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Red Burgundy

Vintages:

1982 - An enormous vintage, resulting in many dilute wines, which haven't aged well. Not a vintage to look out for.
1983 - A vintage I emphatically do look out for - but only in the Côte de Beaune. There were all sorts of problems in the Côte de Nuits, including rot and hail. There probably are some good bottles about, but I'm not sure it's worth the risk. On the Côte de Beaune, however, there was a healthy crop of ripe, thick-skinned grapes. The wines have weight, structure, fruit and great charm.
1984 - Not popular, but reputable domaines made good wines.
1985 - Very popular, producing delicious wines the length of Burgundy.
1986 - Uneven. Avoid the Côte de Beaune, where even reputable domaines made some peculiar tasting wines. Better on the Côte de Nuits.
1987 - Perfectly satisfactory, although commentators have been rude about it - and conveniently well priced.
1988 - This was a very slow maturing vintage, but just about all wines have now come round.
1989 - Exceptionally hot, ripe vintage. The wines are maturing faster than both the 88s and the 90s.
1990 - Brilliant, a great year. Another hot, ripe vintage, but with better structure than the 89s (viz. not only fruit and tannin, but also acidity).
1991 - Good - all the wines I have tasted from this vintage have been fine.
1992 - Lighter - a bit like 1987: early maturing but perfectly satisfactory.
1993 - Terrific. The more I taste, the more I like this vintage. Lovely fruit supported by a firmness that gives the wines a wonderful texture.
1994 - Be careful with this vintage: many one-dimensional, dilute wines were made, especially among the more lowly appellations on the Côte de Nuits.
As always, there are exceptions.
Better on the Côte de Beaune, with Savigny-les-Beaune doing particularly well.
1995 - An excellent vintage. The tannins are beginning to soften, and the wines are turning out fine.
1996 - My first impression was that this is a great vintage, for both reds and whites, which both display exceptional balance, with really beautiful, clearly defined fruit. My view hasn't changed, but some reds are going through a closed stage and need keeping before they open up again.
1997 - Patchy. The best are brilliant, but the weather was hot at harvest time, causing problems in some growers' cellars. The whites seem to me to be uniformly delicious - a vintage for drinkers rather than commentators, who have criticised it for lack of acidity, structure, etc.
1998 - The weather during the growing season was challenging, but the wines from the growers we deal with have turned out surprisingly well.
1999 - Outstanding vintage. Despite a very large harvest, the wines are delicious across the board.
2000 - A perfectly good, but early maturing vintage.
2001 - The weather was very difficult. There was rain at harvest time, and there was rot, which attacks the colouring matter in wines, resulting in some very light colours indeed in some cases. As a generalisation, the further south you go in the Côte d'Or (and beyond) the more tricky the vintage. Uneven for whites.
2002 - Lovely vintage (for both reds and whites) - exceptional ripeness with good balance.
2003 - Many growers seemed worried about this vintage on my visit to France in 2004 - there was talk of baked flavours, of raisins and prunes in the wines, and anxiety over volatile acidity. Personally, I was impressed by the wines, which seemed to me to have not only excellent colour, but good, ripe structure as well.
2004 - Mixed vintage - with some rather weedy examples about, but also some really excellent wines were made, with impressive colour and vivid, fresh flavours.
2005 - Great vintage: benign weather conditions allowed a crop of healthy, perfectly ripe gapes to be harvested; both reds and whites are showing wonderful balance.
2006 - Very attractive vintage of early-maturing wines. Most wines up to and including village level are drinking very well now, and some Premier Crus as well. Low tannins, lighter colour than 2005 (not surprisingly!), but lovely fresh fruit. Similar in character to 2000, but better quality.
2007 - Difficult year, with a damp summer causing a lot of rot. Small quantities of very early-maturing wines, earlier than 2006. As always, it depends on the grower - for example, the Domaine Gachot-Monot used tables de trie for the first time, and has made some very appetising wines.
2008 - Good colour, and lovely flavour in the wines I have tasted, combined with a firmness that bodes well for the future. Good whites as well.
2009 - The growing season, and harvest, went swimmingly, producing large quantities of healthy, ripe grapes. Easy to taste in their youth, the world's press went overboard for this vintage. Of course, many will keep well, but it looks as though the 2010s will last longer.
2010 - This looks increasingly like a very fine vintage indeed - tiny yields, but fine, concentrated wines with good colour and the structure to give them a good future. Good whites as well.
2011 - A lighter vintage, but some delicious wines with a spicy dimension, displaying their orgins most attractively.

