Burgundy Vintage Chart--Some Resources?

FWIW, based on PC and GC Burgs I have tasted over the last year and a half, my current go to vintages include:

Whites: 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007
Reds: 1991, 1993, 1998, 1999, and 2000

Generally Avoid:

Whites: 1996, 1997, and 2003
Reds: 1994 and 2004

Do not mind, and actually prefer White Burgs on the younger side, and Red Burgs, just entering or fully mature. Find Burghound.com to be invaluable in terms of specific selections, as well as input from various members of this and the other Board.

Always willing to source what I can and have you embibe it with me. I am on a mission, will report my findings soon.

Some '04 whites look quite forward/developed now, especially in the lower levels. If they have been on the shelf a while, then I’d be a bit careful…

I haven’t been inspired by the handful of 1’er '06 reds I have had, but at the top levels, these are amazing wines that drink very well now.

Ref 2004 reds, I second Berry’s view that if you audouze (meaning you open the bottle say 6 hours before drinking) the bottle, then you are unlikely to get greenies. And yes, wines are then quite pretty and a pleasure to drink in most cases (talking good producers there). Anyway, I haven’t much choice since 2004 is our wedding year…

There are probably still a few exceptions but by and large drinking 2005s will be a waste of money for many years to come. I just hope I’m still alive to enjoy mine.

Great thread. Though they are a bit young, I love the 2002’s now.

Btw, great post, Berry!

Nicely done list, Berry. My assessments would be nearly identical.

Anybody have a good summary of what '92 was like for red Burgs?

Nice list Berry. That will be pretty helpful.

Frank there are some really good 2006’s out there and the prices are definitely pretty good, just buy smart. I agree with Berry, they are closed for business right now, but should awaken for good mid-term drinking.

Rick is right.

What I would strongly recommend is the following:

  • Buy some 2000s and maybe some 2001s (or even top 1991s and 1998s) and see if you enjoy the flavors and aromas of aged red burgundy (though not all these will be fully mature). Not everyone does.
  • Wait until the 2009 vintage is here and buy village (and cheap 1ers) from as many different producers as possible. Work to isolate which producers make wine in a style you like in a price range you feel comfortable with (there is huge variance in winemaking styles in burgundy). 2009 will be a good vintage to do this becauses: a) the wines should show well as pop and pours b) the village level wines will be ripe and thus easy to enjoy c) you will have lots of options to choose from as wines will just be hitting the shelves.

Once you have narrowed down which producers you like then you can spend your money wisely buying top vineyards and backfilling from previous vintages. You could do this with 2008 too but the wines will often be tight when popped and poured thus more difficult to get to show well and also village level wines will not be as generous.

I can pretty much gaurantee this methodology will save you years and thousands of dollars. I really wish I had taken this approach early on.

Kind of soft. Haven’t had one in a while, but my understanding is that some of them are holding up better than people thought when they were young.

As Jay said, the one unfortunate thing about this thread is that at least one person is taking the worst possible interpretation of a buying strategy - buy 2005s to drink now. These wines are very tight right now (and not just the grand crus) and it is the exception, not the majority, that will drink well right now. The wines will be great (I think) but I would not drink them now.

I expect a number of people to ignore the last paragraph so that I am expecting a rash of threads on how overrated Burgundy is and how it is a minefield because even the great 2005s don’t taste very good.

The best advice given above is to focus on producer over vintage. I am not wild about either the 2003 or 2004 vintages in general, but that does not matter if you buy Mugneret-Gibourg, who made beautiful wines in both years.

For drinking now, my guess is that the best of the more recent vintages are 1998 and 2000. As these are not considered great vintages, you can often find dynamite wines from these vintages at really nice prices. Two other vintages that can be found at pretty good prices right now are 1996 and 2001. These vintages ultimately will be a step up from 1998 and 2000 and are real buys. But for drinking now, nothing beats the 2000s, unless you can find old wines.

There has been a lot of debate between 2001 and 2002 as to which is the better vintage. This does not matter because they are both excellent vintages, with 2001 producing more complex wines and 2002 wines with more fruit, in general.

The great recent vintages are 1993, 1999 and 2005.

My least favorite recent vintages have been 1997, 2003 and 2004.

I think 2006 will turn out to be somewhat similar to 2001, so if you see them at a good price, buy them. I think 2007 is not as good as 2006, but the wines seem clean and fresh and probably are better than 1997, 2003 and 2004.

