You can get a very strong and not always accurate view of a vintage by turning up on the wrong day. I turned up for the end of the 2010 vintage in Burgundy under sodden late-September skies; lines of rain-coated pickers were spread across the slopes looking like marauding beetles. Could the wines possibly be any good?
But then you can also get a surprisingly warped view of a vintage even if you wait for 15 months, until the tasting season starts. Usually the Burgundy specialists offer their wine for tasting in the January that falls about 15 months after harvest. In January 2010, I had a good look at the 2008 Burgundies and decided that they were in the main thin, hollow and unappealing.
What I didn’t know at the time was that most of them had still not undergone their malolactic fermentation. Retasting the wines in September 2010, I found that thinness has now transformed into elegance.
Do you have a Wine Spectator magazine subscription? Save 50% on your Online Membership right now!
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions