Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Burgundy 2015 - It Begins with Maillard...

If you have heard a bit about Burgundy in 2015, you may be surprised that I've been mum on the subject. Time to break the silence...give me a few minutes of your time.

Ted (our beer manager) and I traveled to Burgundy this February where we tasted bottled 2014 wines and 2015 wines in barrel. There is no denying the "sexiness" of the 2015 vintage. After sampling nearly 200 wines, I'm left with the impression of a hypothetical blend of 2009 and 2010. In that I mean, it has the supple juiciness of 09 but with a little more of the structure in 2010. In short, the wines were excellent, very easy to drink and will commercially be a home run. So why have I not spoken a word about them til now?

Because the 2014 wines are gorgeous! They are supple, lacy wines with great purity. They deserve attention and I loved A LOT of the wines. Loved. So in my opinion, it doesn't do them justice to start lauding another vintage that hasn't even been bottled yet. And honestly, a wine isn't fully complete until the cork goes in. Now, since we returned from France, you may or may not have heard of the catastrophe of the weather in 2016 so far in Burgundy. Believe me, the struggle is real my friends.

Most producers all over Burgundy were hit by hails storms, some multiple times. Best estimates are that the losses will be in the 50-60% range, with some saying they lost nearly everything. What do you think will happen to the prices of the superb 2015 wines now? You guessed it. Skyrockets in flight.

So my recommendation for those of you who love Burgundy like I do is to buy as much delicious 2014's as you can. Those wines are now available or if they are en route, the price is already set. They will be excellent steals for the quality. Or find wines like the one below in 2015 that DESTROY for value. And I do mean destroy... This wine was also priced and en route before the hail storms making it amazing for the tariff. So if you want a glimpse of what the 2015 vintage looks like, here is proof positive of the loveliness...

Domaine Maillard Bourgogne Rouge 2015

Pascal Maillard, one of our favorite winemakers in the Cotes de Beaune, tends to his vineyards with the precision and focus of a marksman. Honestly, he's got the chops of a musical wizard of the highest magnitude; think of him as the Jimi Hendrix of Burgundy, playfully pouring his soul into his wines. And while Bourgogne Rouge can technically come from anywhere in the whole of the appellation, the grapes for this classy, elegant Pinot Noir come from Maillards' vineyards located around the villages of Ladoix and Chorey in the Cotes de Beaune. The 2015 is sexy as hell with plenty of black cherry tones with a mouthwatering, juicy character followed by subtle floral hints, rose petals and a hint of raspberry as well. A touch more weight than previous vintages, there are still subtle little tannins that frame the wine and will encourage a bit of cellaring short term. An amazing Bourgogne that would give just about any village level wine a run for its money.

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