Information & scores : 2016 Beaujolais

  • Indifferent 15/20

Vintage description 2016 Beaujolais

It is difficult to pass a sweeping judgement on Beaujolais' offerings as 2016 proved to be a contrasting year in this region. For many appellations, not least Fleurie, Morgon and Chiroubles, this vintage will be marked by the hailstorms of the 27th May and the 24th June that wreaked havoc in the vineyard. Some domains (particularly in Fleurie) lost 50% to 90% of their crop. In other parts of the region, however, winemakers celebrated one of the most abundant harvests in recent years. August saw plenty of sunshine, as did the first 15 days of September which provided healthy conditions for harvest. However, producers who left too many bunches on the vine came unstuck as grapes did not achieve satisfactory ripeness.

The small amount of wine that places ravaged by hail have managed to produce is of good quality, the surviving grapes being very concentrated and of optimal ripeness. Winemakers with large yields have perhaps been a bit too lax as their offerings prove to be somewhat diluted and without great character.

Morgon is, without doubt, the most qualitative cru in the region, both in terms of the quality of its terroirs and the number of important winemakers currently at their peak here. It's safe to say that their 2016 contribution is wonderful: more delicate and also more "classic" in style than the very rich wines of 2015, they will age gracefully.

Thanks to their sunlight favouring aspects, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly especially, are another two appellations that have seen success with the 2016 vintage. The grapes here were consistently of an optimal ripeness and produced more elegant wines than their 2015 counterparts, with brilliant fruit flavours.

As for the other appellations it would be wise to exercise caution and try before you buy particularly with blends and wines from regions affected by hail.