Philippe Colin began on September 17 in 2010 by picking his Santenay vines that had been hit by hail several days earlier, then waited a few days to attack the rest of his chardonnay. Colin favors 2010 over 2008, as he feels that the ripening process was more regular. "The 2008s have slightly exotic noses due to the fast ripening at the end," he told me. Colin told me that his 2010s finished with between 1.5 and 2 grams per liter of residual sugar, about half a gram lower than his 2009s; that bit of sweetness contributes to the early appeal of his wines. I have limited my notes to those 2010s that had finished their malolactic fermentations.

2010 Philippe Colin Saint-Romain

Pale yellow.  Pear and spices on the nose.  At once ripe and juicy, with nicely integrated orangey acidity giving the wine a succulent quality.  This will offer early pleasure.


2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet

Bright light yellow.  Pear and white flowers on the nose, along with a stony element.  Vibrant but tight, with orchard fruit flavors enlivened by saline minerality.  Nicely chewy and palate-saturating village wine, with a classically dry, dusty finish.


2010 Philippe Colin Saint-Aubin Le Charmois

Pale, green-tinged yellow.  Peach and nutmeg on the nose.  Rich and sweet; in a rather opulent style but with nicely integrated acidity and a note of minerality giving the wine a piquant character.  Finishes with very good spicy persistence.  My sample was from a new barrel, as the others (75% of the cuvee) had not finished their malo.

2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumees

Discreet nose hints at pear, menthol and white flowers; very Chassagne!  Broad and fruity, with good lemony cut framing the ripe pear flavor.  Intensely flavored but a bit tight, even angular, today.  Firm, dry and classic.


2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers

Bright pale yellow.  Ripe, vibrant white peach on the nose.  Silky on entry, then round and fresh in the middle, with lovely lemony cut giving this wine excellent energy.  Really echoes on the back end, leaving the taste buds vibrating.  Displays the lift and verve of this vintage in spades.

2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie

Steely grapefruit aroma lifted by an almost flinty minerality.  Dense, powerful and rather masculine in style, with impressive thickness to its grapefruit and mineral flavors.  Balanced, juicy wine with strong minerality and excellent length.  This will need a lot of aeration or four or five years of cellaring.


2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes

(tasted from a 500-liter Francois barrel):  Bright pale yellow.  Pure, discreet pineapple and stone aromas reminded me of a riesling.  Brisk and focused, with a saline quality to the grapefruit and white pepper flavors.  Terrific acidity and cut here.  Finishes smooth, very long and perfumed, leaving behind a strong floral element in the empty glass.  Really sets the salivary glands aquiver.  The yield here was a healthy 48 hectoliters per hectare.  "Chassagne-Montrachet had a later and better flowering than Meursault," noted Philippe Colin.

2010 Philippe Colin Puligny-Montrachet Les Demoiselles

(13.3% natural alcohol):  Exotic but pure aromas of orange blossom, rose, marzipan and nut oil.  Lush, silky and opulent but kept fresh by harmonious acidity.  Ripe peach and spicy oak flavors are nicely lifted by a floral element that Colin attributes to earlier-than-usual picking.  Obviously high in alcohol but has the stuffing and acidity to support it.  Very promising.


2010 Philippe Colin Chevalier-Montrachet

Ripe peach, pineapple, nut oil and spicy oak on the nose, along with a more exotic note of mango.  Round, full and very ripe, but with excellent vivacity to the flavors of crushed stone and pineapple.  Not yet displaying its inherent complexity but this sappy, very fresh wine finishes with impressive length and strength.


2009 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet

($50) Bright pale yellow.  Sweet, expressive nose is dominated by white peach and pear.  Ripe and rich, with a slightly aggressive character to the pear and floral flavors.  Sweet in the middle, then a bit warm on the lingering aftertaste.


2009 Philippe Colin Saint-Aubin Les Combes

Very ripe aroma of musky peach.  Sweet, supple and very round; a bit more sappy than the village Chassagne but less open to inspection today.  Also a tad warm but with more buffering material than the Chassagne.


2009 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumees

($70) Bright straw-yellow.  Ripe aromas of pineapple and flowers.  Fat, sweet and expressive, with fruit-driven flavors of ripe pear and pineapple.  More stuffing and size here to handle the alcohol (13.7%).  Finishes with very good length.  This can be enjoyed now or held.

2009 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie

($70) Bright pale yellow.  Pear, wet stone, white flowers and a hint of menthol on the nose; very Chassagne but less expressive than some of these 2009s.  Dense, tactile and rather masculine; conveys a much drier impression than the Chaumees.  This distinctly rocky wine reverberates on the chewy, persistent finish.  Whereas the Chaumees is more expressive in bottle than it was in barrel, this wine seems to have gained in structure and minerality in its final months of elevage.


2009 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers

($70) Bright, pale straw-yellow.  Explosive aromas of crystallized lemon peel, pineapple and nut oil.  A sweet, creamy, pliant fruit bomb with a seamless texture and considerable early appeal.  Much smoother than the Chaumees and Maltroie, but still tactile and strong on the aftertaste.  Not especially complex or minerally though.

2009 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes

($70) Pale yellow.  Subtle, discreet nose hints at pineapple and spicy oak.  Intensely flavored and gripping, with excellent balance thanks to lovely cut and acidity for the vintage.  Seriously bracing premier cru with palate-staining persistence.  Here there's some stoniness to go with the strong fruit.  Made from parcels that are 15, 50 and 75 years of age, this wine wears its 13.7% alcohol gracefully.


2009 Philippe Colin Puligny-Montrachet Les Demoiselles

Full medium yellow.  Aromas of orange marmalade, peach and spicy oak, plus an exotic honeyed note that reminded me of noble rot.  Very fat and sweet; seems extremely ripe but at the cost of its terroir character.  Strong note of marzipan.  This struck me as liqueur-like from barrel but from bottle it seems downright overripe (the alcohol is 14.5%).  The phenolic finish shows the alcohol.  I probably would have picked this blind as coming from California.


2009 Philippe Colin Chevalier-Montrachet

($270) Medium yellow.  Pineapple, grapefruit and crushed stone on the nose.  Sweet and fruit-driven; much fresher than the Demoiselles but shows a distinct apricotty ripeness.  Concentrated, chewy and seamless but could use more complexity.  Will this age?  Today the 2010 version blows it away.

(Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA;  Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, New York, NY; Robert Chadderdon Selections, New York, NY)
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