JANUARY means only one thing for the UK wine trade – Burgundy. A month of endless tastings where buyers, writers and experts will sip, swirl and spit (or not) hundreds, if not thousands, of Burgundy’s latest vintage of 2010.
Although these samples will mostly be from the barrel, as they will generally not be released for at least another year, it will provide an invaluable glimpse into the quality of what’s to come.
The first whispers have been extremely positive with both the reds and whites showing very well after initial tastings.
The wines have been positively ‘classic’ with great acidity structure and freshness.
Here are some of our Burgundian picks available on the high street (and one online that deserves to be snapped up before it all goes).
Bourgogne Chardonnay 2008 down to £7.99 until January 29 M&S
A simple, yet totally satisfying white (100% chardonnay like almost all the white wines grown in the region) produced from 70 year old vines and aged in french barrels for around 10 months resulting in smooth and pleasant wine with fresh apple and citrus fruit flavours.
Meursault 2008 £28 M&S
The wines of Meursault are some of the region’s most heralded whites with around 450 hectares of vines grown around the small commune. Quite surprisingly there are no grand crus within the AOC but a number of great premier crus which can produce some of the longest lived whites within the region. The wines aren’t cheap (like this one) but when produced well (also like this one) they show stunning opulence, toasty fruit flavours with hints of cashew and a burst of fresh acidity that sets it apart from the crowd.
Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Ballorin 2008
Bin End down to £11 while stocks last robersonwine.com Although the humble Bourgogne rouge is the lowest in the Burgundian hierarchy, this example is anything but humble. Ballorin is a small, family owned domaine based in the town of Morey-Saint-Denis, next to the famed region of Gevrey-Chambertin. The wines are crafted in very small quantities by a producer who chooses quality over quantity in every respect. Showing stunning red fruit purity, vibrant acidity and silky tannins – get this while you can.
Ladoix Rouge, Domaine Chevalier Père et Fils 2009 £17.99 Majestic
The lesser-known Ladoix appellation in the Côte de Beaune produces both red and white wines and is often left in the shadows by its rather more famous and loftily priced neighbours of Beaune and Aloxe-Corton, however these wines can provide immense pleasure at a much more wallet-friendly price. Domaine Chevalier is a family owned domaine who have been producing wines for over 150 years. Showing a concentrated nose of red cherries, sweet spice and vanilla. 2009 was a particularly excellent year for reds in the region and this shows all the upfront fruitiness and lush, seamless tannins from this vintage that warranted all the praise.