This summer has been a joyful one in several key wine-growing areas of western Europe, but in Bordeaux, not all the news is entirely good. After a fantastic white harvest, September rain has meant mixed conditions for the region’s red grapes – although levels haven’t exceeded averages and the vines are healthy, so winemakers are still optimistic for the vintage.
There are 5 posts tagged as Burgundy.
The vinous equivalent of the old saying about gentlemen preferring blondes but marrying brunettes may be everyone talking about Bordeaux but spending their fortunes on Burgundy. Not only has Jayer’s Richebourg grand cru overtaken Domaine de la Romanée-Conti to become the world’s most expensive wine on Wine-Searcher‘s annual “World’s Top 50 Most Expensive Wines” list but 39 of the other listed wines were also Burgundies, with only two Bordeaux included.
There’s a bright outlook to go with the sunshine in Bordeaux, as Gavin Quinney reports on Jancis Robinson’s website: after excellent conditions for early flowering in May and June, the region is well positioned for the incoming heatwave. If the Bordelais were in need of reminding that hard work and investment are as important as inheriting or buying exceptional terroir, the release of the Liv-Ex biannual reworking of the 1855 classification, an unofficial report aimed at identifying wine-market trends, may serve as an extra incentive not to rest on any laurels. All five First Growths remain at the top, but there are some interesting moves slightly further down that reflect the money and effort invested by certain wineries.
Not to be outdone, Burgundy and Champagne are celebrating a confidence-booster of their own: UNESCO has awarded vineyards in both regions World Heritage status. The Dijon area is, according to the awarding body, “an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the Middle Ages,” while the designated vineyards in Champagne are deemed particularly significant in the early development of méthode champenoise.
The chatter swirling around this year’s Bordeaux en primeur releases was, if it’s possible, even more about price than usual: much of it focussed on the need for new releases to discount, possibly as much as 25%, on the current market price of vintages such as 2008 or 2006, if the wines are to sell. Some have done so; others, riding high on generous scores from the most influential critics, have chosen not to. Montrose, the last release, was one of the latter; the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding…
And price is a hot topic in Burgundy, too, as figures show that the amount a Grand Cru vineyard can command, on the rare occasion that an owner chooses to sell, is still rising: a single hectare now costs, on average, €4.35million. read more
The year begins, as always, with Burgundy, as producers and importers offer samples of 2013 for the en primeur tastings. The Burgundians have not had an easy time for the past few years – the weather seems determined to prove that ever-advancing technology is still the servant, not the master – and 2013 was no exception, with a cool, wet spring, summer hailstorms (again) and a humid September. Still, Jancis Robinson suggests that while this vintage is ‘far from opulent, it is fresh and focused’ – so with expert guidance, we should all be able to keep ourselves in fine Burgundy for the next few years.