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!
Much of 2012 looked about as bad as possible – in fact, the word catastrophic has been used to describe much of the season. It started off sub-par – cold, wet, and a bit frosty. Rain continued much longer than needed, causing difficulty with flowering. A goodly amount of hail followed, as did more miserable weather, leading to quite a bit of mildew (and of course the constant rain washed away the treatments). All this led to very reduced crops for the year. Much of the year was peppered with rain and hail, any heat that did come along was less then impactful due to most of the leaves having been removed either by hail or growers looking to increase airflow in the mildew-ridden vines.
Towards the end of August, the weather finally turned a corner and vineyards were able to recoup some of their crops, even though some areas such as Côte de Beaune reporting losses up to 75%, harvest ranged from mid-September until almost October.
These small crops covered a large spectrum of quality. Some wines were too concentrated, others washed out and overly ‘delicate’. Tannin extraction seemed to be key to red wines, while timing of when to pick was a deciding factor for the whites. Outside of the usual superstars, not too many domaines are noteworthy, proceed with caution when making a purchase.
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.