Initial impressions of the Burgundy 2013 vintage

Its very early and a lot of wines are still in the midst of the malolactic fermentation. So bear in mind that the impressions below are very early initial impressions – based on approx 35 wines tasted in March 2014.

I will not try to asses the quality of the vintage – merely give some impressions on the style and character of the vintage. That being said – there have not been a poor vintage in Burgundy since the 1994 – and 2013 is not changing this tendency of higher more stable quality.

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Grands Jours de Bourgogne – vintage impression – reds 2012

The 2012 vintage is soon going to be bottled and the hype of this lovely new vintage is already starting to build up.

In connection with my second day at Grands Jours de Bourgogne I had the opportunity to taste a wide range of wines from Vosne-Romanee, Flagey-Echezeaux and Vougeot. Most of the best producers were there … with a few exceptions.

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Grands Jours de Bourgogne – vintage impression – white 2012s

The 2012 vintage is soon going to be bottled and the hype of this lovely new vintage is already starting to build up.

In connection with my first day at Grands Jours de Bourgogne I had the opportunity to taste a range of whites from three very fine producers – Jean-Noël Gagnard, Hubert Lamy and Domaine Roulot. Tasting notes from these visits will follow shortly.

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Photo: Jean-Marc Roulot tasting one of his lovely 2012s

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Vintage Charts – update April 2013

I have now updated the vintage charts for red and white Burgundy. There are a few changes in the ratings, with 2010 being upgraded a notch – and some other older vintages are also adjusted slightly.

The 2012 vintage is included for the reds – based on the wines I tasted in March 2013. It looks like a outstanding or perhaps even Extraordinary vintage for the reds in Cote de Nuits. Even the few red Cote de Beaune wines I have tasted from the 2012 vintage are showing a lovely potential.

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Burgundy 2012 – First impressions

On my March trip to Burgundy I had the opportunity to taste quite a few wines from the 2012 vintage – and here are my first impressions of the 2012 vintage.

A word of warning – it’s still very early to evaluate the quality and characteristics of the 2012 vintage – and my sample of 2012s is still quite limited – so this is only initial impressions of the vintage.

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Burgundy 2011 – Update – March 2013

This week I attended the Trilogie en Cote de Nuits in Vosne Romanee where I had the opportunity to taste a great lineup of red 2011s from Vosne, Flagey and Vougeot.

Trilogie en Cote de Nuits is held every second year as a “local” version of the Grand Jours de Bourgogne – and the Vosne tasting this year included more than 100 wines, from someq of the best producers in the area.

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For me it’s impossible to taste 100 wines in one session – or even in one day. I did however go for it, and managed to taste around 40 wines, and “browsed” 10 more.

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Burgundy 2010 – status red and white – February 2013

The 2010 vintage is truly exceptional and in my view the best vintage in recent decades in Burgundy. The reds are extraordinary and the whites are at least outstanding and close to a extraordinary rating.

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Some experts have however mentioned a somewhat higher variance in quality in the 2010s compared to the outstanding 2009 vintage. Others have claimed that the wines from 2010 are shutting down allready – thus not showing the fruity side.

This could be the case – but as allways the truth is in the bottle and the glass – so lets find out!

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The best vintage for red Burgundies – 2009, 2010 or 2011?

The 2011s are now getting bottled and most of the wine journalists have now published tasting notes on the 2011 vintage.

I was very positive about the 2011 vintage after my first tasting of the vintage in May 2012, and I remain very positive – but will reserve an upgrade until I have tasted more 2011s from bottle. With the succes of the 2011 vintage we now have theee very fine vintages in a row. But how does these vintages compare quality wise for the red burgundies.

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Vintage Report, Red Burgundy 2010

The 2010 vintage is perhaps the best vintage I have tasted from Burgundy. Tasted from cask the 2010 vintage had a fantastic minerality and a very elegant and refined acidity. A unique quality is the clear expression of the terroir – these wines are so elegant and transparently reflects every stone in the terroir.

The qualities are equally impressive now that the wines have been bottled. Most 2010s still show great transparency, lovely intense pure pinot flavors and a fantastic expression of terroir. The wines are not dense and heavy like the 2009s and 2005s – but they are very intense aromatically, and extremely well balanced. The acidity is fresh and firm, the tannins are ripe and very fine, and providing excellent focus and definition to the wines.

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Vintage Report, Red and White Burgundy 2011

The expectations for the 2011 vintage were mixed after quite unusual weather conditions. The late vinter was quite mild, and bud break came very early due to very hot weather in April. The summer was quite cold, but the heat came just when it was needed in the middle of August. Harvest was very early, as predicted by the early bud break, and began late August and was finished by mid September.

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Vintage Report, Red Burgundy 2009 – update 2

I have decided to upgrade the 2009 vintage, after tasting some really impressive 09 wines at the Grand Jours de Bourgogne. The 2009 reds are outstanding, but it’s a rather hot and quite heavy vintage. The best producers have a good freshness and minerality in the wines, while other wines are lacking freshness.

The conditions favour the best and most mineralic terroirs, as these wines have the structure to focus the quite dense fruit found in the 2009s. The best wines will be extraordinary, while the lesser terroirs will lack the freshness, as there is no minerality to compensate for the low acidity.

In general this is not my style of Burgundy, but I must admit some of the bigger wines are very impressive. If you like classic Burgundy, this is however not the vintage to look for.

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Vintage Report – Red Burgundy 2005

The 2005 vintage is most likely the best vintage in decades. This vintage has it all, wonderful ripe pinot fruit, good structure, a lot of power, good acidity. My first impression was – this is too powerful for Burgundy! But recent tastings show more terroir and classical Burgundy style – still powerful and big but very well balanced.

In vertical tastings the 2005 stand out as quite a lot better than 2002 and 1999, thus making it the best vintage in recent time by quite a margin. These are extraordinary wines.

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While the 2005 reds drinks surprisingly well, they will keep for many years. I would say the village wines needs 10 years more before they start to show mature notes, and the bigger wines 15 years or more.

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Vintage Report, Red Burgundy 2007

The 2007 is presently a mixed picture. Some wines have a fine balance, others is lacking acidity, fresh and vibrant fruit. Some 2007s are very good, but still they don’t have the potential of the good 2009s, nor do they have the weight of 2002 and 2005.

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It’s not the time for a final call on 2007 reds, but at the moment they are slighly disappointing – but still very good.

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