06 Feb 2022 Burgundy Vintage Report
Warming temperature trends over the last decade or more will inevitably change the landscape of almost all wine growing regions. Some will benefit. Traditionally cool regions that have struggled to fully ripen grapes each and every vintage have begun seeing better and more consistent results from vintage to vintage.
Areas like Burgundy, where there used to be a constant balancing act of sun exposure versus soil type are currently producing outstanding wines further afield from the historic grand and premiere crus. Luckily, the global wine market hasn’t yet caught on fully and if one knows where to look, exceptional regional wines can provide a welcome respite to soaring prices – at least for now.
Knowing what to buy in wider Burgundy will be tricky as it will vary substantially producer to producer and vineyard to vineyard. But I believe many of these wines will be looked back on in 10+ years as “I know them when” wines.
The 2022 vintage was sunny, dry, and hot, similar to years like 2019 and 2020 yet without any of the climatic disasters that greatly reduced the yields of those years. It started warm in February and March, leading to early bud break that was threatened by cooler April temps but the region was spared of any yield-killing spring frosts. Ripening accelerated through spring and early summer but this warm tendency was moderated by timely rainfall in late June and August, giving much-needed water and a slow-down in maturation.
Harvest began in the warmest areas in late August and ran through mid-September. This combination of dry weather and timely storms provided a generous yield for the first time since 2015, with ripe, supple fruit and fresh acidities, particularly for growers with old vines.
Domaine Cornu Camus Hautes Côtes du Beaune Rouge 2022$24.00
Lydia Cornu’s newly released Haut-Côtes-du-Beaune is quintessential Red Burgundy. It’s made from super old vines and a low yield, with no new oak in the aging process. The wine is an absolute joy to drink– a bowl full of berries on the nose, high-toned, racy fruit in the mid palate with the structure and length that is the hallmark of Cornu-Camus wines. It’s delicious now and will be delicious in a decade. It’s the kind of Red Burgundy value that is ridiculous hard to match.
Domaine Fornerot Bourgogne Blanc 2022$33.00
It’s an electric white Burgundy, with a limestone-laced aromatic profile of green apple, pear and hazelnut. Refined and high-toned, the pure, delicious fruit that is a hallmark of this terrific vintage, finishes long and fresh, with a mile-long mineral streak.
Picq Chablis 2022$34.95
The Picq Chablis is absolutely killer and so good for the money. Vinification takes place in a stainless steel vat so it comes out with tons of pent up energy that slowly unwinds with time in the glass. Green apple, pear and lemon lime notes highlight this one, but the chalky minerality steals the show for me. What a beauty.