Armit Wines was in the fortunate position of having our Master Sommelier, Nicolas Clerc, on the ground in Burgundy to taste a great number of wines from barrel. In 2020, this was a rare occurrence for a UK wine merchant.
His report back had a resounding message from the vignerons: the quality of the village wines in 2019 was exceptional. Not only that, but each appellation, village and vineyard had a clear, delineated expression of its terroir. This is arguably the most terroir-expressive vintage in recent years.
This may sound trite, but Vosne-Romanée tastes of Vosne-Romanée… Volnay is what you expect. This then runs through to the granular level of each vineyard. This is true the length and breadth of the Côte-d'Or.
There is no doubt in our mind that here lies the real value of the 2019 vintage. The quality of these village wines is as good as 1er Crus were 10-15 years ago (producer specific, of course). These are the areas that have been elevated beyond their usual quality. As Jancis Robison MW writes:
“[The] biggest improvement has been at the bottom end of the quality and price range… Once the UK merchants make their offers over the next few weeks I hope to see some examples from really very respectable addresses for as little as £25 a bottle. That, believe me, is a steal in a burgundian context.”
Broadly speaking, with the white wines, we’d steer you towards the cooler villages of the region. Saint-Aubin, Saint-Romain and Ladoix all achieved new heights in 2019, combining the opulent fruit of a solar vintage, with that essential tension and acidity. Of course, the likes of Meursault and the two Montrachet villages continue to exude class, but the best, canniest buys are in these satellite appellations.
The reds really are universally excellent in quality. Again, the singularity of vineyard and terroir shine through. We heard on a number of occasions reference to the 1989 vintage, a year of exceptional reds, but defined by balance and approachability in youth, but with all the concentration of fruit to reward time in the cellar.
Of course, if you wish to discuss any wine in particular, or would like further guidance, then please do not hesitate to contact the Private Client Team. We look forward to hearing from you!