White Wines Vintage Report
The Burgundy white wines are intriguing in that they have a richness of fruit, especially in their primary aromatics, combined with a noted acidity behind. Some producers are thus inclined to say that 2008 combines the best of 2006
, though in reality the vintage has its own character quite separate from its two predecessors. There are some lovely wines
, especially in Chassagne-Montrachet
Read here the Red Wines Vintage Report
2008 Burgundy Vintage Report
After a cold but mostly dry winter, spring got off to a slow start. April was an old-fashioned month, with something of everything, but none of the heat of the same time the year before. This made a brief appearance in the first ten days of May after which the weather turned grey, gloomy, cool and occasionally wet. When this went on well into June, fears of another miserable summer began to mount, along with the risk of mildew.
Then on 24th June, after a couple of heavy, humid and hot days, the wind turned more to the north west and delivered a week of beautiful sunshine, making it warm and dry without excessive heat (the sort of weather that never appeared through the middle of the 2007 summer). July was promising – again an improvement on 2007 – until a hail storm at the end of the month (Saturday 26th) damaged vineyards in Volnay, Pommard, Meursault, Beaune and especially Savigny-lès-Beaune.
There were some hot days in the first half of August and again at the end of the month but in between it was cool and wet with a series of westerly depressions blowing through. The long term forecast had promised a fine dry September but it did not materialise for the first half of the month. Rain on Thursday 11th, continuing sporadically for the next two days, caused deep gloom, especially in the Côte de Beaune and further south. Imagine the relief when Sunday 14th dawned, bright, cool and clear – at long last the wind had turned from the west to the north or north-east. This new weather pattern stayed in place, thank goodness, for the following fortnight and saved the harvest. A few people started picking on Sunday 21st with the majority beginning around Thursday 25th September.
It was not easy with hail, oidium, mildew, rot and unripe grapes to contend with, but those who had done their work in the vineyard well and were properly equipped at harvest were reasonably content. And the wines have turned out much better in the cellar than anybody could have imagined at the start of September. Tasting has not been easy, because in some cellars the malolactic fermentations were very late. The encouraging fact is how well the wines which went through their paces early are now showing. For the others, a little more patience will be needed.