The 2010 Burgundy vintage is one that collectors will reminisce about for many decades to come. Wines from this vintage are finessed, balanced, and graceful, displaying all of the most elegant characteristics of fine Burgundy wine. While the red wines of the Côte de Nuits tend to receive the most praise from critics and collectors, the 2010 vintage was also a great success for white Burgundy and the reds of the Côte de Beaune. Moreover, this is an early-maturing vintage, so you can find many top-quality bottles on the secondary marketplace that are already drinking beautifully.
As one of the highest-rated vintages of the decade, 2010 Burgundy makes an exceptional investment for collectors and casual fans of Burgundy alike. In this guide to the 2010 Burgundy vintage, we’ll look at what made this year so special, which wines are the best of the vintage, and how to get the most value from your collection.
What Is Special About the 2010 Burgundy Vintage?
Wine Advocate rates the 2010 Burgundy vintage between 93 and 96 points, with reds from the Côte de Nuits ranked highest at 96 points, which by Wine Advocate standards denotes a year of “extraordinary” quality. Reds from the Côte de Beaune (94 points), white wines (94 points), and Beaujolais (93 points) ranked lower than the Côte de Nuits in terms of quality, but are still considered “outstanding” wines that are far above average. As a result, it’s quite easy to find top-ranked 2010 wines from across the region.
How Weather Impacted the Vintage
Weather conditions played an important role in the quality of the 2010 Burgundy vintage. The growing season got off to a slow start, as frost, rain, and hail battered the region in the spring. This significantly slowed budding, which reduced the crop size. Winemakers hoped summer would be warmer and drier to make up for a rough spring, but both July and August were uncharacteristically wet and gloomy for Burgundy. The damp conditions allowed mildew and rot to set in, which reduced crop sizes even further. September saved the 2010 Burgundy vintage. That month was warm and sunny, allowing the small berries to grow and ripen fully just in time for harvest. Southern regions near the Côte de Beaune still had some lingering rainstorms, and as a result, these wines aren’t quite as ripe as those from drier northern areas like the Côte de Nuits. On the whole, however, most winemakers in Burgundy had great success following the harvest.
The Flavor and Aging Potential of 2010 Burgundy
The mostly cool, wet growing season followed by a much-needed dry spell resulted in 2010 wines that are acidic, balanced, and pure in flavor. Cool temperatures increased acidity levels, while ample fall sunshine removed much of the green, unripe flavors from the fruit. Compared to 2009 Burgundy, the 2010 wines aren’t as intense or powerful, but they are well-structured and have great aging potential. This is what makes them so appealing to collectors; the 2010s have real staying power. Moreover, because the crop was so reduced, there are generally fewer of these bottles on the market compared to other vintages of the decade, and, as a result, they will likely increase in value significantly over the next ten to 20 years due to demand and rarity. As for flavor, the Pinot Noir is fresh and vibrant, with racy acidity, prominent tannins, and complex flavors of violet, anise, and red fruit. The Chardonnay is pure and has a distinctive minerality that is highlighted by the tartness of the fruit. This is balanced out by softer tropical notes of pineapple and citrus.
While most Burgundy producers crafted spectacular wines in 2010 that are worthy of space in anyone’s cellar, a few wines of the vintage stand out from the crowd.
The Best Wines of the Vintage
With so many incredible wines to choose from, it’s difficult to narrow down a list of the best wines of the vintage. However, a few bottles received very high average scores from critics and are worth making a special effort to seek out.
Notable Red Wines
Notable White Wines
Of course, there are many other high-quality 2010 Burgundy wines on the market, so the lists above aren’t comprehensive. However, investing in these wines is a great place to start, as they come highly recommended by wine experts and are very likely to increase in value over time.
How Long Should You Store 2010 Burgundy?
It’s not uncommon for fine grand cru Burgundy to age for 20 years or more before reaching peak maturity, and the 2010 Burgundy vintage will likely age longer than average. Critics are estimating that the very best wines of the vintage (those with high acidity and firm, grippy tannins) will reach peak maturity 30 to 35 years after release, perhaps more. However, unlike most age-worthy Burgundy, the 2010s are already approachable right now. Despite the high acidity, there are also soft, ripe fruit flavors in these wines that balance out most of their tartness, so you don’t have to wait to enjoy these wines. Of course, like any great Burgundy wine, the 2010 vintage will certainly be worth waiting for.
One of the best ways to invest in the 2010 Burgundy vintage is to buy a few bottles to age (perhaps laying down a few for special occasions such as a birth year celebration) as well as a few to drink over the next couple of years. This method also makes it less tempting to open your very best bottles earlier than you had planned, as you’ll have plenty of fine Burgundy to enjoy in the meantime. Since this is one of the most consistently impressive vintages in Burgundy’s illustrious history, you’ll want to savor as many of these wines as you possibly can over the next decade or more.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.