Close Menu

Burgundy 2022: ‘responsible’ pricing sees minimal increases on last year

Merchants have confirmed this year’s Burgundy en primeur campaign has seen ‘minimal’ increases in pricing, across the majority of estates, indicating that producers have listened to the concerns of the market.

The news has been welcomed.

Guy Seddon, head of fine wine buying at Corney and Barrow said around two thirds of its Burgundy pricing indications were already in (Corney and Barrow sell differently to other merchants, in that they don’t release all wines in January and will continue to release them until May) – and it seems clear that producers have listened to merchant’s pleas not to raise the price for the latest vintage as this would have risked pricing buyers out of the market.

“Currently about 50% have kept their prices the same as last year, and one of them actually has kept their prices the same for a late release 21 – which was a tiny vintage – versus 2020 pricing which is sort of even more gratifying,” he said, “and just under 10% have decreased prices, so we have seen a little bit of that as well.”

He said that while it was understandable that prices would increase in a year such as 2021, with tiny vintages (“though we’d only like to see it increase in line with quality, some are very small family domaines, this is their livelihood and if they have savagely reduced production then they do obviously need to reflect that in the pricing”), the ’22 vintage “is a different story”. Additionally, producers had gauged the market and listened to merchant’s concerns. “It’s a plentiful vintage and we don’t really think that the market would stomach that much more in the way of price rises,” Seddon told db.

Around 40% of producers had increased prices, but this is “generally in single digit percentages”, he noted. “There haven’t been any really extreme growth rises and I hope that mostly they will be assimilated”.

In some of these cases, producers have “tweaked” prices for just some of their wines by around 10%, “where volumes are particularly small or maybe where the producer is trying to reposition one cuvee”, Seddon explained, rather than applying it across the board.

Catherine Jaën MW of Lay and Wheeler noted that the big ’23 harvest in the cellar, which appears to have given producers reassurance of what to expect next year,  but domains were also more aware of the market, “which is certainly a more challenging one than previous vintage have been released into.”

David Roberts MW, buying director at Goedhuis, noted that it tended to be “the exception” that estates had introduced “very, very marginal increases, not necessarily from one year to the next but occasionally just reflecting increased costs in bottle or cork costs or whatever,” he said.

There few domains who have increased prices is mainly “for one or two of the most sought after appellations”, he noted, “so they might have found that a prestigious Premier Cru or a Grand Cru in their eyes might have been slightly out of line with other estate prices within the appellation.  So the increases that we’re seeing and whilst they’re not great, tend to be for some more sought after Premier Cru and Grand Cru.”

“The increases that we’ve seen have been pretty sensible – nobody has tried to ‘exploit’ the market. In fact, everybody’s very being very responsible in appreciating the prices of these great wines. Whilst there is demand, they are quite high so domaines are trying to allow true wine lovers to buy the way, rather than encourage the speculative side.”


However, Roberts cautioned any reading that the 2022 was a very high yielding vintage, pointing out that it was in fact roughly in line with the ten-year average.

“I think one’s got to be very careful because this is not a large crop, it’s just going back to the average,” he explained, “If you look at the last ten years, none of those vintage have hit the maximum yield, so this is not a vintage that’s hitting maximum yields for Grand Cru, Premier Cru or village wines, although some areas will do. So it’s a healthy crop, but it shouldn’t be perceived as being an excessively big crop.”

That being said, not having the huge volume losses of last year has meant that merchants are getting “some very nice allocations – but we’re not necessarily going back to the full allocation across the board [we saw] in 2020 or 2018, because some estates are very short of wine so they’ve kept a little bit back,” he said.

It was therefore not going to be as “painful” as last year, according to Seddon, for even though allocations are likely at the top end, due to demand outstripping supply, after a period of “being very apologetic to customers” in scaling back orders and doing allocations for everything, “that’s not going to be the case in ’22,” he said.

“The fact that we will be able to spread the wine that much further this year is great, so we consider it to be to be good news.”

As a result, Corney & Barrow is bringing its tasting in both London and Edinburgh next week, after a hiatus last year.

“We made the decision [last year] not to ask producers to come all the way over to London to present wines which customers would taste, fall in love with and then not be able to buy,” he noted.  “It’s an opportunity for us to get people back into the swing of buying and drinking Burgundy. I think there was a temptation when quantities were very small last year to restrict sending offers to 100% of our customers just because you’re fighting disappointment.”

This pent-up demand means buyers are keen, Roberts agrees.

“Because people weren’t able to buy large volumes of ’21 they’ve be looking forward to the release of the ’22 and it’s even more exciting when you know it’s a very consistent vintage for both red and white wines,” he said.

Less hallowed appellations

Consumers were still likely to look at “slightly less hallowed appellations” in order to find value  – and 2022 is a good year to do so.

“What’s really nice is that if you look at the village level, whether it be a respected village or some of the rising stars, whether that be Les Maranges, Marsannay or going to the Haut Côte, there’s some really good value, but most importantly really nice wine,” Roberts noted. “The exciting thing about this vintage is that at every level there is quality wine, it doesn’t matter whether you’re sort of going for Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Blanc, village appellation, Premiere Cru or Grand Cru, there is a wonderful consistency and quality of reflective of their classified designations.”

Seddon also pointed out that the pricing overall is “still high”, so if a customer had only recently got into Burgundy, or was looking to be able to drink on a weekday rather than a special occasion, “then what most people will do is have to look at slightly less hallowed appellations. [But] I think the quality of the wines being made in the northern and southern extremes of the Côte and also up into the hills is better than it’s ever been.”

The role of climate change also means that villages with higher elevation sites, which “relatively undiscovered” villages such as Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, Saint Aubin, and St-Romain, have an “elevated sense of freshness”, he added. “I think, with these very warm summers that we’ve been having, especially in ’22 and ’23, the style of wines coming out of those newer villages is very much in tune with what people are looking for.”

As Jaën notes, previously less celebrated appellations may have suffered a because the wines in more difficult years had a element “of austerity and greenness to them”, but that increasingly, growers were able to achieve full ripeness, even the cooler, more elevated areas. “The Haut Côte de Beaune or Haut Côte de Nuits is a good example of that, where growers are able to reach this really beautiful ripeness actually so they’re able to produce a much more consistent quality,” she explained.

“I think that any buyers who’ve already been attracted by these outlying regions, with – quite frankly – more attractive pricing in many cases, will be going back for more – and I think ’22 is a really great vintage to stock up in places like this.”


Read more:

Fabulous’ Burgundy ’22 vintage impresses merchants as en primeur gets underway

Burgundy 2022: responsible pricing adopted by producers

Burgundy ’22 offers ‘opportunity’ to change consumer attitudes

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No