Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1980

September 11, 2020 by French Corner Cellars

Everyone talks about the vintages that produced the finest wines, and why wouldn’t they? Delicious and quite often worthy of deep-time in a cellar, they are the wines enjoyed and spoken of throughout the decades. Then there are the forgotten years, the vintages that saw terrible weather at the worst times, whose wines were all but written off as times passed. The worst years can still produce fantastic wines, when produced by houses that understand how to deal with what their dealt, and come out shining regardless of the conditions.

This series will be dealing with the vintages in Burgundy of fame, infamy, and everything in between - with the best regions/producers for that year. Enjoy!

In past articles we have come across vintages that were so terrible they had been labeled ‘catastrophic’ for those unfortunate enough to have tasted the season’s offerings. 1980 was SO close to being one of those years, but with a stroke of luck, the season wasn’t a complete loss.

Spring was unusually rough this year, overly cold, and very damp, the growth of the grapes was slowed considerably (flowering took forever, and in some places didn’t happen at all). And to the chagrin of the growers and winemakers, the summer saw zero improvement, compiling problems even further with a large amount of rot taking place. But at last the late summer into fall saw conditions that were abnormally warm and unusually perfect, some patchy rain came around harvest, but with very little effect.

The Côte de Nuits fared best, better than in the Côte de Beaune (interestingly enough the opposite was true in ’79). Vosne-Romanée amongst a few other area produced red wines that are still drinkable and delicious (the whites did not fare as well unfortunately), the producers to keep an eye out for are Dujac, Faiveley, Jean Gros, Alain Hudelot-Noellat, Henri Jayer, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Georges Roumier, and Armand Rousseau.

Drinking a fine wine from Burgundy is always something special, make sure you are drinking them at the proper temperature. For whites, 52° is best, with reds rising up a few digits at 56°, and as always, don’t forget the Avintage DIVA line of wine refrigeration cabinets for all your wine storage needs. For more information, visit us at www.frenchcornercellars.com, or call at +1 (833) 839-4637.