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Friday 29 April 2010
Allen Meadows' Burghound: 2008 Reds
Louis-Fabrice Latour and winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas told me that 2008 is a "classic Burgundy vintage in terms of the wines we produced. It was also a difficult vintage as the summer weather did not cooperate though the second half of September was perfect. There were other difficulties as well, include rot pressure and hail in some sectors, which made for a lot of sorting in general and, because the flowering was troubled, for small yields. In fact, our yields were not much more than they were in 2003. We also bought in quite a bit less than we usually do as what the brokers showed us was for the most part very uneven. Overall, 2008 is a good vintage and very terroir in its transparency but it can be variable.” There was no Corton- Grancey released in 2007 but there will be one in 2008. However, note that one of its usual components, the Clos du Roi, has been pulled out and will be bottled separately. (Louis Latour, Inc./Ltd., www.louislatour.com, US, UK, France).

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet "Clos St. Jean”: A red berry, warm earth and pepper-suffused nose leads to rich and reasonably generous middle weight flavors that culminate in an acceptably persistent finish that presently displays a distinct, if slight, edginess. (85-88)/2014+

2008 Aloxe-Corton "Les Chaillots”: An exceptionally fresh and very pinot nose offers up high-toned red berry fruit aromas that complement the detailed and softly stony light to barely middle weight flavors that possess good punch and vibrancy on the delicious and dusty finish. (86-89)/2014+

2008 Beaune: The nose is still a bit raw due to the late malo though the light weight fruit-driven flavors are racy, pure and attractively detailed, all wrapped in a delicious and easy to like finish of modest complexity. (85-88)/2013+

2008 Beaune "Vignes Franches”: An elegant, pure and pretty nose offers up notes of both red and dark berry fruit aromas as well as hints of smoke and earth, the latter of which can also be found on the rich, generous and round middle weight flavors that are delicious and focused though mildly tangy on the acceptably persistent finish. (86-89)/2015+

2008 Pommard "Les Epenots”: An expressive nose of red berry fruit that has just a hint of a floral/vegetal element to it but rather than being unpleasant, in this case it adds depth. The middle weight flavors possess good detail and vibrancy on the delicious, suave, mouth coating and focused finish. Lovely. 89/2016+

2008 Volnay "En Chevret”: Here the vegetal component is stronger though it does not dominate the otherwise pretty and very fresh red berry fruit aromas. (86-89)/2015+

2008 Chambolle-Musigny: Latour indicated that this had literally just been bottled. A lovely and entirely classic Chambolle nose of bright and high-toned red pinot fruit laced with subtle mineral nuances that continue onto the detailed, pure and lilting flavors that possess a slightly edgy finish. 88/2013+

2008 Nuits St. Georges "Les Damodes”: A discreet touch of wood sets off a slightly sauvage nose that displays both red and blue berry fruit, warm earth and an attractive spiciness that introduces generous, round and naturally sweet middle weight flavors that possess solid depth and length on the mouth coating finish. (88-91)/2016+

2008 Nuits St. Georges "Les Crots”: This is also aromatically complex with an admirably pure, elegant and cool red currant, plum and earthy nose that marries into the lilting and surprisingly refined middle weight flavors that, like those of the Damodes, are not particularly concentrated but do deliver good authority and character, all wrapped in a persistent if mildly austere finish. Good quality in a package that should reward up to a decade of cellar time. 90/2016+

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin "Lavaut St. Jacques”: A cool, pure and relatively high-toned yet restrained nose of pretty red pinot and dark berry fruit along with ample wet stone nuances that continue onto the detailed and vibrant medium-bodied flavors that are firm. (88-91)/2016+

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin "Cazetiers": A more complex, more serious and more deeply pitched nose that is notably animale in character with plenty of earth, underbrush and humus influence on the fresh, airy and cool wild red berry aromas. The moderately ripe medium weight flavors are detailed, intensely mineral and solidly persistent. 90/2016+

2008 Vosne-Romanée "Les Beaumonts”: A touch of wood spice supplements the natural spiciness of the red and black fruit aromas that exude an appealing stoniness that is also reflected by the pure and reserved middle weight flavors that presently display mild austerity on the acceptably long finish. 89/2016+

2008 Corton-Grancey: (the Clos du Roi was pulled out of the blend in 2008). Mild wood influence does not compromise the transparency of the fresh and earthy red pinot fruit nose that exhibits a slight sauvage character that can also be found on the energetic, detailed and tautly muscled middle weight flavors that possess good richness and more refinement than usual on the serious, long and linear finish where a touch of austerity can also be seen. (89-92)/2018+

2008 Corton-Clos du Roi: Here too can be found a gentle touch of wood that frames pure, reserved and brooding red and dark pinot fruit aromas that display the classic Clos du Roi characteristics of warm earth, spice and sauvage hints, all of which carry over to the minerally, austere and powerful medium weight plus flavors that possess real verve on the palate staining finish. Compared to the Grancey, there is just a bit more underlying material that gives this the edge. (90-92)/2020+

2008 Echézeaux: (a blend of different climats). A very spicy if mildly wooded nose features a restrained nose of red and blue pinot fruit, anise, clove and sandalwood notes that precede the rich, round, supple and quite forward medium-bodied flavors that dissolve into a delicious, serious and quite firm finish. Very good if not truly distinguished quality here. 90/2020+

2008 Clos de Vougeot: A notably floral nose also displays subtle spice and earth notes on the largely red currant, cherry and blue berry fruit aromas that merge gracefully into the delicious, serious and admirably concentrated big-bodied flavors that culminate in a youthfully austere and impressively persistent finish. Excellent quality and potential. 92/2025+

2008 Charmes-Chambertin: An expressive and moderately complex nose of fresh red pinot fruit highlighted by discreet wood influence gives way to generous, rich and relatively accessible medium-bodied flavors. 89/2020+

2008 Mazis-Chambertin: This is very Mazis with its distinctly sauvage element infusing the cool and relatively airy red berry fruit and earth nose that also displays a hint of dried meat that introduces vibrant and relatively finely detailed medium-bodied flavors that possess good punch and length on the mineral-driven finish. (89-92)/2022+

2008 Latricières-Chambertin: A lightly toasty nose that is more elegant if not more complex possesses an aromatic profile of earthy and stony sour cherry and red currant fruit aromas nuanced with underbrush hints that are also picked up by the rich, full and refined medium-bodied flavors that are attractively textured if firm and display a hint of backend dryness. 89/2018+

2008 Chambertin-Cuvée Héritiers Latour: An extremely cool and backward nose of moderately high-toned and intensely stony red berry fruit and distinctly animale aromas complements well the detailed, precise and equally mineral-driven, firm and big-bodied flavors. There is good if not sensational power here and not quite the length that one might hope for but given how youthful this still is, there will be plenty of time for that to develop. 91/2023+

2008 Bonnes Mares: A somber but gorgeously complex nose of red berry fruit and subtle wood hints that is actually quite elegant with lovely aromatic purity that complements cool but ripe, earthy and serious medium full-bodied flavors blessed with ample amounts of dry extract and supported by firm structural elements on the impressively persistent and austere finish. I quite like this as it's powerful and intense but note that patience will be required. 93/2025+

2008 Romanée St. Vivant - "Les Quatre Journaux”:A subtle touch of wood sets off a strikingly elegant and very pinot nose interlaced with spice, violet and soft earth notes that can also be found on the complex and youthfully austere flavors that possess really lovely finishing balance and excellent length. This is not especially dense yet it actually is relatively powerful for RSV plus there is a beguiling sense of harmony and completeness here. 93/2013+