The 2018 Burgundy vintage has produced a quantity of stellar, stunning, scintillating wines that radiate with achingly beautiful fruit and pulse with a sense of identity. However there were, as ever, underperformers and the wines do need picking through with some care, even within individual cellars.
We have selected wines we think combine the qualities of the vintage with that abstract watermark known as terroir. These are wines that will give huge pleasure in the years to come.
You can read about the domaines and their wines either by scrolling through all of them or, if you are interested in a specific domaine, by clicking on a name in the list below to jump straight to that domaine. Each wine name is a live link to the wine in our online shop, each domaine name title is a live link to ALL 2018 wines from that domaine.
Caspar with Nicole Lamarche in Vosne
Nicole Lamarche was looking very happy as we sat in the welcomingly warm tasting room at her domaine in Vosne-Romanée. And I cannot say I am surprised. I am not sure I’ve ever tasted better wines from here. She has managed to capture the essence of the vintage, whilst retaining the precise expressions of the many fabulous terroirs in which this venerable estate owns vines.
Caspar with Simon Rollin in Pernand
There are parts of the Côte d’Or that are particularly successful in warmer vintages. The Combe de Lavaux and its associated Gevrey vineyards is one. Pernand Vergelesses and Savigny-lès-Beaune are two others. Here I am speaking of the cooler spots where torrid conditions are tempered; where the vines gain protection from sun and heat from valleys that bring colder airs from the Hautes Côtes above, or where sun hours are truncated by surrounding slopes. Remi Rollin and his son Simon have made stunningly beautiful wines from their Pernand vineyards, as has Guillaume Camus in Savigny (see below). These are wines that perhaps have a little more ripeness than is usual, but that have retained precision and focus. I cannot recommend them more wholeheartedly to those hunting for particularly piquant burgundy bargains.
2018 Pernand Vergelesses Blanc, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Pernand Vergelesses Blanc Les Cloux, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses, Remi Rollin
Caspar with Guillaume Camus in Savigny
Caspar with Frédéric Lafarge in Volnay
How were we to know when we visited Frédéric Lafarge that his father Michel was only weeks away from dying. So passed one of the truly great wine makers of all Burgundy. What must be sure was his satisfaction with what his son had made of the 2018 vintage. As at Lamarche, these are precise renditions of both vintage and vineyard. They are also among the most beautiful wines we tasted during our trip… and, indeed, that I have sampled at the London tastings this year.
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté Raisins Dorés, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Meursault, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Meursault Vendanges Selectionnées, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Beaune Blanc 1er Cru Clos des Aigrots, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains L'Exception, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Volnay Vendanges Sélectionées, Domaine Michel Lafarge
Beaujolais has experienced a profound renaissance in recent times. Largely behind us are the days of banana-scented alcopops and instead we are presented with altogether more serious red wines of proper depth, complexity and age-worthiness. In part, this is due to growing interest in the region from the wine makers of the Côte d’Or. And one of the very finest of those is Frédéric Lafarge of Domaine Michel Lafarge in Volnay.
Frédéric and his wife Chantal have been making wine in Beaujolais since 2014 and they are amongst the very best wines of the region. Of course, the grape Gamay reigns supreme here on soils of decomposed granite, rather than the limestone found further to the north. Yet in the hands of a master like M. Lafarge, Beaujolais becomes distinctly Pinot-esque in its elegance and class. Once again in 2018 these wines are a fabulous success.
Caspar with Marc Bachelet in Dézizes Lès Maranges
The Bachelet brothers – Marc and Alex – go from strength to strength. Their whites continue to be benchmark white burgundies of immense precision. And their reds improve every vintage and that from a pretty strong starting point. If you want to find out just what good value burgundy can still be found in the region, look no further than their Bourgogne Blanc and Maranges wines.
2018 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru Fussière Blanc, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Puligny Montrachet Village, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière Rouge, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru Clos de la Boutière Rouge, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
Caspar with Arnaud Desfontaine at the Château de Chamilly
Here’s a new finding for us: a fabulous property in the Côtes Chalonnaises boasting a stunning old château and two young brothers producing extremely exciting wines. If you want to drink excellent burgundy on a regular basis without breaking the bank at Monte Carlo and aren’t overly concerned about what’s on the label, these puppies are most definitely for you!
Caspar and Alexandre Pascal
The Pascals run two businesses from their home in Puligny: they produce fabulous wines – red and white – from their Côte de Beaune vineyards and they also produce rootstocks for other local vignerons. I love the style here. The white wines are unique in their expressions: wines of proper terroir, allied to rich and delicious fruit. They are wines we drink frequently at home. And for a serious curve-ball for a blind tasting, how about a red Puligny? It’s a very rare thing and a very delicious one, too!
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Auxey Duresses Blanc, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Chassagne Montrachet Joseph Pascal, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Enseignères, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Puligny Montrachet Rouge, Domaine Jean Pascal