Vintages are often revered for the reds in Bordeaux and Burgundy, but in some cases, the weather can spoil the reds, and make for some wonderful white wines.
For those more interested in drinking than investing, this can only be good news. White wine doesn’t age in the same way as red, and most white wines will be ready to drink straight away. 2011 was a difficult year for wine in the south of France, and 2010 was quite turbulent. Both years have produced some excellent reds, but the harsh conditions may have paved the way for the whites.
The Wall Street Journal picked up on this trend for both years. Most recently, Lettie Teague has highlighted the strength of Burgundy’s 2010 white wines. Talking to Dan Posner of Grapes in New York, she found that: "The Lafon Viré-Clessé Mâcon is amazing…and I have some 2010 Chablis that really rocks."
Miss Teague highlights that the best wines (particularly in terms of value) can be found in Burgundy regions where you may not expect it. Côte Chalonnaise, for example, is just south of the Côte d'Or, and has been dwarfed in the past by its famous neighbours, such as the Mâconnais, where Mâcon-Villages, St. Véran and Pouilly-Fuissé are produced. However, there are some fantastic wines coming from Chalonnaise, which should not be overlooked.
That’s not to say that regions such as Mâconnais and Chablis are not producing good wines, they are in fact excellent. The 2010 Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon is particularly good, as well as a 2010 St. Véran and the 2010 Gilbert Picq Chablis.
In Bordeaux, they waited a year before revealing their own ‘classic white’ selection. Paul Pontallier, managing director at Château Margaux, has described his white wine Pavillon Blanc as one of the best he has ever made. Other First Growths have been just as excited about their own whites. Château Haut-Brion and the Graves châteaux have both spoke out about wonderful 2011 white wines.
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