Beaune 1er cru "Les Sizies" 2008

The Vintage

The weather in 2008 was capricious with a fairly mild winter followed by a spring and summer that were essentially cool and damp, slowing the maturation of the grapes and permitting the development of rot. Additionally, at the end of August, we worried when the meteorologists predicted another week of cold and rainy weather. Then, a miracle occurred. On September 13, "la Bise", which is a cool and dry north wind, arrived, clearing the sky of clouds. It blew for about three weeks. This was exactly what was needed. There was sunshine to help the grapes achieve maturity, cold nights to preserve the grapes' acidity, and finally, a dry wind to stop and dry out the rot. We just had to wait.... Harvest began at the end of September with radiating sunshine but cool temperatures. In the end, even if the quantities are small, 2008 is a very lovely surprise, a very Burgundian vintage with aromas deriving from the late maturation and reminding us of 1978.

Tasting notes

- Classic ruby. A notably more elegant and refined nose of equally high-toned but cooler red pinot fruit aromas where a floral note can also be detected, introduces quite precise middle weight flavors that culminate in tangy and rather linear finish.
Tasted: Apr 18, 2010 Drink: 2015+ Allen MEADOWS' – BURGHOUND

-The de Montille 2008 Beaune Sizies is pungently herbal and smoky in the nose – no doubt in part indicative of a certain reduction – and offers tart red currant and fresh strawberry on a bright if slightly stiff palate. This has more intensity though less charm or refreshment than the corresponding Bourgogne. I would not plan on holding it for more than 4-5 years without benefiting from an interim reassessment. Etienne de Montille related having taken great pains in early September, 2008 to stave-off encroaching rot and promote ripeness, and felt that his rigorous leaf-pulling and crop-thinning – not to mention eventual triage – paid off sufficiently that he could vinify a substantial portion of the 2008 crop in his preferred manner, utilizing a high proportion of stems and whole clusters (100% in the case of this year's grand crus and top premier crus). Those wines for which a point spread is indicated were all last tasted shortly before their early spring bottling as finished assemblages in tank – whence they had been racked at the end of 2009 because de Montille did not think their fruit density or lees quality would have supported longer barrel-elevage. (Despite my longstanding predilection for de Montille and his wines, I regret to report that time and circumstance conspired to keep me from tasting his 2007s.) Review by David Schildknecht - Wine Advocate # 189 (Jun 2010)