2010 white Burgundy
This is a classic year for white Burgundy. The relatively cool growing season maintained crisp acidity, and the reduced crop delivered great intensity of flavour. Moreover, the wines have structure, and although the simpler wines are accessible now, most premiers and grands crus from top estates have a long life ahead of them.
*Vintage guide updated January 2017
Chardonnay did not suffer quite as badly as Pinot from the difficulties at flowering, but nonetheless crops were reduced. The cool, rather damp summer was not a particular challenge for the grapes, though growers had to keep a close eye on their vineyards for outbreaks of disease. Moreover the hailstorms of mid-September did damage white vineyards in the Côte de Beaune, especially in Meursault, and there was some rot.
Normally one would expect the white grapes to be picked before the red, but in 2010 the harvest was muddled thanks to the uneven ripening. But well organised estates managed the harvest well, and of course in all-white appellations such as Puligny and Chablis, this was not an issue. The wines are similar to the racy 2008s, but with a touch more weight, and white Burgundy aficionados could hardly ask for more.
This was a triumphant vintage in Chablis, with the additional bonus that winelovers do not need to pay enormous sums for excellent wines. Premiers crus, or those that remain on the market, should provide sensational value and give huge pleasure over the decade ahead. The classic appellations of the Côte de Beaune produced brilliant wines, but the most prestigious would have been snapped up long ago. These are wines that have the precision of a high-acidity year, yet not at the expense of richness and minerality, and this is nowhere better exemplified than in Corton-Charlemagne. There are also delicious whites from the Côte Chalonnaise and even the Mâconnais. The climate was slightly warmer in these southern areas, so the wines may not have quite the tension of the great whites from the Côte de Beaune, but they are ripe, affordable, and zesty.