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Yields were down as much as 40% on 2009, but Burgundy lovers are shelling out up to 10% more for the “surprisingly good” 2010 vintage.
As the en primeur campaign kicked off this week, prominent Burgundy expert and Berry Bros & Rudd buyer Jasper Morris MW said there was “a real buzz” for this year’s wines.
He said there had been an “enthusiastic response from customers”, although added, “we won’t sell as much as last year” given there is less stock available. He predicted this would be BBR’s “best campaign apart from last year”, adding that prices had held steady or increased by up to 10%.
David Roberts MW of Goedhuis & Co said that in style and quality the reds are “absolutely fabulous”. “Very different to 2009, which is slightly down to the climate. There is lots of strong, dark berry fruit. It’s a real Burgundy lover’s vintage, and the slightly cooler, longer ripening times bring a brightness and purity which reflects the individual appellations perfectly.
“The quality of the vintage has taken us all by surprise – the growers were incredibly cautious,” he added, but it developed “beautifully” in cask.
As for prices: “Burgundy has not hit the stratospheric Bordeaux levels, but it is creeping up in price – the production is minuscule. But it still offers value,” said Roberts.
Camilla Bowler, Bibendum’s fine wine buyer, said demand from private clients had been very high, with many top wines selling out within days of release. “This demand is partly driven by the small quantities available and partly by a growing interest in Burgundy [especially top-end reds] from both drinkers and investors, as the Bordeaux bubble shows signs of slowing down.
“The strong response from our customers leads us to believe that we will sell through most allocations with relative ease,” she said.
For the most part the trade’s reaction at the en primeur tastings was positive. Hamish Anderson (@HamishDAnderson), Saturday Telegraph wine writer and Tate wine buyer, said: “#Burgundy2010 two tastings done and the whites are not up to the hype. Some are the best I have ever tried young, but just as many OTT.”
Peter Robson (@cursitor), manager at Jeroboams in Notting Hill, London, said: “Superb wines on show tonight, real distinction between terroirs and levels – what Burgundy ought to be about.
Importer Carte Blanche Wines (@cbwines), tweeted: “#Burgundy2010 wow. Javillier Paul Pillot and Grivot stood out today. Wonderful wines. Quite a lot of tannin about in the main though.”
Story by Gemma McKenna
Courtesy of Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review