Posts with the label "vintage report"


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. 
Vintage Report: Rhone 2016 - The Rolling Rhônes

Vintage Report: Rhone 2016 - The Rolling Rhônes

Monday 20th November 2017
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

As flippant as the title may seem, Rhône is certainly on a very serious roll.  2016 will go down as another great Rhône vintage.  As hard as it may be to believe, this vintage is as good as and, in many cases, better than, 2015.  


There is no hesitation from Southern Rhône growers:  Vieux Télégraphe describe it as “magical”, Beaucastel as “idylllic and exceptional,” while Barroche’s Julien Barrot recalls picking berries at harvest:  “Cinema grapes, they were so beautiful to look at!” So why all the excitement? It was a dry rather than an excessively hot vintage.  By and large days were sunny and nights cool.  Flowering was successful so the crop was of good size and ripening homogenous.  Rain in mid-September ensured that the vines completed their ripening cycle before harvest at the end of the month. Certainly when tasting the wines you get no sense of a stressed season. For these 2016s are flowing and silken.  Notable for their incredibly fine tannins, belying a discrete intensity, the wines have a generous, alluring quality to them with enough of a pique of freshness to provide lift.  Comparisons have been drawn with 1990, 2007 but most of all 2010.  Though it is every bit as good if not better than the latter, we feel it is a very different vintage.  Acidities are as fresh as 2010 but the wines feel more charming in 2016 and alcohol, surprisingly, was lower ranging between 14 to 14.5%. Many growers have made their most abundant and what they believe to be their best vintage.  A great year to tuck away in the cellar or drink young, avoiding, of course, Châteauneuf’s infamous adolescent period between three and eight years after bottle.

Germany 2016 En Primeur: The Vintage Report - All’s well that ends well

Germany 2016 En Primeur: The Vintage Report - All’s well that ends well

Tuesday 5th September 2017
by Julian Campbell

Following a great vintage is never easy. The abundance of quality found in 2015, from lowly estate wines to top Grosses Gewächs, is incredibly rare. 


Unsurprisingly it is impossible to state that 2016 can compete in the sheer breadth of its brilliance. And yet, if we narrow our field of vision, there are undoubtedly plenty of individual wines in 2016 which will happily stand shoulder to shoulder with their 2015 counterparts – and in a refreshingly different style.

Where 2015 gave us wines with huge reserves of fruit and concentrated, intense characters, 2016 is more subtle and charming, with cool fruit flavours, complex minerality and often a touch of herbal freshness. There is an exemplary purity and old fashioned refinement to the best of these 2016s which makes them an absolute delight to taste. As one grower noted, “they are more Art House than Blockbuster”. Acidities are ripe, integrated and often play in the background, making way for clearly presented, precise Riesling flavours to take centre stage. They are going to be tremendously drinkable.

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Thursday 13th April 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Tasting back to back vintages like 2015 and 2016 is fascinating. These are both exceptional years, although polar opposite in style. It is perhaps hard to be as loquacious about the 2016s as we were about the sumptuous 2015s. 

This is in no way a barometer for the vintage – 2016 is certainly as good as 2015, probably better, but the wines are generally less expressive and generous at this early stage. The 2015s were a sheer joy to taste - 2016s are more cerebral, introverted, structured, serious and profound. In most cases, and particularly on the Left Bank, there is a reserve and classicism that makes one think of ancient vintages with huge tannic profiles and long-term aging potential. Certainly, the best Chateaux have flexed their technical know-how and have produced wines with stunning purity of fruit and precision, but there’s no getting away from the fact that 2016s are real vins de garde.

The extraordinary growing season and Mother Nature have combined to produce something remarkable. There are many contributing factors to the success. After the early season deluge the drought and heat of July and August were welcomed by all. Old vines and soils with some clay component were best placed to benefit from the conditions. Critically, during harvest, there were dramatic day/night temperature differences. This helped the grapes to mature, but retain acidity, and also kept alcohol levels exceptionally low, a key feature of 2016s.

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2015 -

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2015 - "Berries like Caviar"

Wednesday 7th December 2016
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Superlatives accompanied most of the descriptions used for the 2015 vintage during our summer and autumn trips to Burgundy. 

Words such as “magnificent” and “exceptional” echoed loudly around the usually more tranquil Burgundian cellars as we tasted barrel after barrel of seductive Pinot Noir. There is no doubt in our minds that this is a great red vintage, up and down the Côte. For the whites, coming off the back of a legendary vintage such as 2014 was always going to be a challenge, regardless of the season. However, overlooking these would be a grave mistake. 

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