2016 Burgundy En Primeur
Concentrated Wines of Great Beauty
The 2016 Growing Season & Harvest
The first half of the 2016 growing season brought serious challenges. Spring was mild and wet, demanding many treatments by growers to prevent mildew outbreaks. Then, over a 3-day period, including devastating frost on 27th April, many young buds and leaves were destroyed by freezing weather. Damage was particularly severe in the vineyards of Beaune, Savigny, Pernand, Meursault, Chassagne and several Grand Cru whites. There was also considerable damage on the Côte de Nuits including Echézeaux, Chambolle-Musigny, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Clos-Vougeot and parts of Gevrey-Chambertin. The weather after the frost was erratic, and many vineyards took time to recover, resulting in further crop being lost.
Fortunately, towards the end of June, summer arrived, bringing favourable days throughout July and August. Weather conditions were balanced, not too hot or dry, with sufficient rain – which allowed sugars to climb and skins to ripen slowly, while precious freshness was retained. Glorious days, with beneficial, brief periods of rain, lasted through September to the harvest, which generally took place between the 20th and the end of the month. Picking took place in excellent conditions. Astonishingly, after so un-promising a spring, accumulations of colouring matter and tannins in the skins are sometimes above those of 2015, with grapes being so healthy that very few bunches needed eliminating on sorting tables. Many beautiful, impeccably balanced wines have been made, both red and white.
The 2016 Reds
This is not a vintage where high heat in the summer produced powerful, rich wines, but one where vineyard origins show precisely, thanks to the long growing season. A combination of focussed vineyard tending, careful winemaking and – in many cases – small yields has produced reds which have superb fruit intensity, with excellent balance between acidity, tannins, and fruit concentration. Many may be enjoyed while youthful, and there are also great wines for the medium and long term.
The 2016 Whites
2016 is back to a more classic style for Burgundy whites, following on from the richer, more luscious 2015s. Our tastings in Chablis revealed wines with precision, poise, beautiful flavour intensity and freshness. Vineyard site is transparent in these wines, and this is a key feature as one moves further south through the Côte d’Or and into the Côte Chalonnaise. Consistently, the wines have lovely concentration, liveliness and energy. The only issue is one of stocks as so many of our growers harvested considerably less than in a ‘normal’ year.
The Market, and Availabilities
Everyone had been hopeful of a plentiful harvest in 2016, to compensate for recent years when hail damage, or other adverse weather conditions, reduced the size of crops. The April frost put paid to these hopes. Inevitably, this offer is sprinkled with mentions of frost damage reducing allocations from several of our classic Domaines. We have good news, however…
New talents are emerging in Burgundy, as generations hand over. Our buying team, like truffle hounds, has been exploring for new sources, securing new supplies. Last year, we introduced the wines of Thibaud Clerget (Volnay) for the first time ever, at our January tasting. We subsequently launched the wines of Domaine Chapelle de Blagny (Meursault) in autumn 2017. This year we have no less than three additional names: Domaines Thierry Violot-Guillemard (Pommard) and Henri Magnien (Gevrey-Chambertin) are both brand new to the UK market, and Maison Laroze de Drouhin is the negociant arm of our friends at Domaine Drouhin Laroze. We urge you to look carefully at these thrilling, new listings –as well as our regulars and classics, who will not disappoint.
Buying Wine In Bond / Delivery
Prices in this offer are quoted per case as indicated, in bond UK. Once shipped to the UK they will incur duty and VAT (at the prevailing rate) upon release from bonded warehouse. Any wines not delivered by our own delivery vehicles will be subject to a carriage charge. We are able to arrange under bond transfers of all the wines in this offer. For transfers into Octavian accounts there is no charge, however a charge will be incurred for transfers to accounts held at other bonded warehouses.