Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1970

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. We hope you enjoy :)

1970 was a year in Burgundy where the wines found themselves being almost overwhelmingly average (which some would say is worse than it going one way or another from there) in reds, and quite poor for whites, every label produced is well past its drinking, and even the best seemed to be shadows of better years.

A cold wet spring led into a sub-par but improved summer with a cold snap in the first week of August, but the temperature picked up again in September, carrying on into October. Red grapes were plump, lacking acidity, and in plentiful in volume. The Chardonnay however did not respond well to the seasons conditions and, on the whole, were lacking in both body and vital acidity.

Overall, Volnay, Chambolle Musigny, and Meursault had the best to offer, with DRC 'La Tache', Drouhin Laroze Chambolle, Clos De La Pousse D’or and Domaine De La Pousse D’or being the ones to beat.

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.

 

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Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1998

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. We hope you enjoy :)

1998 began well enough in Burgundy, the weather was warm and dry, with just enough sun. An above average heat in August was offset by heavy rains in early-to-mid September. The rest of the month had a return to good weather, but the rain had caused patchy harvests, with mildew and Odium outbreaks forcing a very strict selection process. The one unifying quality was a substantial decrease in acidity, leaving many wines fat and quite concentrated.

Overall, the patchy harvest led to patchy quality across Burgundy, with the most concentrated offerings having the best agability. Pinot Noir found its best in Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, while the Chardonnay harvest (which suffered the most, having the lack of acidity adversely affecting structure) had its finest in Chassagne Montrachet and Chablis.

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.

 

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Happy New Years from French Corner Cellars!!

Ok, it is official, 2020 is over…finally. One of the longest years in memory for a variety of reasons, one thing is constant however, we all need a good drink (or several) to see the year out.

 

With this in mind, we have selected our top 10 favorite wine types, all with styles that can serve as cocktail wines, or served with food. To be enjoyed while making sure that after twenty or so years, 2020 will indeed end.

 

  1. Grenache (serving temp 58°).

                The most planted grape variety on the planet. The spectrum of styles is truly impressive, and finding a combination of labels to carry you before, during, and after a New Year’s meal - and subsequent party, is always a fun experience!

  1. Aglianico (serving temp 60°).

                A geekier option. A label from Taurasi is great with a big meal, and cocktail wines can be found all over Basilicata (and hopefully in your local wine store).

  1. Rhone Blends (serving temp 58°).

                Every winemaking country has its own version of a blended wine using some combination of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan. Find a label that has higher tannins and acidity, and some good age for a big meal. And after the food, look for something from a warmer climate, using younger grapes for a more fruit forward offering.

  1. Port (serving temp 58°).

                For those who want to slowly make their way through the party, in one of the most classically hedonistic ways possible. Put on a light chill, sip slowly, and perhaps snack on some Stilton.

  1. Chardonnay (serving temp 49°).

                One of the most, if not THE broadest spectrum of style in all the wine world. Having lobster? Go with a buttery new-world. Fish or chicken? Go with a white burgundy. There is a chardonnay for every occasion, so buy several types and have at it!

  1. Riesling (serving temp 46°).

                Sweet or dry, this is a favorite for many wine drinkers. Find one with a bright acidity and go forth into the party.

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon (serving temp 63°).

                One of the most popular grape varieties on the planet. Find a well-aged bottle for a heavier dinner, then find a younger bottle to carry you throughout the evening. Watch that high alcohol content however, that can sneak up on you.

  1. Pinot Noir (serving temp 57°).

                A dry, old-world Pinot Noir pairs with just about anything people will put in front of you. Afterwards a Fruit forward, but not too heavy new-world Pinot can carry you through the rest of the evening. Enjoyable on its own, but (hopefully) with enough acidity to keep up with whatever is being served for snacking.

  1. Sparkling wines (serving temp 42°).

                The classic choice for New Year’s Eve. Bubbly, fun, and energizing. And the bubbles serve the other purpose of keeping your sipping slow, helping to ensure you make it to the ball drop.

  1. Whatever floats your boat.

                This may come off as a cop-out, but in reality, people will drink whatever wine they like for celebration. And while some may scoff at another’s choice of wine, they are not the ones consuming it, and after a year like this, enjoy what you enjoy.

