2021 was a year which challenged Burgundian vignerons in ways few have ever seen. First, the plain facts: in the Côte d’Or yields for whites were ¼ of a normal crop, and for reds ⅓ of a normal crop. And in Chablis and the Mâconnais yields were just ½ of normal. Following two small harvests this now leaves the markets dramatically short of Burgundy wines. The weather events were of course enormously challenging and allude directly to the continuing effects of climate change. But rather than any single measurable extreme it was instead the volatility and timing of multiple events that challenged the region. The trend to earlier budbreak, severe frost, violent storms, hydric stress, and heat stress is becoming the expected norm, and it’s a triumph that good wines were produced at all.
"For me, I consider the 2020 vintage as something very special for Burgundy," Frédéric Barnier explained during our traditional two sessions to taste through Jadot's white and reds. "It is a vintage of hope for the future because it is one of the earliest ever made, picked mostly in August, which is clearly something unusual for the region. When we started to pick from August 19, nobody expected to pick grapes with such balance. Everyone was scared about this, believing that they would pick another 2003. So that was the surprise of the vintage. We started picking the reds during the first week because the Pinot Noir was suffering a little more than the Chardonnay. Why did the wines retain balance? It was because we had a reserve of acidity in the juice due to the previous season, especially tartaric acid. The pH was very good. The vines' ripening was slowed down by the lack of rain from the end of July until picking. The last 10-day wave of heat in August meant that we had to start picking early in order to prevent overripeness. The air was so dry that it was an easy year in terms of there being no rot to deal with. So maybe we could have more vintages like 2020 in the future. There is no greenness in the reds, and this shows that the vines can work under such conditions, though there is a limit when you can pick. The yields for the whites are better in 2020 than in 2017, around 45hl/ha (compared 10–12hl/ha for 2021) and alcohol for the white is 13.5°. We had a good level of malic acid, but it was not that high and so malolactic fermentation did not make a big difference. The 2020 is not a vintage of concentration like 2019 – it’s a more classic, perhaps more shy vintage. I don't think the whites and reds will be so easy to drink young." - Neal Martin, Dance the Quickstep: Burgundy 2020, vinous.com December, 2021
Questions? Comments? Orders?
Give us a call at (512) 499-0512 or send us an e-Mail message.