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.


I think it’s fair to say the combination of cool summer and a very early harvest isn’t a textbook recipe for a succesfull Burgundy vintage – and with the 2007 vintage in mind, one could fear a fruity vintage lacking some depth, freshness and nerve.

This is however not the case, as the first impressions of the 2011 are very positive and better than expected.

Tastings of 2011 Burgundies – May and October 2012

On my two trips to Burgundy I had the opportunity to taste wines at the following domaines:

  • Domaine Armand Rousseau (October 2012)
  • Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot (October 2012)
  • Domaine Dublere (October 2012)
  • Domaine Regis Forey (October 2012)
  • Comte de Vogue (October 2012)
  • Philippe Pacalet (May 2012)
  • Jean Noel Gagnard (May 2012)
  • Comte de Vogue (May 2012)
  • Anne Gros (May 2012)
  • Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair (May 2012)

All the domaines were quite positive about the 2011 wines, and most were even slightly surprised by how good the vintage is at this stage.

Red Burgundy 2011

The red Burgundies in 2011 are fresh with a good quite linear acidity, fine ripe, delicate and juicy red and dark fruits. The acidity is very good but perhaps lacking a little of the energy found in the 2010 and 2008 vintages – the wines are however much fresher than 2009s. The fruit is very forward and charming, with red jelly fruit as an element in many of the reds. The wines are quite transparant and true to the terroir, but not to the same degree as the fantastic 2010s.

Based on these early impressions I would expect a charming and quite classical vintage, with a good expression of the terroir, fine delicate pinot fruit, and high drinkability. It’s in my view not a new super vintage for red Burgundy like 2010, but a fine and most likely a very fine vintage.

It should however be notet that the key issue is to keep the freshness and the energy in the fruit in the bottled wine. If the energy and nerve in the wines is maintained after bottling, then lovers of charming and elegant Burgundies are in for a treat!

Vintage: Rating: Trend Status Comment
2011 Fine to Very Fine Cask Classic

White Burgundy 2011

During my trips to Burgundy I also tasted quite a few white 2011s, and judged by these samples the 2011 whites could be at least as good as the reds.

The acidity is very fresh at the moment and seem slightly more vibrant than in the reds, Most of the whites seem to have a good acidity, the fruit is fresh, juicy and quite crisp. The wines are currently finely balanced, with a good nerve and energy in the fruit.

I have not tasted enough white 2011s from different domaines to draw a firm conclusion, but i’m very optimistic about the 2011 whites – they are pure, fresh, quite vibrant and with a lovely balance between the fine quite crisp fruit and a nervy acidity – a Very Fine vintage.

Tasting notes – Red Burgundy 2011 – tasted from bottle

Tasting notes – Red Burgundy 2011 – tasted from cask

Tasting notes – White Burgundy 2011 – tasted from cask

Vintage Chart Red Burgundy

Vintage reports