Vintage Report 2015

The 2015 Burgundy Briefing Vintage Report is an in-depth assessment of the 2015 vintage on the Côte d’Or. The quality is  particularly good for reds across both the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. Delicious and surprisingly exuberant reds. A hot summer gave concentration, ripeness and decent freshness. The style and quality of the whites is somewhat varied. Generally ripe, sunny, fruity whites with gentle acidity, improving with time in barrel.

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 comprehensive vintage reports, one for red wine another for white, which follow a similar format. They include plenty of contributions from the growers and hence cover fifty pages, however I begin with a few key facts to summarise.

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.
  • The market in and for Burgundy, reflecting the growers’ perspective and my observations.

Tasting Notes

The bulk of the report consists of 287 pages of tasting notes with introductions to the 91 visits to domaines and a few negocians. (52 visits for red and 39 for white). This year I have experimented with scoring wines wines out of 100 for the whites and for the reds I have scored out of 100 and out of 20 in many cases, which is still consider to be the better system.  An asterisk marks wines which stood out in each cellar.

Selection of favourite wines

A red and white ‘hit’ lists; my pick of the favourite wine from each cellar.

Cellar Selection

In addition to my ‘hit list’ of favourite wines of the vintage, I have grouped a selection of favourite wines to serve with meals; from everyday meals to special occasions. I have suggested a few terroir comparisons from the same domaine – to have some fun with your more adventurous friends who will appreciate the nuances.

The Red Collection. Selection of red wines to serve with meals and to lay down.

  • Supper: 12 wines for kitchen suppers and 15 for supper parties with suggestions for comparing wines from the same domaine, but from different terroir. These are relatively reasonably priced wines.

  • Dinner party: Elegant collection (8 wines). Gorgeous fruit (6 wines). Full-bodied and rich (4 wines). Deep and dark (4 wines).

  • Collectors: Wines to impress. Wines with quite power. Wines with intensity and finesse. (16 wines suggested)

The White Collection. Selection of white wines to serve with food.

  • Supper: Seven wines for a ‘kitchen supper’ and 8 for a ‘supper party’ with suggestions for comparing different village terroir from Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet on a relatively modest budget.
  • Dinner party: 4 collections; Pretty, delicate, pure and high toned; Elegant; Full and rounded; Straight and powerful.
  • Collectors: Wines to impress; Intensity and finesses; Wines with quiet power.

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. This year I had some wonderful flights of red wine. My highlights were Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier-Saint-Georges, Clos de la Maréchale 2004-2014 and Domaine du Comte Armand, Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2004 to 2014.

I also tasted a mixed flight from Domaine Jean Tardy et Fils in Vosne-Romanée: Nuit-Saint-Georges, Les Boudots 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006; Nuits-Saint-Georges, Bas de Combe 2008; Vosne-Romanee, “Vigneux’ 2009; Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Argillats 2010 -2014. There was also a short flight from Domaine Hudelot-Noellat, Vosne Romanée, Les Suchots and ’85 and 2011 to 2015.

Vintage Review of White Wines from 1997-2013.

  • I update this review each year by tasting different verticals of whites. This year the vertical tastings included
  • Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet et Fils, Chassagne-Montrachet, La Boudriotte 2004 to 2011

  • Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne, Les Vergers 2007 to 2014 (and 2003)

  • Domaine Génot-Boulanger, Meursault, Les Bouchères 2008 to 2014

  • Domaine Etienne Sauzet, Puligny-Montrachet, Les Combettes 2009 to 2014

This report can be purchased for £75. 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.