Burgundy dodged a serious bullet early in the year as an unusually severe frost settled into the region for several days following budbreak. A significant amount of emerging growth was irreparably damaged, effectively acting as a natural “green harvest” by limiting yields. The result was that most domaines were down around 30%-40% in production (though the quality is significantly above average and then some). In a few instances, the vines themselves froze to death. As we drove north through Vosne-Romanée on the N74, I asked about two barren plots next to the highway that I assumed had been replanted by design. It turns out that the 2010 frost had settled heavily into the gentle swale next to the highway and laid waste to several acres of prime vineyards. Forget the loss of crop for 2010 and the cost of replanting for that house… it’ll be at least three years before that grower’s vines show a harvestable yield. It was a grim reminder that grape growing is a high-stakes game of poker with Mother Nature. As a result of this icy hand, we’re unlikely to see any downward price pressure. There just wasn’t enough wine made to create anything resembling a glut, nor would the quality warrant a fire sale mentality. Our enduring dream of Burgundy as a bargain remains fleeting.
|The vines surrounding the village of Montalcino|
More thoughts to come as we see these wines land on American soil... let us raise a glass to research!
--Rhett Gadke, Wine Director