Anthony Rose: Burgundy has grown in stature and popularity

 

Buy on apples, sell on cheese, so the old wine-trade adage goes. If the Himalayan mountains of cheese consumed during the frenzy of January's Burgundy 2011 week in London are anything to go by, a great deal of the region's wine has been sold en primeur before it's even been bottled and delivered. Do you need Burgundy in your cellar? No. Do you want Burgundy in your cellar? Why wouldn't you if you love wine? As Bordeaux alienates with arrogant pricing, Burgundy has grown in stature and popularity with much improved wine quality, more consistent vintages and greater availability.

Where Bordeaux is mostly red, Burgundy offers red and white in equal measure. Where Bordeaux needs a few years to come round, Burgundy is more approachable when younger. Wines from great vintages like 2005, 2009 and 2010 need time to develop, but good vintages offer delicious wines for early drinking. The latest vintage to be offered for sale, 2011, is one of those good-to-excellent vintages that favours both reds and whites, with appetisingly juicy reds and mouthwatering whites in a broad price range. It has personality – and the different personalities of the growers who've made it shine through in their wines.

There are good reasons for buying Burgundy en primeur and not just because it's so much more amenable when it's young. If Bordeaux is about location, Burgundy is about allocation. Burgundy is made in small volumes. The best gets snapped up quickly and drunk or cellared. Comparatively little sees the secondary-market light of day. I'm sensitive to wine-merchant hype, but the trade has it right when it claims that 2011 is a seductively delicious vintage worth buying. As Charles Lea of Lea & Sandeman says: "2011 does not have the concentration or mass of the kind of vintage that gets called 'great', but what it does have is energy, balance and appetising charm". A crowd-pleaser? Yes. To call it 'charming' and 'attractive' is not to damn with faint praise.

There is lower alcohol than usual in 2011, never a bad thing, along with balancing freshness and fruit. What I enjoy is the delicacy and purity of pinot noir's red-fruit flavours in the red wines. What surprises me is the sheer gorgeous fruit in so many of the white wines.

Wine merchants are saying buy, because 2012 is a very small vintage and while there's some truth in that, my view is buy because there are so many tasty wines and not all at astronomical prices. If a whole case is too much for you, why not club together with two or three like-minded friends and take the plunge.

For a selection of my favourites, top values and wine merchants, check out anthonyrose.com.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific