From €7.50, $16.98, £14
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At last week's orgy of Burgundy 2009 tastings, where four-digit prices per dozen bottles were frighteningly common, it was such a pleasure to encounter a little oasis of reasonable pricing in the wines of Jean-Paul Brun of the Domaine des Terres Dorées in Beaujolais. His wines are so damned good that this is not the first time I have chosen one as a wine of the week. Indeed he managed to make a great, early-drinking AC Beaujolais 2007.
He made his name managing to make great Beaujolais, unchaptalised and using only indigenous yeasts rather than added banana flavorants, from land conventionally regarded as decidedly inferior to the famous crus, the favoured villages in the hills of Beaujolais. But Dom des Terres Dorées 2009 Morgon is an altogether different beast: a really serious top-quality Beaujolais from one of its most famous crus made for ageing. The 2009 Beaujolais vintage was truly great and has been widely covered, not least on JancisRobinson.com with our collection of nearly 200 tasting notes of which the third tranche, from which you can easily find your way back to the first and second tranches, is here. It is important to remember that 2009 produced many wines from Beaujolais that will last far longer than our conventional ideas of Beaujolais as a wine for early drinking. Many of the more serious bottlings are just coming on to the market and should be kept for quite a while. In this particular case, I would suggest drinking it over the next six years, possibly longer.
I found it had great structure for the future yet managed to have that glorious succulence and silky texture of Cru Beaujolais at its most seductive. And this is a true expression of Morgon's special minerality (Purple pagers can see here for the Oxford Companion article on Morgon). Scrumptious stuff. I gave it a score of 17 out of 20, which is very generous for me - but it was such a star, even surrounded at Bordeaux Index's tasting last week by very grand 2009 burgundies at several times the price.
I was delighted to see the wine still looking so good half a year after I made this tasting note last July, when I see I also gave it 17 but thought it should probably be drunk by 2015 rather than 2016:
'Mid crimson. Scented, succulent fruit. Lovely polished fruit on the front palate that opened out into a luscious, flattering drink with such a lot of ripeness that the considerable tannins are almost completely disguised. Very impressive. The label says that decanting is recommended. I left the bottle open overnight to highly advantageous effect.'
And the great news is that even a wine this serious is only £90 a dozen in bond from Bordeaux Index, although - and here's the rub - you do have to order at least £500 worth of wine from them in total (although someone has just written to say that they waived this requirement for him, possibly because he is an existing customer, 'but it's worth trying'. R&B Vintners of London require a minimum order of a dozen bottles and their price per bottle, including VAT, duty and delivery is £14 (so £168 a dozen dpd), while Christopher Keiller of Dorset is selling the wine at £90 per six-bottle case including VAT with a minimum total order of 12 bottles. Good old Mark Savage MW, who has been importing Brun's wines for decades, is offering this wine at just £12.85 a bottle including duty and VAT via Savage Selection.
Bourgogne Rouge is sometimes available at this sort of price, but rarely has anything like the depth and nuance of this top-quality Beaujolais.
Brun's wines are imported into the US by Louis Dressner - a good sign. This 2009 Morgon is not difficult to find in the US and is also widely available in mainland Europe.
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