effort." -Burghound

The 2009 vintage presented some of the sexiest young reds one could ever imagine; the early barrel tastings simply redefined what young Burgundy could be for many.

So there we were, a year and a half before the wines would even be released and already expectations (and expected release prices) were very, very high.

As the wines finally arrived, finding great 2009 red Burgundies has not been difficult - finding great value has been the challenge.

Today I present what has been no less than my great discovery of the year: Jean-Marc Pavelot's humble domaine in Savigny-les-Beaune.

Pavelot is certainly a known quantity and I'd been impressed by a number of bottlings from 2005 on. Pavelot's U.S. importer, Becky Wasserman, puts Pavelot in the company of Bachelet, Mugnier and de Montille, calling them her "tenors." She continues: "There is a fine purity here, a freshness, a grapiness that is hard to sustain year after year."

The 1er Cru Dominode is the top wine in Pavelot's stable and one of the greatest sites in Savigny-les-Beaune. If Bruno Clair has made Dominode a familiar name for serious collectors (with $100+ price tag in 2009), I think it's safe to say that in 2009 Pavelot ruled Dominode: The wine is simply spectacular and the Burghound's review, with all its verbiage ("serious and concentrated," "abundance of mid-palate extract," "palate-staining effort") barely captures the intensity of the experience.

Pavelot's Dominode is a force to be reckoned with in 2009: It hasclarity and detail and displays fruit along with earth and mineral: dark soil notes, dried herbs, underbrush, rocks, stones and more. 2009 is a ripe, ripe vintage, yet somehow Pavelot managed to sculpt the wine, to give it an underlying firmness and freshness. While there is most certainly a broad mid-palate with layers and layers of the pure fruit, the grapiness that Wassermans speaks of above, the definition and finesse is unbelievable.

Pavelot's Dominode parcel boasts vines of 70 to 80 years of age - the depth of the material here shows that. This is a luxurious 1er Cru, yet the fruit has more energy, it has a higher, brighter pitch than you might expect for such impressive depth and concentration.

Savigny-les-Beaune is one of those under-the-radar communes that is becoming less under-the-radar every day. Producers like Pavelot, Simon Bize, Chandon de Briailles and Bruno Clair are giving this village a very defined identity. Savigny has very serious terroirs and the simple fact that it has no Grand Crus has kept it a bit out of the spotlight... but that will change as prices for the headliner villages (Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée) continue to escalate.

As with most of the 2009s, Pavelot’s 1er Cru La Dominode is likely to have a wide, wide drinking window. Seriously: Another highlight of the 2009 Burgundies is that they are going to have one of the widest drinking windows of any vintage in the history of Burgundy. Anyone who has ever opened that expensive and ornery bottle of Burgundy, only to find it shut down and unfriendly, knows how important this is.

Pavelot's wines are known to be extremely age-worthy (Writes Clive Coates: "...the wines last") and this will be no exception: This should be drinking fabulously at just about any point over the next 20 years. With this in mind, consider the special six-pack pricing.

To order, please click below, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode