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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
6 Dec 2006
 

 

Here’s the official BIVB [Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne] report on the 2006 vintage in Burgundy. I suggest you read between the lines, and also read it in conjunction with our coverage of the Hospices de Beaune auction of the 200 listed at the bottom of this.

 

A real charmer. Such is the epithet most frequently employed when Burgundy’s newest vintage is discussed. Nearly two months after the grape harvest, and following a year typified by rather unusual and capricious weather, Burgundy’s winemakers are finally catching their breath.  The 2006 vintage, a demanding year which never allowed an idle moment in both the vineyards and cellar, excels with its whites and surprises with its reds.

 

“Like the flowering of the vines, which was concentrated over only a few days, the harvest did not follow its habitual course throughout the region,” said Michel Baldassini, President of the BIVB. Indeed, organising the grape harvest was no simple undertaking, and choosing the optimal dates was particularly challenging as September’s sunshine suddenly ripened grapes which had been previously languishing throughout August. 

 

Even though a careful sorting of the crop was required, the result is now promising, particularly thanks to the knowledge and expertise of the winemakers. As such, even more so than in other years, the choices made in the vineyard and during the vinification process have been vital to the successful creation of the wines of 2006.

 

2006 is a year that has never stopped surprising us, from its meteorological conditions through to the wine that has finally been produced.  This wine is still being patiently worked on, and now shows the promise of many pleasant and memorable tastings.

 

The whites

 

These wines promise to be seductive and of excellent quality.  Supple and fresh, they are already proving to be fruity on the palate and boast considerable richness.  Their aromas are redolent of citrus fruits, white fruits and their flowers, along with notes of sugared and stewed fruits at the more elevated degrees.  Chablis is showing its typical minerality marvellously.  A very pleasing uniformity of quality and typicity has been noticed from Chablis to Mâcon.

 

The reds

The reds are of high quality across the board, with particular consistency in the Côte de Nuits and in the Auxerre district.  The colour is beautiful and intense.  Thanks to analyses performed on the grapes to ascertain their anthocyan quotient and their extractilibility, the winemakers benefited from useful indicators which allowed them to choose the techniques best adapted to bringing out the full potential of the grapes.

 

Just before the harvest, the longevity of the tannins was relatively high, but regular tastings during the maceration period allowed for the adjustment of these tannins so that more balanced wines were produced.  The careful sorting of the grapes at harvest time, a determining factor this year, undeniably contributed to the quality of the red wines.

 

Some are delicate and elegant, while we have found others to be robust and full-bodied, which indicates a fine capacity for ageing.  Their aromas vary from red fruits (raspberry, redcurrant), to cherry, spices, and cocoa.

 

So now you know, folks.