In Burgundy, 2011 was quite an early vintage. Vines grew without incident until June, almost three weeks ahead of schedule, due to a particularly hot spring. In July, the cycle slowed down with cool weather and rain, but picked up again in August, which was a warmer month. At the end of the day, the wines are not lacking in richness, but it is the finesse of the tannins in the case of reds which gives the vintage its appeal, and the low acidity adds suppleness to the wines. The tannins are velvety, the fruit is pleasing, but the wines often lack a touch of "oomph" and since they are already very pleasant, they probably lack long-term ageing potential.
The Côtes de Nuits are very true to type and characterful, but already pleasant to drink young. The textures, which are quite subtle, should not have been spoilt by excessive ageing. In Côte-de-Beaune, reds are also fruity and pleasant, less structured than in 2010 or 2009, but with a light, rather pleasing character. The southern area (Volnay, Pommard) would appear to be more successful than the north. The whites are easy-drinking, fresh and accessible, but sometimes a little short on depth.
In Chablis, the harvest was healthy, despite a wet and occasionally stormy summer, and although the wines are not very structured, they are quite subtle and fruity.
Lastly, the Mâcon region experienced a mild winter and a hot, dry summery spring in April and especially in May. Summer proper transpired to be less fine than spring and was relatively cool and damp. However, the story has a happy ending, with a fine dry spell at harvest time in early September. The wines have well-rounded traits characteristic of early vintages, with the added minerality of cool summers. A very pleasing balance!