Promising vintage in Burgundy – despite growing season

6th November, 2012 by Rupert Millar

An abysmal growing season in Burgundy will likely be off-set by good quality wines, although volumes will be extremely low.

There are apparently “marked differences” between the key growing areas of the Cote de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise, with the Côte de Beaune the worst affected.

Weather throughout the year has made the season exceptionally difficult, with some producers joking that they had been struck by the “seven plagues of Egypt”.

CA Grands Crus reported that May rainfall “seriously upset” flowering and has caused severe heterogeneity between vineyards.

Hailstorms added to the misery, particularly in the vineyards around Beaune as did heavy downpours throughout the spring and summer, leading to powdery and downy mildew.

August sunshine helped salvage the situation somewhat, giving hopes “of good to excellent red wines”.

CA Grands Crus reported: De-vatting has shown deep garnet colours for the reds. Tannins are powerful but well integrated with the fruit. The wines from the village of Mercurey are of particular interest.”

White wines too show promise, the musts apparently “very rich and ripe and showing good balance.”

Nonetheless, volumes in Burgundy are expected to be down by some 30% at a time when the world is starting to face up to a global wine shortage.

 

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