2013 was a difficult year in Burgundy. Spring was wet and cold, resulting in poor flowering and thus a smaller crop. Summer finally arrived in June but a hailstorm in July devastated some vineyards between Meursault and Aloxe-Corton. September, the most important month for grape ripening, was excellent and balanced fruit with good potential began to develop, albeit in a much smaller crop. Unfortunately though, the weather turned progressively wetter and colder so those grapes harvested later had more rot than those harvested earlier.
But don’t simply dismiss the 2013 vintage. The overall production is definitely small but where vines were well-tended and grapes meticulously sorted, some truly elegant wines were made. I guess this is a big part of the excitement about wine grown in such variable climatic conditions. The wine is never the same every year but dedicated producers can always make something out of it. 2013 doesn’t taste like 2010 and probably doesn’t have the same ageing potential, but so what? I found a few more than decent wines at the recent Louis Jadot en primeur tasting:
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (white): Rich and intense with ageing potential
Volnay 1st Cru Clos de la Barre (red): Not sure if it would age well but no doubt enjoyable within the next three to five years.
Moulin-à-Vent Clos du Grand Carquelin (red): Surprisingly good, fleshy but supported by fresh acidity. No doubt will beat a lot of Burgundies.
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (red): A masculine wine with depth, power and ageing potential.
With more than 230 ha of vines in the region, Louis Jadot is one of the largest producers in Burgundy. Thibault Gegey, Deputy General Manager, said that wines from all appellations are being made pretty much the same way so the differences we can taste in the wines are attributable to the terroir—soil, vineyard facing and weather conditions. We have all heard this refrain so many times but it is always fascinating to taste wines side by side and see it for yourself.
2013 Burgundies are unlikely be 100 point wines but, thanks to the winemakers, there will nevertheless be wine lovers, including myself, who appreciate their elegance and leaner style. Try some for yourself.
Louis Jadot is available from ASC Fine Wines.