Information & scores : 2016 Burgundy

  • Red 17/20
  • White 15/20

Vintage description 2016 Burgundy

Like many other regions in France, adverse weather caused chaos in Burgundy and saw winemakers having to battle with all sorts of problems. The frost at the end of April was Burgundy's biggest undoing and, from Chablis to Côte de Beaune, a lot vines were destroyed. In just one night Burgundy lost 30% of its total crop. The rest of the year wasn't plain sailing either. A very humid spring saw powdery mildew thrive while a hot summer meant that in many areas vines suffered water stress. Some welcome rain in September meant that this wasn't too disastrous and sunny days and cool nights helped the grapes reach a good ripeness in time for the vendange. Paradoxically, these difficulties meant that the small amount of grapes that were produced were very healthy with thick skins. The difficult weather conditions throughout 2016 may have caused Burgundian winemakers many sleepless nights but, in the end, it proved to be a good, albeit very small, vintage (particularly for reds).

Starting with the reds, Côte de Nuits had a very good year and wines were generally superior in the southern appellations such as Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanée. The Côte de Beaune also produced some good wines with delicious, crisp fruit flavours. They are more delicate in style than the year before and therefore should be drunk a bit younger.

As for the whites, Chablis will be hard to come by due to the frost but of excellent quality thanks to the grapes achieving a good ripeness over summer. The Grands Crus that managed to escape the frost are also of a very good quality. Whites from the Côte de Beaune haven't been quite so successful and have suffered because of the very dry summer: Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne, in particular, have been affected. Of course, the best producers have managed a good vintage despite the dramatic weather but it's worth trying before you buy with some of the lesser known producers. The Mâconnais is without doubt the appellation that has produced the best wines in this complicated vintage, especially those from Pouilly-Fuissé.