A ‘rare but precious 2012’ for Burgundy

13th November, 2012 by Andy Young

Burgundy winegrowers have said this year’s weather has helped to produce a “rare but precious vintage”.

Burgundy winegrowers are reporting a rare but precious 2012 vintageFrom the north to the south of the region the report from the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB)  presents a consistent picture – the quality of this year’s wines is excellent, but the downside is the below-average quantity. Some estimates have indicated that quantities could be down by as much as 20%.

The high-quality but low quantity message has come out of several key wine-growing areas over the last few weeks, with reports of “cautious optimism” from Bordeaux winegrowers. The weather has meant that 2012 has been a difficult year for winegrowers across Europe.

A mild winter followed by a chilly and frosty spring, a warm May, a cool and wet June had a strong impact on the vines. The unstable summer with a heat wave, hail and storms did little to improve the situation.

The 2012 harvest report from the BIVB said that the cold and rain in spring meant that some flowers fail to turn into fruit. The brief hot periods in summer then led to high temperatures that burned the fruit.

Initial reports from the BIVB on white wine for 2012 claimed, “this is a classic vintage, illustrated by the wines’ sophistication and good concentration.”

The “deep red” wines “reflected the diversity of each winegrowing region and offer a happy ending to this unusual year”.

Although the grapes harvested were “perfectly mature” the low yields were also a concern the grapes for Crémant de Bourgogne wines, and the Gamay grape in particular. The report added that, “the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir base wines are fruity, with lovely balance”.

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