Burgundy En Primeur 2017

A few weeks ago, a few members of the Davy’s Fine Wine team were over in Burgundy to taste the 2017s from barrel prior to offering the wines in January. The full offer will follow in due course, in the meantime, here are some thoughts on the wines to share with you.

Following the stellar vintages of 2015 and 2016 was never going to be an easy task. Those vintages were rightly talked up at a time when the demand for the wines of Burgundy saw global demand increasing rapidly. That hasn’t slowed down; while the top tier wines are now unaffordable for all but a few, interest in the super quality middle is showing the strongest demand, where some quantity is available and prices remain, for now, sensible.

2017 sees production levels in the Cote d’Or return to ‘normal’, having escaped any major weather catastrophe for the first time in years. Chablis was not so lucky; though quality here is excellent, volumes will be down due to frosts. In the Cote d’Or production on whites in 2017 is up around 20% on 2016 and for the reds it is up around 40% on 2016. That’s not to say there is a glut, far from it. The quantity of wine available from Burgundy is still nowhere near enough to satisfy the growing global demand.

The weather during 2017 (in brief)

Though frosts threatened in April (remarkably, exactly one day later than in 2016 which devastated the crop), a colossal effort from the community of the Cote d’Or means the early part of 2017 will be remembered for keeping frost at bay by burning hay stacks, firing up the helicopters and burning through Europe’s stockpile of ‘frost candles’.

It wasn’t long before the warmer temperatures arrived and stayed for the summer. Almost too hot at times, a good summer breeze helped keep disease away and produce a bumper crop; the only danger for many producers was that of over-cropping. Late August brought much-needed rain, and harvest began from late August in to early September. With the threat of more rain forecast for early September most growers picked before this did eventually transpire on 9th September, though the debate as to whether it’s best to pick early or late (if the weather allows it) was in full swing for our visit.

The Wines

With the 2013s drinking beautifully now, 2014s about to start drinking and 2015 and 2016 needing more time in the cellar, 2017 comes along at exactly the right time; there is something for everyone. Terroir is a word used all too often when talking about Burgundy, however it is essential when talking about the 2017s. This is a vintage that really allows individual villages and vineyards to shine. The wines are classic: elegant; pure; they show wonderful precision and energy. With zingy acidity in the whites and beautifully integrated tannins and structure to the reds, though they will be drinking wonderfully on release, they are certainly worthy of a spot in the cellar too.

Your opportunity to taste

In an exciting start to the new year we’ll be holding our annual Burgundy en-primeur tasting on Thursday January 10th at our newest bar, the Tappit Hen, in London, EC3N 8AD. Please let me know if you’d like to attend – tickets are limited and sold at £30 each on a first come first served basis, fully refundable on any en-primeur purchases of £250 or more.

Ones to watch

Highlights from our tastings in Burgundy include some new producers to our portfolio: the wines from Domaine Marc Roy in Gevrey-Chambertin are hauntingly beautiful and we’re excited to give our customers an opportunity to taste these in January. Domaine Rossignol-Trapet have captured the essence of the vintage beautifully, while Domaine Tortochot and Domaine Drouhin-Laroze have created a collection of wines that will drink wonderfully on release as well as some higher up the scale for longer term drinking.

In the South, we were particularly impressed with the precision and energy in the wines of Domaine Paul Pillot – extremely exciting wines, from Aligoté to premier cru Chassagne-Montrachet. The wines of Domaine Joseph Voillot in Volnay are some of the best we’ve tasted, elegant, fragrant, ripe and nigh impossible to spit our samples! Continuing their rise to become known as one of the most exciting producers in the Cote de Beaune, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot have produced a full house of exceptional wines, from Santenay to Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne to Grand Cru level wine of Batard-Montrachet. These are just a handful of the producers we’ll be showing and offering in January and it’s fair to say that all the domaines we work with hugely impressed our team.

We anticipate sending our 2017 Burgundy en-primeur offer out during the week beginning 7th January; if there are any producers or wines that you are particularly keen to secure, please do let me know so I can begin noting your interest. If you’d like to discuss further we’d love to chat about what you’re looking to do during the campaign and help build your Burgundy collection.

Register your interest by e-mailing the Fine Wine team at privatecellars@davy.co.uk.

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If you’re new to En Primeur you’ll find detailed information in our article ‘What is En Primeur?’

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