Best Burgundy 2016 wines: The top scorers

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See Burgundy 2016 wines rated above 95 points by William Kelley, following extensive tasting in the region ahead of the coming en primeur campaign by merchants in early 2018.

William Kelley spent several weeks on the road, tasting Burgundy 2016 en primeur wines. Credit: Ian Shaw / Alamy
William Kelley spent several weeks on the road, tasting Burgundy 2016 en primeur wines. Credit: Ian Shaw / Alamy

Devastating frost made its mark on this vintage, slashing yields and resulting in uneven quality. But the best examples are still worth buying, says William Kelley, especially premiers and grands crus reds, and value wines from Côte Chalonnaise

Along the Cote d’Or, no one could recall anything like it. Burgundy is no stranger to frost, but the night of 26-27 April was unique, striking not just the low-lying regional and village appellations, but many celebrated grands and premiers crus upslope. Vineyards that normally escape unscathed were razed.

‘I’ve never heard of Echezeaux freezing,’ reflected Emmanuel Rouget. ‘My uncle Henri Jayer said that even Richebourg froze in the winter of 1947, but never Echezeaux.’

Christophe Roumier, whose vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny were hit hard, agreed: ‘It’s certainly unprecedented in my career.’

The caprice of the April frosts, denuding some vineyards of grapes while leaving others untouched, has left an indelible mark on the 2016 wines, resulting in almost unexampled heterogeneity. Generalising about a vintage is always a challenge, but in 2016 it is close to impossible. This year, more than ever, the devil is in the detail.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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