Why is the 2015 Vintage in Burgundy Such a Rare Phenomenon?

In recent years bad weather impacted yields and quality in Burgundy, but the 2015 vintage is showcasing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A view of the vineyards in Burgundy / Getty

Burgundy hit the jackpot in 2015. Following its great 2010 vintage, lean years ensued as frost and hail cut yields and affected quality. But 2015 saw a rare phenomenon in Burgundy: a good vintage for both reds and whites. Though severe frost cut quantities in 2016, the whites bottled so far are top quality.

The 2015 reds from the Côte de Beaune are structured and set for aging, while the whites from both the Côte de Beaune and the Mâcon region are opulent and likely to please even the most demanding lovers of California Chardonnay. For 2016 whites, the vintage shows a crisper side of Chardonnay with bright, citrus and apple notes.

The Mâconnais, the southernmost part of Burgundy, offers value whites. However, don’t just expect simple, fruity wines. The village appellations like Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly-Loché from 2015 are the epitome of bold, ripe flavors, often with some wood aging to add richness. Of course, if you prefer a lighter style, there is still great value to be found in village-level wines outside of the Mâcon.

The Côte de Beaune’s reds from 2015 are delicious. All the cherry and red fruit flavors of Pinot Noir are supercharged with rich tannins, yet they remain balanced with the focused acidity that sets Burgundy apart from other Pinot Noir. Look at appellations like Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses and the lesser-known Ladoix, which is in the shadow of much more famous Aloxe-Corton.

These are wines to savor soon and also over many years.

Red

Beaune

Albert Morot 2015 Les Cent Vignes Premier Cru (Beaune); $45, 95 points. Ripe, warm and with delicious strawberry and red-plum fruits, the wine is generous and full of fruit. The tannins are also there, a structure just to support all this fruit. It will be an opulent and beautiful wine as it ages. Drink from 2025.

Maison Champy 2015 Les Vergelesses Premier Cru (Savigny-lès-Beaune); $53, 93 points. Structured, ripe and with great fruit, this is a bold warm wine. It has plenty of rich berry fruits, ripe tannins and layers of spice and toast. With its concentration, this is going to be a rich wine. Drink from 2022.

Louis Latour 2015 Les Chaillots Premier Cru (Aloxe-Corton); $80, 92 points. The wine is dense with fine concentration and a solid dry tannin character at the back. It is full of black fruits and balanced acidity. Its richness reflects the quality of the vintage and its aging potential. Drink from 2022.

2016 is the Vintage to Buy Bordeaux Futures

White

Beaune

Albert Bichot 2015 Domaine du Pavillon (Corton-Charlemagne); $194, 94 points. Properly opulent, this is a generous, subtly wood-aged wine. Ripe apricot and peach fruits are shot through with crisp apple. The wood and the rich fruits give this structured wine a warm character. It is still young, of course. Drink from 2023.

Domaine Antonin Guyon 2015 Sous Frétille Premier Cru (Pernand-Vergelesses); $65, 93 points. This crisp, fruity wine is packed with acidity as well as citrus flavors. It has a cool feel, beautifully fresh and with a strong mineral element. Drink this structured, textured wine from 2019.

Mâcon

Domaine Sangouard-Guyot 2015 Terroirs (Pouilly-Fuissé); $26, 92 points. While there is plenty of ripe fruit in this wine, it also has a delicious, crisp edge that gives the generous texture a good lift. Spice and toast lend rich support to this full, rounded wine. Drink now. Editor’s Choice.

Domaine Pascal et Mireille Renaud 2016 Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (Pouilly-Fuissé); $38, 92 points. This rich wine is dense and concentrated, with beautiful apple and spice flavors lifted by acidity. The fruit and the minerality typical of the appellation give this wine both its fine texture and its tangy fruitiness. Drink from 2018. Editor’s Choice.

Cave des Grands Crus Blancs 2016 Vieilles Vignes (Pouilly-Loché); $25, 89 points. A selection from a single plot of 40- to 70-year-old vines, this full-bodied wine is juicy with a tight texture that comes from the terroir. It offers a crisp edge as well as bright acidity, the apple fruits lifted further by a lemon streak. Drink from 2019.

Published on October 23, 2017
Topics: Wine Ratings
About the Author
Roger Voss
European Editor, Reviews wines from Portugal and France

Roger Voss covers Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire and South-West France as well as Portugal. His passion is matching food with wine, bringing the pleasures of the table to wine lovers. He has written six books on wine and food, and was previously national correspondent on wine for the London Daily Telegraph. He is based in the Bordeaux region.

Email: rvoss@wineenthusiast.net



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