Wine of the week: The best 2011 Burgundy en primeur
The hoo-hah surrounding the 2011 Burgundy vintage has finally abated. But before I give you my thoughts, please pick up the phone to your merchant and order as many of your favourite 2010s as you can afford. I say this because the 2011 vintage is not a patch on 2010.
The 2012s are coming – which the Burgundians are talking down in volume and up in price (again), although smoke and mirrors are in evidence here, according to one industry expert – but 2010 is clearly the brightest shining light in the last decade for me.
Anyway, the 2011 wines are, on the whole, clean, crisp, fairly forward, a touch undernourished and the nicest thing I can say is that they are generally pure and lithe. I have advised buyers to focus on wines which taste delicious already because green or overly lean wines will not fall into line over time – and these are in the majority.
The prices are all up in spite of the exchange rate for once working in our favour. My full report, scores and recommended merchants are up on my website (see below) for free, so do have a look if you are in the market.
I expect that I will be buying the juicier 2011s for my restaurant wine lists and for early drinking when they appear on retail shelves later this year while waiting for my 2010s to mature, but I will not be going wild en primeur.
Here are ten Domaines whose portfolios were particularly noteworthy – Sylvain Cathiard, Drouhin-Laroze, Jean-Marie Fourrier, Henri Germain, Hudelot-Noëllat, Thibault Liger-Belair, Denis Mortet, Christophe Perrot-Minot, Etienne Sauzet, Cécile Tremblay.
• Matthew Jukes’s website is at www.matthewjukes.com.