Burgundy – white
After plentiful rain and a perfect flowering an exceptional quantity of grapes were picked pretty early after the long hot summer. They yielded a surprising amount of juice but, generally, no lack of concentration. The unexpectedly crisp wines charmed early tasters. It remains to be seen how they will age.
Chablis suffered greatly from frost in 2017, resulting in very reduced volumes. As ever, the irony seems to be that what remains is very good quality, as it is in the Côte d’Or. Cooler nights across the region have resulted in higher-than-usual acidity, with good conditions throughout the harvest season allowing for ripe, healthy fruit.
Damaging hailstorms and frost meant that yields are down across the region, by as much as 50% in Chablis. However, what remains is considered good quality in a classic style – that is, without any particular extremes of acid, alcohol, body or fruit concentration.
An early vintage with a very warm, dry summer. Chablis was affected by hail in early September, damaging 300 hectares of vineyard. Lower acidity levels make the wines richer but less precise than the 2014s.
Rather promising wines have emerged from a season that started unusually early after a mild winter and usefully wet early March followed by a very dry spring. Weather during flowering was almost too hot and dry. A cool, damp summer slowed ripening so that a fair quantity of grapes with good acid levels were picked at the usual time.
A disappointment to Burgundy’s Chardonnay growers who had hoped for higher volumes than 2012. Instead, a short crop thanks to the cold spring was diminished still further by the careful fruit selection required after an erratic summer. All in all, producers intent on quality have acquitted themselves well.
Produced very low volumes of Chardonnay in Burgundy. What there is, however, is being welcomed with cautious enthusiasm. As with the reds, poor quality was expected after such challenging weather conditions, but the first tastings indicated the wines are very good. A triumph against adversity, perhaps?
Less ripe than the previous two vintages, needing chaptalisation in many cases. Chaotic weather made this a tricky vintage overall.
High acidity, after the more opulent style of the 2009s. A small, ripe crop – although a storm in early September did produce some rot, so sorting was crucial – as ever.
Good, healthy and high quality across the region. Warm conditions and fairly large yields have given balanced grapes, and most agree 2009 whites are at least on a par with 2005.
Challenging climatic conditions abounded throughout the season, leading to high acidity that gives these whites a particular freshness. Challenging, then, but as ever the best producers have made some spectacular wines.
Another challenging summer with no shortage of rain but for once Chardonnay flowered after Pinot Noir and was more reliably saved by the drying winds that arrived in late August. Crisper whites than in 2005 and 2006.
Poor summer was followed by much-needed fine weather in early September producing a relatively consistent crop of early-maturing, quite fleshy whites.
Very concentrated wines that should last much longer than most white burgundy vintages. Promising indeed.
Acid levels are relatively high and these are not massive wines so are best for classicists who like their white burgundy to be quite angular.
A very difficult year with exceptionally low levels of acid, some of them made from grapes that shrivelled rather than ripened. Curious.
Good quality and quantity.
Erratic weather produced some rot but also some surprisingly good white wines, if not for the long term, as well as some rather thin, disappointing ones. A variable vintage that rewarded those who limited yields. Devastating hail in parts of the Côte Chalonnaise.
Extremely ripe, sometimes too ripe, healthy grapes with fairly good acidity that were able to charm even in their youth. Especially good for Chablis and the Mâconnais.
Large crop ripened by fine weather in late August and early September. Generally slightly crisper than the 2000s and the best may last longer – if they are allowed to.
Everything went wrong: frost, hail, powdery mildew. Respectable, considering.
Charming wines for relatively early drinking.
As with the reds, acidity is the keynote. The best-balanced are stunning but some are a bit meagre.
Very small crop producing wines with real concentration.
Generally better than the reds and certainly more consistent, especially the Mâconnais.
A large, ripe harvest struck by rain, so concentration was a problem.
Balanced, elegant and refined: best from the Côte d’Or rather than Chablis.
Rain reduced acidity and concentration, some were delightful but many were dilute.
Very ripe but yields were just too high for profound wines. Chablis best.
A medium-sized crop produced spectacularly rich and horribly expensive wines.
Pretty lean and astringent.
Not as consistent as 1985, but great from reliable growers.
Beautifully balanced, expansive wines.
Huge and alcoholic, the few with acidity to balance were spectacular.