Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

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JasperMorris
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Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#1 Post by JasperMorris » July 24th, 2020, 10:02 am

I have dropped in on a few vignerons over the last few days. Many are about to take a short break now as the work in the vineyards is finished, the grapes are starting to change colour, and vintage is on the horizon.
A typical view on the Cote de Beaune, eg from Alexandre Bachelet (Bachelet-Monnot) and Dominique Lafon today, is that they are expecting to start around 25th August, but will be ready to go from 20th. Chablis wont be far behind!

Exceptionally healthy vines and grapes, somewhere between a correct crop and a slightly generous one, depending on flowering, and so far no heat spikes. For most of the season there has been enough rainfall, but it feels a bit dry now, though unlikely to be an issue except for young vines in particularly dry spots.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#2 Post by Mark C Johnson » July 24th, 2020, 10:56 am

Thank you for the snapshot Jasper. Potential "Vintage of the Century?" JK
Appreciate your thoughts.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#3 Post by Jerry Hey » July 24th, 2020, 12:06 pm

Thanks, Jasper, for those notes on 2020. And also thanks so much for your insights on both your webcasts and Pallmalls.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#4 Post by Howard Cooper » July 24th, 2020, 12:25 pm

JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 10:02 am
I have dropped in on a few vignerons over the last few days. Many are about to take a short break now as the work in the vineyards is finished, the grapes are starting to change colour, and vintage is on the horizon.
A typical view on the Cote de Beaune, eg from Alexandre Bachelet (Bachelet-Monnot) and Dominique Lafon today, is that they are expecting to start around 25th August, but will be ready to go from 20th. Chablis wont be far behind!

Exceptionally healthy vines and grapes, somewhere between a correct crop and a slightly generous one, depending on flowering, and so far no heat spikes. For most of the season there has been enough rainfall, but it feels a bit dry now, though unlikely to be an issue except for young vines in particularly dry spots.
Thanks. I guess in the DC area right now we are having enough heat spikes for the world. It is estimated right now that we will have around 29 days in July where the temperature is 90 or above, apparently shattering previous records.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#5 Post by JasperMorris » July 24th, 2020, 1:02 pm

ouch! come and live in the vines here instead, Howard!

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#6 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 24th, 2020, 1:52 pm

JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 10:02 am
I have dropped in on a few vignerons over the last few days. Many are about to take a short break now as the work in the vineyards is finished, the grapes are starting to change colour, and vintage is on the horizon.
A typical view on the Cote de Beaune, eg from Alexandre Bachelet (Bachelet-Monnot) and Dominique Lafon today, is that they are expecting to start around 25th August, but will be ready to go from 20th. Chablis wont be far behind!

Exceptionally healthy vines and grapes, somewhere between a correct crop and a slightly generous one, depending on flowering, and so far no heat spikes. For most of the season there has been enough rainfall, but it feels a bit dry now, though unlikely to be an issue except for young vines in particularly dry spots.
Now that this seems to be the new normal, here's hoping for what seems to be a fresher, 2019 kind of hot vintage rather than 2018.

Thank you for the update!
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#7 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 24th, 2020, 8:04 pm

JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 1:02 pm
ouch! come and live in the vines here instead, Howard!
There’s a great idea.

Jasper, do you happen to know when budbreak and bloom occurred? And historically, how typical is it for growers to be picking in August?
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#8 Post by Nick Gangas » July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 1:52 pm
JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 10:02 am
I have dropped in on a few vignerons over the last few days. Many are about to take a short break now as the work in the vineyards is finished, the grapes are starting to change colour, and vintage is on the horizon.
A typical view on the Cote de Beaune, eg from Alexandre Bachelet (Bachelet-Monnot) and Dominique Lafon today, is that they are expecting to start around 25th August, but will be ready to go from 20th. Chablis wont be far behind!

Exceptionally healthy vines and grapes, somewhere between a correct crop and a slightly generous one, depending on flowering, and so far no heat spikes. For most of the season there has been enough rainfall, but it feels a bit dry now, though unlikely to be an issue except for young vines in particularly dry spots.
Now that this seems to be the new normal, here's hoping for what seems to be a fresher, 2019 kind of hot vintage rather than 2018.

Thank you for the update!
8's are bad ?

