Five charming wines from Burgundy’s acclaimed 2019 vintage

25 March 2024

The vintage’s vibrant fruit and refined tannins have melted into a wonderfully elegant whole

It's easy to assume that you need to wait years – or even decades – to broach red Burgundy. But in many vintages, particularly when you get beyond the most vaunted wines, many bottles offer delightfully fresh drinking sooner rather than later. And 2019 is just such a year.

“2019 is an extraordinary year…we have an excellent vintage on our hands,” said our Buying Director, Giles Burke-Gaffney, when delivering his verdict on one of the most spellbinding Burgundy vintages of recent times. The elegant evolution of the wines in the subsequent years has only hardened that view – and the wines are now at the ideal stage to broach.

A hot, dry year, the 2019 wines perfectly encapsulate how the region’s producers have handled warmer vintages with increasingly impressive adroitness. Compared to the previous year, yields in 2019 were down 30-60%, making maximising availability a challenge – so we are delighted to present a case of wines which crystallise the undoubted strengths of the vintage and are now hitting their straps.

The year was marked by both frost and drought, while flowering was late, leading to a similarly delayed (red) harvest which didn’t start in earnest until the second week of September. This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as the grapes reached ripeness in slightly cooler and truncated days, meaning that despite the lush ripeness of the fruit, the wines are imbued with a refreshing seam of acidity.

Robert Groffier is a relatively recent addition to our portfolio and we’re thrilled to be able to share its wines. Nicolas Groffier, grandson of Robert, began working alongside his father Serge in 2006 and spent little time forging a reputation as one of the region’s most dynamic talents. Under his watch, whole-bunch fermentation has increased, while the use of new oak has been reined back for a wonderfully pure style. His Passetoutgrains contains up to 25% Gamay and can be enjoyed lightly chilled.

Also included in the selection is a brace of Marsannays from Bruno Clair, a producer who needs little introduction, with holdings in some of the finest spots in all the Côte d’Or. Fleshing out the case, we bring you a Gevrey Chambertin from Drouhin Laroze – established in 1919 – and finally Génot-Boulanger, whose domaine was a wonderful discovery for us in 2018.

We rated 2019 as a 9/10 vintage in both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, with Giles labelling it “a most enjoyable, unexpected and unique vintage…that offers depth and richness without heaviness; the wines will charm young”. With this cherry-picked case of wines for immediate drinking, we’re confident you’ll take similar – and instant –pleasure from this very special vintage.

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