TN: 2008 Burgundy 1er Crus

Last weekend I put on what turned out to be one of the best tastings I’ve done. Very high level of quality across the board, and much enjoyed by all. The choice of 2008 was simply because I had the chance to snag a few at great prices; the 3 reds came from the Commerce Corner, as a matter of fact.

Paul Berthelot, Eminence, 1er Cru, Champagne NV
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. Extraordinary depth. Cherry, orange, apricot, bread dough, loads of mineral depth. 4 Stars [1/14/17]

Chateau de Meursault, 1er Cru, Meursault 2008
Low key but lovely nose of rich, honeyed fruit, and orange blossom, with hints of hazelnut / butterscotch. Similar notes on the palate, with extraordinary presence and texture; awesome fruit: honeyed pear, orange rind, and rich, fleshy stone fruits, with notes of butter/butterscotch, and lots of stone toward the finish. Fantastic white Burgundy. 5 years more. 4 Stars [1/14/17]

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Regions Bas is apparently regarded as producing wines of Grand Cru quality; the following wine certainly reflected that.

Domaine Michel Gaunoux, Rugiens Bas 1er Cru, Pommard 2008
Lovely color, clear ruby with a hint of purple. Gorgeous nose, with black cherry, blueberry, dried blackberry, some leather/smoked meat, lots of black pepper, and lots of cloves. Similar notes on the palate, with gorgeous (!) fruit, and fantastic, juicy, succulent texture, with great drive, and a long, spicy finish. Great structure. One of the very best red Burgundies I’ve had, and compares favorably with the the few Grand Crus I’ve had. This is one of those wines that demonstrates why Burgundy commands the price that it does. A solid 10 years ahead, and may survive much longer, given it’s structure (it would be interesting to see what this is like at age 20). 4.5 Stars [1/14/17]

Domaine Francois Betheau, 1er Cru, Chambolle-Musigny 2008
Low key but excellent nose, meaty, with sweet vegetal notes, and spice, with earthy mineral. On the palate, black cherry, and lots of lemon, with green tea, and earthy mineral. Medium weight and juicy, rather atypical for a Nuits, but nice. 5 years head. 3.5 Stars [1/14/17]

The following wine is not actually a 1er Cru, but I did some research on Les Hautes Maizieres, and it turns out to be a “victim of location,” being in Vosne-Romanee; the opinion seems to be that it would be a 1er Cru if it were in any other appellation.

Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Les Hautes Maizieres, Vosne-Romanee 2008
Outstanding nose, dark cherry, sweet, accentuated blackberry, some tobacco leaf, black tea, leather, and earthy stone, all with roses and gamey notes. Similar notes on the palate, with citrusy acidity, powerful, muscular, dark, savory fruit. Exceptionally good, and very satisfying. 10 years more. 4 Stars [1/14/17]

Speaking as a head-over-heels Sauternes lover, Lafaurie-Peyraguey is my favorite. I love its powerful but elegant style, and it has been for me the most consistently impressive (well, excluding d’Yquem, which I’ve only had twice).

Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes 1989
Lovely amber color. Lovely Sauternes nose, a touch of honeyed pear, honeyed apricot, candied orange, all with wonderful flower nectar and floral honey notes, touches of milk caramel, barley sugar and hazelnut, and with mace and allspice from the botrytis (although not a strong botrytis influence); excellent aromatics. Identical notes on the palate, with a note of fresh pineapple, extremely rich and very sweet, but driven and balanced by a powerful undercurrent of orange peel acidity; also, some nice mature notes of toffee with a whiff of fruitcake; long, potent finish of candied ginger, allspice, and mineral. Full bodied and powerful, unabashedly rich, but with great poise, befitting of L-P’s style. A wonderful, extremely impressive, and memorable Sauternes. Where does it go from here? For those who value primary fruit, this is at its mature zenith, and will stay there for 5 - 10 more years. But it is hinting at what may be a magnificent tertiary mature, that could last a few decades more. I would love to be able to revisit this in 30 years. 4.5 Stars [1/14/17]

Nice notes on the 2008. I am positive the good ones will blossom in to terrific wines.

Yes, I also enjoyed the notes very much, thank you.
Great to see a tasting with a reasonable number of bottles - one gets the impression you could spend time to enjoy and understand each of the wines.

Enjoyed the notes, particularly the Arnoux Lachaux. I am still positive that the 08s will be good wines, they just need more time.

2008 will be one of those vintages like 1991. Early drinking will make you wish that you had waited because you can see the potential, but it will need so much time, that only the really patient can afford (both senses) to wait for them to reach full maturity.

I bought a few Grand Cru 2008s, which shows a very optimistic streak in my nature, as it will be at least fifteen years before they will be close to optimum. Lovely vintage though, and I think it is probable that they will be as good as 2009 (again the 1990/1991 parallel.)

Nice notes - thanks. I have a few bottles of that Rugiens buried deep. Glad to hear the positive impression.

I hope you are correct
I went long on 2008
but at the moment they are not looking good

I’m pleased to know that the notes are appreciated!

My experience with '08 is summed up by this tasting and one other bottle (a very nice Chorey), and while the Chambolle was not particularly compelling, the Pommard Rugiens had the attention of everyone at the tasting, and there were only a handful of serious wine nerds there, the others were casual wine lovers. If you have the likes of that Pommard in the cellar, then you will be rewarded, I’m sure.

i have lots of Vogue…in barrel they were smashingly pure
i am keeping the faith