Harvests began in the last week of August and continued into mid-September.
As in any growing season there are moments of anguish, but growers were relieved to have a far more amenable vintage in 2022. While there were drought conditions that led to some vines shutting down later in the summer, there had been sufficient rain around 22nd June and later in August to revive them. While the average temperatures in each of May, June, July and August were just over two degrees higher than the thirty-year average, the temperatures rarely neared forty degrees. While there were long, sustained periods of hot days, these were offset by cooler nights, giving the all-important diurnal variation.
Sunshine hours were notably high, with 28 hours more sunlight hours in June alone, but canopy management has advanced so significantly in the last decade that fruit was better protected than it may have been in similar conditions more than a decade ago. There is also clear evidence of other proactive approaches in the vineyard and the winery that have come to define the restless, reflective, meticulous vignerons we are so lucky to deal with. There is no complacency but instead an ongoing search for marginal gains in the face of the pressures brought about by climate change.
Perhaps this is what gives the 2022s their surprising character. Not just the rain that was well timed and of sufficient volume, the nights that were cooler than they might have been, but the evident focus, attention to detail, and shared knowledge and experience of ever-increasing numbers of growers that respect and want to protect and express their historic terroirs. In 2022 these terroirs shone clearly, and the recognised hierarchy was communicated through the wines, with clear steps between village, premier cru and grand cru levels for any given producer. In terms of what we tasted and what we will be offering, this is valid for both reds and whites.
We must stress, as we do each year, that this applies to the growers we deal with, is based on our tasting experience and cannot be universalised (by us) to the entirety of Burgundy, not even the entirety of just the Cote d’Or.
To sum up, this is a vintage that is characterised by pure, healthy fruit, vibrant freshness, balanced weight and mouthwatering, saline length and energy. The reds have been compared by some to a cross between the 2019s and 2020s, for others more like the 2017s but with greater fruit depth and intensity: both are positive comparisons. More simply, in the words of Sebastien Cathiard: “Gourmand, expressive and mouthwatering.” For the whites to be aligned, by Jean-Pierre Latour, with the 2014s is high praise indeed, given the increasingly exalted status that vintage holds. But for me it is the freshness and accessibility that are key, with wines that are likely to be enjoyable from soon after release and which will remain open for many years to come.
If you have any questions or wish to make us aware of any wines or domaines of potential interest, please do get in touch.
In a slight change of approach to En Primeur Burgundy, we aim to release wines as they become available to us and in so far as we believe they are worthy of being offered. The releases will take the form of our usual offer emails and will emerge over the coming days and weeks.