Market Analysis - Burgundy - 7. April 2021

2019 Burgundy - ”The Best Vintage Since 1865”

The 2019 vintage from Burgundy is once again stealing the attention of the world's wine lovers. This is why the 2019 vintage is described as probably the best ever in Burgundy

Magical Burgundy is once again making headlines all over the world. The 2019 vintage from Burgundy is being described as probably the best ever - and not least as the best vintage since the amazing 1865 vintage.

Additionally, many people will already have the opinion that the best wines in the world are produced in Burgundy, and if you look at price and demand, there is some truth to that. Burgundy has been a powerhouse in the "rare & fine wine" category over the last 20 years. As an investment, Burgundy wines have proven to be the most attractive in the same period - knocking the mighty Bordeaux off its throne.

The latest 2019 vintage is being released in these months and all indications are that the hype around Burgundy is reaching unprecedented heights. According to early indications, the 2019 vintage will go off the scale of what Burgundy wines cost on release. At the same time, it will help to pull previous vintages up in price and set new standards for future vintages.

What Makes Burgundy So Unique In Terms Of Wine Investment?

It is no secret that the Burgundy region has particularly favorable conditions for wine production, but as an investment, Burgundy is also favored by an imbalance between supply and demand. Demand for the magnificent Burgundies exceeds supply by several times. Burgundy has a constant micro-production among the top wines, and this results in particularly good conditions for wine investment.

Additionally, with the 2019 vintage, we will encounter a vintage that is even better than anything we have seen in our lifetime and that the yield from 2019 is 20% below normal.

 “Perhaps rival 1865, the greatest vintage of all”

Bernard Hervet, former director of Faiveley and Bouchard - two of Burgundy's greatest negociants and one of the few living people to have actually tasted the unsurpassed 1865 vintage, says that with the 2019 vintage, you now have a vintage that can actually rival 1865, which has been described as the best ever for generations.

Aubert de Villaine, commander-in-chief of the mythical Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, explains it this way: "We are convinced that the vines adapt to warmer, drier years, and we find that very reassuring".

The twelve months before the harvest are crucial for the overall quality of the vintage - and not least for the final quantity. 2019 was another year of an extreme climate in Burgundy, and that has resulted in wines with a wide variation. The wines of the best are better than they have been for many years, but you have to be careful. As always, the producer is a very decisive factor in Burgundy, and the choices made in terms of pruning and harvest timing were crucial in 2019.

Overall, 2019 is a vintage comparable to the 2018 vintage, with a hot and dry climate. The big difference, however, is that the grapes have generally maintained their acidity. As Aubert de Villaine points out, the grapes and vines have adjusted to "the new normal" in terms of climate. This ultimately shines through in the wines, which come out with better balance and length.

It is also clear that Pinot Noir has adapted better to the climate than Chardonnay. As a result, the red Burgundies, in particular, appear to be something quite unique in the 2019 vintage, while the white Burgundies are not yet quite at the same level of taste.


The Growing Season

The season itself started with a dry winter, resulting in a water shortage. The producers with the oldest vines are the winners, as their roots reach further down to the groundwater.

The weather was hot in March, which made the vines blossom early - actually already at the beginning of April. Unfortunately, these early flowers were hit by the spring frost, which kills the young sprouts. This means that the wine producers have already lost part of the harvest before the growing season has really started.

The summer was hot and dry for long periods. The two biggest challenges were stress in the vines, which caused ripening to stop as well as scalding of the grapes. The excessive sun can damage the skin, but this can be counteracted by extra leaf growth around the bunches as well as at the top of the vines, which underlines the importance of proper pruning.

Normally, there is a 100-day rule of thumb between flowering and harvest, but the extreme heat caused the sugar content to rise rapidly towards harvest. The winemakers had great challenges to harvest at the right time, while there was still acidity in the grapes and the sugar had not risen too much.

The harvested grapes, on the other hand, were extremely healthy, as the lack of rain contributed to the grapes not being rotten. At the same time, the heat had also dehydrated certain grapes, which in turn led to a smaller harvest. One winemaker said: "If it had rained just a little before harvest, the grapes would have absorbed 10 % more water and given a bigger yield".

Ultimately, the grapes of 2019 have proven to be excellent - not least among the producers who harvested on time. As always, it is necessary to act cautiously, but with this in mind, it is possible to get taste experiences beyond the usual with the 2019 vintage - and, last but not least, to make a really good investment.

RareWine Invest’s Opinion

2019 stands out as one of the absolute best vintages, if not the best ever from Burgundy - and not least when you look at all the top producers. Record prices and completely new benchmarks for Burgundian potential are already being pursued. After a few years in which both Italy and Champagne attracted much of the attention, Burgundy is back in the spotlight with the 2019 vintage.

The eyes of the world are fastened to the release of the greatest Burgundies, which, due to a 20 percent smaller harvest than in average vintages, will be released on the market in even smaller quantities than usual. This will set completely new standards for both price increases and demand - not least in 5 and especially in 10 years' time when the wines will be hard to find on the open market. So, the course is set for both great taste experiences and solid investments.

In terms of investment, we have high expectations for this vintage. These will be wines that will be attractive in the trade for many years to come, while quantities meanwhile will be reduced by the current consumption. If you want to be involved from the beginning, you can contact us via the form below to find out more about your opportunities for investment. Alternatively, you can sign up for our newsletter, where we will have a special focus on 2019 Burgundies in the coming period and where we will identify the most attractive investment cases for you.

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