In some years, like 2009, 2005, 1999 and 1990, nature looks kindly on growers in Burgundy, delivering benevolent weather and abundant quantity. Then there are years like 2008, when every possible obstacle rears its ugly head, forcing growers to be vigilant and proactive to harvest the best possible grapes. Yet it’s in exactly those challenging vintages like 2008, when the vigneron prevails over nature, that Burgundy produces its most typical reds. These are light, fresh, translucent Pinot Noirs, with balance and vibrant profiles.
The range of 2008s from the renowned Domaine de la Romanée-Conti provides an ideal example of the expression of Pinot Noir from the individual grands crus climats. Aubert de Villaine, co-director of the domaine, was in New York last week to lead two exclusive tastings, the only preview of DRC's newest releases. My notes on the wines follow.