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#9 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#10 Post by Martin Steinley » July 24th, 2020, 9:14 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm
Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
What is your sample size and from what producers?
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#11 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 24th, 2020, 9:35 pm

Martin Steinley wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:14 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm
Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
What is your sample size and from what producers?
A handful of 2018 whites and Beaujolais as well as journalist/press reports.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#12 Post by A. So » July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm
Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#13 Post by JasperMorris » July 24th, 2020, 10:36 pm

Marcus
budbreak was exceptionally early - and some as yet unpublished research by Claude & Lydia Bourguignon seems to be pointing in the direction that budbreak is getting proportionately much earlier in recent years, more so even than flowering or harvest.
Flowering was early - late May, but a little bit held back and a little bit strung out by cooler windier weather, which was probably a good thing as a huge crop had set at bud break.

August harvests: one per century in the past (1719, 1893, 1976) now fairly regular: 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#14 Post by Gautier Roussille » July 24th, 2020, 10:52 pm

I have figures but not on my cellphone, will try to drop them here later. 2020 had a super early beginning, on par with 2011 (but late season was terrible in 11 so it was never ripe and waited forever to be picked) but the development is steady whereas in 2018 and 2019 we had an early budbreak followed but cool weather/frost which slowed things down then super hot summer which sped things up.
On the finish line the difference won't be huge I believe (around a week earlier for 2020 maybe) but the growing season is (IMHO) perfect so far: cool nights, not overly warm days, open bunches, almost no disease pressure.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#15 Post by Howard Cooper » July 25th, 2020, 4:29 am

JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 1:02 pm
ouch! come and live in the vines here instead, Howard!
None of you guys will let us in!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully, next year. [It really does not matter right now anyway. I am not traveling or even going to restaurants right now.]

However, I must admit that the last time I was in Paris and Burgundy was July 2018. It was brutal there, esp. since Europeans do not believe in air conditioning. It was also brutal there in July 2016, the time I had visited Burgundy before that. So, I don't see France as a place for relief from the summer heat.

Since I am now retired, after my summer trip in 2018 we started traveling more in Europe in the Spring and Fall rather than in July and August.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#16 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 25th, 2020, 6:05 am

A. So wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm
Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
I think it is generally accepted that picking times and viticulture practices to ensure the fruit didn’t get too much sun was the key to making fresh and elegant wines in a year that trended towards concentration.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#17 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2020, 6:50 am

JasperMorris wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 10:36 pm
Marcus
budbreak was exceptionally early - and some as yet unpublished research by Claude & Lydia Bourguignon seems to be pointing in the direction that budbreak is getting proportionately much earlier in recent years, more so even than flowering or harvest.
Flowering was early - late May, but a little bit held back and a little bit strung out by cooler windier weather, which was probably a good thing as a huge crop had set at bud break.

August harvests: one per century in the past (1719, 1893, 1976) now fairly regular: 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020
Thank you, that’s helpful for perspective!
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#18 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2020, 6:54 am

Gautier Roussille wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 10:52 pm
I have figures but not on my cellphone, will try to drop them here later. 2020 had a super early beginning, on par with 2011 (but late season was terrible in 11 so it was never ripe and waited forever to be picked) but the development is steady whereas in 2018 and 2019 we had an early budbreak followed but cool weather/frost which slowed things down then super hot summer which sped things up.
On the finish line the difference won't be huge I believe (around a week earlier for 2020 maybe) but the growing season is (IMHO) perfect so far: cool nights, not overly warm days, open bunches, almost no disease pressure.
Good luck! It’s always great to hear of a really ideal growing season, and I hope the final month maintains that quality. We’re two months out in the Willamette Valley but also have a very good growing season so far.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#19 Post by Greg K » July 25th, 2020, 7:11 am

A. So wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm
Nick Gangas wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

8's are bad ?
Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
It was mine, both in barrel and based on a couple of reds and whites so far.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#20 Post by Jay Miller » July 25th, 2020, 9:40 am

Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 7:11 am
A. So wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm


Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
It was mine, both in barrel and based on a couple of reds and whites so far.
Also what I heard from friends who visited the region to taste.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#21 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2020, 10:09 am

Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 7:11 am
A. So wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 8:40 pm


Not bad, good producers still make good wines of course, but it was a dry and hot year and the wines have seemed to trend higher in alcohol and lower in acidities.
That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
It was mine, both in barrel and based on a couple of reds and whites so far.
I would guess that there is a break in the perceptions of Burgundy drinkers based upon when they began drinking the wines from the region. A YMMV factor.

