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‘Ready to drink’ 2017 Burgundies could ease sky-high prices ahead of Brexit

Published:  15 November, 2018

The wines now emerging from Burgundy’s 2017 vintage could help to ease the pockets of restaurants and fine wine merchants, it has been suggested.

The wines, some of which were tasted for the first time at MMD’s recent presentation of Domaine Faiveley, will be available to private clients in January – just two months before Brexit Day on March 29.

While Burgundy 2015 was characterised by dryness and 2016 by frost, 2017 was “not a vintage to remember” in terms of weather, it was pointed out.

The result is a classic vintage, with softer tannins which could be drunk “younger and slightly cheaper”.

“If things continue how they are right up until Brexit, there could be a moment of real uncertainty,” acknowledged Mark Bingley MW, fine wine director at MMD, the UK arm of Louis Roederer.

“There are some wonderful white wines and the top reads are really superb. And if prices come down slightly, there should be strong demand. We’re very happy to have 2017 now, because 2018 very special.”

Bingley described 2018 as a vins de garde, with longer aging potential and warm weather all over the continent helping to soup up expectations.

Faiveley is one of the biggest domaines in Burgundy with around 130ha all still privately owned by the family which founded the domaine 180 years ago.

Head winemaker Jerome Flous joined the estate in 2007, just after Erwan Faiveley became one of the youngest directors in Burgundy’s history.

Flous agreed 2017 was unremarkable in terms of weather – something which is becoming more rare when faced with the realities of climate change.

Because of challenges in 2016 however, he did go ahead with a green harvest in Chambolle Musigny - the first time for the domaine since 2009.

“The quantity produced by the vines in 2017 were a lot more in some areas. Because of the frost in 2016 and low crops, in 2017 the vines over compensated. It’s like eating lots of food after being on a restricted diet. The vines swell up,” he said.

Also at the MMD tasting was an assortment of vintage wines from Rhône estate Delas Frères.

Owned by Louis Roederer but distributed by Berkmann in the UK until recently, the estate’s distribution has now been brought back in house, with MMD taking over.