Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1996

May 15, 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, and infamy, with the best producers for that year – enjoy!

1996 –

A near-perfect year, with very high ability to age. Above-average warmth, and overall beautiful weather in June led to a swift flowering, the summer was back-and-forth, with a relatively cool August. Late August and all September was sunny and dry, with cool nights that conserved acidity in the grapes. The outcome - a large crop of extremely healthy grapes, with high sugars, excellent acidity, and deep color. More elegant than the 1995s, but with that elegance comes a less long-lived vintage. Overall, quality proved excellent throughout the region, wines that combine purity of flavor with great ripeness and firm acidity. High degrees in good vineyards made chaptalization unnecessary. Consistency lied more in the Côte de Nuits than the Côte de Beaune, and exceptional in Chablis, giving wines that will be very long-lived.

Unsurprisingly the list of producers that made exceptional wines is quite long, personal favorites include: Marquis d’Angerville, Comte Armand, Robert Arnoux, Denis Bachelet, Ghislaine Barthod, Château de Chorey, Bruno Clair, Yvon Clerget, J.J. Confuron, Claude Dugat, Bernard Dugat-Py, René Engel, Forey Père & Fils, Henri Gouges, Jean Grivot, Bouchard Père & Fils, Drouhin, Vincent Girardin, Jadot, Faiveley, Bonneau du Martray, Carillon, Coche-Dury, Michel Colin-Déléger, Darviot-Perrin, Jean-Noël Gagnard, Comtes Lafon, Pierre Morey, Ramonet, and Guy Roulot.

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, or call at +1 (833) 839-4637.