2014 was one of those rare vintages in Burgundy that was equally good for red and white wines. Most of the hyperbole was directed to the fantastic quality of the white wines. Indeed it is true that from Macon, through the Cote Chalonnaise and in the great growths of the Cote de Beaune – even all the way up to Chablis – the 2014 white Burgundies were hailed by everybody as the greatest vintage since 1992 and so on and on. They are undeniably marvelous.
However – 2014 Reds are being overlooked and this is a sad state of affairs. Because of the hoopla over 2015 red Burgundy, people are forgetting about one of the best red wine vintages we have seen in a long time. The 2014 red burgundies are a great “mirror” of the different vineyards they came from. Village wines taste like the exceptional village wine that they are, the premier crus are a great step up and grand crus are obviously on another level, even at this young age. People often talk about “transparency” in a vintage and here is a great opportunity to see the Burgundy Cru classifications illustrated for you – right there in your wine glass.
The growers know and I think that no one has expressed this with greater eloquence than the exceptional Cecile Tremblay: “I really like the vintage as it’s ultra-pure, in fact unlike any of the recent vintages there is no one defining element of the 2014 vintage. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 you know instantly which one is which because of their specific characteristics. 2014 isn’t like that and as such you can really taste the underlying terroir.”
Becky Wasserman says that she had a real deja vu experience with the 2014 vintage – she thinks it is a reincarnation of 1966, one of the first vintages she was able to purchase on arriving in Burgundy. She had lunch with the Lafarge family in Volnay and told Michel Lafarge about her perception of 2014. He sent Frederic down to the cellar to get a bottle of 1966 Volnay Clos de Chateau des Ducs and they had it with the cheese. She was right! Anthony Hanson said that it is as rare to have a vintage that can be drunk and with such delight as it is to have a vintage that will last for years and years.
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