Burgundy Vintage Review

"With the overall quality of Burgundy wines, both red and white on the increases there is now a high demand around the world due to the rising in consumer confidence. Many Domaines are using more a more organic approach to viticulture (vineyard work) and also producing wine with riper tannins, which is making the wines much more accessible and more popular with a wider range of palates. 

Unlike Bordeaux, Burgundy is very fragmented and volumes are small. In our opinion it's more about the wine maker / Domaine than the Commune (village name). Many wines sell out on release especially the Grand Cru's so its best to inform us of your interest before the next campaign begins.

To summize, as a result of going organic many wines, especially the Pinot Noirs have less of that dormant period / awkward period between the young fruit stage and the more mature vegetable stage. You will notice that we have bought heavily for 2009 Red Burgundy. This is a great vintage, fairly priced and considered to be the best vintage since 1999 but personally I think it is better as wine making techniques have moved on in the last 10 years." James Goodhart, MD, Bon Coeur Fine Wines

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2000 - Red 7/10 Drink Now White 8/10 Drink Now
Good growing season in the vineyards (with the exception of a storm in Beaune on the 12th September). This vintage the whites are better than the reds. Similar to the 1999 vintage but not as fat and slightly more mineralic. Some good reds but lighter in style and early drinking.

2001 - Red 8/10 Drink Now White 8/10 Drink Now
A challenging vintage, a lot of hard work was required in the vineyards. They had all sorts of problems with frost, uneven flowering and hail storms. Overall a good vintage but will always be in the shadow of the 2002 vintage.

2002 - Red 9/10 Drink Now White 9/10 Drink Now
An excellent all round vintage. The reds are exceptionally focused, with ripe soft tannins and good freshness due to the cool summer. Dryer than average winter led to a warm and dry Spring which resulted in an early flowering. Summer was cool and dry which resulted in slow maturation of the grapes that maintained the acids levels.

2003 - Red 8/10 Drink Now White 6/10 Drink Now
Very hot vintage and 15 consecutive days of temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade resulted in sugar levels soaring and the ‘Ban de Vendages’ (official start to the Vendage) being declared on the 18th August, the earliest date ever. Many producers struggled as the wines were low in acidity. An Australian vintage in Burgundy!! We avoided this vintage as many wines had a burn / raison character and lacked freshness. The reds are much better than the whites.

2004 - Red 7/10 Drink Now White 8/10 Drink Now
Complete opposite to 2003. One of the latest harvests on record. Many producers picked too early before the wines were at their optimum ripeness. Some excellent wines but not wide spread. On the reds a Hail storm on the 23rd August did a fair amount of damage in Pommard, Volnay, Beaune and Savigny. Côtes de Nuits has the slight edge over Côtes de Beaune.

2005 - Red 10/10 Drink Now/Lay Down White 9/10 Drink Now
An excellent vintage all round. Some of the whites are lacking a bit of freshness otherwise it could have been the perfect vintage. Prices for the reds have gone through the roof for the top producers. Hard to go wrong with this vintage. Flowering started on the 28-29th May and went on for 3 weeks as the weather got colder. June & July were fairly dry but not as dry as the 2003 vintage.

2006 - Red 7/10 Drink Now/Lay Down White 8/10 Drink Now
Better white wine vintage than red. Slightly fresher in style than 2005 and in some cases better, although some producers picked too late and as a result lost some of the refreshness / acidity balance. It is unfortunate that this vintage is likely to be in the shade of the 2005 vintage. Do not ignore 2006 there are some excellent wines.

2007 - Red 6/10 Drink Now White 6/10 Drink Now
After three good vintages in a row prices have kept rising yet unfortunately the quality is down. The wines we have tasted are at best on par with an average 2006. Like Bordeaux they had a challenging growing season and it was hard to pick the fruit at optimum ripeness. We are trying to avoid buying 2007 where ever possible. More expensive and not as good as the 2006.

2008 - Red 7/10 Drink Now/Lay Down White 7/10 Drink Now/Lay Down
The cool summer and problems with the mildew didn’t help. Burgundy is more down to the individual wine maker some will have done much better than others. The 2008 are slightly richer, more generous on the mid-palate than 2007. In general there are some good wines and some prices have started to look for reasonable but the exchange rate isn’t helping.

2009 - Red 9/10 Lay Down White 8+/10 Lay Down
Awesome vintage for the red wines. Considered to be the best vintage since 1999, helped by the advancement of wine making techniques. Excellent fruit levels with good acidity and balance. The white wines are good however at the moment some of the 2008 from the Cote D’or (Puligny, Chassagne Montrachet and Meursault) are showing better at the moment. Hard to go wrong.
Click Here for our full list of 2009 Burgundy wines.

2010 - Red 9/10 Lay Down White 8.5/10 Drink Now/Lay Down
Early days as most the better wines are still in barrel, however the juice / wines we have tasted to date are very good. Slightly less generous than the super rich, seductiveness of the 2009’s. This vintage has excellent concentration and a touch more acidity. Prices are likely to be more expensive than 2009. A vintage to taste again in early 2012.
Click Here for our full list of 2010 Burgundy wines.

2011 - Red 8/10 Lay Down White 8.5/10 Drink Now/Lay Down
Generally we consider Burgundy 2011 to be on par with the 2007, with slightly higher fruit levels. We found some very good wines, though it does vary considerably depending upon the producer and vineyard.   We have therefore chosen our producers carefully  and have bought were we found good wines that were true to the terroir and appellation.

2012 - Red 8.5/10 Lay Down White 8.5/10 Drink Now/Lay Down
The wines have a lovely vibrancy, silky texture and in many cases are very precise, with lots of individual identity, reflecting the terroir and vineyard. They have more weight and concentration than the 2011’s without being jammy like many hot vintages. Sadly the 2012 vintage is very small due to the cold spring that caused poor flowering which resulted in a poor fruits set (coulure) with small and large berries (Millerandage). In addition there was 3 major hailstorms that has affected the vines and some growers have sadly only produced between 20-40% of their normal yields. The six weeks before harvest (20th Sept) were largely dry with warm periods that allowed the grapes to reach optimum ripeness. On average yields are down between 20-40% on the Cote de Nuits and between 20 and 75% in the Cote de Beaune.