Spotlight on Red Burgundy: Comte Armand Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru 2009
Auxey-Duresses is one of the “underachieving relative” AOCs in the Cote de Beaune. Situated between Volnay and Meursault, Auxey-Duresses is known for solid, if somewhat rustic, Pinot Noir. Much more of a white wine zone when it comes to quality (there are great values here compared to Meursault), there are now a few producers pushing the quality envelope with Pinot to make modern, easy to appreciate reds. I’ve yet to have an Auxey that stands amongst the best of the Cote de Beaune, however. I thought the leading producer Comte Armand (famous for their Clos des Epeneaux bottling from Pommard) would be the best bet to see what was possible.
Comte Armand are reliably consistent in the quality of their wines. A producer with a bent towards biodynamic farming, Armand made only one wine until 1994 and then gradually expanded. This Auxey is one of the later expansions. It is made with fruit from two vineyards, blended together: Breterins and Duresses (two of the better premier crus).
The wine is quite modern, with a plush ripe nose of dark cherries. The palate is open and forward, with ripe but structured tannins. The acidity is lower than a classic vintage such as 2008, but higher than you’d expect for the ripe 2009 vintage. Overall, this Auxey is an easy drinking wine of quality, if not tremendous complexity. I generally expect more from premier cru Burgundy from top producers, but they can be tough to find in B.C. at this price point. As such, the wine is a good value proposition for a bolder red Burgundy that is drinking well now. A lesser producer would not have achieved the same balance in this vintage.
~$60 at Marquis