How did Burghound Rate Burgundy’s 2004- 2007 Vintages?

In my last post on Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, discussion about the wines from Burgundy we tasted with him on Saturday, I promised to post his views on the 2004 to 2007 vintages. So here it is!

2004: This was a hard vintage. It was cooler and many of the grapes were affected by powdery mildew. The cooler weather caused many of the red wines to have a “green” quality. A green quality to me is either a steaminess or a capsicum aroma/flavour in the wine. Allen brought up the discussion in the Burgundy community of a ladybug infestation that year. Ladybugs if they are disturbed, they release a bad tasting pheromone. Some people had suggested that when the pinot noir grapes were picked and hand sorted, the ladybugs were disturbed as they were on the grapes, and they released their bad tasting pheromone. That being said, the same greenness is not evident on the white (chardonnay) grapes. Maybe ladybugs are pinot fans only (my comment)?

2005: This was an excellent vintage. It is the best vintage for pinot noir in many years. It had warm days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to reach full ripeness (phenolic ripeness) and keep a good level of acidity. The reds are ripe and dense. Many are still too young to drink. Allen thinks that there is an 18-25 aging potential for the 1er and Grand Cru pinot noirs. The white wines have lots of body due to the elevated level of ripeness, but this is at the expense of a bit of elegance. Many of the whites though are good for drinking now (My comment).

2006: Another cool, foggy season. If the grower picked their chardonnay grapes early they would have classic cool climate white Burgundy. But if they waited a bit longer for the official grape picking start date, the grapes could have been attacked by the botrytis cinera fungus (aka noble rot). Botrytis gives white wine an added level of complexity. I typically get a marmalade flavour (my comment). So for the whites, you could get a classic cool climate Chardonnay or not. Best to check the tasting notes for individual white wines for 2006. For the reds, the cooler climate also made it harder to produce a great vintage. It doesn’t mean there are no good 2006, Pinot Noir. You just need to do your research before buying a bottle.

2007: This was a good vintage for white wines. This vintage produced a classical, austere white Burgundy. The Village level wines are starting to be more fully developed and interesting for tasting now. The reds are a mixed bag. Some are great and some are not. You need to do some research. The 2007 reds are lighter in body compared to the very ripe and muscular 2005 vintage.

That’s all from my notes. I hope it has given you a bit of insight into these vintages and will help guide your Burgundy wine purchases. Cheers!