The appeal of Burgundy 2010: tasting notes aplenty and a video intro

Greetings wine lovers. Spring is upon us. Flowers blooming. Increased daylight. And a perfect time to taste good wine.

Having just returned from Burgundy, it is safe to say that 2010 is going to be a fine vintage for both reds and whites. I had a chance to compare some 09s with10s in red, and can say with confidence that while the 09s are thoroughly appealing, the 10s often seem to have more balance and freshness. Just one day after an amazing tasting of 50 2009s at Clos de Vougeot, I sought out the 2010 vintage.

How is it? It often exudes greater vivacity than the 2009. The wines also seem to be better versions of the more polarizing 2008s. While the 2008s sometimes seemed a touch austere and even green in some places, the 2010s show more fruit and ripeness, in spite of the fact that they have, on balance, even more acidity than the 08s, according to most vintners who spoke with me.

A tale of two vintages

At the end of my tastings, at Chateau de Pommard, I could barely contain my enthusiasm, having just tasted through several Pommards 09s and 10s. One striking example was the great estate Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux. While the 2009 was richer and more immediately appealing, it did not seem to match the nuance of the 2010, which was also ripe and fresh. I preferred the 2010. Same story when comparing a fine Cote de Nuits like Mugneret Gibourg‘s Nuits St Georges Les Chaignots in 2009 and 2010. The latter seemed not only more balanced but more layered, more nuanced, more interesting…

Scroll below for complete tasting notes from a marathon tasting on Friday 23 March. For convenience, here categories you can just click to get to more easily.

No scores but some basic indications of quality: I like the wine if it is in bold. Even more if red and bold. When underlined, too, I just adored it.

Corton reds

Corton Charlemagnes (whites)

Various (mostly) Cote de Nuits (reds)

Various whites

 

Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne

One of the most beautiful locations in Burgundy’s famous Cote d’Or is the Corton hillside, dedicated entirely to two grands crus: Corton (red) and Corton Charlemagne (white). I recall staying at the Villa Louise bed and breakfast in Aloxe Corton, overlooking the famous hillside. Great breakfast there, as well as comfy lodgings. But I digress. During the Grands Jours de Bourgogne, I was able to sample various examples of the grands crus wines. It was so interesting to compare wines for example that came from the same vineyard but were different in style.

Take Les Pougets for example. A climat of the Corton Grand Cru, the site is located on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Corton hill, reaching from the lower mid-slopes right up to the tree line at 1100ft (335m). Pougets is one of the five Corton climats which produce both white and red wines, under the Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru and Corton Grand Cru appellations respectively. The soils vary noticeably across the site, specifically in their proportions of limestone and iron-rich marlstone. At the tasting, I tried Louis Jadot Corton Corton Charlemagne and Patrick Javillier Corton Charlemagne. Both come from vines in Les Pougets, but the wines are very different. While the Jadot seems to have more power and broader shoulders on the palate, the Javillier plays more on freshness and elegance.

A lot of these tasting notes were cursory…

REDS

Corton Le Rognet. Located on the eastern slopes of the Montagne de Corton hill, overlooking the Ladoix-Serrigny village.

Corton Rognet Maison Champy 2010: Lightness and elegance here, not as imposing as the Taupenot-Merme, which is in the same vicinity, but very subtle. 33% new oak.

Corton Rognet Domaine Taupenot-Merme 2010: A more masculine style, with a slightly reduced nose and a rather imposing palate. Needs time to come together. This was purchased in 2005 and owner Virginie Taupenot Daniel felt happy to see “new people” from the Cote de Beaune, she told me.

The Clos du Roi vineyard is located on the famous Corton hill facing East. It is often called the “red side” of the hill and the heart of the appellation. Some, like Jasper Morris recently in his lovely book Inside Burgundy, believe it is the best of all the inflationary grand cru monikers of Corton…

Corton Clos du Roi Maison Louis Latour 2009: There is freshness and sap here. A success.

Corton Clos du Roy Domaine Antonin Guyon 2009: Smooth entry and mid palate, with moderate flavor intensity, although I get the feeling of extraction and a touch of heat on the finish.

