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2012 Vintage Challenging in Burgundy

April 03, 2014

2012 Vintage Challenging in BurgundyLocal sommeliers flanked by Master Sommeliers Catherine Fallis & Andrea Immer Robinson

Temperatures rose quickly in the tent at the Hotel Vitale’s Americano Restaurant last month, and not just because of the unseasonably warm San Francisco weather. Women were swooning over the charming and dapper Patrick Leflaive, of Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet. Members of the wine trade were invited by importer Frederick Wildman to taste barrel samples of the not yet released 2012 wines from Burgundy, France.

Together, brothers Patrick and Olivier produce thousands of cases of high quality red and white Burgundy each year. Their chalky, powerful 2012 Leflaive Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru $155 was stunning, while the more moderately priced and silky 2012 Leflaive Rully Les Cloux 1er Cru $32 is a terrific pick for Somms to price under $100 on their wine lists.

Martin Sinkoff, Wildman’s Director of Marketing, said, “the market for Burgundy is strong world-wide. That, and low yields in 2011, 2012, and 2013 means that there is price pressure on this vintage.” Etienne Sauzet, who normally produces ten barrels of Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er Cru $120, will only produce two in 2012. (Note: Etienne Sauzet wines are imported by Vineyard Brands).

2012 Vintage Challenging in Burgundy 2

Catherine Fallis, MS with Patrick Leflaive

Jancis Robinson MW called the 2012 vintage “one of the most challenging in recent memory, with frost, hail, storms, rain, sunburn, mildew, and in some cases, rot.” “In 2012 we had hail, frost, and too much rain. On July 3rd the crop. In Volnay and Pommard, up to 80% of the crops were lost” said Monsieur Leflaive. “Whites did better. We are pleased, almost.” Thankfully a warm and sunny summer saved the day, concentrating the remaining fruit and helping it to ripen.

To read the full article, go to:  http://grapegoddess-mastersommelier.blogspot.com/2014/03/frederick-wildman-2012-burgundy-barrel.html

How does vintage variation impact your Burgundy purchases? Have you had great wines from low rated vintages? What are some of your value finds from Burgundy?

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