• Burgundy Week: need to buy carefully says John E Fells & Sons

    With the hype and publicity for the Burgundy 2015 being ratcheted by the day during this en primeur week it will be important for buyers to move quickly to get the necessary stocks of the wines they want. That’s certainly the conclusion of the fine wine team at John E Fells & Sons and cellar master and winemaker at William Fèvre and Bouchard Père & Fils.

    With the hype and publicity for the Burgundy 2015 being ratcheted by the day during this en primeur week it will be important for buyers to move quickly to get the necessary stocks of the wines they want. That’s certainly the conclusion of the fine wine team at John E Fells & Sons and cellar master and winemaker at William Fèvre and Bouchard Père & Fils.

    mm By January 13, 2017

    buyer-burgundy-week

    Leading Burgundy winemakers and John E Fells & Sons bring Burgundy Week to a close with their take on what some say is the most exciting vintage in years, but care still needs to be taken to select the right wines and producers.

    Following its en primeur tasting yesterday John E Fells & Sons head of fine wine and two of its key Burgundy producers give their take on the 2015 vintage.

    RG: Richard Girling, John E Fells & Sons, head of fine wine.  

    DS: Didier Seguier, William Fèvre, Cellar Master.

    FW:Frédéric Weber, Bouchard Père & Fils, Cellar Master.

    Didier Seguier, William Fèvre's cellar master says the challenge was to not over ripen the vines
    Didier Seguier, William Fèvre’s cellar master says the challenge was to not over ripen the vines

    How do you see the Burgundy 2015 en primeur campaign?

    RG: There is a lot of enthusiasm for this vintage, mixed with some healthy scepticism. The quality across the board is not as homogenous as the 2010 or 2005 and there has been a lot of hype in the press. But not every wine is great, although many are – so it’s worth being familiar with both the vintage and the producer when selecting wines. And, of course, when vintages are given this amount of attention, the issue of supply always raises its head. We have to manage that carefully so that there is enough wine to go around.

    What is your overall assessment of the vintage?

    Frédéric Weber believes there is great value to be had at Villages level
    Frédéric Weber believes there is great value to be had at Villages level

    RG: Overall it is excellent. It’s an incredibly pretty, and elegant vintage.

    DS/FW: Overall we are very happy with this vintage. We had not seen such lovely quality from the vineyards since 2005.

    What are the big opportunities?

    RG: We should see the growth at the Village level as these wines are showing very well and will get more recognition where supply and pricing put Grand and Premier Cru wines beyond people’s reach.

    DS/FW: Good, warm vintages like 2015 are great for the entry level wines. Appellations such as Monthelie, Savigny Les Beaune and Petit Chablis are all showing excellent quality and will make great buys. There will be good opportunities for some of the lesser known wines and climats to shine in this vintage.

    What will be the challenges?

    RG: Having enough wine to supply everyone.

    DS: For the wines in general and the whites in particular, the challenge with this vintage was to avoid the wines being over-ripe in such a warm vintage. We have had to work very hard in the vineyard and the winery to produce wines with great balance.

    Thoughts on pricing? 

    RG: Prices certainly are not about to decrease this year, but any increases will vary depending on the producer, largely dictated by supply. There is some pressure on pricing also because the 2016 vintage is short and people are aware of that issue on the horizon. The pricing is all down to each producer and everyone has their own approach.

    Any highlights to pick out?

    RG: The Beaune Premier Cru wines are very good with bright fruit and silky structure. These are showing particularly well and have a great price/quality ratio

    DS: This is an excellent year for Petit Chablis – because we have very good fruit and very good balance between richness and freshness. Very pure wines. This Petit Chablis compares very well to our Chablis in 2015.

    FW: Nuits St George and Gevrey Chambertin are both excellent from this vintage, particularly at Village level. Both wines have a lot of dark fruit and great energy but still with freshness. Silky tannins and with a savoury, mouth-watering character in the mouth.

    Any recommendations for wine lists?

    RG: Our Village wines in general due to their fleshy fruity character, makes them very drinkable at an earlier stage and over-deliver on price and quality.

    FW/DS: As we have said before the Village wines particularly Monthelie, Savigny etc are great for wine lists. And, of course, the wonderful Petit Chablis.

    •  You can recap on the whole Bourgogne Week at the dedicated website for the trade put together by the BIVB at www.bourgogne-week.com.

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