Le Corton: Le Corton actually consists of a specific band of vineyard at the top of the hill as opposed to just “Corton” which is a wine that can be made from anywhere within the 160 hectares designated as Corton AOC.

Le Corton Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils 2010: Bouchard is the largest owner of the 11.67 hectacre Le Corton, and this displayed lovely crisp raspberry with an underlying richness. I love this wine, and at the aforementioned dinner, thoroughly enjoyed the 2005 red. In January in Washington D.C., the 2009 was also superb.

Corton Grand Cru Domaine Pierre Marey et Fils 2010: Very chipper with a juicy mid palate, albeit a touch austere on the finish.

Corton Clos de la Vigne ay Saint Maison Louis Latour 2009. Here we have 14% and I can feel it… a bit heavy handed?

Corton Bressandes lies on the mid level of the Corton Grands Crus hill, underneath Clos du Roi and Renardes, facing south-east and on a slight gradient, the Pinot noir vine-stocks thrive on stony and chalky clay soils.

Corton Bressandes Domaine Antonin Guyon 2009: It shows substance but a touch monotone, lacking the nuance expected from a grand cru.

Corton Bressandes Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2009: Rich and sap-filled, this displays much personality, although does it dry up just a touch on the finish?

Corton Bressandes Domaine Edmond Cornu et Fils. Quite smooth, not warm as some 09s can be, rather pleasing, with a red fruit aspect.

Corton Perrières. Located on the lower southern slopes of the Montagne de Corton hill, immediately north of Aloxe-Corton village.

Corton-Perrières Domaine Meuneveaux 2009: A bit warm, displaying more the negative side of 2009… with a somewhat syrupy texture.

Corton Les Perrières Domaine Philippe Girard 2009: Slightly reduced here? There is a feeling of substance but rather tightly wound up. Uncertain for now…

WHITES

Corton Vergennes Domaine Chanson 2010. A very small single vineyard shared between Domaine Chanson and the Hospices de Beaune, on a hump of the hill of Corton. The vineyard used to belong to the Count of Vergennes, who was counsellor to Louis XVI and signatory for the Treaty of Independence with the United States of America. The 2010 is a great success, with focused mineral flavors and vivacity on the palate, through to a lingering finish.

Corton Charlemagne Maison Champy 2010. They hold barely a hectare of vines northwest towards Pernand-Vergelesses. Most of the vines face west, and run from the foot of the Corton hillside to the top. Excellent intensity of flavour and length of aftertaste. Seek this one out!

Corton Charlemagne Domaine Bonvalot 2010. Never heard of this one, but it showed nice white pepper, spearmint and freshness. Also from vines situated on the Pernand-Vergelesses side of the appellation.

Superb Bonneau du Martray 2010

Corton Charlemagne Domaine Bonneau du Martray 2010. Owner Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Moriniere claims – as have others already – that 2010 has more material (plus de matière) than 2008. I really think that the 2010 is a better version of 2008, for both reds and whites. There is more acidity but more richness and seeming ripeness, on a general level. But let’s get back to this super lovely wine… Bonneau du Martray is I think the largest single owner of vines within the Corton-Charlemagne vineyard with 9.5 hectares, so there is a wide range of quality to choose from. In 2010, white tobacco and citrus among the beguiling aromatics. Rich on the palate and yet tonic. Get some now.

Corton Charlemagne Domaine Joseph Drouhin 2010. Mainly from vines in the southwest slope Les Languettes. There is opulence to be sure on the mid palate, but I feel like it lacks just a bit of precision. Could it have been the bottle? Or timing of the wine being put in bottle?

Corton Charlemagne Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils 2010. Lovely and crisp, round on the mid palate yet nicely focused, with a fine line of acidity lending pleasurable lift and zip on the finish. Excellent.

Corton Charlemagne Louis Jadot 2010. Coming from the Pougets vineyards, a powerful almost thick expression of Chardonnay, but still fresh. Still Burgundy.

Corton Charlemagne Domaine Patrick Javillier 2010. Also from Pougets, but much more elegant and even delicate. I find this more nuanced, but perhaps the Jadot will get better with time?

