With 2019 wines becoming available later this year, we are pleased to share with you our summary of the vintage and the buying outlook to prepare you for what's to come.
Growing and Harvest
It all started with the relatively dry and warm winter which accelerated the budding process in the spring 2019. The frost in April affected some areas especially the Mâconnais region but still luckily managed to avoid significant damage yet hindered yields. When May and June came, the weather turned cool and windy and disrupted the flowering, leaving uneven and millerandage (grapes were irregular in size and maturity in the same cluster), thus the growers had to pick out the smaller and unripe fruit to ensure that the rest could grow more evenly which meant the further reduction in yield. The summer grew even hotter with bright sunshine and the lack of rain put stress on some vines, which burned some of the grapes and made them unsuitable for use.
Due to the dry and hot weather throughout the summer, growers had to be extremely careful in selecting the exact right moment to harvest the grapes to ensure that they were able to preserve the acidity and avoid a high level of alcohol. For the growers in the south such as Mâconnais, their picking began in early September, which is comparably 10 days earlier than the traditional “100 days from flowering”. Whereas the north like Côte de Nuits, picking began in mid-late September as the abnormal weather affected the phenolic ripeness and required more time and rain to grow.
All these weather conditions led to significant reduction in yields but on the bright side (pun intended), the sunshine also allowed the grapes to fully ripen and offer amazing depth of flavour. It was a challenging year even for the top echelons, but many winemakers were able to create promising wines that are both concentrated but with amazing freshness, albeit lower volumes (1.2 million hectoliters vs 1.8 million in 2018 and average of 1.5 million).
The reds this year are a joy and fresher than 2018, with finesse and elegance. Offers perfect ripeness, with plenty of body and a velvety tannic structure. Colours are deep and convincing, but they are not untraversable. The wines are quite powerful, and most likely have a high alcohol level and present high acidity.
Villages such as Santenay, Pommard, and Aloxe-Corton, as well as the famous Nuits-Saints-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin are performing extremely well. Their sweet and juicy tannins give them the luscious charm which will please a lot of wine lovers.
The white wines in 2019 show a vivid and concentrated expression, centered around citrus and white fruits. Most white grapes were harvested in early September when it was getting cold in Burgundy thus the wines created are deeply aromatic and elegant, showing excellent balance and freshness.
Chardonnays from St Aubin, Blagny, Savigny-les-Beaune, St-Romain, Ladoix will be the top picks from this vintage, while classics like Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet are less impressive but still perform well.
The Buying Outlook
For vintage 2019, due to relatively lower yields across the region, the wine prices for 2019 will also be relatively higher than usual. According to critics and professionals, there is incredible acidity in the young reds but there is also higher levels of alcohol which enables the wine to age longer. With some time in storage to soften and allow the evolution of the deep and underlying flavour, the complexity and deliciousness would never disappoint its drinker.
So due to the lower yields and ageing potentials, it will be wise to invest in some 2019 as early as possible, even before release. As there are even lower yields for Burgundy whites, it is recommended to purchase them sooner as it is anticipated that the prices will surge upon the release of the vintage.
Stay tuned as we will be starting to offer a selection of wines from 2019 which we will have a focus on great value wines from Chablis and Savigny-les-Beaune in the coming weeks!
Burgundy Cave Team