Region 'Red Burgundy' - Year 2008

Rating Drinkability Style
starstarstarstarstar keep Low-yielding and inconsistent quality, but the best wines (often the 1ers crus) have great purity of fruit, focus and fresh acidity: drink early or hold for well over a decade.

Weather Conditions

Sparse March/April sunshine and rainfall double the norm stalled progress in the vineyard, though pace picked up during a fine early May. More rain and a cool June saw protracted flowering, with coulure (failure to fertilise) a constant problem. Mildew thrived in the dreary inconsistency, requiring continual spraying.

July was sunnier, but deteriorated on the 26 when a hailstorm hit Volnay, Pommard, Savigny-les-Beaune and Marsannay (localised damage but up to 70% of the crop lost in places). More hail, on 7 August, significantly reduced yields in Mâconnais and Beaujolais.

Cool, dull weather returned mid-August and ripening was slow and erratic, grey rot creating further problems. A bright, sunny dawn on 14 September, with drying north-easterly winds, began concentrating grapes and clearing infection: sunshine persisted, and picking got fully underway under ideal conditions in the later part of September.

Best Appellations

Despite mildew, rot, and inconsistent ripening, 2008’s cool weather and late drying sunshine created a good balance of bright acidity and ripeness. Hallmarks are dark red colour, great purity of fruit, and a serious rather than showy character. The wines don't have great depth but the best have purity and focus.

More northerly vineyards were less challenged and Chambolle-Musigny 1ers crus from the Côte de Nuits' are perhaps the vintage highlights: fragrant, textured, vivacious and fairly substantial, lively raspberry fruit shot through with fine minerality. There’s more minerality, plus dark bramble fruit and ultra-smooth tannins, from Nuits-Saint-Georges, with good quality from village level upwards. Gevry-Chambertin is elegantly structured, spicy and bursting with red-black fruitiness, while the four grands crus of Morey-St-Denis show exotic spiciness and luscious density.

From the Côte de Beaune, Pommard shows some consistency - the best smooth, spicy, vivacious and quite boldly tannic, while the ripe, spicy and concentrated 1ers crus of hail-hit Volnay can also be impressive.

Best Producers

LE MUSIGNY: Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier; CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY: Ghislaine Barthod, Robert Groffier, Maison Roche de Bellene (Nicolas Potel); NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES: Robert Chevillon, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg; SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNES: Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret BEAUNE: Chanson Pere & Fils; MAZIS-CHAMBERTIN: Armand Rousseau; GEVRY-CHAMBERTIN: Denis Mortet, Domaine de la Vougeraie, Louis Jadot, Jean-Marie Fourrier; Maison Champy; CHAMBERTIN: Denis Mortet, Domaine Pierre Damoy, Arnoux-Lachaux; CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN: Maison Champy, Camille-Giroud, Domaine J Confuron-Cotetidot; POMMARD: Domaine de Courcel, Domaine Hubert Montille; VOUGEOT: Domaine de la Vougeraie; CLOS DE VOUGEOT: Henri Boillot; Bouchard Père & Fils; ECHEZEAUX: Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Domaine Jean Grivot; VOSNE-ROMANEE: Domaine Jean Grivot; VOLNAY: Bouchard Père & Fils, Maison Roche de Bellene (Nicolas Potel)