The 2021 vintage produced a style of Burgundy wines that some will love and others won’t recognize. It is entirely unlike the three prior vintages (2020, 2019, 2018) as well as 2016 and 2015. For the former group of Burgundy lovers, it is a return to the region’s classic elegance. For the latter, the wines may taste a bit gaunt.
Whatever the style, there is less wine than ever. Yields were historically low. Like pH and total acidity in wine (for the most part…there are rare exceptions), when one is higher, the other is lower. So, it is for the 2021 wine prices. Burgundians like to say that things move slowly in their part of France, but their prices have rocketed off in recent years, and not just for the best wines.
Add to these two factors the quandary that the quality can be mixed – even between different colors from the same producer, and it sums up to some necessary research before purchasing the wines. It is worth the investment of time and coin to use the resources of those who have tasted the wines to make purchasing decisions, especially as tasting samples will be rare.
Christy Canterbury MW first set foot in Burgundy in 2004, and has been going back – sometimes spending several months a year – every year since 2006. Each year, she says, Burgundy feels less sleepy and looks better off, even a bit glitzy.
Christy spent four-and-half weeks in Burgundy between the summer and fall of 2022 to compile the research for this 153-page report. She personally visited 163 producers and tasted 1,776 wines in total. Sixty-eight pages (44% of the report) are dedicated to tasting notes of the best wines rated 94 or above.
The report begins with a close-up of what’s happening right now in the region followed by the critical factors to understand about this generally good but highly challenging vintage that thoroughly exhausted producers and their teams. The “Top” rankings have been changed this year to include only producers whose wines have been tasted in the report in an effort to highlight those who overcame the odds and produced wines worth seeking out, despite the historically small quantities and higher-than-ever prices.
There is the annual parade of vintners’ portraits along with an updated list of recommended restaurants and wine stores in Burgundy. Plus, there is a list for further reading to accompany your journey through many good bottles of Burgundy.