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Red and White Burgundy 2022

Beautiful, sensual wines of high quality

Red and White Burgundy 2022

2022 produced beautiful wines of high quality. Despite the very warm weather, both reds and whites have Burgundian typicity and have achieved ripeness around average alcohols of 13% and the normal register of aromas.

There is excellent terroir demarcation: everything is good hierarchically, from Bourgognes to grands crus, and geographically, from north to south. You can’t go wrong.

Order by midday, Tuesday 19th March, 2024

For a more detailed description of the vintage, see below.

Domaine Desvignes

Côte Chalonnaise: Domaine Desvignes

The domaine can trace its history back to 1870. Son Gautier joined his father in 2016 having worked in Oregon, and he has upped the quality here.

Mixed cases

Mixed cases

Two mixed cases which offer value and variety.

Vintage overview

One of the best recent white Burgundy vintages

The whites are ripe and well proportioned, showing similarities with the excellent 2020 vintage, but are perhaps even better balanced. Aromas are floral and fruity, and flavours are in the classic range between apples and peaches with no overripe notes. Healthy grapes have resulted in great purity. It is ripe but less rich than the wines from vintages such as 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Puligny was perhaps a high spot, with more floral aromas than in other recent vintages. At Sauzet, I tasted Puligny-Montrachet Combettes 2020 immediately after the 2022, and the same at Henri Boillot I compared Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchère 2020 and 2022. In each case I preferred the 2022s. They seemed fresher, more elegant and finer. Analytically, 2020s have more acidity but they taste marginally riper. Chablis is no longer as acidic as it used to be but still has an attractive, distinctive minerality that sets it apart.

Red Burgundy: a very good vintage with some great wines

I have struggled to decide if this is a very good or a great red wine vintage. In the end I have erred on the side of caution and concluded that it is a very good vintage with some great wines. It may not have the concentration, acidity and structure of a very great long-lived vintage but it has an impressive typicity, aromatic intensity and complexity, lovely sweet tannins and a harmonious balance of ripeness and freshness.

Indeed, I have not tasted a Burgundy vintage from barrel with such seductive red wines. Even in the lesser wines there are intense aromas of red and black fruit, sweet tannins that glide over the palate and an attractive ripeness while remaining fresh.

In the top wines there is often a spellbinding aromatic complexity which combines floral notes, sometimes of roses, as well as red, blue and black fruit, and sometimes in the same wine. The quality of the tannins is remarkable: they are sweet, ripe and range between silky and velvety. One is captivated by the mystery of how such aromas and flavours magically come from wines with lightish colours with a fine-boned structure and medium body. Its great virtue is its intensity of flavour not its out-and-out power.

Another positive attribute is that all appellations have performed well and conform to what one expects of them. There are successful Bourgognes all the way through to grands crus. The more delicate communes like Volnay and Chambolle have greater freshness and energy than in recent warm years, while the appellations with more structure like Pommard, Corton, Nuits and Bonnes Mares have also fared well with lovely, sweet tannins. Savignys, from a cool valley, are lovely too.

The weather, and how to manage it

It remains a mystery how such a warm and dry year, the second-warmest summer after 2003, has produced wines which seem to come from a much cooler year given their fresh flavours and normal alcohols of about 13%. Some mitigation came in the way of substantial rain in June, often over 100mm, and a sprinkling of rain in August, which helped avoid water stress. A good-sized, but not excessive, crop put a brake on maturity. Anecdotally, nights were fresh.

Producers are reacting to warm conditions, harvesting earlier and some only in the mornings, others have cool rooms. Healthy grapes simplify vinification. Whole-bunch fermentation in red wines lends freshness. Extraction is moderated. There is a move to shorter maturation time and/or bigger barrels to conserve freshness. Viticulturally, soils are better looked after. Excess potassium from fertiliser, which remained in the soil and reduced acidity in the grapes, has slowly declined to nothing. Experimental vine-training systems such as tressage are promising.

Buyer for Burgundy
Toby Morrhall Buyer for Burgundy
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