Browse the C&B Burgundy Hub for our tasting notes, producer background and videos, all of which will be updated as ‘Burgundy season’ progresses.
Welcome to the C&B Burgundy hub, the home of our new vintage releases.
The 2021 season posed several challenges for growers, most notably in the three nights of intense frost in early April. The result is a much-reduced crop, particularly in the Côte de Beaune and Chablis.
There are many beautiful wines to explore though, of freshness and a great sense of place. Please use the links below or contact us in the usual way. The offer opens on Wednesday 11th January 2023.
Contact us to place your order: [email protected] | 020 7265 2430
Will Hargrove, Head of Fine Wine, shares his insights into the 2021 Burgundy vintage.
Located some 100 miles north of the Côte d’Or, Chablis sits apart from the rest of Burgundy, separated from the Côte d’Or by the Morvan Mountains. Geologically, it shares characteristics with the Loire and Champagne.
Historically, the region benefited from its proximity to Paris and being able to transport wines by river to the capital. The advent of the railways had the opposite effect as more regions, with cheaper wines, became accessible. Chablis’ marginal location and fossil-rich soils lie at the heart of its quintessential flinty mineral style.
As was the case in the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, Chablis too was particularly badly hit by the harsh frosts that set in over a few nights in April. Due to severe crop losses suffered by our growers, we will not be offering Chablis 2021s for sale En Primeur.
CÔTE DE NUITS
The Côte de Nuits forms the northern half of the Côte d’Or, running from the outskirts of Dijon, through seven famous communes, to the villages of Prémeaux and Corgoloin, south of Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The region is around 20 kilometres long and between 200 and 800 metres wide. It covers 3,600 hectares. Driving south from Dijon, looking to the right, you will see slopes adorned with vineyards, broken up periodically by barren, rocky outcrops and, at its southern end, limestone quarries.
The Côte de Nuits, with few exceptions, is red wine country. It is, quite simply, home to some of the greatest Pinot Noirs in the world.
CÔTE DE BEAUNE
The Côte de Beaune is almost twice the size of the Côte de Nuits, with around 6,000 hectares under vine. Whereas the Côte de Nuits is an elongated strip of east-facing slopes, the gradient rising steeply into the hills above, the Côte de Beaune has several side valleys, making it a broader shape on a map.
Travelling north to south, the Côte de Beaune makes a dramatic entrance just before the city of Beaune itself, with the iconic Hill of Corton. This southern region is the more rugged and picturesque half of the Côte d’Or, feeling like proper countryside. The appellation covers both white and red wines.
The Côte Chalonnaise is an undulating landscape to the south of the Côte de Beaune, stretching from Bouzeron to Montagny. The soils are similar to the Côte de Beaune: a mixture of limestone, gravel and clay. Although further south and therefore enjoying fractionally more sunshine, it is actually more exposed than the Côte d’Or. Five villages stand out: Givry, Montagny, Mercurey, Rully and Bouzeron.
Mâcon lies 45 minutes by autoroute to the south of Chalon-sur-Saône. It is closer to Lyon than Beaune. For a style of wine sometimes confused with Chablis, it is worth noting that there are 219 kilometres between the two towns, making for real differences in climate.
The quality hierarchy in the Mâconnais starts with generic Mâcon, which may be red or white. Mâcon-Villages is a step up, applying to white wines only. The top status, again for white wines only, is conferred on the 26 communes who can use their village name after Mâcon.
Beaujolais and the world of Gamay are thriving, with quality-focused producers and friendlier price tags than in the Côte d’Or. Move over Beaujolais Nouveau!
Our two Beaujolais producers are a Moulin-à-Vent family, the Labruyères, who now also own Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault and a Volnay family, the Lafarges, whose holdings now stretch to Fleurie.
The Beaujolais crus have benefitted from the arrival of established Burgundian producers and know-how. Just as the Labruyères stress that they make Moulin-à-Vent rather than Beaujolais, for the Lafarges, Fleurie and Chiroubles are very much centre-stage.
“The ‘comparison-vintages-game’ is a stab in the dark at the best of times but 2017 is perhaps the closest modern equivalent, for its freshness and approachability in youth",
Guy Seddon, December 2022
The 2021 vintage in Burgundy will be remembered for its three nights of intense frost and snow, from 5th to 8th April. Temperatures dropped several degrees below zero, shortly after a summer-like period in mid-March which had coaxed the nascent buds into early development. The result, particularly pronounced in the earlier-budding Chardonnay, was widespread crop loss. Some vineyards in the Côte de Beaune lost almost everything.
But don’t stop reading here! Skipping to the end – to the wines themselves – I can reassure you that there are some truly lovely 2021s.
Head of Fine Wine Buying