As the annual round of Burgundy tastings kicks off in London, the 2005 vintage is shaping up to be as good a seller as Bordeaux - though less hyped.

While many offers haven’t yet been released, merchants are already bullish.

‘In just the last few days, we’ve sold more Burgundy than we did all of last year,’ said Jasper Morris MW of Berry Brothers and Rudd, which held its tasting of 77 wines – ranging from £90 per case for a Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine from Comte Lafon, to £1260 for Clos de Tart Grand Cru – on 8 January.

‘We released our offer on 7 January and we’ve been inundated with requests,’ Alex Marton of Bibendum told decanter.com. ‘I’ve had two single orders for over £20,000 from private clients.’

Marton said most initial demand has focused on top wines with limited allocations.

But like the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux, the wine has the potential to be great across the board, from Village to Grand Cru level.

‘It combines the freshness of the 2002 with the power of some of the vintages of the1990s,’ said Charles Lea of retailers Lea and Sandeman.

While many retailers haven’t finalised their offers, most wines are costing around 15% more than last year.

Merchants are quick to emphasise that even though Burgundy’s entire production is comparable in volume to that of one major Bordeaux property, the price hikes are significantly lower than those of Bordeaux 2005, which in some instances soared 300% over 2004 prices.

Likewise, they aren’t concerned that customers who bought Bordeaux will have little left over for Burgundy.

‘Many people saw the Bordeaux prices this year and walked away,’ said Robin Kick, wine buyer for Goedhuis & Company.

‘While there is some overlap, Burgundy buyers tend to be different from Bordeaux buyers anyway. They’re usually wine lovers, who buy to drink – while Bordeaux fans often buy to resell.’

Written by Maggie Rosen