Is 2019 Red Burgundy tricking us?

sorry if this isn’t concise, it seems clear in my head - but when typing it up it looks jarbled.

I am not commenting in the 2019 vintage itself, but it’s impact on how we form opinions on domaines turning the corner/new producers deserving praise.

I’ve been trying a bunch of 2019 Red Burg in the past 6-7 months from random producers. It seems a vintage that has juicy early drinking wines from all ranges. Especially producers that typically aren’t known for making clear fruit driven wines. I can’t remember the last bottle of 2019 I’ve been disappointed by, from Bourgogne up to the top level wine.

But my concern is this

I see people state that “X” domaine has turned a corner based on a 2019 sampling. Or check out “Y” upstart domaine, they just came out and the 2019 is AMAZING. But most importantly this makes me wonder, is 2019 one of those vintages that just gave the vast majority of the producers the ability to make at the minimum decent wine on release that they wouldn’t/haven’t been able to do in other vintages? Will be be disappointed when buying the 2020 (maybe not 2020) and 2021 of the same producers without the proven track records that seemed to turn it on/around in 2019?

or in sum -

Are we just seeing a flash in the plan for many producers or can we extrapolate this top vintage to producers turning the corner or evidence that a new domaine will be excellent?

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Not sure how you could ever generalize about a producer based on a single vintage. Doesn’t the fact that 2019 has generally turned out well across the board suggest that you shouldn’t use it generalize about a producer going forward? Absent knowing about real viticultural, harvest, elevage, etc. changes, which can only suggest potential changes in quality, think you would need a number of additional vintages to draw any conclusions.

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“Especially producers that typically aren’t known for making clear fruit driven wines.”

I think the important word you used is ‘clear’. When you use that word, do you mean “clearly fruit driven wines” (i.e., a more forward vintage) or “clear, fruit driven” where “clear” refers to [insert your descriptor here]? I ask because “fruit driven” would - I assume - be easily explained by the vintage characteristics (warm year, more fruit, higher alcohols?). But “clear” would not be something I would associate with vintage weather, but winemaker style?

Regardless, happy to hear such positive notes on 2019! I am deep the vintage.

Very good thought. 2019’s across the board have so much early appeal right now that when someone says I just tried (fill in the blank) _______ 2019 and it was amazing, I’m taking it with a grain of salt. Not that I don’t believe them that the wine is delicious right now but that it’s delicious in the way that so many other 2019s are. So I agree that it’s not like X producer knocked it out of the park this vintage any more than so many others did.

With some producers I could already see it in the comparison of 2018 to 2019. With some the gap in the two vintages isn’t all that big, with others it’s huge. And yeah I think we’ll see with some of these hot new producers whether they can keep up the quality in 2020 and 2021 when those come out.

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I think you make a very good point Charlie. Just about every 2019 I’ve had has been like this, and I’ve never seen anything like this previously in other warm years, like 1990 and 2003…not only juicy and early drinking but also fairly fresh and (relatively) balanced. I have bought a few things out of sheer momentum, and with some surprise that pricing on a few things i like hasn’t been as terrible as projected. But I really have no feel for what these will turn out like in 20 or 30 years.

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thats an interesting thought for sure. I do know I’ve read a few comments on producers where 2019 was their breakout year or something similar.

I gotta say though, I’m not super upset about a year where the minimum wine made is still pretty solid. the right plan for me is still to lean more heavily on producers I trust, and work on building that trust in the newer ones as they accumulate good vintages.

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I agree. But I feel like I’m seeing a lot of commentary that

X Domaine turned a corner

Or

Upstart Y domaine is making incredible wines

Based on 2019

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i think you’re getting at this: yes, there will be tons of wines from producers in 2019 that are outliers for those domaines because of the vintage. because of this, the statement that a domaine has “turned the corner” in 2019 is inherently premature given the nature of the vintage; i don’t know how many vintages it takes to show a domaine is doing well, but it’s more than 1.

i think we should all be thankful that there’s a lot of 2019s, and that the quality - especially at the entry / lower levels - tends to be astounding.

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I don’t get the trickery angle. Every time there’s a top vintage you see excellent wines coming from unlikely places, that’s what makes them top vintages.

