Our Journal

Burgundy Tasting 2016: new additions and 2014 previews

20th January, 2016

Burgundy Tasting 2016: new additions and 2014 previews

Eleven producers and 148 customers joined us at the beautiful Dartmouth House in London for our Burgundy tasting on Wednesday 13th January. An annual occurrence since 2012, our Burgundy tasting is an opportunity to taste upcoming releases and meet the winemakers from our Burgundian portfolio. This year we tasted the 2014 vintage wines, many of which will be arriving into the UK in Spring 2016. It was great to see so many of our customers there and we thank them for their enthusiastic feedback on social media.

To summarise the 2014 vintage, the mild winter of 2013/14 meant that some pests were not killed off as they normally are by the cold. Burgundy was once again affected by hailstorms and a cold and rainy August. The vintage was saved by a warm and sunny September, sparing the grapes from rot and aiding the ripening process. Grégory Patriat of Jean-Claude Boisset commented “2014 was a year to take risks”, and those that harvested at optimum potential alcohol levels (Greg likes to keep his at around 12.5%) have reaped the rewards, producing aromatic wines with more structure than their 2013 counterparts, with excellent ageing potential. The whites are spectacular, with great ripeness and aromatic intensity, while the reds are elegant with fine velvety tannins and brisk acidity. 2014 is a classic Burgundian vintage.

Château de Santenay had a fantastic year in 2015, winning gold medals and trophies at the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge. The wines are set to go from strength to strength as the winery has seen investment in modern winemaking equipment, such as temperature-controlled vats that were first used in 2014. Some of their vineyards were replanted 15 years ago and are thus beginning to reach maturity. Winemaker Florence Garnier said that the 2014 vintage was excellent at Château de Santenay for both white and red wines, producing complex, elegant and crisp whites with a fresh bite, and reds that are full-bodied and supple.

Neill Wine – @neillwine
Another star!...such great quality at a great price [Chateau de Santenay Mercurey 1er Cru]

In response to increased customer demand for good value Burgundy, we have made several additions to our Burgundian portfolio in the last 12 months. The new wines from Australian winemaker Jane Eyre’s eponymous négociant label are outstanding. Jane commented that while her experiences making wine in both hemispheres has informed her style, she is most influenced by the fruit in front of her. In Burgundy, she prizes aromatics over extraction. The wines are fine and elegant as a result.

Alistair England – @Youngwineguy
A definite standout of the Liberty Burgundy tasting today. Lots of cherry and elegance [Jane Eyre Corton Renardes Grand Cru 2013]

Wineloon - @wineloon_simon
Great to meet @JaneEyreWines and taste her brilliant wines just now

Another new addition is Domaine Glantenay (Volnay), where young Guillame Glantenay took over the winemaking reins from his father in 2013. Guillame’s wines are very elegant, with a lovely purity of fruit. His use of 15-20% whole bunch pressing lifts the perfumes of his wines and he uses low toast oak, which supports rather than masks the aromas. We are confident that with Guillame at the helm, Domaine Glantenay will become one of the most exciting domaines in Burgundy.

We have also added an exciting new wine from a familiar face; David Moret has created a new wine, ‘Le Grand A’,from Aligoté. This native Burgundian grape is naturally high in acidity and is often reserved for blending with Crème de Cassis, made in nearby Dijon, to make the aperitif Kir, its acidity tempered by the addition of the sweet liqueur. Moret’s version, a Vin de France because it is grown outside of appellation boundaries, is an exceptional example of this overlooked variety. The 60 year old vines yield extremely concentrated fruit, and Moret has aged the wine for 18 months in French oak, a portion new. No need for sweet additions here!

Now in its fourth year, we’re delighted that a growing number of customers make the journey to our Burgundy tasting which has fast become a staple of our tastings calendar.