2010 BURGUNDY REPORT and FULL SCORES

2010 BURGUNDY REPORT

 2010 is a terrific vintage for both colours of wine.  Unfortunately when nature gives with one hand it usually takes with the other and in 2010 the trade off is that the yields are very small indeed (30-60% down).  This means that allocations are like gold dust and so your relationships with your favourite merchants will surely be tested as keen collectors jostle for position, trying to secure stock.  After a large crop in 2009, the vines had to survive a very long and cold winter – the conditions were the harshest since 1985/6.  In mid-December temperatures dropped to a record low of -21 degrees Centigrade.  Low-lying ‘village’ vineyards in the Côte de Nuits were the worst affected by this freeze and many vines died.  Fast forward to flowering, which happened in a cold and damp June, but it was an uneven, drawn-out process.  This led to failed fruit-set and small, thick-skinned berries were made which are an indicator of quality, but not, sadly, volume.  Late June and July were hot and sunny, but strangely August was cold, wet and more than a little depressing (I am sure that you remember this because the UK was very similar).  In early September, the sun shone at last, but then disaster struck in the southern Côte de Beaune in the form of an electrical storm which hammered Santenay and parts of Chassagne-Montrachet. Some growers panicked and picked immediately, but others wisely waited for a week or more to allow the grapes to dry out and concentrate their sugars.  The patient vignerons, who waited, were rewarded with intense sugars combined with whip-cracking acidity and wondrous, vineyard specific minerality and this is responsible for my favourite style of white and red Burgundy – elegant, firm, yet aromatic and lithe wines.  This helter-skelter vintage produced some mind-blowing results – spectacular whites which resemble sprightliest of 2008s with even more verve and incredible reds which some might say have more finesse than the wondrous 2009s.  Either way 2008, 2009 and 2010 is the finest threesome of Burgundy vintages in my twenty-five-year-long wine trade memory.  Roy Richards, of Richards Walford, an eminent and exceptionally wise Burgundian importer, noted that, ‘the reds have a concentration, freshness and sense of place which differentiates them from the bigger, more muscular 2009s’ and that, ‘the whites are on a par with the top 2008s, but with higher acidity, and they are less austere than the fine 2007s’.  These observations explain the flavours in the glass perfectly.  I love the wines from across the price and Domaine spectrum.  My instinct is to buy as wide a range of wines as possible from Village to Premier Cru level in order to get the best value and experience that you can.  Nearly all of the top wines speak exactly of their vineyard origins and so I feel that you will not just be drinking wonderful, benchmark French Pinots and Chardonnays in a few years time, when they are ready to go.  Instead, in your glass, you will find wine from precise postcodes, to within metres, hand-made by some of the most gifted people on the planet.  Now this is an irresistibly compelling proposition.

 

My ten best value white wines across the board (with guide price and my score out of 20)

2010 Chablis, 1er Cru Les Lys, Daniel Dampt 17.5/20 £118.00

2010 Bourgogne Blanc, Cuvée Oligocéne, Patrick Javillier 17.5/20 £160.00

2010 Saint-Aubin, La Princée, Hubert Lamy 17.5/20 £168.00

2010 Maranges Blanc, 1er Cru La Fussière, Bachelet-Monnot 17.5/20 £190.00

2010 Chassagne-Montrachet, Marc-Antonin Blain 17.5/20 £215.00

2010 Pernand-Vergelesses, 1er Cru Sous Frétille, Remi Rollin 17.5/20 £265.00

2010 Chablis, Grand Cru Clos, Christian Moreau 18/20 £269.00

2010 Meursault, Les Tillet, Patrick Javillier 18/20 £300.00

2010 Puligny-Montrachet, Etienne Sauzet 18/20 £325.00

2010 Meursault, Dominique Lafon 18/20 £396.00

 

My ten best value red wines across the board (with guide price and my score out of 20)

2010 Bourgogne Rouge, La Croix Blanche, Cécile Tremblay 17.5/20 £150.00

2010 Savigny-lès-Beaune, 1er Cru Les Lavières, Seguin-Manuel 17.5/20 £169.00

2010 Marsannay, Les Longeroies, Bruno Clair 17.5/20 £190.00

2010 Volnay, du Comte Armand 18/20 £240.00

2010 Gevrey-Chambertin, Drouhin-Laroze 17.5/20 £255.00

2010 Nuits-St.-Georges, Vieilles Vignes, Robert Chevillon 17.5/20 £290.00

2010 Morey-St.-Denis, Domaine des Lambrays 18/20 £345.00

2010 Pommard, 1er Cru Combe Dessus, Marquis d’Angerville 18/20 £475.00

2010 Gevrey-Chambertin, En Champs, Denis Mortet 18/20 £570.00

2010 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru, de la Vougeraie 18/20 £720.00

(Prices quoted are by the case in-bond, exclusive of VAT and duty)

 

The best 2010 Burgundy Merchants

A&B Vintners tel. tel. 01892 724977 & www.abvintners.co.uk

Berry Bros & Rudd tel. 0800 280 2440 & www.bbr.com

Corney & Barrow tel. 020 7265 2430 & www.corneyandbarrow.com

Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927 & www.hhandc.co.uk

Howard Ripley tel. 020 8748 2608 & www.howardripley.com

Justerini & Brooks tel. 020 7484 6400 & www.justerinis.com

Lea & Sandeman tel. 020 7244 0522 & www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

Tanners tel. 01743 234500 & www.tanners-wines.co.uk

Please click on this to open my full spreadsheet of scores   Matthew Jukes – Burgundy 2010 Scores