Its one of those weird things, for some unearthly reason, years ending in the number nine have profound effects on wine made in Burgundy.
Let’s start way back in 1959. The fact that the wines are still drinking beautifully is enough to go on but these wines continue to evolve and are showing very few signs of slowing down. The wines were austere and tight in their youth with masculine tannins and deep fruit cores. Over the decades, these wines have slowly morphed and aged into one of the most classic vintages in Burgundy’s storied history.
Next up is 1969 (the year my parents were married and so the seminal beginnings of my obsessive attachment to wines from this region), the ‘69’s were gorgeous in their youth, vibrant, racy, seductive wines that are starting to get a bit tired later in their life ( we are strikingly similar, those wines and myself).
1979 provided a great crop of wines that get lost because they came directly after the legendary ‘78’s, although, I must point out that the 1970’s were very much a decade that occasionally gets lost in many aspects.
When I first tasted the ‘89’s I remember saying to my self, ”these wines are going to develop into something otherworldly”, the last time I tasted one, I remember thinking “when?”. Although they still need sometime to fully come around they are still blockbusters.
1999, how I love these wines, every time I crack one open I am reminded that I didn’t buy enough of them.
Last year I started tasting the 2009’s at a few select pre-release tastings from Vintage 59 and Vineyard Brands. These wines are supple and delicious now. I don’t see the ageing potential of the ’59 or ’89 here but I stocked up as much as I could afford (ok, lets be honest, much more than I could afford). These wines are fantastic now and should continue to develop for the short term. They also provide the perfect wines to stock your cellar with while you wait for the massive ‘05’s to come around (roughly the same time as a hovercraft will be released for commercial sale) and the seemingly equally impressive 2010’s.
I strongly suggest grabbing some of these “once a decade” wines as soon as you can, the press on these wines will ensure them selling through very quickly……….or you could just wait for the 2019’s…………