What to drink in 2016: Burgundy


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

Following on from his comparable report on Bordeaux, our Cellar Plan Manager Tom Cave outlines the vintages of both red and white Burgundy that you should be bringing up from the cellar this year.

Red Burgundy

The 1999s continue to develop very much in their own, individual, unhurried way. The 2000 and 2001 vintages are altogether more straightforward and continue to drink very well and with some of the more exalted 2001s requiring a little longer still – likewise 2002 which has beautiful balance and lots of class. The wines from 2003 can show some heat, and most are ready now: 2004 poses issues of being a little too crisp and we concur that it is best to press on with them. Still enjoying the sobriquet “Vintage of the Millennium”, many 2005s at village level and above require (in fact, deserve) longer – though balance is a requisite of a great vintage so many will offer huge enjoyment now, even if there is so much more to come.

The 2006s are coming out of their shell, but there is no hurry for higher level Côte de Nuits wines. The 2007s were always destined for drinking in their first bloom of youth and offer most satisfactory drinking now. The wines from 2008 are gradually emerging and offer more stimulating drinking. Lesser 2009s are fruit filled and easy going, though higher up the scale this is a vintage that will ameliorate as well as the best. The 2010s at generic (Bourgogne Rouge) and village level are currently enjoying something of a purple patch: we urge you to drink and enjoy them now and over the next year or so, while the wines display glorious primary fruit flavours. The 2011 reds warrant a look but generally require longer, as still do most 2012s (other than generic and some village wines, which will start to come into their own later this year), and – of course – 2013 which is best left for now.

White Burgundy

The vast majority of 2006s, 2007s and earlier, are best consumed by now. The 2008s are also well worth looking at. Wines from 2009 are plump and best drunk soon, while you can revel in their ample charms. The 2010s are noble and many deserve longer, the vintage heralded a revitalisation for Chablis and some wines from there are showing extraordinarily well with more to come. The 2011 wines should be started and enjoyed for their wonderful aromatics, while the 2012s have more flesh and some serious concentration which in many cases means that one should leave them longer, though at the more modest end they are indeed most refreshing now. The 2013 vintage showed similar concentration and the plumper wines can be looked at soon.

Explore the most recent vintage from Burgundy, now being offered en primeur on bbr.com.