Burgundy 2020 Special Report




Burgundy may be an ancient winemaking region, but it feels like the pace of change has never faster than it is today. Ten years ago, the ladies at the boulangerie might ask whom you were having over for dinner when you bought an extra baguette. Nowadays, they’re as likely to ask more pointedly if you’re hosting investors looking to buy vineyards when you pick up the extra carbs.

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. And considerably more dynamic. To take only one example: Pouilly-Fuissé welcomes its inaugural Premier Crus with the 2020 vintage.

Christy spent three-and-half weeks in Burgundy in fall and early winter 2021 to compile the research for this 125-page report. She personally visited 99 producers and tasted 1,258 wines in total. (Alas, 11 producers cancelled due to positive COVID tests or contact cases and another five that she tried to substitute were also unavailable, due to COVID’s rampant spread through the Côte d’Or in early December. Plus, there was another due to a severely sprained ankle!)

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 very good and highly unusual vintage. There are seven “Top 25” rankings, and she’s highlighted a number of wines – at every quality and price level – that she found particularly delineated and energetic with a “*” following their scores.

You’ll also find a list of the best UK importers for Burgundy. (There is no such US list as each state has its own laws of commerce and generally requires the consumer to buy from a retailer rather than an importer.) There is also what she calls some “eye candy” in her photographs, including the annual parade of vintners’ portraits. Finally, a list of recommended restaurants and wine stores in Burgundy is toward the back, along with a list for further reading to accompany your journey through many good bottles of Burgundy.