The 2012 vintage gave Burgundy wine growers a hard time! They ran the full gamut of problems - frost in spring, a high incidence of disease, and hailstorms in Côte de Beaune (especially in Volnay and Pommard). The main result was that volume went into freefall (in some cases by up to 60%), which was made all the more serious by yields which had already fallen well below average in 2010 and 2011.
The advantage of this type of vintage, is that grapes which "survive" generally have thicker skins thus facilitating slow, deep ripening and a skin/juice ratio conducive to achieving excellent concentrations during vinification. Scarce reds are therefore quite often concentrated wines with a fine taut, fresh balance. Whites follow a similar pattern.
Overall, Côte de Nuits fared better than Côte de Beaune, where hailstorms left their mark. In the latter region, the Beaune appellation was the best of the bunch, with wines generally demonstrating a fine balance with a crisp fruitiness. In the red wines, Volnay and Pommard fared slightly worse, but white appellations, notably Puligny and Chassagne, are of a good standard, a cut above Meursault for once. In Côte de Nuits, most appellations are of a good standard with Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges rising slightly above the rest.
The Côte Chalonnaise is more mixed and priority should be given to the most renowned domaines which have carried out the work and selection required to preserve the high quality of their blends. The Mâcon region produced some rather flavoursome wines, and the chalkier areas (Vergisson and Solutré) produced purer wines.
In Chablis, it could even be termed a good year as the appellation was largely spared compared to the rest of Burgundy. Wines from good domaines have typical fresh, taut Chablis characteristics, with some very successful premiers crus such as Vaillons and Côte de Léchet.