Burgundy 2015 En Primeur

The 2015 vintage is in my view an extraordinary vintage quality wise for the reds – great wines have been made including some truly legendary wines that I believe will stand as some of the best wines made in my time.
Steen Öhman (WineHog)
“Low yields and warm weather allowed for ample ripeness, small berries and an early harvest. Quality is looking extremely fine, with some people whispering comparisons with the outstanding 2005 vintage.” Jancis Robinson MW
THE PITCH (notes taken from Tom’s How To Spend It Burgundy Report
En primeur offers are a bit like Christmas decorations and Easter eggs: they seem to start appearing earlier each year. Unlike with baubles and bunnies however, the arrival of Burgundy’s 2015 vintage’s is very welcome news, as it’s an absolute knockout.
More of the detail below but this opening paragraph is to set out our stall.  As usual we have hand-selected our favourites wines from an elite cadre of over-performing growers, many of whom we have worked with previously, but have also included a couple of exciting new additions to the portfolio.  As usual we have put the wines in to suggested parcels, something unique to Honest Grapes and much-appreciated by our clients and are even including mixed cases for those who want to dip their toe in the vintage.  Please us these parcels as a basis for putting together your Burgundy selections.  Alternatively if preferable you can also indicate a discretionary spend and ask us to allocate accordingly.  We have this year also split the growers in to “Masters” & “Mavericks” – loosely divided into established traditionalists and modern pioneers.
Apart from the 75+ wines we’ve picked out we also have more limited access to some other big names (Dugat-Py, Dujac, Mortet, Michel Gros, Comte Armande in particular) so please indicate your interest in specific growers we aren’t listing.
Click here to view the wine list and secure your allocations.

THE WEATHER
A warm, dry April encouraged early bud burst then from May right through to the first and second week of September when the majority of the harvest took place, the weather was pretty much spot on:  Warm to hot but not excessively so for prolonged periods and cooling slightly just before harvest to preserve acidity and freshness.  It was also largely dry throughout the year (especially in July) so there were fewer problems with rot or hail than have been experienced in recent vintages although Chablis took a battering on 1st July from a severe storm but most growers began the harvest straight after to prevent rot.  Across the region, as is often the case, those who picked early made more invigorating wines.
Yields were below average (by 30% or more in some cases) with bunches of generally small, thick-skinned berries so a high skin to juice ratio. Such was the quality of the bunches that little sorting was required and there is a fair bit of partial and whole bunch fermentation in play from a number of growers.
THE WINES
Grape yields were below average, by 30 per cent or more in some cases, with bunches of generally small, thick-skinned berries giving a high skin-to-juice ratio. Such was the quality that little sorting was required, and there was a fair bit of partial and whole bunch fermentation.
With greater concentration than 2009 and a riper fruit profile than 2010, growers and commentators alike have compared 2015 reds to the undisputed five-star 2005. But 2015s have greater charm, with more supple, sophisticated tannins. And while still rich and ample, there is also better balance in terms of acidity than other hot years such as 2003 or 2009.
“I suspect the 2015s will evolve more gracefully than the 2005s,” said Stephen Tanzer of Vinous, with whom we tasted through the impressive range at Domaine de Montille, whilst winemaker Mark Haisma suggested 2015 reds have greater precision and elegance. Meanwhile Thierry Brouin, the long-standing regisseur at Domaine de Lambrays suggested 2015 was a combination of 2005, 2010 and 2012.
Most growers harvested between 3rd and 9th September, the earliest pickers like Jean Tardy (4th) maintaining maximum freshness, others like Romain Taupenot-Merme (8th) achieving riper, plusher tannins. Both of these growers de-stem 100% grapes but 2015 was also a year where partial and whole bunch fermentations were much in evidence. A champion of the latter, Philippe Pacalet believes that 100% whole bunch fermentation in all his reds preserves the integrity of the grapes and whilst Haisma is less dogmatic, he too used up to 75% whole bunches in his monolithic Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru Chaffots.
Unlike in previous years, there was a refreshing homogeneity in quality across the region, with 2015 one of the best years for Côte de Beaune in memory, producing some refreshingly great Volnay, Pommard and Corton. All Côte de Nuits appellations having something impressive to show, yet it was a wonderful year for individual terroir definition and climat expression: Lieu dits and different crus in Gevrey Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny, Nuits Saint George and Vosne Romanée from growers such as Duroché, Taupenot-Merme, Jean Tardy and Clos Frantin all offer nuanced and differentiated pleasures. Thierry Brouin also pointed out that in 2015 “Morey Saint Denis has really grown up” – no longer a compromise between the power of Gevrey and the finesse of Chambolle but a worthy combination of both it’s neighbours’ qualities. We certainly agree.
While these wines promise longevity, many remain surprisingly accessible now, and some may not close up at all, although it’s clear the more tightly-coiled Grand Crus need plenty of time to unfurl their plumage. The major challenge will be in narrowing down the options and ensuring there is enough in the cellar for the next 20 or so years. Luckily we are happy to help with both problems!
Whites too, whilst generally warmer and more generous than 2014, are really delicious, with conscientious growers achieving freshness and good acidity. This was especially true of early pickers like Domaine Pernot-Belicard (harvesting on 31st August) and terroirs with older vines like Domaine Etienne Sauzet that were able to call on water reserves through their deeper root systems.
The 2015 will be a lovely vintage for mid-term whites; plumper than the 2013 but not as heavy as 2009 or 2012, and drinkable while waiting for the 2014 to evolve. It’s also worth bearing in mind that quantities in 2016 are dramatically reduced, especially of Chablis where Didier Defaix is far from alone in losing 70% of his grapes, and even the great producers of Montrachet clubbed together to make two barrels of this most iconic Grand Cru between them, so this could be a last opportunity to stock up on whites at a more sensible price.
Steven Tanzer sums up thus “the whites are clean, pure and rich, favouring ripe orchard and soft citrus fruits over minerality, as is typical of very warm, sunny years.”
Click here to view the wine list and secure your allocations.