 

If you are reading this and still have not selected your wines for the occasion, we hope that this has helped make your decision a wee bit easier. We also hope that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday 😊

See you next year (yeah, we said it).

 

Happy Holidays 2020 from French Corner Cellars!

December 23, 2020 by French Corner Cellars

Well, we here at French Corner Cellars think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year that has gone by super-quick, and plodded along like a snail working it way through molasses - all at once. And here we have landed, presents (hopefully?) bought and wrapped, meals planned, and video conferencing with family and friends set up, with special preparations for that one relative that hasn’t booted up their Gateway computer since 2011 (no, Uncle Frank, you cannot use you AOL Instant Messenger).

 

With everything having gone in what only be described as ‘the most 2020 way possible’, French Corner Cellars and the US representation of the Avintage brand has weathered the past few months with determination, tenacity, and most importantly, the continued support of its supplier and loyal clientele, for without them, we would have fared far less well in the market, and so we thank you. We are eternally grateful for the ongoing opportunity to serve this great nation’s communities near and far.

 

We wish you all the happiest of holidays, and hope for your success and well-being going into 2021. And we would say don’t drink too much wine, but it’s still 2020, so have at it!

 

~ The team at French Corner Cellars and Avintage

 

Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1968

December 18, 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!

1968 – not a very good year in Burgundy, in fact, the vintage never really stood a chance. Right off the bat the spring had late flowering following cold, wet conditions. A ray of hope appeared with a warm and very sunny July, but that was dashed with August having multiple bad storms, with conditions worsening through September, an unenthusiastic late harvest came in October. A poor crop of flimsy, highly acidic grapes was the end result.

This is the section that we reserve for the best Burgundian producers of the year, outside of the usual powerhouse wineries such as DRC and the like, managing to squeak out short lived but passable offerings, nothing notable comes to mind – and certainly nothing worth seeking out now.

Drinking a fine wine from Burgundy is always something special, so 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.

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Happy International Cabernet Franc Day 2020!!

December 10, 2020 by French Corner Cellars

Happy International Cabernet Franc Day to all you wine lover’s out there! And yes, we know its a few days late, we're just call '2020' and move on :)

It’s always fun to pop open a wine made from this heavily planted grape variety - it has gotten a massive amount of recognition over the past few years, but it is still unknown to a surprising amount of people. Let’s take a short look at what makes this wonderful grape variety so very special.

Cab Franc is said to have it first notable appearance in the 1600’s, where cuttings brought by Cardinal Richelieu, and soon established in Bordeaux’s Libournais region. By the 18th century, its plantings were peppered around the right bank of Bordeaux, near areas such as St. Emilion, Pomorol, Cotes de Bourg, and Fronsac. In the Loire Valley – where it is locally known as Breton (named after an abbot from the Abbey of Bourgueil)- it is the grape of Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur-Champigny, and Touraine.

Cabernet Franc is famous for wine geeks as being one of the parent grapes to not one, but TWO of the most popular red grapes on the planet. About a hundred years or so after Cabernet Franc came onto the scene, a chance field crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc gave the world Cabernet Sauvignon, a short time after, Cabernet Franc was crossed with Magdeleine Noire des Charentes to create the Merlot grape. Both of which have surpassed their parent variety in terms of popularity, and number of hectares planted worldwide throughout the decades.

While its offspring have gained mass appeal over the years, Cabernet Franc is not without its own accomplishments. Being a cool-climate varietal, it has the ability to be grown all across the globe, having significant acreage in Italy, New Zealand, China, Argentina, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Labels such as Napa's Palazzo Cabernet Franc, Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny Le Bourg of French infamy, Tuscany's Antinori Guado al Tasso Matarocchio, Zorzal Piantao Cabernet Franc from Argentina, and even Virginia’s own Barboursville Cabernet Franc have made the grape a particular favorite of winemakers everywhere.

A lighter grape than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Cabernet Franc should be served around 60°F, preferably in an Avintage DIVA wine refrigeration cabinet. If you’re worried about price, never fear, you can find some real knockouts for under $20 from anywhere in the world! So, go out and see what you come across, you’ll be glad you did!

