“the perfect follow-on vintage to 2015 in all but one respect: those tiny quantities after the savage spring frosts.” Andrew Jefford
“What remains is considered good quality in a classic style.” Jancis Robinson
Crisp, elegant whites - fresh, aromatic reds
2016 will be remembered for the April frosts that were the worst since 1981 and wiped out large swathes of vineyards throughout eastern and northern France. Fortunately, large areas were unaffected and those vines took full advantage of the warm, sunny weather that dominated July, August and much of September, and enabled the fruit to ripen fully whilst retaining vital acidity. Both red and whites are, as a result, well-balanced with good but not excessive levels of alcohol, tannin and acidity.
The growing season had started normally but was soon interrupted by the serious frosts that affected much of Burgundy on April 27th. The frost, as always, was highly selective. Whilst the northerly area of Chablis was badly affected, the southerly regions of the Chalonnais and Mâconnais were barely touched. In a similar vein, much of Chassagne-Montrachet was devastated (neither Jean-Marc Pillot nor François Jouard picked any Chenevottes) whilst neighbouring Puligny was generally spared. For example, Jean-Louis Chavy produced more wine than in 2015.
There are many disaster stories (Rossignol-Trapet produced 4 barrels of Chambertin instead of the normal 32). Despite the shortages, however, the wines are excellent. After a wet spring the weather improved greatly in July and apart from some rain in September, which many growers found most welcome, the maturation of the fruit was achieved under perfect weather conditions. The grapes were ripe, healthy and well-endowed with both sugar and acidity. As a result, the 2016 whites are crisp and fresh; in many cases a cross between the vibrant, mineral 2014s and the rich, opulent 2015s. The reds are more variable, but the best again combine the richness of the 2015 vintage with the red fruit characteristics of 2014. They will give great pleasure relatively soon and have the balance to age gracefully in the medium term. The quality of the vintage makes it well worth buying but with many wines in short supply, please let us know what you would like as soon as possible.
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