Long term Burgundy drinkers, or even newer ones with significant experience drinking wines from the previous century would be more accustomed to higher acids and lower alcohols than someone who began drinking the wines post 2001 vintage. My formative vintages were late-80s into the 90s. Capped by 1996 heralded as a truly great vintage,which may have been overplayed at the time.

As Jasper noted, early(August) harvests were 1 in 100, prior to 2000. 4 of 6 in the most recent vintages and 7 of 20 beginning in 2001. And that doesn’t include 2002, 2005, 2006, or 2009. All vintages that were either optimal or warmer as well.

For me, most vintages since 2001 seem to have considerably more fruit available early in the wines life than I remember from early on in my Burgundy experience, with 1990 a possible exception. Even the charming early on 1999 vintage lacked the weight I see in many of the younger Burgundies I drink these days.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#22 Post by Greg K » July 25th, 2020, 11:17 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 10:09 am
Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 7:11 am
A. So wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 9:43 pm


That was not my impression of 2018 at all.
It was mine, both in barrel and based on a couple of reds and whites so far.
I would guess that there is a break in the perceptions of Burgundy drinkers based upon when they began drinking the wines from the region. A YMMV factor.

Long term Burgundy drinkers, or even newer ones with significant experience drinking wines from the previous century would be more accustomed to higher acids and lower alcohols than someone who began drinking the wines post 2001 vintage. My formative vintages were late-80s into the 90s. Capped by 1996 heralded as a truly great vintage,which may have been overplayed at the time.

As Jasper noted, early(August) harvests were 1 in 100, prior to 2000. 4 of 6 in the most recent vintages and 7 of 20 beginning in 2001. And that doesn’t include 2002, 2005, 2006, or 2009. All vintages that were either optimal or warmer as well.

For me, most vintages since 2001 seem to have considerably more fruit available early in the wines life than I remember from early on in my Burgundy experience, with 1990 a possible exception. Even the charming early on 1999 vintage lacked the weight I see in many of the younger Burgundies I drink these days.
Oh, it's certainly subjective. I'm just some random chump on the internet!

There are certain people who love 2018s and they're not wrong - I just think we differ stylistically. Some of the 2018 Cote de Nuits wines I tasted were the most open barrel samples of Burgundy I've ever had, and I had one producer compare the vintage to 2003. I certainly haven't been drinking Burgundy as long as you have Marcus, so your perspective will be different, but I started drinking seriously more around 2007/2008. That said, I definitely fall on the higher acid/lower alcohol/less oak side of the spectrum, so for me the 18s were pretty hot. I opened a bottle of 2018 1er from a producer I typically buy over a case every year and I though it was some of the better California Pinot I've had in a while.

I don't mean to suggest all 2018s will be hot overripe 2003s - I think winemakers are far more prepared today to deal with the challenges of warmer weather and other adverse conditions than they were in 2003 (certainly most producers are picking early). However, as much as I like the story of Burgundy, I'm also a consumer and don't have cellar door allocations - I'm a retail consumer. And for me, other than a few producers I'm very confident can handle the heat, 2018 is a pass. That's the great thing about wine - there's always next year.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#23 Post by JasperMorris » July 25th, 2020, 1:01 pm

Interesting post Greg
I am probably a little bit more upbeat on 2018 than you, while definitely finding that it didn't work for some - perhaps even many (though at this stage I am more in the 'some' camp).
But here's a nuance. You said "And for me, other than a few producers I'm very confident can handle the heat, 2018 is a pass." I am not sure how to determine who can handle the heat and who cannot. But certainly it did work for some and less for others, so the nuance for me is to find those for whom the heat of 2018 is proving not to be an issue. Amongst that group, some will have had more difficulty in 2019.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#24 Post by Greg K » July 25th, 2020, 1:44 pm

JasperMorris wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 1:01 pm
Interesting post Greg
I am probably a little bit more upbeat on 2018 than you, while definitely finding that it didn't work for some - perhaps even many (though at this stage I am more in the 'some' camp).
But here's a nuance. You said "And for me, other than a few producers I'm very confident can handle the heat, 2018 is a pass." I am not sure how to determine who can handle the heat and who cannot. But certainly it did work for some and less for others, so the nuance for me is to find those for whom the heat of 2018 is proving not to be an issue. Amongst that group, some will have had more difficulty in 2019.
Jasper, obviously you taste far more widely than I do, so I'm sure you have a better view on the vintage. [cheers.gif] (I don't really need to write that for people to know it, lol :))

