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Disappointing 2008 Bouchard Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts

Drunk November 2017 @ home

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I'm a big fan of Burgundy wine, but not such a fan of the crazy prices for top Appellations these days. Vosne-Romanée (Côte de Nuits , Cote d'Or) wines are a particular favourite and an opportunity to buy a Premier Cru from the Les Beaux Monts vineyard from Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune a few years back on a wine tasting visit to the region was welcome. 

So I finally opened the 2008 vintage bottle a couple of days ago. First impressions were disappointing as the nose was very limited. More like a villages than a Premier Cru. The wine itself was heavy in acidity and a little tannic despite 9 years of ageing. Complexity was lacking. Gutted as was over 70 euros. I see the wine is now on sale for well over 100 euros. 

2008 was a tough year in Burgundy for winemakers. Fortunately, 2009 and 2010 were much, much kinder. The vintage is so important in Burgundy, compared with more stable climatic regions like California.

Vosne-Romanée map

2008 Burgundy Vintage Report

Little sunshine March/April sunshine and rainfall double the norm and more rain and a cool June saw protracted flowering with plenty of mildew around. July was sunnier but cool, dull weather returned mid-August and ripening was slow and erratic, grey rot creating further problems. A bright, sunny dawn on 14 September, with drying north-easterly winds, began concentrating grapes and clearing infection: sunshine persisted, and picking got fully underway under ideal conditions in the latter part of September.

Despite mildew, rot, and inconsistent ripening, 2008’s cool weather and late drying sunshine created a good balance of bright acidity and ripeness. Hallmarks are dark red colour, great purity of fruit, and a serious rather than showy character. The wines don’t have great depth but the best have purity and focus.