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White Burgundy 2008 revisited on their ninth birthday

William Kelley takes a look at how white Burgundy from the 2008 vintage has evolved with Sarah Marsh MW and David Robert MW...

White Burgundy 2008 tasting notes below

In April, a tasting of white Burgundies from 2008, organised by Sarah Marsh MW and hosted by David Robert MW of Goedhuis & Co, afforded an opportunity to check in on the vintage’s evolution as they approach their ninth birthday.

The 2008 growing season did not get off to an auspicious start, with unseasonably cool temperatures and rain in June and July, followed by a cool, grey August. Hail on the border between Volnay and Meursault struck shortly after fruit set, reducing yields though it came too early in the year to appreciably impact quality. Rot and mildew pressure was high.

A sunny September, however, permitted growers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, bringing the grapes to full maturity, while a constant north wind impeded the spread of rot and concentrated both sugar and acidity.

As a set, the wines showed well, meeting optimistic expectations. In the era of premature oxidation, opening twenty-two white Burgundies is inevitably a nerve-wracking exercise for consumers and producers alike, but only two wines were clearly advanced. The remainder were aging gracefully.

The influence of botrytis—which imparts musky, exotic top-notes to white Burgundy—didn’t really make itself felt, somewhat to my surprise. What’s more, the wines wore their high acidities well, generally revealing nice gloss and texture to balance their structural spines.

Many can be approached now but the best wines clearly show the potential to further gain complexity and plenitude with time in bottle.

Thanks to David and Sarah.

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