Vintage Report 2012

The 2012 Burgundy Briefing Vintage Report is an in-depth assessment of the 2012 vintage on the Côte d’Or. From hail to sun burn it was not an easy season. This is a tale of two red vintages; the hail ravaged Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits. As the old vignerons say, “a goût de trop peu,” but where it is good, it is lovely.

The report has become a valuable tool for buying these expensive wines, but remans true its original concept to be an engaging insight into the region, aimed at those who wish to keep informed about Burgundy’s latest vintage and its people.

There are two comprehensivevintage reports, one for red wine another for white, which follow a similar format. They include plenty of contributions from the growers and hence cover 60 pages, however I summarise first with the key facts.

Vintage Vantage Point

  • The defining factors of the season which have shaped the wines.
  • Analysis: Considering sugar, acidity and tannins and how they are balanced.
  • How the vintage was handled in winery.
  • Style is considered with plenty of contributions from the growers.
  • Quality; my assessment and the growers’ opinions.
  • Vintage comparions.
  • Villages and vineyards:
  • Villages: An overview of each of the principal villages on the Côte d’Or; the style and quality of the village wines and specific lieux-dits (named vineyards).
  • Vineyards: Drilling down into the premier and grand crus within the villages, which vineyards stood out or under-performed.
  • Ageing capacity and when to drink the wines.
  • Pricing and the market in and for Burgundy, reflecting the growers’ perspective and my observations.

Tasting Notes

The bulk of the report consists of approximately 280 pages of tasting notes with introductions to each domaine or negoce (90 visits). The wines are scored out of 20 and those which stood out in each cellar have been marked with an asterisk.

Selection of favourite wines

A red and white ‘hit’ lists; my pick of favourites.

Older Vintages

As usual I like to include some vertical flights of premier cru to consider how past vintages are developing and when it is best to drink them.

The highlight for the reds this year was a tasting of 15 vintages of Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay Santenots du Milieu from 1997 to 2011, tasted with Dominic Lafon.

Vintage Review of White Wines from 1997-2012.

I began a review of whites last year, which I have updated in subsequent reports. This year the review was based on the following tastings, which are included in the domaine entry.

  • Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin, En-Remilly 1996 and 2000 to 2012 (omitting 2003)
  • Domaine Alain Chavy, Puligny-Montachet, Les Folatières 2005 to 2012 (omitting 2006).
  • Domaine Buisson Charles, Meursault, Les Tessons 2000, 2001, 2005 to 2012
  • Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet, Le Puits 2003 to 2008.
  • Pierre Morey, Meursault 1976, 2002, 2003, 2008 to 2011

This substantial report can be purchased for £65. It will be emailed as pdfs on receipt of payment via Paypal. If you wish to purchase it by cheque or by bank transfer, please contact me by email. The pdfs are sent manually, so please be patient if you do not receive it immediately, particularly in May, June and October when I am in Burgundy.