In the second part of her coverage of the 2022 Burgundy vintage, The World of Fine Wine’s Burgundy critic Sarah Marsh MW delivers her detailed assessment of the region’s villages, crus, and lieux-dits.
Côte de Nuits
Marsannay tends to get a little less rain and be warmer in the summer than other villages on the Côte de Nuits; moreover, it has well-drained soils, so a hot dry summer is challenging for the vines, and producers commented on vine stress. Nevertheless, the style is fresh, with plenty of terroir on show; Longeroies, in red and white, displays rich texture and body from the clay soil, and Clos du Roy, the density, vigor, and strictness of limestone. The whites have ripe stone fruit—peaches and apricots—sliced with salty minerality where there is limestone. Champ Forey’s well-drained gravelly/silty soils were very dry in 2022, but the result is pretty and smoky, with raspberry-fruit reds. Grasses Têtes, the most firmly structured of Marsannay reds, is bold and luscious this year, with sapidity providing freshness.
Like sleek and contented cats, the wines purr, silken tannin and floral aromas characterizing the vintage in Gevrey. For such a large village, the quality and consistency are high.
I always tend to prefer village wines from lieux-dits in the middle on the Brochon side of Gevrey, for their structure and energy, over the lighter wines from below the R74 on the cône de déjection, but the latter are also very pleasing in 2022, with sufficient concentration, a smooth texture, and a salty finish. For a good, round village blend, Domaine René Bouvier has a lovely example. Mid-village, below Corbeaux, wines from En Pallud from Mark Haisma and Pascal Marchand caught my eye.
From the springs in the lower part of Fonteny, water finds its way to Corbeaux (Denis Bachelet has a rich, satin-smooth example), so there is never hydric stress in this part, but it was a different story in the very well-drained soils on the cône de déjection. At Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, which has numerous parcels across the village, La Justice was the only vineyard where the leaves were yellow and falling by harvest time, and Perrot-Minot lost half his crop here.
At the other extreme, Gevrey received more than its fair share of rain in June. Sylvie Esmonin described the storm that carried rain and hail from the Combe Lavaux affecting the vineyards on the sweep of the hill toward Brochon. It washed soil down the slope in Clos St-Jacques—a destructive event, which does not seem to have affected the style or quality, but her precious crop here was smaller than elsewhere, at just 28hl/ha.
The ’22 Gevrey premiers cru are all very distinctive. For a fruity, rounded, and energetic style, you can’t go wrong with Champeaux, while Combe aux Moines and Goulots are straighter, cool and fresh, with fine, crisp tannins. Cazetiers can be exotically floral. The aromas are ripe and warm in wine from the Combe Lavaux, but they taste fresh, neat, and trim.
Uninfluenced by the draught from the combe, the sleek and salty wines of Fonteny from Bruno Clair and Mark Haisma are worth seeking out. The highest section of this vineyard shares the mother rock with Ruchottes across the road. There are just three producers with vines in this section, and the style is more refined than from the deeper soils below. Unsurprisingly, these Fonteny wines bear some resemblance to Ruchottes, which is always among my favorite grands crus. In ’22, Ruchottes is more accessible than from cold vintages, in which it can seem austere when young. Draped in a gauzy veil of red fruit, it retains a pure and cool core, so these are fine-boned Ruchottes which shiver with minerals on the finish.
Charmes-Chambertin works well with whole bunches, particularly in 2022, where it accentuates the climat’s aromatic airy persona, which I prefer to the more firmly structured Charmes, particularly those from Mazoyères.
Chapelle needs careful handing in a hot and dry vintage. The goal (for most) is to make it airy, or else it can feel jammy and baked, and tannins can dominate. It’s a hot site with very little topsoil. Rossignol-Trapet work effectively here with whole bunchs to produce an aromatic, light-footed wine.
Alexander Able at Domaine Ponsot remarks, “Chapelle turns super-fast, so we are very careful with the harvest date, and since 2017 we work with even less extraction, keeping the wine with the skins for a little longer to get the softness. If we tried to get more body, it would become too extracted.”
The 2022 grands crus are not at all standoffish and should be accessible in youth. They are not extreme in any way; neither super-compact nor richly opulent. Rather, they are beautifully balanced and delightfully supple, but with no lack of intensity. Mazis is unusually seductive; Bèze has gorgeous fruit and satin texture, while some are exquisitely detailed and floral; Latricières is as pure as a whistle, fizzling with energy—cut crystal from Rossignol-Trapet; sapid and chalky from Faiveley. I just love this grand cru, and the vintage becomes it well. Chambertin is powerful yet poised. Some are discreet and quiet and focused, while others are dynamic and channeled.
The characteristic spiciness of Morey-St-Denis has a notably floral expression in ’22, taking the style in the direction of Chambolle. But whereas Chambolle seems tricky for producers outside the village, Morey is more accommodating and there are lovely examples from cellars in neighboring villages, including Tortochot whose Morey wines are fragrant and gossamer textured.
