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2009 Red Burgundy is bliss in a bottle

Saturday - 3/31/2012, 9:14am  ET

Bliss in a Bottle

Scott Greenberg, wine of the week

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Scott Greenberg, special to wtop.com

Great vintages in Burgundy, France happen about as often as getting your passport renewed, so they are celebrated with the appropriate pomp and circumstance reserved for coronations and State dinners.

The 2009 vintage is being referred to as a vintage of "nines," alluding to other great vintages that occurred in '59, '69, '79, '89 and '99.

This exceptional vintage proved especially beneficial for the exceptionally finicky pinot noir. While chardonnay - the other "sanctioned" varietal of Burgundy - performed well, it's the red wine counterpart that is stealing the show with exceptional balance, bright flavors and remarkable aging potential.

Of course, when wonderful vintages like this come along, demand goes up and prices head towards the stratosphere. However, there are still some great values to be had by both major négociants and smaller producers.

One of the most well-known families in Burgundy is behind the value-driven 2009 Maison Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Laforet. Aromas of raspberry, cherry and red currant have a delicate attack on the nose and are repeated on the palate as well. A touch of strawberry and clove appear on the light-bodied, charming finish. This is a crowd-pleaser and a great alternative to heavier red wines. $15

Made from fruit sourced from the villages of Ladoix and Auxey-Duresses in the Cote d'Or the 2009 Champy Bourgogne Pinot Noir Signature is a delicious entry-level wine. With scents of red fruit and dried cherries on the bouquet and flavors of fresh strawberry, raspberry and red cherry on the palate, this wine is fun and easy to drink. The abundant acidity keeps the fruit in balance on the medium bodied finish. $20

The 2009 Domaine Dublere Savigny Les Beaune Les Planchots du Nord is produced by local ex-pat Blair Pethel. The grapes for this wine are literally grown in the backyard of the Dublere winery and much of the fruit is used in this stunning wine, which sports a pretty nose of cherry, red berry, clove and cinnamon. The vivid flavors of cherry and wild strawberry shine across the tongue and are joined by wonderful mineral notes on the long, graceful finish. $30

The Premier Cru (1er Cru) designation is the second highest classification of quality in Burgundy, and the 2009 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Couchereaux is certainly worthy of the distinction, delivering wonderful depth with perfumed scents of strawberry, sweet cherry and violet on the nose and rich flavors of plum, strawberry and clove in the mouth. The impressive finish remains charming and graceful thanks to the great balance between acidity, fruit and soft tannins. $46

Drinking like a wine twice the price, the 2009 Remoissenet Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Serpentières runs to the bigger side, featuring scents of ripe black cherry, smoke and mushrooms on the floral nose. Layered flavors of dark plum, ripe strawberry and cocoa coat the tongue with richness and balance. The elegant finish ends with a distinctive toasted cedar note. $50

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