What We're Drinking: 2010 Red Burgundy

Learn about this delicious burgundy vintage

As I said in my post on 2010 Burgundian whites, this vintage is delicious. I discussed there how weather affects white and red wines differently. So far, it’s hard to say which color I favor, though I’m leaning towards the whites. However, the wines are still so young that in six months, that might change and it could be a photo finish. Just like when the 2008s were at this stage, both colors are running neck and neck (I now say the 2008 whites win).

Since I’m staying between the Côte de Nuits and Macônnais, the wines are all pinot noir, except for the gamay stirred into one cuvée. Though it is a very fine vintage, it wasn't easy — as the title suggests. After explaining some of the weather events that make this vintage taste the way it does in reds, I’ll mention some of the wines where I think WoMen (women and men) successfully challenged Mother Nature’s bravado.

In general, 2010 red wine quality is a few steps behind 2009 but is ahead of 2008 by a smidgen. From what I’ve tasted so far, the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune are equally successful. The Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais — aside from some hail damage in the latter — are celebrating their third good year in a row.

What happened during the growing season that affected the look, smell and taste of the wines? First, the hail that occasionally attacks during the growing season spared most of the Côte d’Or (for once!). This, along with the small berry size due to the growing season’s chilly start, gave the pinot noir good color. Second, once Mother Nature got down to the business of finalizing fruit ripeness in September, she turned on the sunshine but kept the night time temperatures fairly cool. This means the wines have ample fruit and body along with refreshing acidity.

From north to south, here are some of my value picks in 2010 Burgundy Pinot Noir.

Régis Bouvier 2010 Bourgogne Pinot Noir En Montre Cul
This Bourgogne Rouge merits its lieu-dit. First, the vines sit on a hillside, not on a plain. Second, they are 50 years old. The wine shows height-of-summer blueberry fruit, supple tannins, and grapey youthfulness. Shell out the few extra bucks for this rather than the "straight" Bourgogne. Drink through 2015.

Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair 2010 Fixin Clos Marion Monopole
I’ve never tasted fixin like this. It’s so delectably juicy that it makes me blush. Accented by licorice, the plum-filled mid-palate is kept in-bounds by perky acidic tension and powdery tannins. Drink through 2016.

Domaine Hudelot-Noellat 2010 Chambolle-Musigny
Rich crimson in color, this wine almost vibrates with underbrush, freshly dug truffles, and moss-covered logs. The fruit ranges from tart cherry to ripe plum and wild blueberry. The near-tart acidity is finely balanced by the gracious tannins. A leaner example of the vintage to drink through 2020.

Click here for more Burgundy red picks. 

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— Christy Canterbury, Snooth