2019 Burgundy, Perhaps the Best Vintage Since 1865
Summer 2019 in Burgundy was hot and dry, creating the optimal conditions in the region for “a bumper vintage,” as luxury wine writer Tom Harrow noted in Financial Times. He reported that Bernard Hervert, French winery consultant and Burgundy wine expert, says that the vintage could “perhaps rival 1865, the greatest vintage of all.” That’s 150+ years of Burgundy vintages that have not been as perfect as 2019.
If Hervert is right, this means that unless you have a time machine and traveled to when you could taste an 1865 Burgundy in its prime, this will be the best Burgundy vintage—to date—that you’ll be able to savor.
Harrow and Hervert are not alone in reporting that the 2019 Burgundy is an exceptional vintage. It’s been lauded by many wine critics.
What the Wine Critics Say About 2019 Burgundy
James Suckling senior editor Stuart Pigott reports the 2019 Burgundy Vintage “hit the bullseye” and the vintage has a “rare combination of excellence and great consistency.” He found in the wines—that remind him of those from great vintages like 1985 and 2009—ripe yet precise fruit, elegant tannins, and lively acidity that all came together on the palate. These wines can age but the majority are ready to drink now.
Wine Advocate’s Burgundy expert William Kelley says that in the Cotes d’Or, Burgundy’s most prestigious region, 2019 was a “thrilling year for Pinot Noir, delivering wines bursting with head-turning perfume and fresh, succulent fruit.” He says the wines are “simultaneously serious and immensely charming,” concluding that “2019 is a superb vintage, and these are wines that all Burgundy lovers are going to want to secure for their cellars.”
The accolades keep coming. Decanter declares 2019 is a “hedonistic vintage that will take its place alongside other exceptional recent years in Burgundy.” “The 2019 Pinot Noirs are stunning,” says Wine Spectator. And, Jancis Robinson has a long, but not exhaustive, list of over-performing 2019 Bourgognes.
2019 Burgundy Vintage Conditions
What makes the 2019 Burgundy vintage so perfect? You could say it was its imperfections. Grapes tend to do better when they struggle a bit.
A dry winter created drought conditions, which produced low yields. A warm and sunny summer accompanied by heatwaves in June and July meant ripening took its time, and when August and September cooled down, ripening increased. In the final weeks before harvest, sugars and acids harmoniously concentrated in the grapes and a stellar vintage, perhaps the best one since 1865, was born.
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