Patrick Javillier switched to a pneumatic press with the 2010 vintage, and he believes the change is already paying off in wines of greater elegance and complexity. He told me he was concerned that, in earlier vintages, keeping too much of the lees caused problems with the malolactic fermentations. Javillier is high on the 2010 vintage. "There's more flesh in Meursault than there was in 2008," he explained. "Some cuvees remind me of the 1990s." Javillier bottled all of his 2009s between November of 2010 and January of 2011. They spent a bit less time on their lees than normal "because they were already rich enough." But the wines also have sound pHs and good tartaric acidity, he added.
($50) Ripe, Chablis-like aroma of oyster shell. Dense and dry, with a steely, citric character and harmonious lemony acidity. Not your typical Cote d'Or '09. Good rocky, calcaire wine, and the only cuvee chaptalized in 2009. Javillier uses no new oak here for fear of masking the purity of Savigny. I found this wine much fresher than Javillier's Bourgogne Blanc Cuvee des Forgets and Cuvee Oligocene.
Bright pale yellow. Steely, lightly saline nose hints at orange blossom, tarragon and bay leaf. At once juicy and creamy, with good spicy grip to its soft citrus flavors. This round wine is tasty already.
($75) (0% new oak): Pale, bright yellow. Good lift to the aromas of soft citrus fruits, lemon and spices; a hint of exotic fruits communicates the warmth of the vintage. Rich, creamy and sweet, with flavors of fruit salad and spices. Not hugely gripping or intense but finishes with very good cut and length. This is actually low in pH but very ripe, notes Javillier.
(30% new oak): Bright yellow. Pure, high-pitched aromas of lime and crushed stone. Juicy and precise, with a firm acid structure to the flavors of lemon, lime and powdered stone. Tactile and chewy but at the same time brisk and penetrating. The long finish stimulates the palate with minerals and lime peel. Very different in style from the sweeter, creamier Clos du Cromin.
Bright pale color. Orange zest and spices on the nose, along with a buttery nuance. Rich and sweet on entry, then firmer in the middle, with good verve to its soft citrus flavors. This needs a year or two in bottle to harmonize its lemony aftertaste and express itself more fully.
(no new oak): Pale yellow. Somewhat exotic, complex aromas of peach, orange, hazelnut, pie crust and vanilla. Enters the mouth thick and fruity but remains brisk and energetic straight through to its tactile, rich finish. Solid back-end minerality gives this ripe, rich fruit bomb a drier impression than the nose and entry would suggest. This terrific 2009 Meursault should evolve gracefully.
Pale yellow. Discreet nose offers lemon, stone, white flowers and fresh butter, along with a hint of apricot; much less expressive today than the Tete de Murgey. Then sweet in the mouth but not at all exotic. Not yet complex but nicely ethereal in the middle palate and smooth on the mineral-driven finish. Showed a ripe lemon quality as it opened in the glass. I would not be at all surprised if the Tete de Murgey needed more time in the cellar than this one.
($145) (aged entirely in one-year-old barrels): Aromas of mirabelle, clove and smoky minerality. Uncompromisingly dry and quite powerful, even a bit youthfully aggressive, with peppery lift to the peach and mineral flavors. Strong wine but youthfully inscrutable today, and totally different from the rest of this 2009 collection.
(just at the end of its malo; 13.7% alcohol): Bright pale-medium yellow. Subtly complex, ripe aromas of buttery peach, soft citrus fruits, vanilla and white truffle. An opulent, mouthfilling fruit bomb: rich, sweet and chewy, with the edgy acidity, tongue-dusting spices and dry extract to support its full alcohol. Javillier believes that he picked a bit late in Meursault, and wonders whether the slightly edgy acidity and dusty aftertaste were a result of the thunderstorms shortly before the harvest. (Incidentally, both of Javillier's Bourgogne blanc bottlings showed very good potential, with the Cuvee Oligocene offering concentrated, very ripe flavors of peach and white flowers, nicely balanced by strong integrated acidity. The Meursault Clos du Cromin was just beginning its malolactic fermentation.)
Pure, laid-back nose hints at lemon, mirabelle, white flowers and smoky oak. Dense and sweet on entry, then pliant and full in the middle, but with a slightly aggressive character to its lemony acidity. A bit disjointed today in spite of its concentration, and showing its 13.7% alcohol. This needs further elevage.
Bright yellow. Perfumed aromas of orange creamsicle, pine nuts and spices. Tighter and less sweet on entry than the nose would suggest, then subtle, precise and complex in the mid-palate, with excellent sappy concentration to the peach and hazelnut flavors complicated by cinnamon and black pepper. The long, rising finish gives an impression of strong powdery extract. Wonderfully rich wine in the making, with the acidity to buffer its 13.9% alcohol. A real essence of Meursault.
Bright yellow. Cool aromas of underripe peach, lichee and cinnamon. Penetrating on entry, then intensely flavored and tactile in the middle palate, with a captivating sweetness to its gripping lemon and stone flavors. Really reverberates on the back end. Offers a lovely acid/sugar balance but this very promising Corton-Charlemagne, like the Meursault Tete de Murgey, will be better for five or six years of bottle aging. (Javillier's single barrel of Meursault Charmes was in the middle of its malolactic fermentation.)