At village level, I have a weak spot for the vineyards at top of the slope. My favorite En Rue de Vergy has a treble style; perched above Clos de Tart on very thin topsoil, it catches the sun by day but cools at night, so ’22 can have ripely exotic aromas but keeps its narrow high-wired line and sense of freshness. It’s a 12-acre (5ha) vineyard of which Perrot-Minot and Bruno Clair have the lion’s share, and Michel Gros, a smidgen. At Domaine des Lambrays it’s blended with the vineyard above their grand cru and has a similar profile, as does Ponsot’s Cuvée des Grives from the village section of Monts Luisants. The village wines from below the premier cru on the flat are fruitier and less savory/saline than the parcels above the grands crus, but are particularly pretty and floral this year.
Back on the warm slope, the premiers crus (Chaffots, Monts Luisants) retain their straight, slim line and crisp minerality. Mark Haisma’s Chaffots combines this with ripe aromatics, the heady perfume of a rose garden, while Ponsot’s Premier Cru Cuvée des Alouettes somehow defies the ripeness of the vintage and is quite austere.
This is such an attractively aromatic vintage for Morey, which can sometimes lack a strong identity, sandwiched between Gevrey and Chambolle. The premiers crus below the grands crus still have some way to go in establishing their individual characters in the market, but this should be helped by Domaine des Lambrays recovering parcels of premiers crus beneath the winery, for which 2022 is the first vintage. Jacques Devauges observes, “La Boulet has redder soil, which is dense and quite stony, while Sorbé has browner soil and is closer to the bedrock, with a slight turn to the south and so a little warmer.” I found Clos Baulet softer and quite delicate (rather like Pascal Marchand’s Clos des Ormes), while the Sorbé has more tension and power. It’s good to see these back with the domaine.
The premier cru Aux Cheseaux has chalky notes, which might surprise you, given it lies below Charmes which is more aromatic and fuller, but the soil is very limestone. Castagnier has a good example.
2022 is the finest expression of Clos des Lambrays I have tasted. With Jacques Devauges at the helm of this domaine, this grand cru is again realizing its true potential.
Chambolle is a delight in 2022—floral and fresh, with the most limestone soils providing keen salinity. I am more often disappointed in Chambolle than in any other village on the Côte de Nuits—maybe because my expectations are high, but the wines are the most fragile, and hot vintages very challenging.
In such warm seasons, Chambolle can quickly lose purity of expression, becoming jammy and a caricature of itself. Chambolle wines have a knife-edge balance, leaving no margin for error, particularly on the south side of the village. Bonnes Mares and the premiers crus below it are somewhat more forgiving. Delicate handing is key, so I was surprised and delighted to find that most of the 2022 Chambolle wines I tasted fulfilled my high expectations. The most reliable wines will usually come from those closest to the terroir—the producers within the village (not least by being best placed to choose the right moment to harvest)—but those from outside were quite consistent. Not everyone hit the mark, but you stand a decent chance of finding good Chambolle this year.
I particularly like the 2022 Chambolles for their translucency to the terroir and their texture. They attained phenolic ripeness while avoiding the sensation of a hot vintage. Wine from thin limestone soils can quickly become too sweet, but on the contrary, these convey the terroir with lively salinity and such purity. Cras, for example, can get very ripe, especially from the warmest section, but the ’22s are focused and exquisitely pure. It seems—in these terroirs—that the roots found sufficient moisture within the limestone layers for the vines to produce nicely balanced fruit.
The village wines are effortlessly charming; bright and dancing from Véroilles and parcels at the top of the amphitheater. As for premiers crus, I always have my favorites, but you don’t have to be too picky. Wine from deeper soils were also enchanting, so snaffle them up if you can. Charmes is gloriously aromatic and full. There is so much freshness and/or sapidity across the village.
At the top end,a Bonnes Mares is elegant even from the red soils. So much charm, but (a small downer) not among my favorite grands crus this vintage, as it seems to lack a little presence. Amoureuses, however, is gorgeous, and I particularly liked De Vogüe’s, which shimmered with mineral tension.
It’s hard to justify the current cost of the most sought-after grands crus in Burgundy. It is, after all, just wine, not one of life’s more expensive essentials… but this is a vintage in which I would buy Musigny if I had sufficiently deep pockets. “One of the best vintages we have made for many years. It is like 2017, but with more density, power, and poise,” muses Christophe Roumier.
Clos de Vougeot & Echézeaux
Echézeaux always reminds me of a bolt of black satin unfurled and rippling across the palate. It’s light silk in En Orveaux, whereas it’s richer, fuller, and more substantial from Grands Echézeaux, but the style and overall quality is really quite consistent in 2022.