 

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Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1985

December 03, 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. We hope you enjoy :)

 

After several bad vintages  - some of which were covered here - 1985 was a return to better conditions. An exceptionally cold winter had surprisingly little effect on the vines, and while the spring was more cold than usual, the only occurrence was a late budding. The summer was a bit warm, but still chilly for the time of year. Late summer into fall however saw some delightful sunny and warm weather, with very little rain. A notable exception was Aloxe-Corton, with was battered by hail in mid-august.

The result was a small yield overall, with the dry conditions deterring mold and rot. The most well made red wines are voluptuous and fruit-forward, with some still having their peak. The best whites are mostly well and past their prime, with a few exceptions of course.

The wines of Marsannay & Santenay are still showing especially well in certain producers. Also make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Marquis d’Angerville, Robert Ampeau, Denis Bachelet, Gaston Barthod-Noellat, Dujac, Faiveley, Jean Gros, Jadot, Michel Lafarge, Dr Georges Mugneret, J.F. Mugnier, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Georges Roumier, Armand Rousseau, Roland Trapet, Bonneau du Martray, Carillon, Drouhin, Jacques Gagnard-Delagrange, Jadot, François Jobard, Lafon, Latour, Leflaive, Leroy, Matrot, Pierre Morey, Ramonet, Roulot, and Sauzet.

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.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving from Avintage & French Corner Cellars!

November 25, 2020 by French Corner Cellars

Happy Thanksgiving to all the wine lovers out there!

It has been, and continues to be an odd year for...well, pretty much everything. And while we adjust to scaling back or removing completely the big events with friends and family, there are still those things that remain steadfast and unshakable in our lives...

Like how delicious wines are with Thanksgiving dinner.

With that in mind, we have selected our top 10 wines to have with your thanksgiving dinner, whether its one per course, or one for the entire meal. We are quite sure that you will discover options you didn't know existed.

Dry Riesling:

A wonderful marriage of mouthwatering acidity, ripe fruit, and minerality. Look for something from a cool climate, classic examples are Germany or Alsace, but there are so many other to seek out, so have fun!

Not sure if it's dry? A good rule of thumb for most wines is to stay above 12% alcohol - sometimes residual sugar creeps it's way in, but what can you do?

White Moschofilero:

A very overlooked red grape from Greece. Removing the skins before pressing can yield a wine that's damn-near crystal clear, but packed with personality. Citrus, floral, melon, and herbal notes are to be expected. Tough to find sometimes, but well-worth the effort!

Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet):

The grape of Muscadet in the Loire Valley. Known for being lean, racy, minerally, and fantastically delicious. They have really started to hit the shelves on the reg in most areas, so finding one has become much easier - they even produce them in the states now!

Dry Rose:

One of our favorites for a start-to-finish wine for the table. The acidity of a great white wine, with a flavor profile that can encompass both red and white wines! Versatile and relatively inexpensive, look for cool climate for less fruit, warmer climates for more - as in most wines.

Pinot Noir:

A well known option for many. But there are still those who haven't had this particular epiphany yet. The grape of Burgundy, a light red (when it's 100%), that gets heavier when out of California, not only because of the warmer climate, but also it can be blended with up to 25% of other varieties, such as merlot, malbec, cab, syrah, petit sirah, petit verdot, etc..

Tempranillo:

Spain's most famous wine, and the main grape of Rioja. A more svaory wine, with hints of leather, tobacco, and tea leaf. Perfect for a table that has a wide variety of meats and cheeses.

Barbera:

Known as 'the people's wine' in it's home country of Italy. Grown in the northern regions in a cool climate, while having an inky, dark appearance, these wines have great acidity, low tannins, and balanced notes of blackberries

NOTE: if you are looking for something more soft and easygoing on the bank account, get a Dolcetto, you'll thank us later.

Nebbiolo:

Grown in the same regions as Barbera, Nebbiolo is the favorite from Barolo and Barbaresco in Nothern Italy. These wines are known for their sheer power of acidity, massive tannins, and high quality (a high price as well). If you have fatty meats and a plethora of cheeses, this is one to keep on your radar.

