January is Burgundy En Primeur time for UK wine trade. During the first few weeks of the year there are a plethora of tastings attend by the great and the good of all things vinous. This year, of course, we tasted the 2013 vintage. It is a crucial time for finding brilliant Burgundy for you and we had a crack team out in force.

Gavin, Charlie and I tasted hundreds of wines between 9th & 16th February during a week of heavy teeth-punishment that is sure to make our dentists wince – read about our favourites below.

2013 was a luckless vintage for many producers, particularly in the Cote de Beaune, has hailstorms destroyed fruit with the worst hit areas being Pommard & Volnay. However, some reasonable weather in September coupled with some skilful fruit selection from many winemakers has resulted in wines of higher quality than once expected.

Reds fared slightly better than whites in 2013 but there are some fine & promising wines across both varieties. With a bumper crop harvested in 2014, possible price increases were negated and thus some good-value wines are available to the discerning wine-lover.

Bernard Moreau’s Chassagne-Montrachets both at village and premier cru level were among our favourites. The wines were wonderfully ripe & balanced here with great tension. It is ‘tension’ that is the key to greatness with white burgundy – the fine balance created as richness and generosity battle with minerality and acidity.

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In Meursault, Patrick Javillier & Vincent Boyer (Domaine Boyer-Martenot) made excellent wines. Particularly interesting, were the comparisons between Vincent’s different village Meursaults with the characteristics of the vineyards and their unique terroirs making fascinating impacts on the style of the wines from En l’Ormeau, Narvaux and Tillets.

 

With the reds, our favourites producers from years gone by shone brightly again. Domaine Arlaud is quickly establishing itself as one of the greatest domaines in Morey St. Denis with their Grand Cru offerings of Clos St. Denis and Charmes-Chambertin showing tremendous potential for ageing. It was brilliant to meet the wine-maker Cyprien Arlaud who spoke with us about the bio-dynamic & organic nature of his vineyards.

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In Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Fourrier continues to make small amounts of world-class red burgundy. The wines showed perfect ripeness; long & alluring, these are wines to cherish for many years to come. Brilliant too in Gevrey-Chambertin was Domaine Duroché that many of you will know from the 2010s we listed. Daniel Rion made some exciting and seductive Vosne Romanée in 2013 and I’d urge you to try it also.

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