There are some producers on which I'll read notes from reviewers (not so much for points but for style guidance), some producers whose wines I hope to taste before buying, but mostly I will just have to take a view regarding styles and how I think they would adapt to a hotter vintage (i.e., if they tend to favor more extraction already, I'm not sure that will favor 2018). I could be absolutely wrong, of course, and miss out on some wonderful wines - I just had a terrific 2011, which shows that talented winemakers make great wines in tough vintages. But I would rather miss out than have wines in my cellar that I don't want to drink, and I think in 2018 that risk is higher than usual. (Not unlike 2011 - there are some excellent wines, but I wouldn't be thrilled with a cellar full of 2011s either.) If Burgundy were cheaper, I'd probably have a different view, but there's a lot of month left at the end of the money sometimes. :)

I will also add, as many already have - thank you for your impressions on the vintage - and I've been enjoying your rundown of the various parts of Burgundy on YouTube very much.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#25 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2020, 4:59 pm

Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 10:09 am
Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 7:11 am


It was mine, both in barrel and based on a couple of reds and whites so far.
I would guess that there is a break in the perceptions of Burgundy drinkers based upon when they began drinking the wines from the region. A YMMV factor.

Long term Burgundy drinkers, or even newer ones with significant experience drinking wines from the previous century would be more accustomed to higher acids and lower alcohols than someone who began drinking the wines post 2001 vintage. My formative vintages were late-80s into the 90s. Capped by 1996 heralded as a truly great vintage,which may have been overplayed at the time.

As Jasper noted, early(August) harvests were 1 in 100, prior to 2000. 4 of 6 in the most recent vintages and 7 of 20 beginning in 2001. And that doesn’t include 2002, 2005, 2006, or 2009. All vintages that were either optimal or warmer as well.

For me, most vintages since 2001 seem to have considerably more fruit available early in the wines life than I remember from early on in my Burgundy experience, with 1990 a possible exception. Even the charming early on 1999 vintage lacked the weight I see in many of the younger Burgundies I drink these days.
Oh, it's certainly subjective. I'm just some random chump on the internet!

There are certain people who love 2018s and they're not wrong - I just think we differ stylistically. Some of the 2018 Cote de Nuits wines I tasted were the most open barrel samples of Burgundy I've ever had, and I had one producer compare the vintage to 2003. I certainly haven't been drinking Burgundy as long as you have Marcus, so your perspective will be different, but I started drinking seriously more around 2007/2008. That said, I definitely fall on the higher acid/lower alcohol/less oak side of the spectrum, so for me the 18s were pretty hot. I opened a bottle of 2018 1er from a producer I typically buy over a case every year and I though it was some of the better California Pinot I've had in a while.

I don't mean to suggest all 2018s will be hot overripe 2003s - I think winemakers are far more prepared today to deal with the challenges of warmer weather and other adverse conditions than they were in 2003 (certainly most producers are picking early). However, as much as I like the story of Burgundy, I'm also a consumer and don't have cellar door allocations - I'm a retail consumer. And for me, other than a few producers I'm very confident can handle the heat, 2018 is a pass. That's the great thing about wine - there's always next year.
Hi Greg,

Sorry that it didn’t come across this way, but my post was in agreement with you.

My sampling of 2018 Burgundy is not large, but the vintage comes across as being a vintage where making lighter bodied, elegant wines will take work from the viticulturalist and cellar rather than just going with the flow. Which is perhaps a nice way of saying that I am restricting my purchasing to producers that I feel do well in warm vintages.

I used the quotes to get both views, hot and not. And while you may only have been drinking Burgundy since the 2000s, my point is still that things in Burgundy are most definitely warmer these days than last century.

I enjoy your posts quite a bit, and you rarely come across as a chump. Your point about 1er Cru Burgundy tasting like California, jibes with the August picking dates of the vintage.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#26 Post by Howard Cooper » July 26th, 2020, 6:14 am

I don't see myself buying much in the way of 2018 Burgundy at the present time. First, they are frightfully expensive in the US with the tariff and all. Much better value to go back and buy earlier vintages. Second, I usually go to the Paulees in NY in March to taste a vintage widely (and sometimes go to Burgundy). I don't usually go to SF for their turns (2018 will be in SF) and esp. don't see myself going to SF under current circumstances (or even to NYC). Third, with the heat of the vintage (even Jasper said "But certainly it did work for some and less for others, so the nuance for me is to find those for whom the heat of 2018 is proving not to be an issue."), I don't see myself buying much unless I get to taste some someplace. Fourth, I am now 65 and cutting back on Burgundy purchases anyway - at least the more expensive ones that take a long time to mature. These days, with a cellar full of Burgundy, something has to convince me to buy a wine, not to not buy a wine. Less likely give 2.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#27 Post by Vinod S. » July 27th, 2020, 5:50 am