Gamay:

A grape of burgundy, more specifically the southern region of Beaujolais. Beaujolais Neuveau as a tradition for this time of year - is fruity and sweeter, to be drank immediately (unless otherwise stated for a higher quality). The other offerings are far more serious, much more structured, and go beautifully with a Thanksgiving dinner.

Grenache:

The most planted grape variety on earth. Grown in countless regions, there is a grenache for every occasion! The capacity for different levels of fruit, tannin, and tertiary notes leave much choice for experimentation!

And while this is a good list (we think), there are so many other options to go with, so do a bit of research, and go out and see what you can find.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

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Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 2002

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. We hope you enjoy :)

The 2002 season is a much-loved vintage in Burgundy. The wines are pure and rich in reds, and soft and round in whites, with age-worthiness of 10+ years.

The spring started off well with early budding that a cool snap in May repressed a bit. The late spring into the early fall saw warm and dry weather, this soon turned into a concerning drought for the growers. Early September experienced some much-needed rain, then back into fine weather. Harvest began between the 15th and 16th of the month.

Yields were high, and wines produced were low in acidity, but high in fruit. While this shortens the potential for aging, the immediate pleasure is wonderful. A handful of producers had the foresight to green harvest to retain acidity, thus producing a more classic Burgundy, with higher age potential.

While all regions this year produced fine wines, the best areas to shop in are Beaujolais, Côte de Nuits, Côte Chalonnaise, and Côte de Beaune. A list of all producers with fantastic wines would be massive, so here is about 1/3 of them: Dom. Aucoeur, Morgon; Château de Bellevue, Morgon (Jadot); Patrick Bouland, Morgon; André Collange, Fleurie; Thierry Descombes, Juliénas; Dom. Desperrier, Moulin à Vent; Bernard Douzel, Morgon; Jean Foillard, Morgon; Dom. Franchet, Côte de Brouilly; Château des Jacques, Moulin à Vent (Jadot); Château de Juliénas/MM Condemine; Hubert Lapierre, Chenas and Moulin à Vent; Dom. de la Madone, Fleurie; Jean-Pierre Margerand, Château de Moulin à Vent; Juliénas; Michel Tête, René Bourgeon; Luc Brintet; Faiveley; Jacquesson; Joblot; Michel Juillot; Bruno Lorenzon; François Lumpp; Rodet, François Racquillet; Clos Salomon, Lucien Muzard; René Lequin-Colin; Jean-Marc Pavelot; Aleth Le Royer-Girardin; Plus the selections of Bouchard Père & Fils; Chanson, Vincent Girardin; Jadot, Nicolas Potel, Claude Dugat; Bernard Dugat-Py; René Engel; Faiveley; Fourrier; Gouges; Jean Grivot; Robert Groffier, Anne Gros; Michel Gros; Gros Frère & Soeur; Alain Hudelot-Noëllat; Clos des Lambrays; Liger-Belair; Hubert Lignier; Méo-Camuzet; Alain Michelot; Dr. Georges Mugneret; J.F. Mugnier; Dom. 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.

 

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Vintages in Burgundy – The Good, The Bad, & Who Made the Best Wines: 1982

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. We hope you enjoy :)

Grape growing and the subsequent wine production can be a finicky thing, you need enough warmth to ripen the grapes enough, and enough cool, damp weather to retain the grapes natural acidity.

In Burgundy, 1982 the weather was near perfect from start to finish. A beautiful, warm spring led into a perfectly warm summer, with just enough rain in August. Harvesting took place early in the once again warm September. The result was a massive yield, with wines that were (are) made for more immediate gratification. The downside? The lack of substantial rain and cold snaps left the wines produced lacking in the acidity that gives burgundy is classic character, and age-abilty.

With the exception of the highest quality producers, most of 1982's offerings are tired, flat, and racing towards their end.

With that in mind, when/if you come across an '82 from Burgundy, keep your eye out for Marquis d’Angerville, Robert Ampeau, Gaston Barthod-Noellat, Alain Burguet, Drouhin, Dujac, Grivot, Jean Gros, Alain Hudelot-Noellat, Jadot, Michel Lafarge, Hubert de Montille, Pousse d’Or, 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.

 

 

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