Corton Charlemagne Maison Louis Latour 2010. Also a large holder of vines in choice vineyards, and one of the most celebrated producers of Corton Charlemagne. Does not disappoint, with lovely white pepper and tobacco notes with an opulent mid palate, although the Bonneau du Matray shows better verve.

Corton Blanc Domaine Comte Senard 2010: A nice white, fresh and pleasing, but only medium depth on the palate.

 

ANOTHER TASTING EARLIER THAT DAY

A nice tasting day in Beaune...

Just before I went to the Corton tasting, I visited a special tasting hosted by the Famille Mouchonnat in Beaune, I was invited thanks to Marie Andree Mugneret. Mainly wines from Cote de Nuits, but not always… some fine producers here.

REDS

Mugneret Gibourg. Marie Andree was not able to be there but Florence Pichon was present. This estate is making pure and precise and ripe expressions of Burgundy. I seek this out regularly. 

Nuits St Georges Les Chaignots 2010: Lovely freshness. Harvested around 24 September, which saved the vintage, she said. She finds it having more fruit than the 2008 counterpart.

Chambolle Musigny Les Feusselots 2010. Just put in bottle the week before, so served from a carafe. Still quite reduced. But there is an airy freshness and underlying substance. 40% new oak. Success.

Ruchottes Chambertin GC 2010: Will be in bottle two weeks from the day of this tasting. Vivacious and sap-filled. Superb tonicity, with ripe expression of cooler fruit. 60% new oak, well integrated. Wow.

Nuits St Georges Les Chaignots 2009: Interesting to compare with the 2010, which I tried again in another glass. The richer “2009” dark fruit aroma is recognizable, and very tasty, but not as nuanced to me as the 2010! Florence suggested that the 2010 may actually have a better balance.

Ruchottes Chambertin GC 2007. A bit of confite on the nose, with fine sap on the mid palate, richness and moderately intense in flavor, if just a touch short on the finish.

Henri Boillot is a very fine producer. I visited him a few years ago, and was very impressed with the 2007 whites I had tried back then, so it was good to try the 2010s, too. 

Volnay Villages 2010: Chipper and fresh, nicely integrated 25% new oak.

Volnay Les Caillerets 2010: Here the 50% new oak is also well integrated, greater intensity and volume if a touch austere on the finish.

Clos Vougeot 2010: Rather reduced aspect, closed nose, precedes a voluminous palate, somewhat imposing, decent tonicity on the finish but hard to evaluate at this stage.

JJ Confuron. Have never tried this domain, but have heard good things. Indeed, here the wines are excellent. 

Nuits St Georges Les Chatboeufs 2010: Lovely aromatics, intensity of flavour is fine for a villages wine…

Impressive: Jean Jacques Confurion

Clos Vougeot 2010: Has about half a hectare on the higher part of the slope. Very small yields as elsewhere in 2010. Met Alain Meunier of the estate. Very focused, richness and yet a perfume that beguiled. Harvest was carried out end September and beginning of October. A magnificent wine.

Domaine David Duband

Some of his wines left me cold, lacking focus and substance (Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2010) or coming across as somewhat sharp (Morey Saint Denis Clos Sorbé), but others were quite nice, including a rather refreshing Nuits St Georges Villages and a sap-filled and rather elegant Echezeaux GC.

Domaine Joblot. Now the owner was joking around, a rather jovial type. I liked his wines a lot, too.

Givry 1er Cru Clos de la Servoisine 2010. Very fresh, frank, ripe and tasty. Southern region where ripeness was “easily achieved” he said in 2010. About $30 and worth every penny. I gave this an underline because of the superb price/quality ratio. Buy this without hesitation!

The other wines he had – including Clos du Cellier Aux Moines and Clos Marole – were both good, but not as appealing as the first one.

Domaine Claude Dugat: La Gibryotte (negoce bottling) and estate bottlings. Now, I wonder about the use of new oak here. While the negoce bottlings, made from purchased grapes, are decent enough, if nothing spectacular, I think the Gevrey Chambertins from Dugat (both village and premier cru) displayed drying aspects from what seems to me to be too much new oak, dominating the fruit.

Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat

Chambolle Musigny 2010 After being left cold by Dugat, this wine epitomized for me freshness in Pinot. Elegance and fruit, with a medium intensity of flavour and a smooth finish.