Visiting Beaune next week, and current forecasts are for 100 for 1-2 days, imagine everyone is going to start picking once back from their August holidays.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#28 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 27th, 2020, 6:17 am

Having checked the weather in Dijon a few times over the summer, it seems that at least the temperatures are dropping precipitously at night.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#29 Post by JasperMorris » July 27th, 2020, 7:15 am

It has not been to hot in the daytime, until today, and this week is forecast to be mostly hot, but dropping next week (unless that has changed). If its stays consistently hot that sometimes blocks the ripening.
Nights have indeed remained blessedly cool

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#30 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 27th, 2020, 7:29 am

JasperMorris wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 7:15 am
It has not been to hot in the daytime, until today, and this week is forecast to be mostly hot, but dropping next week (unless that has changed). If its stays consistently hot that sometimes blocks the ripening.
Nights have indeed remained blessedly cool
There is a general feeling in the Willamette Valley that the viness shut down if there are many days with temps higher than 95F. I don’t know if that holds true for irrigated areas like the Columbia Valley. And my personal feeling is that it might be better said that many plants will shut down if temps are much above 95F.

Do you know if the vignerons there feel that there is a correllation between cool nights and acidity in the fruit?
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#31 Post by JasperMorris » July 27th, 2020, 7:41 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 7:29 am


Do you know if the vignerons there feel that there is a correllation between cool nights and acidity in the fruit?
The famed diurnal swing - yes, growers would expect such a connection but would of course also be analysing and tasting the grapes.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#32 Post by Greg K » July 27th, 2020, 9:17 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 4:59 pm
Greg K wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 10:09 am


I would guess that there is a break in the perceptions of Burgundy drinkers based upon when they began drinking the wines from the region. A YMMV factor.

Long term Burgundy drinkers, or even newer ones with significant experience drinking wines from the previous century would be more accustomed to higher acids and lower alcohols than someone who began drinking the wines post 2001 vintage. My formative vintages were late-80s into the 90s. Capped by 1996 heralded as a truly great vintage,which may have been overplayed at the time.

As Jasper noted, early(August) harvests were 1 in 100, prior to 2000. 4 of 6 in the most recent vintages and 7 of 20 beginning in 2001. And that doesn’t include 2002, 2005, 2006, or 2009. All vintages that were either optimal or warmer as well.

For me, most vintages since 2001 seem to have considerably more fruit available early in the wines life than I remember from early on in my Burgundy experience, with 1990 a possible exception. Even the charming early on 1999 vintage lacked the weight I see in many of the younger Burgundies I drink these days.
Oh, it's certainly subjective. I'm just some random chump on the internet!

There are certain people who love 2018s and they're not wrong - I just think we differ stylistically. Some of the 2018 Cote de Nuits wines I tasted were the most open barrel samples of Burgundy I've ever had, and I had one producer compare the vintage to 2003. I certainly haven't been drinking Burgundy as long as you have Marcus, so your perspective will be different, but I started drinking seriously more around 2007/2008. That said, I definitely fall on the higher acid/lower alcohol/less oak side of the spectrum, so for me the 18s were pretty hot. I opened a bottle of 2018 1er from a producer I typically buy over a case every year and I though it was some of the better California Pinot I've had in a while.

I don't mean to suggest all 2018s will be hot overripe 2003s - I think winemakers are far more prepared today to deal with the challenges of warmer weather and other adverse conditions than they were in 2003 (certainly most producers are picking early). However, as much as I like the story of Burgundy, I'm also a consumer and don't have cellar door allocations - I'm a retail consumer. And for me, other than a few producers I'm very confident can handle the heat, 2018 is a pass. That's the great thing about wine - there's always next year.
Hi Greg,

Sorry that it didn’t come across this way, but my post was in agreement with you.

My sampling of 2018 Burgundy is not large, but the vintage comes across as being a vintage where making lighter bodied, elegant wines will take work from the viticulturalist and cellar rather than just going with the flow. Which is perhaps a nice way of saying that I am restricting my purchasing to producers that I feel do well in warm vintages.

