Burgundy 2010 – status red and white – February 2013

The 2010 vintage is truly exceptional and in my view the best vintage in recent decades in Burgundy. The reds are extraordinary and the whites are at least outstanding and close to a extraordinary rating.

20130221-090656.jpg

Some experts have however mentioned a somewhat higher variance in quality in the 2010s compared to the outstanding 2009 vintage. Others have claimed that the wines from 2010 are shutting down allready – thus not showing the fruity side.

This could be the case – but as allways the truth is in the bottle and the glass – so lets find out!

A good occation to test the current condition of the 2010s is the annual vintage tasting of Otto Suenson – one of the leading importers of top Burgundies in Denmark.

The red 2010s .. Rouge to high level

The tasting offered a vide range of red Burgundies from Bourgogne Rouge from Amboise to Clos de Vougeot from Domaine Ponsot.

  • Bertrand Amboise, Bourgogne Rouge 2010
  • Domaine Ramonet, Chassagne Montrachet Rouge 2010
  • Lechenaut, Morey-Saint-Denis 2010
  • Jacques Prieur, Beaune 1er cru Champs Pimonts 2010
  • Mongeard-Mugneret, Pernand Vergelsses 1er cru 2010
  • Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe Corton 1er cru Vercots 2010
  • Francois Bertheau, Chambolle 1er cru 2010
  • Robert Chevillion, Nuits-Saint-Georges Bousselots 2010
  • Sylvain Cathiard, Vosne Romanee 2010
  • Comte Armand, Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 2010
  • Dugat-Py, Gevrey Chambertin Coeur de Roy 2010
  • Domaine Ponsot, Clos de Vougeot Vieilles Vignes 2010

The overall impression is a very high standard … the wines are all transparent, and reflects the terroir and the producers style. The fruit is very much present in the wine … if allowed by the producers style, and most of the wines are in my view very delightful now.

Some producers do however have a more backward style … and the transparent 2010s really reflects this .. no help from a opulent fruit like in 2009.

The tasting showed very good quality in the “low level” wines – the Chassagne Rouge from Ramonet, and the Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru from Mongeard Mugneret offers lovely drinking now … they are indeed both welcome at my table. The Lechenaut Morey-Saint-Denis is also lovely .. openly knit … and drinking well now.

In the top end the Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee really offers a beautiful Vosne-Romanee expression of terroir and Vosne style … a truly beautiful village wine – very impressive.

Tasting notes on most of these wines will follow.

The white 2010s … Blanc to top

The whites represented the full range from Bourgogne Blanc to Grand Cru from Domaine Leflaive.

  • Bertrand Amboise, Bourgogne Blanc 2010
  • Lechenaut, Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2010
  • Merlin, Pouilly Fuisse Vergisson 2010
  • Benjamin Leroux, Puligny Montrachet 2010
  • Paul Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet Clos Saint Jean 2010
  • Domaine Leflaive, Batard Montrachet 2010

The overall impression of the whites is very positive, and they confirmed that the white 2010s now are showing better and better from the bottle. Just after bottling some whites were very confused, with a yin/yang effect between the fruit and the acidity. Recent tastings show a much better integration of these elements, and the wines a now showing outstanding quality.

The whites are very transparent, and the terroir and producer style are very much reflected in the wine – this can be exceptional – but also very revealing!

Two whites deserve a special attention – Paul Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet Clos Saint Jean, a very crisp and crystal clear Chassagne. A very interesting wine for those who love focused and mineralic wines … this is not a Sprite on oak … this is pure terroir driven Chardonney. Need to taste more wines from Pillot.

The second white is – surprise – the Batard-Montrachet 2010 from Domaine Leflaive … a fantastic wine – the 2010s from Leflaive are truly great.

Tasting notes will follow.

Summing up on the 2010 vintage

The tasting confirmed the exceptional quality of the 2010 vintage … both for the reds and the whites.

As for the two questions. Yes – if the producers style and the terroir is backward and slightly austere, then the 2010 vintage will indeed show it, and perhaps even highlight this. And yes the 2010s will eventually shut down just like other vintages and it will loose the young primary fruit at some point.

As for the variation in quality level – yes the transparent 2010 vintage will show if there are problems in a wine – but this tasting showed very high quality in general with the expected quality variation between the lesser producers and the top level Domaines.

Lastly a big hand to Otto Suenson for making this tasting … a lot of lovely wines from a broad range of producers.