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I don’t think 2019 is quite that good of a vintage, so I guess I don’t feel particularly tricked by it? I’ve had 2019s I’ve disliked as too ripe or unbalanced. I have a couple of friends who actually don’t like 2019 generally and who I think will like 2020 (and especially 2022) better.

To me, the one bellwether vintage is 2010 - almost everyone made good wines that year, and good winemakers made great wines. I don’t think 2019 is in that category.

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I see 2019 not as a trick but as an invitation to try a few more new producers than I otherwise might. Which I did. Looking through my notes I’m a bit surprised how many I’ve already opened. But that was my plan! Most long term friends did well, and many of my newer sipping partners delivered pleasing wines. I’ll likely try many of them in future vintages before going too deep.

Here’s a very brief summary. Everything was either Bourgogne or village level, where I usually do a lot of my early tasting.

Consistent buys: H. Lignier, Fourrier, Bertheau, Hudelot Noellat. No disappointments, and I bought a good chunk of all of these.

Less experience: J. Voillot. I’ve like these wines in several vintages, and bought a few back vintages to try those too. The 2019s showed very well.

New (to me): Berthaut-Gerbet, Marchand-Tawse, Lumpp, Amiot-Servelle, F. Esmonin, Guillemot. All except the Lumpp (which I found a bit riper than I like) showed well, with a lot of variety and experession of terroir. I could imagine buying nearly any of these in future vintages, and likely will.

A rising tide vintage to be sure, but I can’t think of how that’s a bad thing.

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I think it’s really about how you want to contextualize those X or Y statements because right now they are just predictive. They could be true for 2019 with the full context later being:

X Domaine that turned the corner in 2019 regressed to their mean in 2020 or 2021

Or

Upstart Y domaine made incredible wines in 2019 and couldn’t fulfill on that promise in 2020

All that to say it’s fun to try and predict a domain’s future/potential off of a vintage but we’ll never know till that future comes to pass. I guess it’s about the datapoints behind the wine like “why was Domaine X able to turn that corner beyond just good vintage”?

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Plus 1, or count me in the group that feels 2019 is an easy to like vintage(lots of fruit) but not so much why I love Burgundy.

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I’ve been trying a bunch of 2019 Red Burg in the past 6-7 months from random producers. It seems a vintage that has juicy early drinking wines from all ranges. Especially producers that typically aren’t known for making clear fruit driven wines. I can’t remember the last bottle of 2019 I’ve been disappointed by, from Bourgogne up to the top level wine.

I am not buying that much better Burgundy anymore and so have not had that many 2019s. But, your comments made me think of the way I first felt drinking 1999s. When the 1999s first came out, I had already tasted many young Burgundy vintages, but none as good as 1999. As I said, I have not had much 2019s, but sometimes there just is a vintage that is better than other vintages. Some that I have seen like this over the years have been 1982 in Bordeaux (and maybe 2016), 1990 and 2019 in Germany, 1999 and 2010 in red Burgundy, 2014 in white Burgundy, etc. In each of these instances, there we producers that made wines much better than they generally did. And, in many (but not all) of these instances there were people discussing how the wines would not age well because they tasted too good, too young (they were wrong).

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My point is that people are extrapolating this top vintage to producers turning the corner or evidence that a new domaine will be excellent.

No doubt it’s a great vintage

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That’s actually my budget concern. Buying then trying their 2021 and realizing… oh wait. They actually aren’t good producers, they just got sent a couple really amazing vintages that are drinking great early.

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At the risk of putting this out there too far, Voilot is a consistent buy for me. they’ve done a great job for years!

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Maybe. But I’ll read some reviews for 2020/21/22, try some, and read about some here. If they deliver consistently I’ll buy more. Isn’t that a typical arc of discovery?

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Interestingly, there are a few producers I follow a bit that seemed to have “turned the corner” even before 2019, but whose wines I was not terribly impressed with. Gouges is one. Not that these would fall into the category, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the couple of Drouhin and Bouchard 19s I’ve had, but wouldn’t want to generalize based on a small sample size.

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Not sure if this contribution is entirely helpful but I opened these three Coche reds on July 24, Sept 1, and Sept 10 respectively and they were all stunning.

UPDATE: Oh crap. Forgive me. I thought this was a thread on 2018s. Sorry!!!

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