Top 8 2010 Burgundies

Pinot noirs delivering Burgundy's finest terroir expression


2010 Burgundies are hitting the shelves, or in some cases due to the marriage of limited quantities and high ratings, are slipping through the retail channels without ever having seen a shelf. Yes, this is the perfect storm: a great vintage, lower than average yields, and a newly found appreciation of Burgundy in emerging markets, making value in Burgundy more relative than ever.
Still, this is a smashingly good vintage, and there are wines that punch way above their pay grade even today, though I expect these real values will be going the way of the dodo before long. Burgundy has never been cheap of course, but you can still find exceptional, age-worthy examples for under $40 a bottle, making them top values in my book.  Here are eight examples from a recent blind tasting. Does paying more always make sense? I don’t think so.
These wines were tasted in two flights of four with the scoring reflecting our results for each flight.

Sign Image via Shutterstock

2010 Domaine Drouhin Clos des Mouches 1er Cru $75

This is dark and oaky on the nose with lots of high-class wood, a touch of smoky minerality and a back note of gaminess, all wrapped in very ripe dark cherry and blue pinot fruit that screams New World. Round and plump if quite silky in the mouth with soft tannins and well-integrated acidity supporting dark fruit that is accented with briar notes and obvious wood in the mouth. The mid-palate seems a bit hollow, though there is fine length here, even if it is spiced and sweetened by the wood. Not what I look to Burgundy for. 87pts Find it Here
My 4th place wine of the Beaune flight
The groups 4th place wine with 37 pts

Domaine Chandon des Briailles Les Vergelesses, Pernand-Vergelesses $38

Spicy and perfumy on the nose with a strong floral scent, some pink peppercorn spice, a little hint of medicinal spice and touches of sweet and smoky wood, though with time this takes on a bit of candied ripeness. Light, fresh and tight on entry with dusty tannins and bright acidity supporting a taut core of raspberry fruit over mineral earth base with a fine, long, tight finish. More about promise than performance today, this seems to be well-equipped to evolve positively in the cellar. I wouldn’t try another for 4 years. 89pts Find it Here
My 3rd place wine of the Beaune flight
The group’s 3rd place wine with 31 pts

2010 Domaine Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees $60

Tight on the nose and a little funky with simple red cherry fruit and light brambly accent notes.  This is decidedly reticent in the mouth with excellent depth and transparency. The fruit is wild and not sweet in the raspberry end of the spectrum, with wonderful clarity revealing a hint of bitterness and astringency from the minerality that supports a curranty element here. The tannins are very fine-grained, allowing this to slip across the palate and even while closed this shows wonderful inner-mouth perfumes. This needs time in the cellar to really show its best but has decided upside potential. 91pts Find it Here
My 2nd place wine of the Beaune flight
The group’s 1st place wine with 20 pts

2010 Domaine Pavelot Aux Guettes Savigny-les-Beaune $35

Slow to reveal itself, but air brings out tight, dark red cherry fruit with a nice touch of blackberry on the nose. This is quite fruit driven, even a bit sweet to smell but remains fresh and very attractive. At first this appears a touch loose in the mouth though with air the wine tightens up showing a flush of sweet cranberry fruit on entry over a base stony minerality which is supported by well-integrated ripe tannins and fine acidity that balances the wine’s innate sweetness. The finish shows a dark side to the fruit, perhaps even a little black plum skin, though the mineral tension remains on the long, crisp finish. For me this is what 2010 is all about. This should be excellent in 3-5 years time. 92pts Find it Here

2010 Dominique Mugneret Les Boudots Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru $80

Quite fruity on the nose, this shows some seductively sweet black cherry fruit and gentle wood spice. Cool and compact in the mouth, there’s some lovely cherry skin fruit here that exhibits nice length, but the wine seems to be simple and short. Actually it’s probably not really short but the tannins do turn a touch dry on the finish, lending it a clipped feel. Solid but uninspiring. 88pts Find it Here
My 4th place wine of the Nuits flight
The group’s 4th place wine with 40 pts

2010 Dom Trapet Latricieres-Chambertine Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru $150

Dark, earthy and complex on the nose with layers of explosively rich black cherry fruit, nutty oak nuances and hints of grilled meats and smoke all coming together with lovely depth, though this is a touch rustic at the same time. A touch diffuse on entry, this is rich with fruit tannins and red fruit. Decidedly open and giving on the palate, this gains and loses focus in the mouth, though the finish shows decisive acidity, which grows on the palate offering a bit of a dried orange rind note here. There’s something a bit mysterious and unseen about this wine, which starts with a very impressive nose and ends with a lovely finish, but the mid-palate is not ready for prime time. Probably needs 6-8 years to sort itself out. 92pts Find it Here
My 3rd place wine of the Nuits flight
The group’s 2nd place wine with 27 pts

2010 Domaine Lamarche Les Suchot Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru $80

This shows absolutely killer aromatics, all layers of pinot fruit, smoke, a bit of herb, leather, chalk and a hint of pepper wrapped up in a friendly veneer of spicy oak. Very firm and tight in the mouth, a bit closed even but this nonetheless reveals exceptional balance with faint echoes of everything found on the nose. This is like ringing a bell, just stunning clarity to this wine. The tannins are sweet and very ripe, seemingly almost diffuse and the back end and finish slowly reveal an excellent base of stony minerality here. This needs a decade but will be fabulous.  94pts Find it Here

My 2nd place wine of the Nuits flight
The group’s 1st place wine with 21 pts

2010 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Morey-St-Denis Grand Cru $160

Perhaps the most divisive wine of the night. I am not a huge fan of oak, and this has plenty of sweet oak on it but the oak is so complex and perfumed bringing elements of marzipan, coconut and roasted nuts to the mix, though the cinnamon spice found here is most assertive. The fruit shows a touch of pine from stems and a little licorice and beetroot, all wrapped around a core of dark fruit.  This is very fine-grained in the mouth with a base of firm, powdery tannins supporting a particularly broad palate that is rich with wild strawberry, forest floor, and pomegranate seed flavors. There’s an earthy base of beetroot here and stemmy herbs even though this comes off as an exceptionally modern Burgundy. Have I been seduced by the oak? Perhaps, but it feels nice to be seduced once in awhile. 95pts Find it Here
My 1st place wine of the Nuits flight
The group’s 3rd place wine with 29 pts

Slideshow View

Top 8 2010 Burgundy

Domaine Drouhin Beaune Premier Cru Clos des Mouches (2010)
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Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 'Vergelesses' Premier Cru (2010)
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Lafarge Michel Volnay Vendanges Selectionees (2010)
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Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Guettes Premier Cru (2010)
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Dominique Mugneret Damodes Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru (2010)
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Domaine Rossignol Trapet Latricières-Chambertin (2010)
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Domaine Lamarche les Suchot Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru (2010)
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Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Morey St. Denis (2010)
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