On the Grapevine. On the latest news from the world of wine.

Burgundy 2009 – great but not classic

Even though Burgundy producers expected a stellar year for their wine this year, their exuberance has been tempered somewhat and they are now are predicting a great vintage, but not a classic like 2005.

Winemakers throughout the region are delighted by the grapes’ high levels of ripeness this year as well s the health of the grapes, and the promising acidity and balance.

The grapes have lower acid levels than in 2005, but high sugar and intense flavours. It will be a ‘perfumed, exotic vintage,’ one winemaker said.

At the same time they are cautioning that unlike 2005, ripeness was not uniform and that some grapes may have been picked early, with the risk of not achieving phenolic ripeness.

“It has been a vintage of false appearances,” Christophe Chauvel, a viticulture director for Albert Bichot in Beaune said. “You could not rely on visual evidence to pick the grapes, and some people may have picked too early.”

Never-the-less, Didier Seguier from William Fevre in Burgundy is still buoyant and says: “The grapes have the potential to produce the same quality of vintage as 2005. I am very confident that the 2009 vintage will be as good as the 2005.”