Burgundian Indian Summer
Yes, they do call it “Indian Summer’ over here too. “l’Été Indien” is in full swing - we’ve had 6 straight days of gloriously sunny, 70+-degree days, just as the vines are turning bright yellow and earning their name the “slope of gold” (though I actually subscribe to the theory that the name Côte d’Or actually comes from “slope of the east”, but I digress…)
I’ve just started tasting the very fine 2016s at a few of our producers, and will get a serious look at all of them before heading back to Portland in December. The 2016s are really, really good - at least at the top 10% of producers - but there are hardly any wines to be had. It’s a shame that these wines are so good, but from a vintage that produced the smallest crop in modern history. Coming after the classic 2015s, many folks may be tempted to sit out the ‘16s, but I truly believe that would be a mistake. Getting hold of any of the ‘16s will be the true issue - if you can find any from your preferred domaines, snap ‘em up when you can, as they are really lovely wines. Balanced, good fruit, good energy, and they’ll be offering up their best on the earlier side - something that doesn’t happen here all that often.
Aside from being one of the absolutely great vintages of the last 50 years, something else notable happened here in 2015. It was the first vintage for a trio of young winemakers who I believe will be among the next generation of superstars here. Mathias Parent at A-F Gros, Joannès Violot-Guillemard in Pommard, and Thibaud Clerget at Yvon Clerget in Volnay all took the reins for the first time in ’15, and they came out of the gate with a bang. The proof, for me, is in their 2016s, which are flat-out gorgeous. Just about everybody made good wine in 2015. To have killed it in ’16 like these young lions is a great sign. The Clerget wines have been my greatest discovery here so far this fall - a domaine that dates back 28 generations - but was just re-launched in 2015 by young M. Clerget and his stellar line-up of Volnay 1er Crus. (Yes, they’ll be part of our Caveau world in the new year - stay tuned for all the action to come…)
Burgundy's new young guns - Mathias, Thibaud and Joannès.