Throughout Burgundy Week we are inviting different importers, agencies and distributors to give their take on the 2015 vintage, what they see as the big opportunities both for the trade, sommeliers and on-trade buyers and what we can expect at their tasting that day. First up we turn to Matt Tipping, Jeroboams new commercial director, who explains why he is so excited about their en primeur tasting taking place at the Institute of Directors.
There is great value and excitement to be had in this week’s Burgundy en primeur campaign, says Jeroboams’ Matt Tipping.
How do you see the Burgundy 2015 en primeur campaign and what is your overall assessment of the vintage?
I loved the wines. For me the balance of perfectly ripe fruit with fresh acidity is a stunning result and exactly what I look for in Burgundy. With the red wines, there is quality throughout the range, and I would definitely say 2015 is a year to buy Marsannay, Bourgogne Rouge and the less well known villages.
The white wines have more variation than the reds, with some being picked a touch too early to keep the freshness and some a touch too ripe. In the sweet spot though, where a vigneron has got it right, the results are hugely attractive with great fruit and freshness to match, and it is my belief that they will delight consumers over the coming years.
What are the big opportunities?
Because the quality in 2015 runs through the Burgundian hierarchy, it is a great introduction to buying Burgundy on release and a great opportunity for us to introduce our retail clients to en primeur for the first time. I don’t think that the wines will shut down too much and so people can drink the wines in their relative youth if they wish, although customers who like to age their wines will apply rewarded as well.
The whites are beautiful, we have been stringent in our selection and are delighted with what we can offer, they will translate beautifully in to the retail environment as well as rewarding those who buy en primeur.
What will be the be the challenges?
Allocations. Demand is set to be very high and the top wines are going to be hard to get hold of. Prices will mean some adjustment is needed from some consumers, so expert advice will be needed on where the value is.
Our retail strength means keeping enough stock for our shelves and the tiny 2016 vintage on the horizon needs some planning.
What are your initial thoughts on pricing?
Unfortunately, the exchange rate hasn’t helped, although the vast majority of domaines have been very sensible on their release prices. Thanks to the quality of the vintage and the expected high demand means they are UK in 2015. Future vintages may be trickier if prices do stay this high, but a rarity of wines means it is not easy to step away and there will be very little wine to go around in 2016.
We continue to work closely with our domaines on this issue and they are as keen as we are to keep these wines as accessible as possible to consumers.
Any particular areas that you expect to do well?
We expect record demand for Bourgogne and Village wines as consumers look to stock up on their regular drinking Burgundy.
What can you tell us about your tasting taking place today at the Institute of Directors?
We have an exciting new domaine, Antonin Guyon from the Cote D’Or we are showcasing for the first time. This family-run business offers a great range of Premiers Crus and Grand Crus, from Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle Musigny to Volnay and Meursault.
As well as having over 100 wines on taste, we will also be showing off a range of back vintages.
Any highlights to pick out from the tasting?
- Domaine Bellenes Beaune, Greves – Ancient vines and the highlight of my two weeks in Burgundy from the Beaune vineyards, astonishingly good.
- The range from Domaine Rossignol Trapet, a superb example of biodynamics in action
- Paul Pillots Bourgogne Blanc, amazing domaine, already well known and certainly a future superstar, this Bourgogne Blanc is as good as most people’s village wines.
- Chambolle Musigny’s Francois Bertheau, textbook Chambolle and a perfect example of the vintage characteristics that have led to the quality at Village level.
- From Corton, Clos du Roi, by Domaine Antonin Guyon. The brothers treasure this vineyard, and have been using horses in it for decades, long before it was fashionable! Easily our best value Grand Cru of 2015.
Recommendations for wine lists by Michael Robins, wholesale director for Jeroboams
For the whites, here are our top picks:
- The Bourgogne Blanc Tufera from Sauzet and Bourgogne Blanc.
- Oligocene Javillier offer amazing value for money and are already popular with top restaurants.
- The top Sauzet 1er cru wines are always a good pull for sommeliers.
- Gagnard Delagrange offers finesse from Chassagne and for customers such as Frederick’s and Langam’s it is a clear winner.
- Meursault from Michelot has been a long standing favorite with top end clients such as the Savoy.
But the domaine that always stands out to give pound for pound restaurant good continuity and customer satisfaction for 2015 is Domaine Chavy
For the reds, we can recommend the following:
- Domaine Odoul Coquard is a must for restaurants this year looking for village names with sensible pricing.
- Volnay, Clos du Chenes from Guyon.
- Pascal Marchard at Marchard Tawse is offering a strong wine selection especially the Nuits.
Minor villages in this vintage appear strong and the Marsannay from Dupont Tisserandot is a steal for restaurant buyers.
- Jeroboams en primeur tasting takes place on January 9 at the Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED. Press are invited from 4.30pm and the trade from 5.30pm.
- You can keep up to date with all that is happening during Burgundy Week at the dedicated website set up by the BIVB, www.bourgogne-week.com