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Vintage preview Burgundy 2013

Gerard Basset OBE MW MS tasted 556 wines from this new vintage in a 10-day tour throughout the Côte d’Or and Chablis. Here he recommends his top 96 wines across the communes, discovering that some great wines were made, despite the weather

Gerard Basset: A guide to Burgundy 2013


I tasted 224 Chablis and Petit Chablis, and while the wines are less classic in 2013, they will be more exuberant than usual and quite charming. It’s a vintage that should offer immediate pleasure, but perhaps not one made for long ageing, though there will be exceptions.

Some wonderful wines – even with real generosity – will come from Meursault in 2013, but I have also found some diluted examples, too. Choose your producers with care as the range of wines I tasted were a bit uneven in quality.

Quality here was fairly consistent. While not quite as vibrant as usual, many wines have charm and appeal. The style is less flamboyant than we are used to for Puligny, but many show great harmony and will deliver pleasure.

I found great finesse in many Chassagnes, especially at premier cru level. In this difficult vintage, the wines come out well, though perhaps lack the intensity of some previous vintages

Red wines

Gevrey looks to offer great consistency and superb quality, with wines boasting great concentration and excellent harmony. Many grand crus were first class and show real depth.

As expected, this appellation has produced some truly beautiful wines, but perhaps not with the intensity we are used to. Nevertheless, I found elegance and silky texture in many wines.

The wines have immediate appeal with lots of fruit and great suppleness on the palate, but without the depth found in some of the best vintages. Many grand crus are superb, show complexity and will provide huge pleasure.

I was unable to taste a large range of wines from this appellation, but was pleasantly impressed by the samples I tasted. Overall, the wines boasted lovely aromatics and on the palate showed excellent ripeness with lots of character.

The many jewels of this appellation are magnificent but that is not surprising. All the wines I tasted were of a high level, showing clear definition and excellent harmony. Small quantity, but excellent quality from many producers.

Quality here seems very uneven. I’ve tasted some lean examples offering little pleasure, while others are very smooth and with lovely flavours. My highest score was 17.5 (91), so none made the list here. It will be key to make the right choice of producers.

The wines of Corton are quite uneven. While some producers have succeeded in making elegant wines, several I tasted lack charm and definition. It will be important to select producers carefully in this appellation.

Pommard & Volnay
Extremely difficult vintage for the growers of these two communes. Quantity will be low, but from what I have tasted, quality will be excellent from the top estates. Despite the difficult vintage, many wines have a superb texture.

The wines are not exceptional but neither are they lacking in character and many have a lovely aromatic profile. On the whole, Beaune negociants have managed to make very enjoyable wines.

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