Wines from the Côte d’Or:
  • **2011 reds, like the 2004 reds, you really have to refer to this.
  • *White vintages – everything older than 2011 – ie most of them! – drink-up to minimise oxidation issues. This issue is DEFINITELY not yet fixed. NOTE that if your wines are sealed with DIAM (or similar) then you can justifiably (empirically) have at least 15-years of confidence in the bottles – see here. Also, whilst others have reported issues, I’ve yet to meet an oxidised magnum – even sealed with cork – going as far back as 2002 in the last 8 years…
    (As always, based on decent producers, because even in good years, the worst are to be avoided!)
Wines from the Chablis:
  • You may note that no vintages are marked in red as ‘drink-up’. This reflects my experience of significantly less oxidation in the Chablis that I open – is that down to a little cooler climate or more use of DIAM versus the Côte d’Or? – Who is to say…(?) Still, if you are serious about long-term storing of whites, as above, you need to read this [subscribers]

Wines from the Beaujolais:


*Not barrel tasted – the scores are based on bottles…

The ‘versions’ of this page

Version 2.00 – December 2021
Côte d’Or updated based on most recent experiences, and adding the latest (2019 and estimates for 2020) vintage. And, of-course, also updating the tables for both Chablis and Beaujolais. The Côte d’Or whites in particular show the difficulty of generalised scores – there are 2018 whites that are absolutely 19/20 – so you may think that at the top-end, the quality of the vintage is the same as in 2017. Actually there are far fewer 19/20 wines in 2018 than in 2017 – but hey! 2020 Chablis included 02-March 2022.

Version 1.90 – March 2020
Version 1.80 – February 2018
Version 1.70 – Sept 2017
Version 1.60 – Sept 2016
Version 1.50 – March 2015
Version 1.40 – January 2014
Version 1.30 – December 2012
Version 1.20 – November 2011
Version 1.10 – November 2010
Version 1.00 – January 2010

Vintage Charts…

(Written in 2010 for version 1.0)
I thought that you didn’t like vintage charts? : It seems like forever that I’ve been telling you that vintage charts are close to useless. The standard approach of a particular number of stars, or marks out of 10 etc., per vintage, could never and will never encapsulate the ‘what-ifs’ of burgundy.

Despite that, or maybe in spite of that(!), it has become a regular theme in my mailbox – okay regular is relative, but it’s a couple of questions or requests every month (eh, DC…?). During the summer, one mail was essentially phrased – ‘but what if you had to?‘ Well, I’ve thought about it, and concise is still out of the window, but here is an early ‘work in progress’ shot at a solution.

What about vintages? : You will say that I’m missing a lot of vintages, and that’s true, I’ve restricted myself only to vintages that I’ve tasted from barrel and where I have continued to follow their development.

And the numbers? : Marked out of 20 – I have decided to give you three; the top one is an average (in my opinion) for the vintage, but alone, and even as an average, that won’t help you get a feel for the vintage – you still need some idea of the gap between the best wines and the disappointing ones, the ‘spread’ if you like – i.e. your relative chance of hitting a good one or a bad one, blind – with those additional two numbers the table is now starting to offer some limited value, but unknown labels will forever remain a game of roulette.

What it doesn’t do? : It doesn’t do a lot; it doesn’t differentiate between Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits (or Hautes Côtes or Côtes Chalonnaise etc., etc.), it doesn’t differentiate the good producers who failed or excelled in a particular vintage, it also doesn’t tell you that despite the first 4 from 5 white vintages ‘peaking’ at 19/20 possible points (ouch I hate points) that the characters of each are totally different – some may be to your taste, some not. It’s also (at best) a snapshot, as vintages can evolve in unexpected directions – what comes out of a bottle is a moving target – with every update I expect some scores to improve and others to slide…

So do I now believe a vintage chart for burgundy is possible? Well in my heart no – but for those people who counter with ‘anything is better than nothing’, I’ll revisit this every twelve months (or so). If you have some bright ideas to make it better, whilst retaining portability, then do get in touch – none of that NIH syndrome here!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 28 responses to “17. A Burgundy Vintage Chart”

  1. Fionn28th January 2010 at 6:01 pmPermalinkReply

    Great stuff! This is very handy as a cross reference to vintages and quality. It certainly leaves me thinking I should be drinking much more better 2007 whites now.


    • billn28th January 2010 at 6:59 pmPermalinkReply

      I’m glad about that – because you should! 😉
      But watchout for those 08 whites too…!!!

