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Neal Martin on Burgundy 2016

11th November 2019


Burgundy stole the spotlight again last week, when Neal Martin released his scores for the 2016 vintage in bottle. 

He had previously suggested this was “a puzzle that would be fascinating, frustrating and futile to solve”. Having re-tasted the grand vins, he concluded that “the reds live up to their billing […] they come with a sense of triumph over adversity”. 

He described them as “highly perfumed with ripe tannins, expressive, vivacious, harmonious and surprisingly approachable”. 

And what of the infamous conditions of the vintage? The critic commented that “despite everything that malicious Mother Nature threw at the vineyards, at their peak the finished wines shrug off the stürm und drang that surrounded their birth and are occasionally breathtaking in bottle”. 

Wines that stood out were those of “Nuits Saint-Georges […] in the north toward Vosne-Romanée, such as in Les St-Georges, Les Vaucrains and Aux Cras”.

Martin attended Burgfest – a two-week blind tasting of Burgundy wines held every May and September – which presented a “unique opportunity to assess the wines single-blind” that is “more important now than ever, since objectivity is too often compromised by price, rarity or reputation”.