“Masters”
Domaine Duroché
Chambertin Clos de Béze Grand Cru (94-96 WA) £1,110 IB /6 - please register your interest
Latriciéres - Chambertin Grand Cru (95-97 WA) £912 IB /6 - please register your interest
Gevrey - Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaut – St Jacques (91-93 WA) £366 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey - Chambertin ‘Les Jeunes Rois’ (89-91 WA) £204 IB /6 - available here
Pinot Noir AC £93 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Taupenot – Merme Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru (93-95 WA)
75cl: £570 IB /3 - please register your interest
150cl: £1,185 IB /3 - please register your interest
Mazoyéres – Chambertin Grand Cru (94-96 WA) £658.80 IB /6 - available here
Charmes – Chambertin Grand Cru (93-95 WA) £601.80 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Bel Air (92-94 WA)
75cl: £373.80 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £399 IB /3 - available here
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d’Orveau (90-92 WA)
75cl: £386.40 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £411.60 IB /3 - available here
Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru La Riotte (92-94 WA) £354 IB /6 - available here
Chambolle Musigny Villages (90-92 WA) £195 IB /6 - available here
Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Rouge (89-91 WA) £162 IB /6 - available here
Morey Saint Denis £207.60 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Clos des Lambrays
Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru (93-95 WA)
75cl: £1,008 IB /6 - please register your interest 150cl: £1,020 IB /3 - please register your interest
Morey St Denis 1er Cru 'Les Loups' (90-92 WA) £366 IB /6 - please register your interest
 
Domaine du Clos Frantin
Richebourg Grand Cru £2,502 IB /6 - please register your interest
Chambertin Grand Cru £1,380 IB /6 (93-95 WA) (17.5++ JS) - please register your interest
Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru (94-96 WA)
75cl: £897 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £906 IB /3 - available here
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (90-92 WA)
75cl: £654 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £669 IB /3 - available here
Echézeaux Grand Cru (91-93 WA)
75cl: £654 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £669 IB /3 - available here
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Malconsorts (89-92 WA)
75cl: £480 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £495 IB /3 - available here
Vosne-Romanée
75cl: £225 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £231.30 IB /3 - available here
 
Domaine de Montille
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (90-92 WA) 75cl: £480 IB /6 - available here 150cl: £499.20 IB /3 - available here
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Le Cailleret’ (86-88 WA) (17 JS)
75cl: £465 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £486.90 IB /3 - available here
‘Tribute to the parents’ case of 2:
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru ‘Aux Malconsorts Christiane’ (94-96 WA)
Pommard 1er Cru ‘Les Rugiens-Bas’ Hubert (94-96 WA)
£1,275 IB /2x 150cl - please register your interest
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru ‘Aux Malconsorts’ (93-95 WA)
75cl: £1,080 IB /6 - please register your interest
150cl: £1,140 IB /3 - please register your interest
Corton Le Clos du Roi Grand Cru (92-94 WA) (17 JS)
75cl: £540 IB /6 - please register your interest
150cl: £585 IB /3 - please register your interest
Volnay 1er Cru ‘Les Taillepieds’ (94-96 WA)
75cl: £420 IB /6 - please register your interest
150cl: £438 IB /3 - please register your interest
Pommard 1er Cru ‘Les Cras’ (87-89 WA) £186 IB /6 - available here
Volnay 1er Cru ‘En Champans’ (92-94 WA)
75cl: £390 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £423 IB /3 - available here
Beaune 1er Cru 'Grèves'  (92-94 WA) £288 IB /6 - available here
 