  2. Phil Eaves3rd February 2010 at 7:15 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill, not a lover of 2003 white then ?

    • billn3rd February 2010 at 7:32 pmPermalinkReply

      Actually Phil, the Charlemagnes were not bad – but more expensive than the better 1999-2002s… 😉

  3. Philip21st November 2010 at 4:42 pmPermalinkReply

    I suppose the dissappointment is that it gives no indication of readiness. The best of the red 2005, in my view, shouldn’t be touched for quite a while.

    • billn21st November 2010 at 4:59 pmPermalinkReply

      Maybe I should consider a colour-code the ‘average’ cells 😉
      That said, I think ‘drinking’ has more to do with white than red – at least for the 10 year period on display. I would only suggest drinking 2000s and 2007s (2004s if you like them) in red, but not the very best wines.

  4. Claude Kolm22nd November 2010 at 9:48 pmPermalinkReply

    I’m surprised by your dropping 2007 whites, Bill. Maybe because I don’t taste at the bottom of the heap, but for me, it’s the greatest young white vintage I’ve ever experienced, and several producers have enthusiastically agreed when I said that to them.

    I’m also (but somewhat less) surprised by your dropping the 2004 whites. Again, maybe I just don’t taste as widely as you do, but I’ve had several lovely examples in the last few weeks. 2005 whites, OTOH, is a touch high to my palate, although I can understand it for others. Also, if you get lucky enough to some of the 2003 Montrachets, I think you’d find justification for raising the upper limit for 2003 whites.


    • billn22nd November 2010 at 10:14 pmPermalinkReply

      A lot of rather acidic 07 whites have passed my lips Claude – but as you will note that 20/20 stays resplendent for the best wines – I think them the greatest I ever tasted!

      Actually on 03 I might eventually stretch to a 16 for some of the Charlemagnes – okay, 15.5 – I’m not anticipating any Montrachets 😉

      05s are not currently to my taste, lacking energy in many cases – but there’s no disputing the latent power and concentration – I think by far the most homogenouss recent vintage though…

      It’s good to discuss!

      PS I like the tongue in cheek – ‘perhaps I don’t taste as widely as you’ – haha!

  5. Marilyn Hulme2nd December 2010 at 5:00 pmPermalinkReply

    I bought a bottle of red wine many years ago,i liked it so much i bought a case and gave it to friends.The problem is..I
    cannot remember what the wine was called only that the label
    had musical score as a background.Can you help?

  6. Brady20th January 2011 at 12:46 pmPermalinkReply

    Unrestrict yourself Bill! Who cares that you haven’t tasted barrel samples of older vintages. Surely you have an opinion of the vintages of the 90’s, and probably 80’s too! Then your color-coded readiness-to-drink version would have more green than red. Just calibrate it at premier and grand cru.

    Just do it! 🙂

  7. kmm21st April 2011 at 10:31 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill –

    I very much enjoy your site! Does the “2004 drink up to minimize oxidation issues” include Chablis? I have yet to have a premox Chablis from ’04… Sadly, I have had two from ’07!

    Maybe you could change the premox font color from red to a golden straw color:)


    • billn22nd April 2011 at 7:20 amPermalinkReply

      Yes it does kmm.

      Besides straw is more of an amber colour – saying watch out – not ‘danger’ 😉

  8. Tom Blach25th April 2011 at 9:12 pmPermalinkReply

    I am also not anticipating a lot of 03 Montrachet(though I did taste a remarkably feasible 84 Bouchard at lunch) but the Laguiche 03 a few weeks ago was remarkable in its linearity and detail, and I think it will last for ever. Though I’m out of the white Burgundy game many higher level 03s are starting to seem far from the car crash they were a couple of years back.

  9. kmm27th April 2011 at 11:02 pmPermalinkReply

    I opened an ’04 Fevre ‘Les Clos’ over the weekend, it was absolutely wonderful with zero signs of premox. I think there is still more to come and I feel like there is no rush to open another one!

    I like to gamble…

  10. Jon Purcell13th June 2011 at 7:53 pmPermalinkReply

    Best Burgundy Vintage Chart I have ever seen. Thank you Bill.

  11. patti30th September 2011 at 12:05 amPermalinkReply

    I have a bottle of Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils
    Appellation Nuits Saint Georges Controlee
    Red Burgundy Wine vintage 2000
    Is this wine still good? It has been stored on it’s side in a cool place. I have no idea what it was or is worth so I’m not sure if it’s still good. Please advise me as to what you think.

