For the past 5 years we have driven out to Beaune to collect cask samples from Maison Joseph Drouhin to bring them back to London for a cask sample tasting. This year was no different, and we welcomed a host of customers from across the country to The Photographers’ Gallery in the heart of Soho, to taste what 2016 had to offer.
Despite the widespread reports of devastating frosts and hail across the region affecting the 2016 harvest, yields may be low but the quality is unmistakably high across both the white and reds.
Stylistically the vintage sits between 2014 and 2015. The wines have a consistent theme of high but lean and refreshing acidity. It could be argued that the whites of 2016 are more suited to this type of vintage however the reds have a floral elegance which gives them immediate opulence, with a well-structured palate, which will only develop more complexity over time.
The consensus would appear to be that the vintage shows a more classical Burgundian style than 2015, and this is most suited to the delicate hand and style of winemaker Veronique Drouhin. It is undoubtedly a vintage not to be overlooked; only time will tell if either the reds or whites evolve more favourably.
Michael Schuster, expert wine taster, wine writer and wine teacher, attended the tasting and said of the 2016 vintage:
“The range yesterday was impressive. Lovely wines; ripe, fresh, elegant whites, less acidity than 2014, more than 2015, delightful across the board. Reds that are a most toothsome combination of fully ripe fruit, red rather than black, fine and restrained tannins, great freshness and definition – pure, fragrant, delicious. They look like being accessible relatively early, but their beautiful balance will doubtless make reasonably old bones and bouquets of the best!”