The finest wines of the vintage from the Magnificent Seven
Lea & Sandeman, Goedhuis Waddesdon, Corney & Barrow, Jeroboams, Justernini & Brooks, Haynes, Hanson & Clark and Berry Bros. & Rudd
I have already posted two free-to-view Wednesday Wines posts on the 2022 Burgundy En Primeur campaign from two merchants who released their wines a week earlier than the crowd.
I have made my thoughts very clear about the character of the vintage and my opinions about whether you should consider buying any wines. Over the course of last week, I tasted around a thousand wines from the ‘Magnificent Seven’ of Burgundy specialist merchants. It is impossible to attend every tasting during the week as a couple overlap, so I regret not having time to visit the Howard Ripley and Flint events which are always worthwhile.
A couple of comments I heard during the week added colour to my statements on the vintage.
My favourite was, “You cannot complete a task to your best ability if you are rushed. And you stand no chance at all if you panic.” The extreme temperatures foreshortened the ripening period for the vines up and down the Côte d’Or and I am certain you can taste the panic in many of the lesser wines. In 2022, it was hotter than the 2003 vintage and we all know what happened in these Hades-hot conditions. In August 2022, most winemakers rushed out and brought in their fruit too early. Many lacked the confidence to trust their vines and the noble terroir. A few Domaines who remember 2003 had the courage to hold on, realising that while alcohol levels might climb a touch, their vines could moderate their ‘wiring’ and draw on deeper reserves underground to pack in complexity, and more profound flavours than just the primary fruit notes that were present. One notable Domaine is Jean Grivot, whose wines were harvested later than many and the results are fascinating. These are wines with fruit, acid, depth, minerality a sense of place and proper length of flavour. And Grivot is not alone – I found some very smart reds that showed true balance and potential. These elements are minimum requirements for me to reach for my cheque book, but in 2022 they are rare so please follow my advice and don’t repeat order those estates you usually go for because they might be among the rabble who dropped the ball in 2022, making plain, fruity, forward, simple and safe wines. I, for one, require style, accuracy and panache when I buy wine from this stellar region, so do not drop your standards this year.
Perhaps ask yourself, ‘Why are you buying En Primeur Burgundy?’. Is it because you drink a couple of cases yearly, so you need to top up?
If that’s the case, then you need to be very careful – these whites are drinking now, so you will have to put another vintage back in the cellar, and I cannot think of another recent vintage that can confidently handle an extra 12 months! Reds are a different matter – don’t touch those 2019s. You can use 2022 reds wisely if you can afford them! See below for wines that will put a smile on your face, even if they don’t manage to fire up elemental passions within your soul!
With an even larger vintage coming in 2023 and pressure increasing on prices to come down, there is an outside chance that Burgundy will see some correction that might allow us to fall back in love with buying En Primeur. Many private clients I spoke to will simply not buy 2022 Burgundy EP this year, leaving these wines to restaurants keen to replenish their cellars with wines that are ready to go. Many fine wine merchants were out of drinking white Burgundy, but they are not now! At last, they can offer people decent village wines for immediate consumption.
I find myself hunting for 2017s on wine lists these days – they are the most recent vintage of white wines that have retained some semblance of balancing acidity and style. The same will not be true about the 2022s in five years.
I am confident that all but the grandest wines will have been drunk. So, caveat emptor and read on for wines I would consider buying. I can assure you that these are the finest wines, and given their relatively fair prices, they qualify for my coveted QP accreditation!
AUTHOR’S NOTE – Some of my recommendations are sold by multiple fine wine merchants (including some not mentioned below). The listing for each wine occurs under the merchant where I tasted this wine first during the course of the week. If you fancy these wines, please do cast around if you cannot find it under its nominated merchant because there ought to be enough stock to go around if you get your skates on!
Lea & Sandeman
L&S Private Client Team – (e) firstname.lastname@example.org (t) 020 7018 1414
Always a superb line-up, there are a load of fantastic wines here for current drinking, and given that L&S has a strong restaurant sales arm, it is no surprise that a broad array of wines are already performing well for current/near-future consumption. My picks are those of a more refined nature that can be approached in their youth but will also hold well for a couple of years and, in some cases, more.
