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Mature Burgundy: best from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s

Charles Curtis MW explains why aged Burgundy can be a thing of utmost joy and offers advice on what to look out for when searching for older wines. He also rates and scores 20 older vintages, going back to the early 1960s.

Why bother ageing Burgundy when it is so good right out of the gate? Red Burgundy differs from other great wines of the world, such as Bordeaux, Hermitage, or Barolo, in that it is seductive almost from the minute it is bottled.

This is largely because the level of tannin in Pinot Noir is lower than that of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Nebbiolo. This supple texture makes it approachable at an earlier age.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for 20 mature Burgundy wines spanning the 1960s, 70s and 80s

With this texture and the perfumed, aromatic fruit character of Burgundy, the wines are almost sinfully delicious in their youth. For some wine lovers, however, drinking mature Burgundy is a quest akin to the search for the holy grail.

The fruit character of young red Burgundy is best described as red and black berries, cherries and plums. As the wines age, they gradually move from fresh fruit to baked fruit – think of cherry pie instead of fresh cherries. In the next stage, dried fruit components begin to arrive, with their suggestion of Christmas pudding.

An intriguing evolution

Mature Burgundy: 20 wines to seek out from the 1960s, 70s and 80s

The wines are listed oldest to youngest

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