04 February 2016
While the rest of the country was abstaining from the booze (or attempting to) in the first few weeks of the year, I started 2016 in some of the best Burgundian cellars tasting the 2014 vintage.
Over two days of tasting whilst travelling the Cote d’Or we got to visit some incredibly influential winemakers. There’s certainly something quite magical about standing in the cellars of LaFarge tasting wines straight from the barrel with the man himself. A lot of Burgundy’s top regions had been destroyed in hail storms every year between 2011 and 2013, but the summer of 2014 was a lot more successful. Yields were low with vines still recovering from the previous years but the winemakers were happy with what the vintage produced.
The winemakers were resounding in accordance that the demand for grand cru Burgundy has dropped drastically with the price of vineyards and grapes rising and the price tag on the final bottles starting to seem a little ridiculous. Innovative wine makers such as Nicolas Potel talked of how he’d been focussing his time on making top quality village wines and finding the best sites for less money in order to ensure he can make wines with more realistic price tags.
The highlights for me were Thierry and Pascale Matrot’s Saint- Aubin 1er Cru “Fleurs de Coteaux” Daniel Defaix’s Les Lys 1er Cru Chablis, and anything that came out of the cellar at Michel LaFarge.
2014 has shown a very promising vintage in Burgundy, with some great reds and some interesting whites. I for one can’t wait to see how they develop.