The end of the festive period marks the beginning of Burgundy en primeur, over the coming weeks we will be offering carefully selected wines from the heralded 2014 vintage. The start of the campaign coincides with the release of the comprehensive tasting notes and scores of the most powerful magazine in wine, The Wine Advocate. Neal Martin describes the vintage as one of ‘…great promise and also countless surprises. One thing that is for certain – I am going to look forward to seeing their evolution over many years.’
The growing season in 2014 was favourable for the vignerons in comparison to the hardships of 2012 and 2013. A very mild winter led to a warm spring with temperatures comfortably exceeding average. The clement weather resulted in bud break in April and the vines developed ahead of schedule. In 2014, the scourge of Burgundian winemakers, hail struck again. As detailed in our 2013 report, many areas of Burgundy including Beaune have suffered terribly with hail over recent years, in some extreme cases producers have lost their entire crop. In 2014, the hail was localised with Beaune, Pommard, Volnay and Corton affected. After the hail storms, the sun stubbornly refused to emerge throughout August. However, September provided the much needed sunny and dry weather which allowed rapid vine development, a successful harvest and a selection of truly special wines.
Production in 2014 was thankfully higher than 2012 and 2013 although it remains well below average. 2014 is a very good vintage for Pinot Noir and a great vintage for Chardonnay, with some producers from the Cote de Beaune commenting that it may be the best in their careers. The top white wines demonstrate terrific intensity of fruit with commanding acidity, both Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet lead the way with a range of remarkable wines. The reds in 2014 are best summed up as delightful, their fruit forward style lends itself to early drinking, however, the presence of very respectable levels of well integrated acidity and alcohol means the top vineyard sites are built to last. Both Gevrey Chambertin and Vosne Romanee offer an array of world class wines as does Corton although production was severely affected by hail.
2014 is without a doubt a vintage to purchase on release, its quality, in particular the whites, is very good generally and exceptional in some cases. While production has increased slightly in many villages, there remains very little for a growing global market. IG Wines will offer our picks of the vintage over the coming weeks and please do not hesitate to contact us if there are specific producers or vineyards you wish to purchase.