Vintage Guide: Burgundy

By Marc Malouf @wineworthwritingabout

Let's not beat around the bush...the wines of Burgundy are damn expensive, but my goodness they can be otherworldy and command some of the greastest wine drinking experiences of all time!

For us winelovers, the passionate hunt for great wine inevitably leads to Burgundy and in-turn the love affair with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blossoms and blooms.

Burgundy is made up of a few distinct regions...

The Côte de Nuits - Known primarily for Pinot Noir made from famous appellations like Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanée

The Côte de Beaune - The home of the world's most prestigious Chardonnays from appellations such as Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet, as well as great reds from Pommard and Volnay.

The Côte Chalonnaise - Located south of the Côte d'Or, this region produces both red and white wines, though it is more renowned for its reds. Notable appellations include Mercurey and Givry.

The Mâconnais - Situated further south from the Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais is known for Chardonnay. Notable appellations include Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran, and Viré-Clessé. This up and coming region is making some exceptional wines!

Chablis - Although technically part of the greater Burgundy region, Chablis is often considered separately due to its unique terroir and wine styles. It is famous for its crisp, mineral-driven Chardonnay produced in the Chablis and Petit Chablis appellations.

For most, finding a great bottle can be a somewhat tricky task, especially with so many appellations and producers to choose from but if you know what to look out for, you'll be drinking like a king and queen in no time!

Vintages make a huge difference to quality. One year can gift the most perfect conditions for the vineyards, resulting in wines of pure perfection, when other vintages can quite literally present mother natures worst and destroy a whole years worth of wine.

If you are on the hunt for some great Burgundy make sure you check our latest guide for the last 50 years of vintages in Burgundy because the last wine you want in your cellar is one from a bad vintage!

Exceptional: Vintages of pure perfection. Everything surpassed expectations and produced exceptional wines often referred to as the Holy Grails. These are the most age-worthy and most sought after. Cellar for 40+ yrs.

1985, 1989, 1995, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2018

Check out these mind blowing wines from Exceptional vintages!

2018 Bader Mimeur Chassagne Montrachet Journoblot

2018 Francois Lumpp Givry 1er Cru Petit Marole Rouge

2018 Pascal Bouchard Grand Cru Chablis Vaudesirs

2018 Domaine Nicolas Faure Aloxe-Corton Rouge

2018 Domaine Prieure Roch 1er Cru Le Clos des Corvées

2018 Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru

2018 Domaine Dujac Morey Saint Denis

2018 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos De La Roche Grand Cru

2015 Mongeard Mugneret Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Les Orveaux

2010 Lucien le Moine Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru

2010 Lucien le Moine Echezeaux Grand Cru

2005 Francois Raveneau Montee de Tonnerre 1er Cru Magnum

Excellent: Text book vintages where things went beautifully. Some minor weather events may have occured, but the resulting wines are of excellent quality and are nipping at the heels of perfection. Cellar for 30-40yrs.

1975, 1978, 1982, 1994, 1999

Very Good: These vintages produced high quality wines during vintages that threw some curveballs. A heat wave, hail, a cold snap or low crops, regardless the wines are wonderful but will reflect the conditions of the vintage. Cellar for 15-30yrs.

1970. 1973, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Good: Sometimes all you can do is pray to the gods that challenging vintages will come through with the goods. The wines from these vintages have shown those prayers were answered and produced high quality wines when the odds were against them. Cellar for 10-15yrs with peace of mind.

1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2017

Poor: This basically means, avoid like the plague. These vintages show some extremes and plenty of variability in terms of quality. The top producers may have pulled off something special, but we wouldn't recommend taking the gamble...

1971, 1972 and 1974

Shop the Best of Burgundy here!