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En Primeur

Justerini & Brooks
En Primeur Burgundy

Burgundy can be viewed in two very separate ways. On the one hand it can be highly complex and sometimes inconsistent, with swings of style from vintage to vintage, not to mention the complex labyrinth of vineyards and producers to choose from. On the other it can be seen as fascinating in its complexity, rewarding in its thrilling quality and, if chosen correctly, have a consistency of quality across vintages whilst retaining each year its own style and identity.

Burgundy 2020

"The Early Birds"

2020 is a vintage of records and surprises. Most wine-growers had never known such early picking dates – the very first pre-harvests beginning on the 17th August - whilst for the majority of Domaines it was certainly the first time a vintage had started and ended in August. Even in the coolest, most northerly parts of the Côte de Nuits such as Marsannay, harvest was done and dusted by the 10th of September. One of the driest years on record had also produced one of the smallest for reds. Flowering was largely successful but berries were small. Summer conditions were characterised by drought rather than heat, and this concentrated both sugars and acidities in the Pinot Noirs, resulting in reds of higher than average alcohols (broadly between 13.5% – 14.5%) and high acidities. When 2019 offered record-breaking analyses, no one would have guessed that just one year later growers would once again proclaim that new boundaries had been broken in terms of the balance between alcohols and pHs.


2019 in Burgundy is shaping up to be an extraordinary vintage.

It has been a year like no other, for all of the wrong reasons, but if there was a bright spot in the gloom of 2020, it has been tasting the delicious 2019 Burgundies. We have an excellent vintage on our hands, even “great” for many domaines.

Travel restrictions and lockdowns have put up significant barriers to assessing this vintage, but the generosity of growers across Burgundy has ensured these were not insurmountable ones. A huge thanks must go out to producers who adapted and took the trouble to send out samples fit for home tasting, particularly in a vintage as scarce as this one. Equally the likes of DHL, UPS and DPD are due a great deal of praise for not breaking a single bottle! Inevitably some wines could not be tasted, however, so there will be some gaps in the notes below that I hope you will forgive. Zoom proved a blessing, affording me the chance to catch up with our producers face to face. 24 different video recordings of domaines’ thoughts on 2019 are available on our website www.justerinis.com

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