This is perhaps surprising, as it’s among the largest grands crus (together with Clos de Vougeot and Corton), with parcels owned by numerous producers and the quality of the terroir variable—Poulaillières and Echézeaux du Dessus rate highly, Loachausses and Treux, much less so. My favorable impression is formed by visits to quality-conscious producers—and of course there will be some underwhelming Echézeaux on the market—but it’s worth pointing out that one producer I visited with less well-sited parcels has still made some lovely wine, and I cannot say the same for Corton, where even some stellar producers have made quite ordinary wine in 2022. Take Loachausses, which is susceptible to frost and to rot, but skated happily round those issues in 2022, and in such dry conditions retained good humidity in the soil. It has produced light, pure, and talcy wine. All four Gros domaines now make Echézeaux from this lieu-dit.
And what about the lieu-dit of En Orveaux? Situated in the breezy freshness of the combe and on more limestone soils, it has been rather looked down upon, but is benefiting from warmer vintages, like so many rather marginal sites. In 2022, it turned out streamlined, finely textured wines from Christophe Roumier, Château de Marsannay, Domiane d’Eugénie, and Faiveley. These wines have a light and elegant feel, which differs from the richer, dark satin wine from deeper clay soils. As Jérôme Flous remarks, “We put En Orveaux on the label because Echèzeaux from this place has a more Chambolle style. It’s south-facing on a marne soil.” Where the aspect is more north-facing, Eugénie makes a keen, crisp, and racy wine.
These qualities can be useful in a blend, too… on the thin stony soil in this area is Rouges du Bas, which brings mineral complexity to Mugneret-Gibourg’s Echézeaux, while the deep soils of Les Quartiers de Nuits (the bottom bit of which is village) provide fruit and body.
Clos de Vougeot has no lack of power in 2022, but is not as massive, sturdy, and structured as it can be in other years. Some of those from Maupertui look toward Grands Echézeaux, their neighbor on the other side of the wall, but not from Anne Gros or Ben Leroux, whose Echézeaux from Maupertui is all density and muscle. Méo-Camuzet’s perfectly situated vines by the castle, which typically produce a wine of substance, power, and complexity, leans into its most debonair expression in 2022.
If the quintessential Vosne-Romanée has body, depth, and sensuality, combining power with elegance, in 2022 the style gravitates toward the latter, though village-wide stereotypes are not very helpful—the terroir is so varied, and in 2022, so beautifully articulated. Just considering the village wines, there are plumply fruity and scented offerings from the lieux-dits on the flat, while those up-slope by the woods (Champs Perdrix and Barreaux) are crisp and fizzling with energy. But even here it’s hard to generalize. Méo-Camuzet found it difficult to ripen Barreaux, even in 2022, but it makes a good marriage with the ripe fruit from its parcel of village vines down by the R 74. Perrot-Minot has produced an intense Champs Perdrix, where the fruit gets riper in this warm position beside Reignots, richer than his other village cuvée. Perrot-Minot probably makes the most refined example of Vosne from lower parcels.
The lively contrast—between upslope and down—is reflected in the premiers crus, where higher sited climats have a style far removed from the lush opulence of Malconsorts or the structure and body of Suchots. The 2022 vintage allows full expression of diaphanous Vosne-Romanée. The upper part of Beaumonts had produced a delicate filagree wine at Domaine des Lambrays. The parcel from Perrot-Minot made his gossamer Beaumonts, but now Lambrays has also captured the delicacy of this terroir. Beaumonts from the Bas part is fuller and richer, but super-suave. Maxime Cheurlin has an excellent example. And then there is fine-boned Reignots, pure and saline. Almost half this vineyard, 1.8 acres (0.73ha), belongs to Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, from which he makes a shimmering, gauzy wine (albeit in 100% new oak). Petits Monts also belongs to this elegant cohort. Maxime Cheurlin’s is chalky and precise; Arlaud’s, cool and linear.
And in 2022 it is quite possible to make a taffeta crisp and finely textured Brûlée. Jean-Nicolas Méo has captured this expression, as has Eugénie from the other side of the road.
It takes precision winemaking to articulate the delicacy of Vosne-Romanée—rather like Chambolle. It’s easy to pursue power and richness in Vosne, as it is to make a sumptuously fruity Chambolle. The skill lies in exposing the finesse and detail of Vosne-Romanée’s parcels upslope.
But we cannot ignore the full-bodied, powerful, and firmly structured wines. There are many expressions of Suchots from this large vineyard. It is typically vigorous and powerful, but from this warm season is less raw and robust, more smooth and toned at this early stage. Sometimes it can take years in bottle to soften the palate and reveal its rose-petal perfume, but in 2022 it’s quite forward, so it’s a good vintage in which to approach a youthful Suchots.
And I love Richebourg in 2022, for it shows its most luminous expression.
