News from Burgundy



In Burgundy we continue to develop brand new suppliers – the newest generation of up-and-coming winemakers such as David Clark (Morey), David Croix (Beaune), Sebastien Magnien (Meursault) and Sylvain Loichet (Comblanchien/Chorey) – rather than just campaigning for allocations from already established names. This makes our annual Grand Burgundy Offer the most dynamic in the country, as well as one of the deepest ranges on offer anywhere, which is perhaps why Berrys won the IWC Burgundy Specialist Award this year.

To discover how this year’s vintage is coming along, how the 2007’s are tasting in barrel and just how wonderful the legendary 2005s are, take a look at my notes below.

2008 Vintage
It looks like it’s going to be a late harvest this year, starting around 20th September for some, 27th for the majority and maybe even 4th October for those who like to pick their Pinots late. It has been a cool summer affected by few major weather incidents with the exception of one nasty hailstorm in the Côte de Beaune on 26th July and another in the Mâconnais on 7th August. These apart, the vines look healthy and there is all to play and pray for through September.

2007 Vintage
The 2007s I have tasted at a number of domains have been coming along nicely in barrel during the year – don’t forget to check back for my detailed tasting notes in October and November, which I will write up prior to January’s Grand Burgundy Offer.

2005 Vintage
I have just had the opportunity to taste a huge range of premier and grand cru wines from this vintage which is clearly the greatest of modern times. We were thrilled with the quality which absolutely lived up to our expectations. Every wine (almost) was suffused with a heady volume of vivid fruit – red fruit notes especially, rather than the blacker overtly ripe notes, while the structural elements of acidity and tannin seemed perfectly integrated into the fruit of the wine.

Three of the top seven wines in the Côte de Beaune came from Dominique Lafon (Volnay Santenots, Clos des Chênes, Champans) while David Croix was the outstanding vigneron from Beaune itself. In the Côte de Nuits every appellation sang in its own style. Among the premier crus, Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques (Rousseau) and Vosne Romanee les Brulées (Méo Camuzet) led the way, followed by three wines from Chambolle Musigny – Les Cras from Roumier, Les Amoureuses from Mugnier and Les Charmes from Rion, all in the top 20 wines overall.

If Chambolle was our favourite village among the premier crus, it was the grand crus from Vosne Romanée that thrilled us the most, with three Richebourgs (Gros Frère & Soeur, Grivot and Liger Belair) in the top 10 along with Lamarche’s Grande Rue and Comte Liger Belair’s La Romanée. Sandwiched between the Clos de Bèze and Chambertin of Rousseau, came Rossignol Trapet’s Chambertin – a terrific result for this ever improving grower.