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Burgundy looking at “surprisingly good” year

Chablis may be the star of 2011 for Burgundy as the quality is assessed in the vats.

According to James Simpson MW, sales director for Pol Roger Portfolio, which represents Drouhin in the UK, it is the Chablis that has attracted particular praise.

Simpson explained that Frédéric Drouhin, managing director of Maison Joseph Drouhin, had said that he was “impressed with the quality” he was seeing in his vats.

“He told me that yields were down,” said Simpson, “but that it was looking surprisingly good overall, although everything is still bubbling away and it’s a little too early to tell yet.”

While 2011 ferments, Simpson also said that they were looking ahead to the forthcoming 2010 campaign.

As with 2011, last year was a small harvest and this could lead to problems with allocations, particularly on the back of the generous 2009 vintage.

However, Simpson thought that allocations would become less of an issue for the UK market.

“I think we’re attracting some of the Bordeaux buyers,” said Simpson. “When you consider how much is made in Burgundy it is actually good value for money.

“The UK is becoming a more interesting market for Burgundy and as such UK allocations are growing.”

Simpson continued by saying he thought that they would have “a lot of fun” with the 2010 campaign and that the whites in particular were meant to be “stonkingly good”.

In terms of pricing, he felt it unlikely that things would change much from their previous situation.

“We’re looking for stability this year and the prices will probably remain the same as 2009,” he said. “Of course, 2009 was still up a little on 2008 and I’m sure some canny producers will try and increase their prices if they can.”

Overall though he said that this was: “Not the time for over ambitious price increases.”

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