Posts with the label "cote d’or"


Burgundy 2020 Vintage Review

Burgundy 2020 Vintage Review

Wednesday 22nd December 2021
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Burgundy 2020: The Early Birds

After three weeks of tastings at fifty domanies across Burgundy, we are delighted to discover a 2020 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.

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2019 - Incomparable!

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2019 - Incomparable!

Monday 21st December 2020
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Incomparable!

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.  

Burgfest: The 2015 Red Vintage

Burgfest: The 2015 Red Vintage

Tuesday 18th September 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The prospect of four mornings spent blind tasting some of the finest reds in the Cote d’Or would be a mouth-watering one to any Burgundy lover... 

...though the reality of tasting 244 embryonic red burgundies from one of the most tannic and deeply coloured vintages on record was a more sobering thought - the daunting idea of trying to retain an unflinching concentration to give each wine its fair chance whilst endless batteries of between four to nine wine flights come in, wave after to wave, to assault the senses. Fuelled by enough restorative baskets of bread and gallons of water, I would just about make it to the end, palate intact, I thought to myself.  And yet….  The 2015 confounded this and many other tasters in the room.  I was surprised by the openness, joy and energy I found in the wines, tasting them was a sheer pleasure from start to finish.  Make no mistake, this is a powerful and concentrated vintage, but one with a sense of balance.  Only a few wines displayed alcohols that were out of kilter. Equally some wines from some producers will always have harsh tannins, but for the most part I found the wines had nice contours  - tannins were fine-grained, even seamless in some cases.  Acidities were not obvious but you could sense the role they played in supporting the wines’ big structures. This is without doubt a vintage “de garde” but a classy one.

A Burgundy Tasting: Burgfest 2015

A Burgundy Tasting: Burgfest 2015

Friday 15th June 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

At the end of May the Burgfest team, an 11-strong group comprising a mix of burgundy specialist journalists and merchants, gathered at the tranquil Hameau de Barboron in the forest above Savigny-Les-Beaune to taste the great white crus of Burgundy from the 2015 vintage.  

We braved our wild boar-infested surroundings and knuckled down to taste 235 white burgundies blind over four mornings. The wines were organised in flights by village and then by vineyard or vineyard style, ranging from four to nine wines each.  The line-up was pretty mouth-watering:  tranches of Grand Cru Chablis, Meursault Perrieres, Chassagne Caillerets and Puligny Folatieres were just a few courses on a very appetising menu that was to culminate with nine Chevalier Montrachets and four Montrachets at the end of the last morning.  This was an unparalleled and unmissable opportunity to taste the great whites of Burgundy side by side, and what a thrill it ended up being.  Herewith my own personal thoughts on the wines.

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2016 - Get your Skates on!

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2016 - Get your Skates on!

Wednesday 3rd January 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

A year of unprecedented low yields and great quality, this is a vintage well worth snapping up quickly.

The talking point of 2016 Burgundy has been the infamously icy night of April the 26th and the 27th morning. Understandable, as Jack Frost bit viciously and on a scale that has not been seen in Burgundy since at least 1981. However this is a huge injustice to the wines themselves, which, in the end, are what it is all about. 
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