Jacques Lardiere was concerned from the outset about the harmony of the ripening cycle in 2009. He was also afraid that the tannins and phenols of the wines would clash with the tannins and phenols from the oak barrels. The grapes, after all, had very little juice and thus a strong element of skins. Lardiere told me that his wines go into barrel with 15 to 25 liters of lees, which is one of the highest figures I've heard to date from a Burgundy winemaker.
($30) Pale yellow. Bright peach aromas. Supple and quite dry, with enticing flavors of orchard fruits and minerals. Finishes stony, firm and uncompromising, with a lightly tannic quality.
($50) (there are 7,000 cases of this juice): Light yellow. Aromas of fresh-cut hay, white raspberry and smoky oak. On the palate, spicy peach, pear and apple flavors are complicated by a subtle green quality and a hint of underripe cherry. Good flesh leavened by juicy acidity. Finishes with good length.
($74) Green tea, nut oil and sweet vanillin oak on the nose. Then quite dry, even austere, in the mouth, with lemon and spicy oak dominating. Intense but inexpressive Meursault with a distinctly tannic back end. Not my favorite style.
($75) Pale yellow. Bright aromas of white peach, red berries and toasty oak. Richer, suppler and fleshier than the Charmes; broad and fine-grained but still quite dry in the mid-palate. Best today on the rising, slightly bitter-edged finish, which shows solid acidity and very good length.
($86) Unforthcoming on the nose. Then almost shocking in its texture of liquid silk, with complex flavors of crystallized lemon peel, pineapple and wet stone displaying lovely subtle grip. Totally different in shape and mouth feel from the Charmes and Genevrieres. Finishes very long and bright. This was always tannic and hard to taste in barrel, said Jacques Lardiere, but today it is finding its balance.
($53) (4,500 cases produced; 40% of this village wine is declassified premier cru juice): Stone, white pepper and smoky oak on the nose. Leaner than the Meursault villages and higher-pitched, with ripe peach and spicy oak dominating. Tighter and drier on the finish, but there's good underlying sweetness of fruit here.
($73) Very closed on the nose. Broad and fat but youthfully imploded, with good floral cut to the flavors of peach, fresh apricot and smoky oak. Finishes juicy, dry and long, and a bit youthfully aggressive.
($104) Bright pale yellow. Spicy, high-pitched aromas of curry powder, nutmeg, ginger and vanillin oak, with good stony lift. Round, broad and suave; stuffed with pineapple and nut oil flavors brightened by flowers and stone on the back end. This should offer plenty of early appeal but should also last well.
($80) Lemon, flowers and spicy oak on the nose. Fat and sweet but more closed than the Combettes. Plenty of richness and power here, as well as finesse, but this youthfully tight will be slow to open. Finishes dry and penetrating, with a lemon flavor and a light tannic edge.
($80) Bright pale yellow. Reserved nose hints at lemon, vanilla and spices. Big, broad and dry; shows a rather open-knit texture and an enticing hazelnut quality but today the vanillin oak element dominates. Finishes sweet, fine-grained and very long. This gained markedly in delineation as it opened in the glass.
($150) Straw-yellow. Very ripe aromas of dried apricot, honey and nut oil. Sweet, lush and silky; the most voluminous of these Puligny premer crus. Not yet complex but the peachy fruit is nicely framed by harmonious acidity. Finishes energetic and long.
($50) Lemon and white flowers on the reticent nose. Dry and firm in the mouth, with good cut but moderate flesh and concentration to the lemon drop flavor. A bit lean on the back.
($65) Pale yellow. Pure aromas of pear, stone and white flowers. Tight and minerally, with excellent cut and definition for the vintage. The perfumed stony and floral flavors carry through nicely on the persistent aftertaste.
($65) High-pitched aromas of lemon, vineyard peach and flowers. Tactile and wild, with a very dense, extract-rich palate impression cut by penetrating lemony acidity. This boasts terrific flavor intensity and verve for 2009. The very long, saline finish saturates the palate with lemon and crushed stone. White Burgundy from red wine soil.
($70) Pale straw-yellow. Crushed stone, peach and flowers complicated by a saline nuance on the nose; strongly chalky throughout. Rich and intense, offering a seamless texture and impressive volume without any undue weight. The rich stone fruit flavors are already harmonious but the dry finish shows a slight warmth.
($300) Pale color. Dried peach, pineapple and lemon peel on the reticent nose. Sappy and juicy in the mouth, but with a lush, seamless texture. In fact, this persistent wine seems rather easygoing for grand cru. The long finish shows some slightly drying oak tannins.
($260) (from vines on the Puligny side): Quite closed on the nose, hinting at creme caramel. A step up in intensity and structure from the Bienvenue, with stone fruit and mineral flavors enlivened by bright lemony acidity. Youthfully imploded wine with terrific steely cut. Impressively taut on the long, rising finish. An excellent Batard that should age well.
($348) Pale straw-yellow color. Utterly captivating nose combines white plum, anisette, crushed stone, medicinal herbs, fresh hazelnut, almond, marzipan and white pepper. Powerful, dense and seamless, with terrific fruit intensity and violet lift. Beautifully balanced, suave, rich Chevalier-Montrachet with with a very long, mounting finish. Lardiere prefers this wine to the 2008 and believes it will age for a long time.
($430) Pale yellow. Very ripe aromas of fresh apricot, mint, marzipan and smoky oak, with a suggestion of candied stone fruits. Big, rich and backward but a bit youthfully sullen. Outstanding intensity to the citrus, menthol and iodine flavors. As large-scaled as this is, there's no heaviness. This powerful Montrachet will need extended cellaring.
($130) Good pale color. Subdued but pure high-pitched aromas of lemon, wild herbs, nutmeg, lavender, violet and white pepper, with a strong steely quality contributing to the impression of lift. The palate offers extraordinary definition and verve for the vintage, showing superb acid cut to the flavors of lemon, crushed rock and menthol. The tactile aftertaste saturates the palate with citrus peel and wet stone. This should be long-lived.