I am stone in love. In every sense of the word. With the 2010s of the Côte de Nuits, that is. Stone as in deeply, powerfully, passionately in love, and Stone as in the incredibly fresh, pure, intense limestone-iness that shines through these stunningly beautiful wines.
I have seen no reviews of the 2010s yet (Allen Meadows is here now doing his tastings for reviews and scores to be released in late January), but I must tell you now that this is, to me, the most exciting young Burgundy vintage I’ve tasted since I’ve been in the business.
Yes, that’s a big statement. No, these are not the 2005s, which are ultimately better wines. These are also not the fleshy, fruity, and broadly appealing 2009s. But if you love those things that make Burgundy special and unique, the 2010s will simply knock your socks off.
Granted I have only tasted so far at a handful of producers, and only those at the very top of their art. Frankly, I don’t care what the lesser producers did with their 2010s, but I sincerely hope they’re good. What I tasted today at Mugnier, de Vogüé and J-J Confuron was flat-out great.
Daughter Pirrie on the wall at Musigny, summer 2008
What makes these wines so special is an extraordinary sense of freshness and precision, and a crystalline minerality that is unparalleled in my experience. As François Millet said today at de Vogüé, often we speak of minerality in metaphorical terms, because it is so very hard to define or describe. But in these 2010 wines we not only get minerality of the metaphorical variety, there is pure, naked, ancient limestone in the texture and flavors of the wine that is undeniable.
It’s a vintage of truth and honesty. You can see everything in these wines, there is nothing hidden or obscured. The expression of terroir is even more distinct and clear than the 2008s, and these seem more “alive” than the ‘08s as well. I did not taste one 2010 today that was less than thrilling.
Absolute stand-outs among the greats were the Vosne-Romanée les Beaux-Monts and the Romanée-St. Vivant at Confuron, the Amoureuses , Bonnes Mares and Musigny at de Vogüé, and of course the Amoureuses, Bonnes Mares and Musigny at Mugnier. Have I mentioned that I love my job?
Which brings me to a brief dissertation on my love for Musigny. In my opinion, Musigny is THE single greatest red-wine terroir on planet earth (or at least of what we’ve found so far, as Monsieur Millet pointed out – he thinks we might have the equal in Oregon someday, btw!) I will certainly accept all arguments on behalf of Romanée-Conti or La Tâche, and understand that many will prefer one of those. They are all three in their own league, to be sure. As Freddy Mugnier said today – “I hear they make some nice wines down in Vosne-Romanée, too”, in reply to my musing that Musigny was my choice for the greatest.
In tasting the 2010 Musigny at de Vogüé, I was simply at a loss for words, in French or English, to try to verbalize what was going on. The wine was beyond any definition of complex or fascinating. Millet could see that I was grasping for words to express this, and he noted “The Musigny, there are some things going on that are like the dark side of the moon. Normal human beings, in the course of a life will never see it (unless they are astronauts), and therefore one can’t describe it, nor can one ever understand it. But yet it is there. The Musigny is like that.”
With that, I’m off to taste more of these gorgeous 2010s. Thoughts and impressions from Comte Armand, Benjamin Leroux and Buisson-Charles tomorrow…
Vinum the dog & the cat-with-no-name at Confuron