Burgundy 2018 Vintage Report

Burgundy 2018 Vintage Report

by Will

Read on for a snapshot of the 2018 vintage from our Burgundy Buyer, Adam Bruntlett.To view the PDF version, click here.

The 2018 vintage in Burgundy is destined to be a modern classic, a year which at its best is generous in both quantity and quality. The reds have excellent colour, plenty of fruit and a dense, fleshy feel, while the whites are deliciously attractive with a pleasing mineral freshness. Tasting these wines from barrel was a real pleasure, and I am certain that tasting them today will be equally enjoyable.

The growing season itself was relatively straightforward; a very wet winter and spring saw above-average rainfall which would prove to be the saviour of the  intage. Flowering passed without incident to give a generous crop, particularly for Chardonnay, and whilst the warm and humid start to the summer caused some mildew pressure, an extended spell of warm, dry weather from the middle of June prevented any serious damage. Despite the arid summer, the early-season rain and absence of real heat spikes ensured that drought stress was not a serious issue. Harvest began in late August and finished around the middle of September, taking place in mostly dry conditions, although some localised rain on the 6th September played a key role for those who had waited. Growers were delighted with the perfectly healthy fruit which made life very easy for those working on the sorting table.

An easy vintage, then? Well, no. While the conditions for the current generation
may seem to be less challenging than those faced by their parents, the warmer, drier and earlier growing season presented its own challenges in both vineyard and winery. However, in almost every case, the best growers and winemakers have adapted to the conditions and made excellent wines. Plus ça change!

It is not only the winemakers who must adapt to change; we are constantly seeking out the best wines for now and the future, looking in the cooler Hautes Côtes for wines with freshness and verve, exploring less-fashionable  appellations such as Montagny, Marsannay, Maranges and Santenay to discover and champion exciting young winemakers with open minds and new ideas. We are delighted to introduce several new faces to our tasting and I urge you to seek them out, taste their wines and discuss their philosophies. We are particularly proud to have been chosen to represent Arnaud Mortet’s personal project, and very excited to be working with Martial and Gaetane Carré in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, having fallen in love with their pure, transparent wines. The Rollin family have been longterm suppliers and their mineral Pernand-Vergelesses wines are the perfect antidote to global warming. We are also showing a larger range of Chablis and Mâconnais wines this year, to further highlight the excellent value these wines offer.

Whether from new discoveries or old favourites, we are sure that you will find
much to love about the 2018 vintage. In both colours, across all regions and at every level of the hierarchy, there is value and interest.

Key points:
• A very good vintage in both colours, with fleshy, succulent reds and
grippy, textural whites.
• Lower-lying regional and village vineyards have overperformed and offer
excellent value.
• Cool microclimates such as the Hautes-Côtes, Pernand-Vergelesses
and St-Aubin have made fresh wines.
• Côte de Beaune reds are particularly worth seeking out.


Adam Bruntlett
Senior Buyer: Burgundy, Savoie, Jura, Loire