2022 Pouilly-Fuissé, 1er Cru La Maréchaude Clos La Verchère, Domaine Barraud
£140 per 6 bottles IB
A rare Mâconnais white with poise and restraint, this delightful single-plot beauty seems unrushed and reassuringly confident, and these are qualities that are somewhat rare in this challenging vintage. In terms of value, this is an absolute steal, given the complexities of flavour. Nothing in the Côte d’Or comes close, given this price point is populated by an ocean of overrated 2022 Bourgognes Blancs. 17.5/20
2022 Saint-Véran, La Roche, Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau
£135 per 6 bottles IB
Like the Pouilly-Fuissé above, there is a welcome degree of genuine tension in this cuvée that is absent in many Mâconnais wines, and this makes it another cunning purchase, not least because it shows a lip-smacking finish! 17.5/20
2022 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Blanc, Vieilles Vignes, Rémi Jobard
£310 per 12 bottles IB
This is always a winner, and while everyone is allowed a wobble once in a while, and many wobbled in 2022, Jobard kept to the straight and narrow (literally), and this is how I like my wines. This is a beautiful Chardonnay, which meant I did not need to look any further into the RJ portfolio. This wine has everything I require. 17.5/20
2022 Puligny-Montrachet, Les Levrons, Domaine Berthelemot
£220 per 6 bottles IB
I have never written ‘cheap Puligny’ in my life, but this wine ducks in under £50 all told and has more character and energy than many wines twice its price (Puligny is a particularly messy village in this vintage, with many wines wearing sky high pricing coupled with chunky, short, blocky flavours). This secret little star in 2022 is clean, refreshing, elegant, and made with genuine care. 17.5/20
2022 Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine Christian Clerget
£135 per 6 bottles IB
With open perfume and an immediate ‘Chambolle-like’ halo of flavour, this budget Pinot will reward early (but not in a tutti-frutti manner) with a genuine sense of place and a whisper of true class. This is a cracking wine to reach for when you need a seamless Pinot with unmistakable Burgundian flair. 17/20
2022 Rully Rouge, 1er Cru Les Cloux, Domaine P & M Jacqueson
£140 per 6 bottles IB
I have no idea if anyone has bought Rully Rouge before En Primeur! I know I have, but this is a niche hobby if there ever was one. Clearly, this wine would not have made the grade if it wasn’t anything other than seriously impressive, and this is because it packs in perfume, tension, dynamism and, a rare element in 2022, bright tannin. This frisky red will pique your interest for a good couple of years! 17.5/20
2022 Chorey-lès-Beaune, Les Beaumonts, Domaine Joël Remy
£200 per 12 bottles IB
It is not the first time that this bargain-priced wine has appeared in my Reports. With perfect levels of extraction and gentle oak, this is a carefully made wine that will need a year or two but will sing with perfect pitch when called upon. Remy’s 2022 Aloxe-Corton La Combe (£315 per case of 12; 17.5/20) is another winner, and it will jog along happily 12 months behind Les Beaumonts, offering even more perfume and pizzaz. 17.5/20
2022 Morey-Saint-Denis, En la Rue de Vergy, Domaine Lignier Michelot
£235 per 6 bottles IB
Brilliant – this is one of my wines of the week. With a thoroughly grand feel throughout, this tiny plot of land is exceptional, and in Virgile Lignier’s hands, it is superb and thrilling value for money. Virgile’s Bourgogne Rouge is £145 per six-pack, and it is lovely, but for just £15 more per bottle, you must secure stock of my featured wine. With a superbly classy perfume and a sleek palate, this is a laser-sighted wine, and even the 2022 conditions could not put this lieu-dit off its stride. 18/20
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Goedhuis & Waddeson merged late last year, and with little Burgundy in Waddesdon’s history, it must have been a blast for their staff to taste the incredible Goedhuis line-up. There are a hundred reasons why Goedhuis is rightly regarded as a blue-chip Burgundy specialist. With the reach that Waddesdon brings, not least in the on-trade, these 2022 Burgundies will undoubtedly move fast in the direction of both private clients and the trade. The selection was critical at this tasting, and it was clear that the buyers picked their finest wines. It was hard to find fault, but my job was to identify the Jukes QP wines, so I was especially focused!
PS – The Jean-Marie Fourrier wines were on tasting at this tasting, but they have already sold out. It was the only time that I tasted these wines, and if you can track down Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes or Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cherbaudes Vieille Vigne then make sure you secure your stock because they are stunning.