I have only had a couple of 2008s so far and like them. They could be similar to 2001 and 2006. I will get to taste a whole bunch more in February in NY at the the Paulee. Prices sure seem good. I have had no 2009s and cannot comment. But they will have to be really good to justify some of the price increases I have seen over the 2008s.

Again, producer, producer, producer. There are tons of excellent producers so you don’t have to go for the hot overpriced ones. Some of my favorites include Jadot, Drouhin, Bouchard, Bachelet, Fourrier, Rossignol-Trapet, Barthod, Mugneret-Gibourg, Michel Gaunoux, D’Angerville, Lafarge, Clos des Lambrays, Chandon des Briailles, Jouan, Chevillon, Cecille Tremblay, Pierre Morey, Pavelot, Rousseau, Roumier, Mugnier, and Faiveley. [I leave out Truchot only because he does not, in general, make wines anymore.]

Now, go out, buy those 2005s, drink them now and tell us how overrated Burgundy is. Convince people so that they will dump them and I can get good prices.

I completely agree. Burgundies vary in style from producer to producer more than do most wines. There are producers who are great producers (and whom some of my friends adore) that just are not my cup of tea. An example is Grivot. I have had a bunch and never had one that really sends me. Yet, I will sit at a table with others whose palates I highly respect where they love the wines.

On the other side of this are producers like D’Angerville and Chandon des Briailles, where the styles of the producers are exactly what I am looking for in Burgundy. Only can tell this with time and tasting.

For kicks, I went to CT and did a ranking of the average score for red Grand Cru for the 24 vintages from 1985 to 2008. Here are the results, with the number after the year representing the rank (1 is best, 24 is worst). Where there is a range it indicates that two or more vintages tied for those ranks.

1985 7
1986 22
1987 24
1988 16-17
1989 2-5
1990 2-5
1991 6
1992 20-21
1993 8-12
1994 23
1995 19
1996 8-12
1997 18
1998 15
1999 13-14
2000 16-17
2001 8-12
2002 8-12
2003 13-14
2004 20-21
2005 2-5
2006 8-12
2007 1
2008 2-5

Interesting results… 2007 #1? While on the surface that would be strange, it may make sense. Because CT has only been around for a few years, the most recent vintages have only been tasted when they are young (assuming most people don’t import old TNs of older vintages tasted when they were young). 2007 and 2008 seem to be doing very well on release and are rated highly for the immediate appeal. 2005s are largely shut down, but raters probably get a sense of the quality there and rate on potential. I’ll bet in another year or two that 2009 will be #1 using this methodology.

Thanks Howard. I was wondering because I had my first '92 red Burg the other night. It was a stray bottle of Truchot’s Sentiers that I luckily stumbled upon earlier this year. Had no idea whatsoever what to expect. Surprisingly it was still fresh, but soft, just like you described. I’ll post a TN soon.

My good friend Phil Eaves has alreday pointed to Bill Nanson’s Burgundy Report vintage assessment but here’s that of London, UK merchant’s Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR):-

Wine Vintage Charts | Berry Bros. & Rudd" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On the basis the inestimable Jasper Morris MW (‘Inside Burgundy’) has a ‘certain role’ at BBR then one might assume BBR’s chart has some ‘validity’ - or is at least useful !


There were two results that stuck out as surprising to me. One was 2007 at #1, and your explanation for it makes sense. The other was the middle of the pack ranking for 1999. That one is a bit harder to explain.


Any future stray bottles of old Truchot would do well on your next trip here.

This is the fallacy of using crowdsourced evaluations for this kind of thing. The CT users probably range from very experienced and knowledgable to new to Burg people. How many of them have tasted a vintage young and followed it for 20 years (esp grand cru wines)? How many are into Burg vs doing a one off TN? How many notes are there on, say, 1991 vs 2007? CT us useful for a lot of things, but these averages aren’t at all meaningful except as a fun discussion starter.

Yeah, that did stick out too. Maybe due to them still being shut down. Some of the '05s may have been tasted before they shut down, but by the time CT was up and running most '99s were closed, and remain so. To Rick’s point, it’s hard to know the objective value of the evaluations in CT because of the broad range of experience. Perhaps the scores for the closed down wines don’t take into account the potential there. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to watch this metric from year to year to watch the trends. Wouldn’t be too hard to guess that the highest scoring vintages will be 1) the youngest ones sporting their baby fat and 2) half or so of the older vintages that emerge on the other side in a beautiful place.