Author: Alexandra Gray de Walden
In January, we hosted our Burgundy 2022 En Primeur tasting. Alexandra Gray de Walden takes us behind the scenes.
On a cold and frosty yet beautifully bright January morning, over 60 wine producers from Burgundy made their way to Lindley Hall for our Burgundy 2022 En Primeur tasting.
It was charming to see so many of them greet one another as old friends. Once again, I was reminded of the camaraderie and community of winemakers in Burgundy. Whether they already knew one another or were meeting for the first time, the convivial buzz of the French language and friendly laughter echoed around the vast hall as tables were set, bottles unpacked and corkscrews laid out.
Amid the hustle and bustle, I managed to speak to Louis Vallet of Château de Charodon and Florian Remy of Domaine Chantal Remy. Having interviewed them both at their respective wineries in October, it was strange to see them now in London and both more formally attired. “It’s great to be in London” Louis boomed at me across the table with his signature enthusiasm when I asked about his visit.
I was given the honour of pouring the wines for Domaine Michel Bouzereau. After opening and tasting the four wines, happy in the knowledge there were no faults present in those bottles, I waited for the first tasters of the day: the press and other members of the wine trade.
With 2022 being such a stellar vintage in Burgundy, I knew it was going to be a popular one with the press. They would all be eager to taste as many wines from across Burgundy and its myriad communes as they could – all with a view to presenting a comprehensive report of the vintage to their readers. It was the busiest press tasting in my seven years at Berry Bros. & Rudd. Familiar faces, deep in concentration, tasted wines then scurried off to jot their findings down on paper. I tried to read expressions to gain any insight into what they made of the four Meursault wines I was pouring – unfortunately, they were too well hidden in notebooks for any evaluation.
In the shorter-than-expected time available between the press tasting and the tasting for our private clients, I took the opportunity to leave my post. I was keen to taste wines from some of our other producers and hear their experiences of the lauded 2022 vintage.
Asking Guillaume Michaut of Domaine 47°N 3°E if he was happy with 2022 felt somewhat rhetorical. Our Burgundy Buyer, Adam Bruntlett, described this as “one of the best vintages I have tasted in over a decade” and both quantity and quality were streets ahead of 2021.
In his charming way, Guillaume confirmed that he was delighted with his 2022 wines. “After the struggle of 2021, it would have been hard not to be!” He talked me through each of his four Chablis cuvées and I was particularly taken by Cairn. “This is its first vintage” Guillaume said. “Made with two plots of my father’s and one of my grandfather’s.” His proud explanation displayed another Burgundian quality – that of heritage and family.
There was quite a buzz around the wines of Domaine Ghislaine Barthod as I moved towards that area of the hall. There was a heavy throng around the Barthod wines and I knew this would be my only chance to taste what all the fuss was about. Quelle surprise, Ghislaine’s Chambolle-Musigny Les Baudes was my favourite. Its core of concentrated ripe strawberry and black cherry flavours was ably supported by chalky tannins and licking acidity.
If I was one of those familiar faces of the wine press now scribbling away my impressions of this vintage, I would be sure to convey the immense quality of 2022. From newer names like Guillaume’s to long-established dynasties like that of Domaine Faiveley, each producer has grasped 2022 with both hands and made it a vintage for every collector.
To find out more about our Burgundy 2022 En Primeur offer, visit our dedicated webpage here.