Wednesday 29 June 2010
Allen Meadows' Burghound: 2008 Whites
Côte de Beaune's Whites - The 2008 Vintage
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, including 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. One other interesting aspect is that we had higher alcohols in the grands crus whites than I've seen in a long time.” 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.,, US, UK, France).

2008 Beaune "Clos St. Désiré”: A high-toned nose of cool citrus and white flower aromas merges into pure and pretty middle weight flavors that are round, supple and delicious while retaining a reasonably good sense of detail and tension on the agreeably dry and crisp finish. 87/2012+

2008 Beaune "Les Cras”: Discreet if not invisible wood highlights floral and lemon-lime aromas laced with wet stone notes that lead to very rich and round flavors and the naturally heightened ripeness levels of Les Cras are on display yet the finish is racy and energetic with fine balance and good length. 89/2013+

2008 Meursault: (10% new wood with 40% raised in stainless). A touch of sulfur from the recent bottling will dissipate in time and doesn't overtly disturb the expressiveness of the hazelnut, pear and acacia blossom suffused nose. The medium-bodied flavors are rich, round and quite generous while delivering good if not special length. Note that this is rather forward and should drink well young. 88/2012+

2008 Meursault-Château de Blagny: The cool and restrained lemon zest, green apple and softly floral nose grudgingly emanates from the glass though the energetic, racy, pure and detailed flavors possess plenty of personality as well as a textured mouth feel, all wrapped in a lingering finish that exhibits both fine depth and balance. Lovely. (89-92)/2014+

2008 Meursault "Poruzots”: A fresh and bright mostly green fruit and earthy nose is trimmed in mild oak notes that are also reflected on the rich and powerful finish while in between, there is good volume and acceptable precision to the medium weight plus flavors. This is perfectly good if not especially distinguished for what it is. 89/2013+

2008 Meursault "Goutte d'Or”: This stylish effort offers a step up in elegance with white flower, pear and peach aromas merging seamlessly into rich, full and naturally sweet medium full flavors that culminate in a reasonably detailed finish that possesses an attractive texture and solid if not special persistence. 89/2014+

2008 Meursault "Charmes”: A highly expressive nose is airy, perfumed and fresh with perfumed aromas that display notes of hazelnut, peach and white pear that complement the attractively generous and relatively forward middle weight flavors that offer solid length and depth on the appealingly textured finish that coats the mouth. 90/2014+

2008 Meursault "Genevrières”: A wonderfully expressive nose of obvious harmony and grace that is spicy, exotic, classy and elegant marries into pure and rich flavors that possess fine volume and a bit more mid-palate fat with even better precision and more evident minerality. In sum, this is an extremely stylish and an altogether lovely effort. 91/2014+

2008 Meursault "Perrières”: A deft touch of wood frames reserved and primary aromas of white flower, wet stone and subtle spice hints that are followed by admirably pure, precise and detailed middle weight flavors that culminate in an intense and lingering finish that displays plenty of the hallmark minerality of a classic Perrières. This should be quite good. (90-92)/2015+

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet: A distinctly pungent nose of resin, underbrush, earth and yellow orchard fruits complements the rich, round and relatively powerful flavors that are delicious and persistent if not especially refined. 88/2013+

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet "Grande Montagne”: A pretty nose of ripe orchard fruit aromas gives way to naturally sweet, opulent and sappy flavors that are perhaps a bit less precise and racy than I would typically expect from this wine though to be fair, it is delicious, layered, balanced and solidly persistent. A very good rather than great example. 90/2014+

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet "Caillerets”: An impressively elegant nose of menthol, citrus and orange blossom aromas complements perfectly the stony, strikingly intense and very pure flavors that evidence a very fine minerality on the palateetching finish that delivers excellent length. A classic example with really lovely transparency. 91/2014+

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet "Baudines”: A highly layered and perfumed nose of white flowers, limestone and wood spice precedes naturally sweet, nuanced and beautifully transparent flavors that are crystalline in their purity and complement perfectly the tension-filled and mineral-suffused finish that explodes on the palate. This is really an impressive effort and while rather linear just now, it should blossom in time. In a word, terrific. (90-93)/2015+

2008 Puligny-Montrachet: While this can't match the Baudines for aromatic elegance, it's no slouch given its villages status, offering up notes of rose petal, lemon and a hint of pain grillé that can also be found on the very generous, succulent and supple middle weight flavors that possess lovely intensity and fine finishing punch. If this can add depth with 2 to 3 years of bottle age, my score might be viewed as a bit too conservative. 88/2013+

2008 Puligny-Montrachet "Referts”: Pronounced floral aromas cut with lemon, stone and subtle oak influence serve as a very pretty introduction to the round yet detailed, refined and punchy middle weight flavors that are reasonably complex and wrapped in a moderately short finish. At present this is ever-so-mildly awkward but the underlying material is of sufficiently good quality that I suspect that it will harmonize soon. (89-91)/2014+

2008 Puligny-Montrachet "Truffières”: A notably ripe yet cool nose that is classically elegant and perfumed offers up notes of mineral reduction, green fruit, floral hints and moderate oak toast combine with textured, sweet, detailed, precise and focused medium-bodied flavors that are balanced, intense and impressively long. A classic example of Truffières as this is built on a base of firm minerality and I very much like the finishing intensity. 91/2015+

2008 Puligny-Montrachet "Les Folatières”: A restrained and airy nose features aromas of ripe pear, green apple and hints of limestone, spice and citrus dissolve gracefully into rich, naturally sweet and beautifully detailed medium-full flavors that possess outstanding balance and an intensely stony finish. A textbook example of the appellation. 91/2015+

2008 Corton-Charlemagne: (100% from vines in Aloxe and all domaine fruit). An upper register and highly complex nose of green apples, white pear and citrus notes introduces almost painfully intense, pure and impressively powerful big-bodied and overtly muscular flavors that possess an almost aggressive minerality on the palate staining, tension-filled and driving finish. This is really a striking wine that is built to age as there is an abundance of dry extract. Gorgeous. (92-94)/2016+

2008 Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: A potent nose of very ripe yellow orchard fruit that displays mildly exotic undertones combines with ripe, rich, powerful and opulent broad-scaled flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract that really coats and stains the palate on the admirably long finish. As is often, if not always, the case, this is not particularly elegant but offers plenty of richness, muscle, concentration and an attractively fleshy generosity. (90-93)/2016+

2008 Chevalier-Montrachet "Les Demoiselles”: A discreet touch of wood spice sets off the white flower, stone and citrus fruit nose that is perfumed, highly complex and airy and complements the mineral-driven medium plus weight flavors that are suffused with gorgeous intensity and huge length. This just oozes class and refinement and should age gracefully for at least a decade and keep for another. 94/2018+

2008 Bâtard-Montrachet: (from Puligny fruit). An unusually elegant and, like the Demoiselles, highly complex nose features ripe orchard fruit, dried flower and moderate wood notes where the latter continues onto the extremely rich, full and powerful flavors that do not topple over into excess weight or opulence. In fact, this remains admirably focused and impressively wellbalanced on the seriously persistent finish. 93/2016+

2008 Montrachet: This is clearly the most backward and reserved wine in the range as the restrained nose reveals only hints of white flower, citrus and green fruit aromas that are trimmed in a noticeable touch of pain grillé. By contrast, the muscular and big-bodied flavors explode on the palate as there is a chewy texture to them yet the ample minerality present adds lift to the powerful and hugely long finish. This is not a Montrachet of finesse in 2008 but the abundant amount of dry extract should insure that it matures, and then drinks, over a very long period. 95/2020+