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Tuesday 12 November 2012
2012 BIVB Vintage Report
A rare and precious vintage in Bourgogne
A first! That is what Bourgogne’s winegrowers are saying about this year’s weather. Given Mother Nature’s whims, they had to redouble their efforts to ensure the very best results from their vines. And the first tastings confirm that all their hard work was worthwhile. From the north of Bourgogne to the south, the industry is unanimous - the quality of this year’s nascent wines is excellent, surpassing all expectations given the weather. The only downside is the quantity which is below average, down as much as 20% according to some estimates. (Definitive figures will be available in early 2013).

A mild winter, a chilly spring with frosts, a warm May, a cool and rainy June, an unstable summer, a heat wave, hail and storms - weather like this could not fail but affect the vines. The cold and rain in spring caused shatter, where some flowers fail to turn into fruit; millerandage where incomplete fertilization of the flower giving rise to small berries; and a big threat from both downy and powdery mildew. The brief hot periods in summer brought some very high temperatures that burned the fruit.

These phenomena, which occurred before the grapes ripened, meant yields were significantly lower this year, but had no impact on the quality of the grapes. On the contrary, aerated bunches of smaller berries guarantee concentration and intensity.

Having had to manage the elements and struggle on a daily basis, both man and materials have emerged from this vintage worn out, yet victorious. During the harvest, which took place under sunny skies, the grapes being welcomed into the wineries were healthy and showed no signs of disease or rot.

The scarcity of the 2012 vintage will only serve to make the wines even more precious!

White wines

These expressive wines reveal notes of fresh fruits and citrus. Forthright, they are already demonstration very good balance on the tongue.
The whites from northern Bourgogne are powerful, and translate the unique characteristics of their terroir: minerality with notes of flint and chalk.
This is a classic vintage, illustrated by the wines’ sophistication and good concentration.

Red wines

The wines are deep red in color, dense, and some are almost black.
They release rich and intense aromas of red berries. The tannins are ripe and silky, offering a lovely harmony on the tongue.
The 2012 vintage looks like a safe bet. The red wines reflect the diversity of each winegrowing region and offer a happy ending to this unusual year.

Crémant de Bourgogne

The low yields also concern the grapes for Crémant de Bourgogne wines, and the Gamay grape in particular. The Aligoté turned out to be more generous. Overall, production volumes could be down as much as 30%.
The grapes harvested were perfectly mature, combining the richness of optimum sugar content with good acidity. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir base wines are fruity, with lovely balance.

Source : Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne – November 2012.