I used the quotes to get both views, hot and not. And while you may only have been drinking Burgundy since the 2000s, my point is still that things in Burgundy are most definitely warmer these days than last century.

I enjoy your posts quite a bit, and you rarely come across as a chump. Your point about 1er Cru Burgundy tasting like California, jibes with the August picking dates of the vintage.
Marcus,

I didn't think we were disagreeing! I just tend to caveat my posts when I judge an entire vintage, especially when Jasper and William post on these threads. I tasted at some domaines in barrel, but I'm not a wine critic, just someone with his own palate preferences. For all I know, the wines will all turn out superbly (though I doubt it). It also always slightly worries me to pan an entire vintage when these are winemakers whom I've visited and who need to sell wines to make a living, though I suppose in Burgundy I don't feel too bad about that - I don't think my negative view on a vintage will affect Burgundy sales newhere

I do agree with you, that wines over the past 20 years (I did a fair amount of backfilling when I started out) have gained more heft, though I suspect this is also in part to changing stylistic preferences. The switch at chez Faiveley is a notable sign of this - whereas the old wines were monolithic (a 93 Les St. Georges a friend brought to dinner on Thursday felt much younger than its nearly 30 years), the new wines feel to me made to a California palate - lots of oak and extraction. Other producers like Gouges have recently moved in a very similar direction. I think climate has certainly contributed to this, but I don't think it's the only factor.

I also agree with you about picking dates - I thought even in 15, which was widely hailed as a phenomenal vintage, there were some producers that picked too late and produced wines that reminded me of Syrah. A similar mistake in 2018 will be far more drastic, I think. I haven't broached 18s whites from my favorite producers yet (other than one bottle of Rollin Sous Fretile), but have one on deck and am curious to see how that goes...though I also bought sparingly for whites as well.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#33 Post by Todd F r e n c h » July 27th, 2020, 9:28 am

I'm loving this thread, primarily because I've not heard any negativity about 2018 until just now, and quite a few seem to have a somewhat negative opinion on it. 2020 sounds like it will be much more ideal, and likely not subject to dispute on quality and results.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#34 Post by Greg K » July 27th, 2020, 11:11 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 9:28 am
I'm loving this thread, primarily because I've not heard any negativity about 2018 until just now, and quite a few seem to have a somewhat negative opinion on it. 2020 sounds like it will be much more ideal, and likely not subject to dispute on quality and results.
And that vintage may be tariff free..........*fingers crossed*
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#35 Post by Markus S » July 27th, 2020, 1:38 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 12:25 pm
I guess in the DC area right now we are having enough heat spikes for the world. It is estimated right now that we will have around 29 days in July where the temperature is 90 or above, apparently shattering previous records.
The forefathers choose (the Capitol) well: they envisaged air conditioning.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#36 Post by TimB » July 27th, 2020, 7:34 pm

D199C4C0-B45F-4443-A74C-0B06DD9708D3.png
105 on Friday!
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#37 Post by Sh@n A » July 29th, 2020, 7:34 am

From a vigneron in Gevrey:
"Everything is fine for us, holidays for the moment. Harvest will start around the 27th of august, everything looks good for an other nice vintage!"
/ @ g r @ \

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#38 Post by c fu » July 29th, 2020, 8:15 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 9:28 am
I'm loving this thread, primarily because I've not heard any negativity about 2018 until just now, and quite a few seem to have a somewhat negative opinion on it. 2020 sounds like it will be much more ideal, and likely not subject to dispute on quality and results.
What?!? I’ve been negative about 2018 and you even reminded Carnes yesterday how negative I’ve been!
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#39 Post by Howard Cooper » July 29th, 2020, 2:10 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 9:28 am
I'm loving this thread, primarily because I've not heard any negativity about 2018 until just now, and quite a few seem to have a somewhat negative opinion on it. 2020 sounds like it will be much more ideal, and likely not subject to dispute on quality and results.
Hard to make a judgement on any vintage, either way, in July.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#40 Post by Peter Valiquette » August 1st, 2020, 7:17 pm

It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees in Beaune this week.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#41 Post by Jay Miller » August 2nd, 2020, 6:25 am

Peter Valiquette wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 7:17 pm
It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees in Beaune this week.
Heat waves in Europe:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53626012
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#42 Post by William Kelley » August 2nd, 2020, 6:42 am

Hail yesterday in Nuits-Saint-Georges, doesn't look like damage is too bad though.
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#43 Post by Nick M e n i l l o » August 2nd, 2020, 7:03 am

Thank you Jasper! Just listened to your "I'll Drink to That" episode (for the third time). Certainly one of the best episodes of one of the best wine podcasts out there!