2022 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc, Les Cloux, Domaine Rollin
£171 per 6 bottles IB
It’s funny how the ‘cooler’ vineyards managed to handle the heat and hang onto some semblance of minerality. Les Cloux is always a decent wine in the Rollin cellar, but in 2022, it showed ravishing precocity offset with classic, chalky, P-V minerality. This is a delicious wine, and it represents rare value for money. 17.5/20
2022 Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc, 1er Cru En Caradeux, Domaine Rapet Père et Fils
£230 per 6 bottles IB
I have long been a fan of Rapet’s relentless pursuit of perfection, and this Premier Cru is a star plot because it really does wink at Corton Charlemagne with its perfume and texture. Having said this, it is not a mini-CC, but a wine with its own identity, and I find myself drawn to it even more in 2022 because it shows beautiful flesh coupled with refinement, tension and balancing acidity. 17.5/20
2022 Puligny-Montrachet, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot
£275 per 6 bottles IB
If there is one standout, ultra-reliable Puligny producer to put on a pedestal next to Sauzet, I would pick this one! And I wonder if splashing out on the Premiers Crus in 2022 might be a mistake. Of course, the wines are impressive, but they are uncommonly forward, and I like to think that the big wines need some time in the cellar to reveal their hidden qualities. This is not something I would recommend in 2022, and because the village wines are a little more forward than usual, and the best look impressive, I think that the wise money should invest in hedonism as opposed to longevity and, therefore, J-M Boillot’s wine was a must-buy in 2022. 18/20
2022 Puligny-Montrachet, Domaine Etienne Sauzet
£325 per 6 bottles IB
If you read the note above, you will see that this is my other standout, top-end village Puligny. There is more grip on the finish of this elite Chardonnay than you will find on almost all of the famous-named, similarly priced wines. There is a punch of crystal clear minerality, which is guaranteed to refresh this wine for a good few years, ensuring it will not run out of gas when you need it to impress your guests. 18/20
2022 Mercurey, 1er Cru La Chassière, Domaine Vincent & Jean-Pierre Charton
£165 per 6 bottles IB
I had a feeling, early on, that this might be a useful vintage for Mercurey, as this village sometimes fails to reach genuine physiological ripeness even in ‘decent’ vintages. While some of the whites shine, the reds can be split into two distinct camps. The sweet-fruited, loose-knit, super-forward wines will delight the on-trade and keep punters happy and those more intriguing wines with more going on behind the scenes. By the time you take delivery of this wonderful wine, it will have set you back less than £37. Happy days. This is a very useful wine from a price perspective because there is structure and breeding behind the glorious red fruit. 17.5/20
2022 Gevrey-Chambertin, Vieilles Vignes, Geantet-Pansiot
£310 per 6 bottles IB
There is much more grip here than I expected, but I ought not to have doubted this wine because I have followed it for decades, and it has never let the side down. These old vines seem not to have panicked in 2022 and harnessed the qualities of the vintage (the sun!) and the deeper sub-terranean elements that are critical when making a properly balanced wine. In the greater scheme of things, £65, by comparison to bootfulls of red Bordeaux or Champagne, to pick a few obvious targets, looks like money well spent, not least because this wine will easily reach five years and, most probably ten. 18/20
2022 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Lavières, Domaine Jean Grivot
£315 per 6 bottles IB
The entire Grivot portfolio seems to have elevated itself above the hair-raising challenges and compound issues of the vintage, and the results are remarkable. Serene, refined, long and even, this is a stunning wine, and it warrants a very rare ‘+’ given that I feel it will improve over time. If you find the Vosne-Romanée (£360 per 6 bottles IB), this is another gorgeous wine. 18+/20
Corney & Barrow
(e) firstname.lastname@example.org (t) 020 7265 2400
Corney’s tasting always brings a different perspective to the Burgundy campaign because a couple of estates here do not pop up anywhere else. Unfortunately, not all of the C&B wines are shown during EP week, so it is fair to say that I didn’t see anywhere near the whole picture with Joseph Roty, Dugat-Py, Clos de Tart, Comtes Georges de Vogüé, François Millet, Michel Lafarge, Marquis d’Angerville, Hubert Lamy, Domaine Leflaive and a couple of others missing. Not all of these Domaines release their wines EP, and some work a couple of vintages behind, but this is a mighty portfolio, and three qualified for QP status.
2022 Bourgogne Blanc, Les Sétilles, Olivier Leflaive
£290 per 6 magnums IB
It is not clear whether just the bottles of this wine are reserved for the ‘trade only’ or whether the magnums are included, too. Regardless, it is exciting to recommend a magnum in this EP Report because this is a lot of wine for £65! Accurate, lively and pretty, Les Sétilles has always been a reliable cuvée, but in 2022, all 60 or so plots of grapes that contribute to this wine have pulled the stops out, and the obvious complexity derived from presumably some lesser spots and some decent ones has paid off! Highly recommended for early drinking fun, underpinned by honest flavours and obvious winemaking acumen. 17/20
2022 Rully, Les Saint-Jacques, Domaine de Villaine
£320 per 12 bottles IB
While this is a forward vintage for this highly respected wine, there is a nervy, crystalline spine here that will keep it upright for a few years, allowing it time to blossom and relax. In the absence of legions of refined, elegant Chablis, this might be the secret weapon for those who love linear, teasingly refreshing whites. 17.5/20
2022 Santenay, 1er Cru Beauregard, Justin Girardin
£185 per 6 bottles IB
Girardin’s wines are bright, pure and resonant, and while Clos Rousseau is regarded as the firmer of the trio, I far prefer the directness and silkiness of Beauregard. This is a terrific wine with energy and pizzazz, and while it looked precocious, there is more than enough stuffing under its belt to power on and evolve. This is another cunning discovery and a wine that will not break the bank while it enchants your senses. 17.5/20