 

CLOS TOULMIN Pinot Noir 2009 AC Bourgogne Ordinaire
Fresh, lively, drinking well now.

  £11.50

BOURGOGNE HAUTES CÔTES DE BEAUNE 2011 Domaine Thevenot-Le Brun
Pale, light, but freshly fruity. Drink chilled in hot weather.

  £12.50

BOURGOGNE 2013 Domaine Gachot-Monot
Though a mere Bourgogne, this displays proper burgundian Pinot Noir characteristics, with lots of fresh bouncy fruit - typical of this lighter vintage.

  £12.50

BOURGOGNE ÉPINEUIL 2011 Domaine Leger
Bouncy, forward, easy-drinking vintage for this wine.

  £12.95

BOURGOGNE Pinot Noir 2014 Domaine Denis Pommier
This is delicious Pinot Noir from the Pommiers, who make Chablis, but cultivate a few Pinot Noir vines.

  £13.95

CÔTE DE NUITS VILLAGES 2010 Domaine Gachot-Monot
I kept this vintage back, selling the 2011 first, because to 2010 needed more time - now coming into its own.

  £14.95

SANTENAY "Les Charmes Dessus" 2009 Domaine Claude Nouveau
Plenty of life in this: nice ripe fruit, cherries and strawberries, with a touch of underlying earthiness.

  £16.50

MARANGES 1er Cru La Fussière 2009 Domaine Claude Nouveau
A few bottles left of this vintage, which is in a perfect state of development for drinking now.

  £16.95

CÔTE DE NUITS VILLAGES "Les Chaillots" 2010 Domaine Gachot-Monot
After a few years' maturing, this is now drinking beautifully, displaying lots of fresh berry fruit, with a touch of truffles and autumn leaves.

  £16.95

AUXEY-DURESSES 2011 Domaine Diconne
A softer vintage, this is ready for drinking, exhibiting lively red cherry flavour.

  £16.95

SAINT ROMAIN "Sous le Château" 2010 Domaine Prunier-Bonheur
This is a bit fuller than the 2009, which it replaces, but still the same light, red-fruit style of the reds from this domaine. Recommended.

  £17.95
BOURGOGNE HAUTES CÔTES DE NUITS "Clos des Dames Huguettes" 2010
Domaine Philippe Gavignet

This is a reliably wonderful, reasonably priced burgundy that I have been buying for nearly twenty years - and it also ages well. The vineyard is just outside the appellation of Nuits St. Georges, but produces wine similar in style, without the hefty price tag, making it excellent value. Try this wine - it's a brilliant mouthful of Burgundian Pinot Noir.

  £17.95

SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE 1er Cru Les Hauts Jarrons 2011
Domaine Louis Chenu Père et Filles
This estate is now run by the two daughters of Louis Chenu. The style of this wine is absolutely Savigny, with delicious, faintly peppery, cherry-ish flavour.

  £19.50

SANTENAY 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau 2011 Domaine Claude Nouveau
2011 is turning out a much better vintage than was predicted originally - this is clean, fresh and delicious.

  £19.50

MONTHÉLIE "Les Crays" 2011 Domaine Prunier-Bonheur
This is in peak condition for drinking - now 5 years old. The 2011 vintage seems to be turning out much better than the press expected when it was first released. This wine has good colour, and nice fruit, beginning to develop secondary flavours/aromas from bottle age, of autumn leaves and truffles.

  £19.75

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN 2013 Domaine Alain Voegeli
Exemplary earthy/spicy Gevrey-Chambertin.

  £22.50

NUITS SAINT GEORGES "Vieilles Vignes" 2013 Domaine Philippe Gavignet
This is impeccable Nuits St. Georges, with lively fruit, a touch of vanillla, and a long, full finish.

  £26.50

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 2013 Juliette Chenu
This wine from vintage to vintage reliably displays all the scent that I look for in the wines from this village.

  £29.50

NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru "Les Pruliers" 2011
Domaine Philippe Gavignet
Rich, serious Premier Cru Nuits St. Georges, still needing time to develop.

  £38.95