Last week’s series of Burgundy tastings in London has met a mixed reaction, with some visitors describing it as ‘bold’ and ‘forward thinking’ and others calling it ‘a total Chambolles’.
‘You might think that having no wine to sell would have prevented them travelling across la Manche to present it,’ said Roger Chunky-Cords of Foppish and Quiff wine merchants.
‘But it takes more than that to deter them. Particularly when the January sales are on in London.’
Your teaspoon is ready
Volumes for the frost-hit 2021 vintage are some of the lowest ever, with exhibitors having little to show and attendees even less to buy.
‘One producer gave me a sample on a tea-spoon, and another dropped it onto my tongue from a pipette,’ said journalist Francis Jobbinson.
‘It was like a lesson in avant garde theatre – though being French they probably don’t know what that means.’
Choque and d’Or
With so little wine made, prices for the vintage have been described by the region’s wineries as ‘undergoing a slight correction upwards’ and by everyone else as ‘totally unaffordable’.
‘When I got the quote for this year’s allocation I practically fell off my high horse,’ said a visibly shaken John Thomas, sommelier at Le Coq Timide restaurant.
‘There were more zeroes than at a Master of Wine convention.’
Having to buy Fixin and Savigny instead of Puligny and Vosne-Romanée was, he said, ‘a terrible reflection of the state the world is in.’
Des personnes non-sérieuses
The Burgundians, however, have stood by the vintage, describing it as ‘theoretically excellent’ and ‘one for serious collectors – provided it hasn’t all evaporated in ten years’ time.’
‘We understand that at the moment people are under financial pressure,’ said Geoffroy Chambertin of the Burgundian Wine Guild.
‘But if so-called wine lovers are so shallow as to insist on prioritising such fripperies as heat, lighting and feeding their families over a bottle of Vosne Romanée, then they probably don’t deserve it anyway.’
We’re really busy. Honest.
During No-Wine Week, the Guild implemented special anti-theft measures, banning anyone from attending in a large coat or with a bag or rucksack, in case they ‘literally tried to walk off with half our year’s production in their Barbour.’
‘Usually we’d have security guards on the door to keep out the hoi polloi,’ said winemaker Olivier Laflaveur. ‘This time they were here to keep people in – at least until we’d taken a couple of photos of the tastings looking halfway busy for our website.’
2022 – c’est différent
‘The volumes in 2021 have made life difficult for everyone,’ admitted Geoffroy Chambertin. ‘But we are far more optimistic about 2022 when we should have a lot more wine.’
When asked whether increased volumes would mean a reduction in prices, Chambertin told Fake Booze that he‘loved the crazy British sense of humour’ and that he had to ‘go and speak to a Chinese oligarch who wanted to drop 20 big ones for the region’s single case of Macon.’
Click here to read expert reaction to Burgundy’s 2021 ‘ghost vintage’