burgundy
By George Stewart

Everything in nature finds balance and nowhere in the world of fine wine are the processes of nature so keenly felt as in Burgundy. The fickle Pinot Noir vine is exceptionally susceptible to unfriendly weather and yields have a tendency to come plummeting down at the hint of frost, hail or any number of viticultural hazards. We're headed to the region next week to get the measure of the vintage but as ever we've pulled together what we know going in, what our questions are and how you can anticipate what's coming from the upcoming 2017 En Primeur campaign.

Small crops have been the norm since 2009 but quality has been consistently high; so even if the growers’ dreams of an abundant crop came true, the question would then be whether quantity can go hand in hand with quality.

That dream has become a reality and after 7 years of varyingly reduced yields, including a punishingly small crop in 2016 the news coming out of the Côte d’Or is finally positive in terms of yields. Likely the largest crop since 2009 and owing to the efforts of growers constantly burning hay bales in the vineyards, the threat of frost in April was effectively mitigated in the Côte d’Or. After the chilly weather of April the region experienced a hot summer with a touch of hail limited to just a few regions of the Nuits and refreshing rainfall in August, followed by a fine, fairly cool September put the final flourish on an overall balanced growing season.

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“After 7 years of varyingly reduced yields, including a punishingly small crop in 2016 the news coming out of the Côte d’Or is finally positive in terms of yields.”

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Another point of interest will be, as ever, what preceding vintage can hold up the best template for comparison. If we have the quantity of 2009, which vintage will give us insight to the structure of the wines? Are we looking at the profound reds of 2015, the ultra-fine whites of 2014, high acidity like 2013 or the ripe fruit of 2012?

Next week will tell and we will keep you all posted with regular updates on our Burgundy 2017 feed, but what we can be thankful for is that at last there may be wine to go around.

That’s all relative of course… This is Burgundy after all!