    • billn30th September 2011 at 5:46 pmPermalinkReply

      If strored as you say patti, it should be good drink, but it has no resale value – well, maybe $20…
      Should taste nice though!

  12. alex bernardo23rd November 2011 at 6:10 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill

    This is like, everything’s nice and convivial then you turned on the radio, so of course an argument breaks ’cause everyone has a favorite station! Seriously, I don’t taste as wildly, er widely as you 🙂 but I think we agree most on 2006 reds. Thanks. Great job!


  13. Richard11th December 2011 at 10:13 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Everyone,

    I wonder if anybody can help me by recommending an excellent 2006 and 2008 Burgundy which will last and really mature for 18 to 21 years. This is for my children so that we can have something Very special on thier birthdays.
    It would be crazy for me to be specific. However I do love Pommard.
    I’d appreciate your advice and knowledge.



  14. Simon Paul7th June 2012 at 1:46 pmPermalinkReply

    Richard, For what it’s worth here’s my suggestion: Domaine Jerome Chezeaux, Gevrey Chambertin Les Suchots for 2006 and 2008. I just bought the 2006 and 2009 for less than 50 euros a bottle. Both should go at least 20 years.

  15. Simon Paul7th June 2012 at 1:51 pmPermalinkReply

    Sorry Richard: that should be Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots.

  16. Dr Burgundy13th January 2013 at 8:55 pmPermalinkReply

    Following the London Burgundy 2011 tastings, I have a lot of concern about the Cote de Nuits reds. Seems like a combination of 2007 with problematic hints of 2004. By contrast, some of the Cote de Beaune reds from better producers are enjoyable. Tasted young, the 2011s are far below the quality of the 2010s. Like other years with limited sunshine: buy from more southerly vineyards, with southerly expositions, from top quality producers.

  17. Paul Doust14th February 2013 at 12:22 pmPermalinkReply

    i’ve got a copy of the book “The Finest Finest of Burgundy”, and just inside the front cover there’s a different vintage chart, Why is there a different type of vintage chart in print compared to the web site? Just curious! For completeness, perhaps you should have both on the web site?

  18. michael salomone2nd March 2013 at 1:04 amPermalinkReply

    For Richard, who is putting down ’06 and ’08, I would suggest Bouchard Le Corton in both years as well as Faiveley’s Clos des Cortons. For ’08 also try Philip Leclerc Gevery 1er crus Cazetiers or le Combe aux Moines. There is lots of high end stuff that will make that 21 year slog too, but these wines are available and you will still have some cash left over for the kiddies’ college fund! What ever you lay down, it will be best in a large format bottle, and the bigger the better.

  19. Stephen White17th November 2013 at 6:32 pmPermalinkReply

    I have found your vintage chart quite useful, please keep updating it. It is not a question of slavishly following such a chart, but rather using it as one more piece of evidence to use in putting together a best guess about things I am considering buying on a pre-arrival basis. For example, I see Francis Carillon Bourgogne Blanc on pre-arrival sale at a good price. At present, there are no tastings I can find. But I have greatly enjoyed Carillon’s 2010 BB. If you were to post a reasonably strong number for 2012 whites, I likely would take the plunge. I fully realize that my best guess may not turn out well, but, hey, that’s life. I certainly won’t blame you. Finally, you website as a whole is great, as is your book. Keep up the wonderful work.

  20. Gilberto14th January 2014 at 2:59 pmPermalinkReply

    Thanks for the update Bill.
    From various reports at the London EP tastings I was starting to get the impression that the first very positive comments about 2012 had to be tuned down a bit. From what I was gathering, there was no question that 2012 is inferior to 2010 and perhaps closer to 2011 than originally thought.
    But now you put 2012 even above 2010, so I am quite confused (which is not necessarily a bad thing…).

    • billn14th January 2014 at 7:53 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Gilberto
      I guess the first thing to say is that my scores are never based on a few barrel samples in London, but always on how the wines taste from barrel – and I’ve been tasting them since before malos (persuaded to taste before malos – I think you learn nothing then!) and since about June/July after malos. Same as every year.

