What about the 2019 reds in the Côte de Beaune?
Consistent, perfumed, seductively textured. Wines of clarity, often airy, pure red-fruited wines – excellently showcasing their terroirs. The acidity isn’t ‘strong,’ it is rather ‘correct’ – we have tension.
Despite two heat-waves – the major, or hottest one, was before veraison, hence, 2019 managed to avoid the excesses of colour or volatility and the extra spice and darker fruit of the 2018 vintage. For sure, much riper – so sweeter – but here is a combination of qualities that I haven’t seen since the 2010s.
Like in the whites, 2019 is a year of concentration – the Côte de Beaune yields (see below) were modest to low – and whilst you may not sense the high alcohols in the whites, by comparison, there is a reduction of a half to a full degree of alcohol in the reds – typically they are ~13-14°.
In this vintage the Côte de Beaunes have a similar level of attainment to their cousins in the Côte de Nuits – unlike 2017 when the colour and intensity of the southern wines was generally of a lower order than the wines from further north. They show fine balance despite their concentration, which makes many of them already seem rather accessible.
Fortunately for the many clients of the region who do not have bottomless pockets, this is another great vintage for regional wines and for wines from the Côte Chalonnaise – from Givry to Rully – you will find many ‘relative’ bargains that you can also keep. I slightly prefer the whites to the reds in the Chalonnaise in 2019 – though not in Givry – but it remains a highly successful red vintage in 2019, it’s only that many of the reds in 2018 were even better!
I instinctively place this vintage as my new favourite from the modern (warm vintage) vernacular that began its series in 2015.
Who to follow
There are many ‘great’ or ‘bravo’ performances on the level of single wines; I invite you to discover those wines in each of the individual visit reports in this publication of my November visits. Rarer are the domaines where their products are so fabulously consistent that I would unhesitatingly take a mixed case of wine without knowing what I would receive. These domaines deserve special mention, so alphabetically, my magnificent seven Côte de Beaune domaines for 2019 are:
Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils
Domaine de Courcel
Domaine des Croix
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville
Domaine Albert Morot
Domaine Anne-Marie & Jean-Marc Vincent
Figures courtesy the BIVB
Like for the 2019 whites, the volumes are comparable to those of the heavily frosted year of 2016, indeed lower in Corton and the Côte Chalonnaise. For more specifics on the 2019 weather, see the section after the ‘grower comments.’
What the growers said…
Encapsulating the Côte de Beaune red vintage:
David Croix on 2019: “I’m amazed by how classical the wines taste based on the growing season – they have a combination of ripeness and freshness, of energy – I find that really great. Right now, I think I prefer my 19s from the vintages from 2018-2020, it’s the classical style that impresses me right now.”
Frédéric Weber: “I consider it the best blend of 2017 and 2015, and from the aromas, 1949!”
François de Nicolay: “It was certainly very hot for a time, hotter than in 2020 but the vines didn’t seem to suffer, the wines still good acidity. So it was more of a stress for the vines than an effect on the grapes themselves.”
Thibaud Clerget: “I loved vinifying this vintage – since 2015 it’s my favourite though there’s lower volume. I had already left the potential for very few bunches on the vines but the poor flowering meant that the two, when combined, meant about half a harvest.”
Briane Seive: “We are in a good run of vintages; 2019 the hottest and driest to this point. We picked based on our acid profiles, so most of reds are between 12.8-13.2°.The vines in soils of clay and iron didn’t suffer, it was the more stony grounds that did. If there’d been any more rain we could have had volumes like in 2017.”
Christine Gruère-Dubreuil: “One of the rare vintage with no use of sugar at harvest time. We’d be happy to make wine like this every year – I’d make a subscription for the next 10 years – Okay, with a bit more volume!”
William Waterkeyn: “A little more complicated (than 2020) – still, quite an easy vintage in the vines, but fermentations were often quite slow in the reds – so more stress in the cuverie than in the vineyards. In the end, I think a style that’s quite Burgundian with a more present acidity and a little less solaire than in 2018.”
Juliette & Caroline Chenu: “I see some similarities between the vintage pair of 18 and 19 and the vintages 2009 and 2010.”
Frédérick Lafarge: “A vintage that’s very representative of the terroirs, I think – very classic. We lost about 60% of the harvest though… ”
Marie Jacqueson: “This vintage was complicated by frost in the spring, and then followed the dryness. The quality and cleanliness were excellent, richness but with acidity too – but it’s only half a harvest – so that’s a bit of a trauma!”
Pascal Roblet: “A relatively simple year because the grapes had good maturity and good balance. I think a vintage of elegance. ’79 and 2002 are comparable to 2019 – classic, elegant pinot, the terroirs all different. Though not 2002 in Volnay as here there were low yields because it had been badly hailed in 2001…”
Average and 2019 vintage weather…
Please scroll half-way down this page – it makes no sense to duplicate the content of other reports.