Nuits St Georges Les Murgers 2010. A rather light expression of Nuits St Georges, again fresh and elegant, with a tonic finish, but even for me, I am wondering if it lacks a bit of heft in the mid palate…

Clos de Vougeot 2010. Fine, but not as good as the JJ Confuron, this Clos Vougeot. It combines vine plots from Plantes Labbe (just next to the castle) and Les Chioures, up high near vines owned by Meo Camuzet, and exhibits opulence and breadth with fine freshness, too.

Domaine Remoissenet. The wines I tasted varied. A bit of over richness combined with oak derivation in the Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetieres 2010. The Gevrey Chambertin 2009 was a touch monolithic. But for the misses, there were some hits, notably a rich and savory Pommard Premier Cru Les Arvelets 2009 and a successful Clos Vougeot 2010, but not as good as the JJ Confuron…

WHITES

Roger Lassarat

These are fine Macon wines that I had served with pleasure while being a sommelier on Nantucket Island in 2007 and 2008. I tried the Saint Veran Jeunes Vignes 2010 which is simple and nothing too exciting if a good summer drink. And the other Saint Verans are nice, too. But what stole the show for me was the Pouilly Fuissé Clos du Martelet – a monopole vineyard – is lovely and precise, coming from 60-year-old vines planted 10,000 per hectare. Both the 2008 and 2010 are marvelous, each displaying citrus flavours, with the 2008 a touch of apricot, some evolution, but still fresh and delicious.

Domaine Ramonet

Chassagne Montrachet 2010. Ripe green apple aromas and flavours, with focus and a bit of spice on the lingering finish. Excellent wine!

Even better is the Chassagne Montrachet Boudriotte 1er Cru 2010, exhibiting distinct limestone freshness and greater verve. Lovely.

As impressive as the mid palate of the Bienvenue Batard Montrachet 2009 is, the 14% alcohol is not felt, but rather one misses some nervous energy… the 2009 vintage shows here.

Domaine Henri Boillot

Puligny Montrachet Villages 2010. Fine and straightforward and totally overshadowed by the Clos de Mouchère monopol vineyard. Very crisp attack, much subtstance on the mid palate, even a touch weighty – needs time? But what stole the show was a superb Corton Charlemagne, with both brightness and intensity…

Domaine Francois Carillon

I may have rushed too quickly through this tasting, but needed to get the a series of Corton wines at Ladoix… If all of life’s problems were like this one, right? His white Bourgogne is honest and fine. The Puligny Montrachet even better. Then comes the Puligny Montrachet Champs Gain 1er Cru, which is elegant yet displaying endearing butterscotch flavors, but not overdone. The Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes is suave and rich, but again focused. And the stony mineral richness of Les Perrieres is tops! Never more than 30% new oak here.

Before leaving Burgundy ….

Tasting at the Morey Saint Denis shop in the centre of town. Michael Magnien wines were somewhat stolid and the really nice lady at the shop told me that they represent Burgundy for Bordeaux lovers. Not for me. What really made me happy was the floral perfumed elegance of the Pierre Amiot Morey St Denis 1er Cru Les Charmes. I have bought it before, and I bought it again. She only had one bottle left of the lovely, lifting 2008, but called the owner, who came by in about 10 minutes later with three 2008s and three 2009s. Talk about service!

4 Responses to “The appeal of Burgundy 2010: tasting notes aplenty and a video intro” (Leave a Comment)


  1. Very interesting article. I think I might follow your recommendation for the Joblot Givry, sounds like a good deal.Thanks! Alex

  2. pkakaviatos says:

    Thanks for reading Alex. You will not be disappointed with that Givry…

  3. [...] Panos Kakaviatos war wieder im Dienste des Genuss unterwegs und hat im Burgund den neuen Jahrgang 2010 verkostet, den er übrigens sogar besser fand als den schon hochgelobten Jahrgang 2009. Viel Gutes gab es da, [...]

  4. [...] to sell, he said. Could have seen that coming. It basically proved my initial impression last year, HERE. Now the Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne 2011 was also pretty good, with a nice balance but [...]

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