My attendance of a Burgundy trade tasting is quite envied by many of my friends. To be honest, they are absolutely right! These are very expensive wines, most of it you cannot afford to buy, and the supply is very limited. If you have a chance to try them, even if they are just released, out of the barrel, take your chance! It is a fantastic experience to try wines, one can only read about in books and articles. To be fair you need a certain amount a vigour and discipline to get through, but it is worth it.
On that basis according to my palate the 2018 Burgundy vintage seemed really ripe, rich and juicy, very approachable with smooth, melting tannins. Although they were just released, still came across as easy drinking and accessible already. I wonder how long it could be laid down!? Not very long, I suspect. You could tell by the tasting of the wines that the weather has been warm, possibly above average. I suppose climate change has its positives to an extent. You get reliable, evenly warm Summers.
I have always got the impression that people mix up tasting wine with drinking wine. The two are so far from each other. When you taste wine you evaluate, think and check certain elements and the overall feel and more importantly you spit it out afterwards. When you taste 100+ wines in a matter of hours, you are not there to describe what sort of primary fruits are present at each individual bottle, with what level of acidity and tannins. You are there to immerse and have a feel of the highs and lows of a particular vintage from specific winemakers. If you religiously work yourself through it, you will have a picture of the quality of wine from a single region from a certain year. Do not fret, you still can see the undeniable peaks and the surprising individuals. My method, if you wish, is to never check the price in the beginning. It is all quite expensive anyway even in bonds. No point! You have your list of wines and winemakers, preferably starting with white, and kick off with the first. I always start with the basic wine, in case of Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc and I taste all wines from that winemaker. My idea behind is, to see what the bottom line is, to see the entry level and taste my way up to Grand Cru. If someone cannot make a decent basic wine the chances are that even their great Grand Cru can get sloppy.
Photographs by The Tannin Addict.