"Les Grèves" 1er cru de Beaune 2010

The vintage

We began the 18th and finished the 30th of September 2010.

After a challenging winter where frost affected lots of vineyards and caused many young plants to die, 2010 began a bit behind schedule but with the softness of a rather hot spring. However, flowering didn't have the advantage of good weather, and this resulted in poor fruit set (coulure) and an abnormal mix of berry sizes within clusters (millerandage). Summer got off to a good start with a lovely first half of July. However, moody and chilly weather then set in until the beginning of September, when Burgundy's best helper in that month, a wind called la Bise (the Kiss), cleared the skies for a radiant sun to dry the vines while temperatures remained fresh.

2010 is an excellent vintage for reds. They remind us of 2002 as much in aromatic profile as in texture. Finesse, elegance and energy are perhaps the best qualities of this year. The noses open with small red fruits then develop with great complexity into sweet spices, morello cherries and flowers, the latter found frequently in the wines vinified with whole clusters - a typical result of this vinification technique.

The mouthfeels are copious, ethereal and fresh. The most remarkable aspect of this vintage is probably the texture, which has such a rare finesse and silkiness thanks to its simultaneously melting yet structuring tannins accompanied by a touch of tangy acidity on the finish. The result is a sensation of energy given the dynamic combination of freshness and softness.

Most will be ready to drink between 2015 and 2025 while the top Premier Crus and Grand Crus could wait until 2030 or 2040 and will be magnificent bottlings.

Tasting notes

-The stems add an attractive floral and spice component to the red currant, raspberry and earth suffused nose. The supple, round and attractively well-detailed flavors are on the lighter side but offer excellent authority and punch on the distinctly austere finish. We'll see if this fleshes out in time but for the moment it is lighter than in prior vintages.  Allen Meadows

-Light nose again. Lots of fresh, well-polished fruit. Nicely done but pretty subtle and not a subtle price. Very comfortable in its own skin though – nothing forced here. Just the right amount of dryness on the finish.
Jancis Robinson – score : 17