Quality is through the roof, but quantity is dramatically reduced (up to 50% in some areas), which entails ridiculously high prices for this outstanding 2016 Burgundy vintage. Low yields (frost and hail) lead to rich and quite concentrated reds, while cool nights maintained refreshing acidity and great balance. 2016 has produced reds bursting with ripe berry flavours and perfect tannins for the long haul. The Burgundy aficionado will be excited and seduced by the incredible quality, but prices should curb the enthusiasm. The selected wines from upscale producers were true to the vintage delivering high quality and great aging potential.
As usual a group of 16 experienced tasters analyzed seven (7) upscale red Burgundies plus a mystery wine in the usual blind tasting format.
We must keep in mind that 2016 is a rather unusual vintage. Very deep colour, ultra ripe fruit with lots of structured tannins, with (luckily) some refreshing/balancing acidity. Some experts dared describing it as a cross of 2016 and 2015 (which are two excellent Burgundy vintages).
Results: To establish the order of preference of the tasting panel, 3 points were awarded to a first place vote, 2 pts for a 2nd place vote and 1pt for a 3rd place vote.
All of the participants were impressed with the quality level and aging potential of the wines. There was no overwhelming favourite, in fact the top six wines were fairly all bunched up between 10 and 18 points. The mystery wine Malat Pinot Noir Classic 2017 from Austria, was identified as the odd man out by only four participants and finished last in scoring. The favourite wine of the tasting was the Chambolle 1er Cru Les Échanges from Remoissenet (18 pts) followed closely by the Volnay 1er Cru En Cailleret from Pousse d’Or (16 pts). Finishing in third spot was the surprising Givry 1er Cru Clos Salomon (14 points), one point more than the Nuits St-Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles from Bouchard Père. In conclusion there is no doubt 2016 is amazing vintage for the long haul! My top three wines were: 1- Volnay 1er Cru En Cailleret Pousse d’Or 2- Chambolle 1er Cru Les Échanges Remoissenet 3- Gevrey 1er Cru Au Closeau Drouhin Laroze. See my tasting notes below.
The wines : Order of blind tasting:
1-Volnay 1er Cru En Cailleret, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or (Group score: 16 pts)
My favourite wine of the tasting! Deeply coloured. Youthful nose displaying fruity and animal scents with some oak. Great structure, lots of extract, firm tannins, lengthy with amazing aging potential (15 to 20 yrs). My rating: 95/100
2- Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Échanges, Remoissenet (Group score: 18 pts)
The preferred wine of the tasting (by just 2 pts). Typical berry nose with a bit of oak and smoke. Probably the most elegant and supple of the lineup. Very well balanced with lots of extract and good structure (tannins). Most drinkable (right now), but offers lots of aging potential (10 to 15 yrs). My rating: 93+/100
3-Volnay 1er Cru Santenots Bernard & Thierry Glantenay (Group score: 7 pts)
Not as big as the Pousse d’Or Volnay, but does offer richness and a solid structure. Still quite youthful, the nose displays lots of berry fruit with some oak/vanilla undertones. Also good length and great aging potential (10 to 15 yrs). My rating: 92/100
4- Pinot Noir Classic 2017 Niederosterreich, Malat, Austria (Group score: 1 pt)
Only four (4) participants identified it as the mystery wine, but many mentioned its surprisingly different nose. Good colour with a very ripe nose of field berries. Well balanced with some extract and aging potential (2 to 4 yrs). Hint of bitterness on the finish. A great deal at 26$ (SAQ)! My rating: 89/100
5- Nuits St-Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles, Bouchard Père (Group score : 13 pts)
Deeply coloured. Closed nose showing some ripe fruit and oak overtones. Good extract, but rather elegant for a 1er Cru from Nuits St-Georges. Medium weight for this vintage. Slight oaky finish with good potential (5 to 15 yrs). My rating: 91/100
6-Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Frédéric Magnien (Group Score: 10 pts)
Surprisingly elegant for this producer! Slightly fruity nose with a vegetal hint. Good balance with some firm tannins. Medium bodied, should improve over the next 4 to 8 yrs. My rating: 89/100
7- Givry 1er Cru Clos Salomon, Domaine du Clos Salomon (Group Score: 14 pts)
The Côte Chalonnaise is producing great wines at affordable prices (for Burgundy)! This Givry came in 3rd ahead of much more expensive wines. Complex nose displaying some fruit with vegetal, animal and floral hints. Good extract and structure for this appellation. Some aging potential (4 to 6 yrs). My rating: 92+/100
8-Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Au Closeau, Drouhin Laroze (Group score: 11 pts)
My third favourite wine of the tasting. Lovely nose showing ripe field berries with a slight floral hint. A surprisingly elegant Gevrey from this sturdy/structured vintage. Good extract with solid tannins for prolonged aging (10 to 15 yrs). My rating: 93/100
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