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#44 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » August 4th, 2020, 3:13 pm

Some video of the NSG hail storm -


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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#45 Post by joz€f p1nxten » August 5th, 2020, 7:24 am

I spent an hour in and around Vosne this morning (5 August), and took the time to speak to some people and make some videos.

This one is a video of DRC Richebourg on the left and Leroy Richebourg on the right. The difference is quite visible on this video. Grapes look fantastic on both.

Some information: I believe the DRC vines are hedged at 125cm. The Leroy vines run above 200cm. There are actually 5 rows in the Romanee-Conti vineyard that are hedged at around 140cm - they seem to be testing hedging higher.

You can also see that not hedging gives more shadow. A benefit with climate heating up. There are some concerns due to upcoming heatwave and lack of rain. Berries are already super small.



Here are the vines of the Arnoux-Lachaux vineyard. Also supposeldy unhedged, but quite different from the Leroy vineyard. Some vines are quite small and not very lively.

Also you can see that Leroy has recently worked the soil, and Arnoux-Lachaux not.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#46 Post by JasperMorris » August 5th, 2020, 10:26 am

Arnoux-lachaux is going for the no-till approach now, I suspect

I did pretty much exactly the same walk as you about a week ago and noted the hedging heights (approximately) of each producer of Richebourg. I didn't have a tape measure but the general view was:

Standard
• AF Gros
• Gros F&S
• Clos Frantin

Standard+
• Mongeard-Mugneret
• Anne Gros
• Grivot
• Thibault Liger-Belair
• Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Just a little bit higher, but no change in principle
• Meo-Camuzet
• Hudelot-Noellat

Much taller (and no hedging)
• Leroy

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#47 Post by Dennis Borczon » August 5th, 2020, 2:00 pm

Man those vines look thirsty. This film could be of a vineyard in Napa. Must be a hot start to August this year. Wonder when the last vintage required widespread chaptalization? That concept must nearly be a thing of distant memory.

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#48 Post by William Kelley » August 5th, 2020, 2:02 pm

Dennis Borczon wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 2:00 pm
Man those vines look thirsty. This film could be of a vineyard in Napa. Must be a hot start to August this year. Wonder when the last vintage required widespread chaptalization? That concept must nearly be a thing of distant memory.
Chaptalization was widespread in 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000. So it is still more common than not. And many producers still do it, even in vintages such as 2005 or 2015, out of habit (and perhaps other reasons).
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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#49 Post by Dennis Borczon » August 5th, 2020, 2:16 pm

Do tell! When you are getting pretty good brix levels with the weather, why bother to push up the alcohol levels? Or simply wait a little longer and not harvest in August or early September? I just assumed that vintners were picking earlier not only to preserve acidity but to hold down alcohol numbers. Cannot imagine why this is not reported on more. I just assumed with the anxieties about climate change that there would be no need to add sugar.

Is it for mouthfeel? To keep the acids high? Longstanding habits? Or is this just the nature of the grapes grown in Burgundy. I can believe that in the flatlands some generic Burgs might need an extra kick to fill them out but it is hard to believe that the good villages wines on up would need additions. With all the obsession with natural winemaking and biodynamics this seems to not fit in very well. Unless the Domino company is now considered part of the terroir....

2016 and 2010 were pretty warm years along with 2015 and 2005 were they not?

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Re: Upcoming 2020 Burgundy vintage

#50 Post by joz€f p1nxten » August 6th, 2020, 12:29 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 2:00 pm
Man those vines look thirsty. This film could be of a vineyard in Napa. Must be a hot start to August this year.
DRC was cutting the small green berries on top of the plants ('verjus') in the RC vineyard when we were there. Apparently they don't always do it, but now it was to increase to a maximum the flow of moisture to the normal berries - shows indeed their fear of the drought.

Also, when asked whether tilling the soil does not let moisture escape more quickly, the guy explained that in their experience, on the contrary, in a drought if you don't till (cf the RSV vineyard), that consumes even more moisture due to remaining plants. I am not an expert, but that seemed counterintuitive.
Jozef

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