      Frankly, 2012 is on a completely different planet to 2011. I’m very happy with the way I’ve scored things – as far as scoring goes. But you are not the only person to tell me that plenty of the London samples were underwhelming – some producers have told me that too 😉

  21. Gilberto23rd March 2015 at 8:19 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill,
    always interesting to look back at your vintage chart whenever you remind us that it exists! 😉
    What I happened to notice this time is that the average of the average scores of the whites is higher than that of the reds. Would you say it’s a matter of personal taste or the fact that recent vintages have been more favourable for whites?
    (By the way, the average of the best is basically the same, but that is less significant).

    • billn25th March 2015 at 9:04 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Gilberto
      I think that on reflection it’s much easier to make a palatable white wine than a red wine – so generally the worst whites are better than the worst reds – of course great wines of both colours need another level of expertise. Not for nothing is pn called the heartbreak grape, there are no similar names for chardy… 😉
      That said there have been some super whites in almost every vintage since 2003 – it’s really just a question of ‘what proportion’…

  22. nick2115th December 2015 at 12:27 pmPermalinkReply

    vintage charts are a no win situation for the author, I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Your attempt is as good as any I have seen, but as you say, they don’t account for too much.
    never-the-less, having seen a broad spectrum of red wines from the 10 and 12 vintages, I find it hard to believe anyone could rate them equal. 2010 by a fair margin, in my humble opinion. 2012 has it’s place, they will make great drinking over the next two decades, but I cannot see more than a handful of wines being touted as “classic Burgundy” 30 years from now, whereas there are a boat-load of such wines from 2010.
    would it be fair of me to assume you have rated 2012 highly because they will have wonderful immediate and mid-term appeal?
    cheers, and I will hasten to add this is not a criticism of what i consider to be a truly excellent attempt at an impossible task!!!

    • billn15th December 2015 at 2:54 pmPermalinkReply

      Nick / good questions.
      This is where the vintage is too complex for the table. The average is the same for 2010 and 2012, for the top wines, but actually I see Côte de Nuits behind 10, but Côte de Beaune ahead – but on average the same – shame on my table!

      “2012 highly because they will have wonderful immediate and mid-term appeal?” The reverse. But mainly due to the excellence of the super-concentrated small crop in the hailed areas – to this day I’ve never seen the combination of such concentration, but fresh fruit and yet brilliant energy too, and in wines from Volnay to Beaune. On average (both Côtes) there is an extra concentration and impressiveness to the regional wines of 2012 – hence, why I rated them higher than 2010.

  23. Stephen24th April 2016 at 9:21 amPermalinkReply

    I have some dauvissat-Camus sechet 2006 Chablis recently bought at auction. So far two bottles were delightful but a third started to oxidise as it was drunk. Beware 2006 indeed

  24. Lars Simonsen20th September 2017 at 3:03 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill, now picking seems to be over, so how about an update of the vintage chart? I mean, we don’t want you to sit on your hands not knowing what to do! 🙂

    • billn20th September 2017 at 3:10 pmPermalinkReply

      Good point Lars – I’ll put that on my to-do list 🙂

  25. Markydb21st September 2017 at 7:50 pmPermalinkReply

    Vintage charts of which this is the best one I’ve ever encountered are always problematic because Burgundy is problematic with as many exceptions as rules. So when I tasted an 07 Bourchard MP that makes me weep with joy followed by other 07 MPs that are tired and flaccid I just accept that this is the passion I have chosen. So I guess I’ll just have to keep showing up every day to taste, work hard to taste a broad spectrum and choose wisely and then hope to get lucky, because when you do…..

  26. Bernie and Michele23rd September 2017 at 3:25 amPermalinkReply

    Very worthy update to your vintage chart! And in the scheme of things covers the vagaries of producer, picking time etc very well. I just about agree entirely with your rankings🤓🤓. Agree entirely about 2007 reds, just keep getting better and wonderful acidity. Whereas 2008 becoming more problematic, some reds starting to look tired, oxidised, yet the best have long lives ahead….
    Beware 2013 whites, I have had two 1er crus recently that were well on the road to premox, butterscotch and curiously dry finish….. It’s not over yet!

    • billn23rd September 2017 at 6:04 amPermalinkReply

      Appreciate the comments from such accomplished drinkers such as B&M 🙂
      Re premox – I’ve yet to encounter anything other than a slightly botrytis-heavy 2013 – but you are right, it is definietly not over and a significant quantity of 5 year-old wine is problematic – except those in screw-caps or DIAM – my experience anyway.
      The oxygen sensitivity of the base wine has undoubtedly changed, so these things are sticking-plasters, rather than solutions, but (it seems) that wines as far back as 2005 remain consistently not p.oxed – long may that continue…

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