The climatic conditions
Particularly cold temperatures in the first days of December heralded winter frosts. On the night of December 19 - 20 temperatures fell to -20’C and -22 ‘C locally (-18.7’C in Dijon) the lowest temperatures since records began in 1921. There was local frost damage in some vineyards. It was a winter which brought back memories of the winter of 1985.
January and February were just as cold with a lot of snow and rain and fewer sunshine hours than normal.
March and April brought a pleasant spring with above normal temperatures and a lot of sunshine in the middle of this period. The summer temperatures towards the end of April encouraged good development of the buds. The ‘pointe verte’ (green bud) stage was reached around the middle of the average time over the last 20 years. During May cooler temperatures set in and we had less sunshine hours than normal for this time of the year.
The first half of June saw above-average temperatures for the season which encouraged growth. The end of the flowering stage was reached around June 22 after a week marked by gloomy rain and a significant drop in temperatures. The changeable weather conditions caused ‘la coulure’ (where the flowers and young grapes fall off the vines) and ‘millerandage’ (where the young grapes fail to mature), which severely reduced the volume of the year’s harvest (from 10 to 40% less volume, depending on the parcel).
July had very similar weather conditions to June, with warm and sunny periods interspersed with cooler temperatures and rain. The hours of sunshine were, however, higher than normal. These very variable weather conditions continued throughout August. But Nature knows how to do things very well. The much smaller crop meant that the maturation process progressed steadily and well, notably between August 23 and September 6.
This phenomenon of concentration continued until September 24 and then the gloomy weather returned. Thus the smaller crop meant smaller but ripe grapes, concentrated and with a good acidity.
All these elements combined to produce a great classic vintage, pure and with a high sugar content.
This small harvest, resulting from such capricious weather, gave birth, incredible as it might seem, to a great vintage - distinguished, hearty, clean, classical - with a superb complexity. The first cuts of the secateurs took place on Wednesday 22 September in the vines of Beaune 1er Cru “Les Avaux”, Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru and Pernand Vergelesses, followed on 23 September by Savigny Les Beaune Village and Vosne Romanée Village; 24 - 25 and 26 September Vosne Romanée, Gevrey Chambertin, Fixin and Fixin “Les Fondemens” then Bourgogne Rouge. Monday 27 September the team returned to the heart of the vineyards: Nuits St Georges 1er Cru “Les Boudots”, Echezeaux and Echezeaux “Vieille Vigne”, Chambolle Musigny. The next day and the day after Clos de Vougeot, Grands-Echezeaux, Vosne Romanée 1er Cru “Les Orveaux”, Richebourg, Nuits St Georges “Les Plateaux”. Thursday 30 September and Friday 1 October were devoted to harvesting Marsannay Blanc “Clos du Roy”, then Bourgogne Aligoté and finally Bourgognes Passetoutgrain “Le Libertin” and Grand Ordinaire “La Superbe”.
We finished the harvest in the Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits on 7 and 8 October at Arcenant “La Croix” and at Chaux “Les Dames Huguettes”. 2010 was truly a vintage of winegrowers, where high standards, good judgement and expertise were combined at every moment.
The 2010 vintage produced magnificent, classic wine, with harmonious and rich olfactory notes. The colours are very classic and typical of good pinot noirs: beautiful bright, deep ruby colour. The nose is expressive in a register of red fruit and fresh with notes of strawberry and raspberry.
The aromas are subtle and noble, of great delicacy, with harmonious floral notes. On the palate, the tannins are silky and elegant with a very nice balance between acidity and roundness. The Bourgogne Pinot Noir is brilliantly expressed by the structure of the wine, its elegance, freshness and complexity. The identity of each “terroir” is revealed in pure wines, honest and with an exquisite richness.