I have just returned from Burgundy where I began tasting wines from barrel 34 years ago. During this period I have missed only a handful of vintages (including last year when health issues kept me away). What I can say is that some of the 2013 red wines that I tasted are amongst the greatest Burgundies I have ever tasted from barrel. The 2013 vintage was a late vintage. It was also variable and difficult with cool weather in the first half of the year and warmer weather in the July-October period alternating with cooler weather and rain. For the season rainfall was about 40% above normal with about 10% less sunshine. For most of the year expectations were low. But, a lot of work in the vineyards, the warm weather later in the year, along with good maturity at harvest, and a rigorous selection, raised hopes. Then the long fermentations caused a lot of nervousness amongst the producers. And, it was not until after the 2014 harvest that many of the 2013 wines in barrel began to show their full potential. Our tasting in November seemed to catch many of the wines in a very good state.
Of course, tasting wines from barrel is always tentative since the wines can change literally from day to day (to read my article on this click here). But, given this caveat, I would say that we are looking at a potentially great vintage and there are a lot of really stunning wines.
And, as is almost always the case, it is quite unlike any recent vintage. The suppleness, purity, and balance of the best wines is truly something very special. Mostly we visited our usual group of top producers (to see that list and the results from the 2012 tasting click here). Based on these visits, I would call 2013 the nervous vintage with results that greatly exceeded expectations. I should have my article completed soon. All Burgundy lovers will not want to miss it. This is a vintage that will have widespread admiration. Stay tuned!
In Vino Veritas,