Château de Puligny-Montrachet
Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
75cl: £1,299 IB /6 - please register your interest
150cl: £1,377.60 IB /3 - please register your interest
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Folatières’
75cl: £340.20 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £374.40 IB /3 - available here
St Aubin 1er Cru ‘Les Remilly’ £141 IB /6 - available here
Meursault 1er Cru ‘Les Poruzots’ £234.60 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Etienne Sauzet
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Perrières' £420 IB /6 - please register your interest
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Folatières' (91-93 WA) £432 IB /6 - please register your interest
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'La Garenne' £324 IB /6 - please register your interest
Puligny-Montrachet Village £204 IB /6 - please register your interest
 
Domaine Philippe Colin
Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru (93-95 WA) £597 IB/3 - please register your interest
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes (91-93 WA) £225 IB /6 - available here
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Maltroie (91-93 WA) £225 IB /6 - available here
 
“Mavericks”
Domaine des Hâtes
Chablis 1er Cru ‘I’ Homme Mort’ £186 IB /12 - available here 
Chablis Village £126 IB /12 - available here 
 
Domaine Jean Tardy
Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru 'Aux Argillas' £363 IB /6 - available here
Vosne-Romanée ‘Vigneux’ £282 IB /6 - available here
Nuits-St-Georges ‘Bas de Combe’ £240 IB /6 - available here
Hautes-Côtes de Nuits £220 IB /12 - available here
 
Domaine Mark Haisma
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru (90-92 WA) £1,332 IB /6 - please register your interest
Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots (91-93 WA) £345 IB /6 - please register your interest
Pommard 1er Cru 'Clos des Arvelets'  (89-91 WA) £309 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey Chambertin Village (88-90 WA) £204 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Philippe Pacalet
Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru £630 IB /6 - available here
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (16.5+ JS)
75cl: £1,222.80 IB /6 - available here
150cl: £1,222.80 IB /3 - available here
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Lavaut-St-Jacques (17 JS) £615 IB /6 - available here
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru 'Les Sentiers' £555 IB /6 - available here
Echézaux Grand Cru £1,194 IB /6 - available here
Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (17 JS) £1,222.80 IB /6 - available here
Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru 'Aux Argillas' (16.5 JS) £432 IB /6 - available here
Nuits-St-Georges £289.20 IB /6 - available here
Moulin-à-Vent (17 JS) £167.40 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey-Chambertin (16.5 JS) £270 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru 'La Perrière' £502.80 IB /6 - available here
Pommard £270 IB /6 - available here
Pommard 1er Cru 'Les Arvelets' £390 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Jane Eyre
Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Vergelesses (90 WA) £168 IB /6 - available here
Côtes de Nuits Villages (87 WA) £120 IB /6 - available here
Volnay £162 IB /6 - available here
Gevrey – Chambertin (88 WA) £192 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Lebreuil
Bourgogne Pinot Noir £120 IB /12 - available here
 
Domaine Deux Montille
Chablis – Grand Cru ‘Preuses’ (88-90 WA) £240.60 IB /6 - available here
Chablis 1er Cru ‘Montée de Tonnerre’ (85-87 WA) £164.40 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Ballot-Millot
Meursault Charmes 1er Cru £318 IB /6 - available here
Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres £396 IB /6 - available here
Meursault 1er Cru Narvaux  £204 IB /6 - available here
Bourgogne Blanc £156 IB /12 - available here
Meursault Villages £168 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Pernot-Belicard
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Champ Canet’ £252 IB /6 - available here
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Perrieres’ £264 IB /6 - available here
Puligny Montrachet Villages £168 IB /6 - available here
 
Domaine Jaeger-Defaix
Rully 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre £186 IB /12 - available here
Rully 1er Cru Les Cloux £165 IB /12 - available here
Chablis 1er Cru ‘Côte de Lechet’ £165 IB /12 - available here
Bernard Defaix Chablis Village (89 WA) £115.20 IB /12 - available here 
Bourgogne Aligoté £90 IB /12 - available here
 
Domaine Clos des Rocs
Mâcon-Loché 'En Pres Foret' £114 IB /12 - available here
 
Click here to reserve your wines.
Other corroborating commentary comes from Stephen Tanzer (Vinous), with whom we tasted at Domaine de Montille, who has declared that…2005 might be the most apt comparison for 2015. But nowadays most of Burgundy’s winemakers are far more flexible in their winemaking and élevage... I suspect that the 2015s will evolve more gracefully than the ’05s... The 2015 whites are clean, pure and rich, favouring ripe orchard and soft citrus fruits over minerality, as is typical of very warm, sunny years.And
Jancis Robinson who says… “Low yields and warm weather allowed for ample ripeness, small berries and an early harvest. Quality is looking extremely fine, with some people whispering comparisons with the outstanding 2005 vintage."