It’s a vintage tailor-made to coax the charm from Nuits-St-Georges. I find the most sophisticated wines come from the South side—from Les St-Georges, of course—but it is also satin-smooth from Les Cailles, while Les Vaucrains is more firmly structured; Chains Cateaux is lighter from sandier soils, and Perrières taut and racy from limestone. There is nothing robust or rustic about this contingent, and there’s no austerity on display in 2022. This is partly the consequence of modest acidity and high pHs, but also the result of how they were produced. Improved phenolic ripeness and ever-more careful extraction over the past decade has changed the grippy tannic profile to one of textural refinement; power is tamed and channeled into intensity and length. These top terroirs in NSG have become so much more precise.
Pruliers and Poirets do not quite reach the quality or refinement of this brigade, relying more on body and muscle (Poirets is the fresher and livelier of the two), but they are less robust and more civilized than in the past, and in 2022 they are quite honed.
The north side’s Richemone, Murgers, Vignerondes, and velvety Boudots are rounded, generous, and as smooth as you’d like. These north-end wines have wider appeal than the best south-side wines, but don’t catch my attention in the same way—with the exception of Aux Cras, and I do rather like the bright energy and aromatic spices of Damodes (Faiveley has a good one). In the village stakes, it’s hard to beat the pretty wines from Lavières and richly fruity Bas de Combe.
If you need convincing that Nuits-St-Georges can make refined wine, this is the vintage to go exploring.
Côte de Beaune
There are ripe and rounded Bourgogne Côte d’Or wines, which show well the village character. I particularly liked those from under Puligny, which have firm Puligny identity.
Aloxe-Corton & Pernand-Vergelesses
As might be expected, it’s a good year for Pernand-Vergelesses, and there are excellent wines in both colors. Pernand-Vergelesses has an edginess in cooler vintages, which I like, but it has wider appeal in warmer years. The cool air from the combe will always ensure decent freshness, and the village wines from both slopes of the valley are bright and energetic, including some ripe and crunchy Combottes. Premier cru Caradeux is a climat arguably better suited to reds than whites, but I really like the fresh and savory whites, which are on punchy form in 2022. It is a long climat, in which the soil changes from iron-rich, to white clay (better suited to Chardonnay) as it stretches into the combe. Caradeux has long been recognized for the quality of its terroir; it was identified in the Classification by the Comité d’Agriculture de l’Arrondissement de Beaune as early as 1860, while the now-lovely Sous Frétille was replanted in the 1960s and became a premier cru as recently as 2000. Sous Fretillé is both sweet and saline in 2022, with a nod toward the style of Corton-Charlemagne—a smaller and more fruit-driven version. In common with its grand neighbor, different aspects give different styles—unless (like Rapet) you have parcels on both the east and west face, which can be blended to make a very nicely balanced wine.
Reds are very approachable this year, with plentiful red fruit and even some floral notes. In classic vintages, the tannins tend to have a certain rusticity, with the notable exception of Île des Vergelesses, but in 2022 the textures are unusually supple in Caradeux, Fichots, and Les Vergelesses (a very silky example from Rapet). Île des Vergelesses is always a wine of more distinction and flair, and in 2022 it has silky tannins, precision, and tension. Champy has a good one made from its domaine vineyards.
One of the great advantages of Corton-Charlemagne is the option of blending parcels—there are so many exposures and depths of soil, which help mitigate extremes of climate change—and many producers have more than one parcel. But in truth, I liked all the Corton-Charlemagnes that I tried. Nothing disappointed.
The west-facing Le Charlemagne is warm, but the mid and lower sections, where there is more gray marl, retain moisture. There are benefits to having vines at the bottom of the climat. Louis Latour and Javillier have parcels in south-facing Pougets. In 2022, Corton-Charlemagne from Pougets is not too rich or heavy, having a nice balance of ripe pear fruit and freshness. Here, where there are natural springs, the white marl retains more water than anywhere else in Corton-Charlemagne, says Marion Javillier.
The east-to-southeast-facing slope above Aloxe, and the more east-facing section in the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny, both lose the sun in the evening, when the vines are shaded. Corton-Charlemagnes from here tend to be medium- to full-bodied. In 2022, there is plenty of freshenss. In the lieu-dit Le Corton, Bouchard has a significant holding close to the trees, and its 2022 has energy and acidity.
En Charlemagne, the coolest and least desirable place in recent memory (especially the far end) is now sought-after. It’s tucked around the hill, where it moves from west-facing to a northerly aspect and catches the breeze from the combe. In 2022, the Corton-Charlemagnes from here are sappy and vibrant (Champy, Rapet, and Roumier), but in this ripe vintage can also have a lovely, sunny feel (Dubreuil-Fontaine). En Charlemagne makes a very nice blend with Le Charlemagne (Terres de Velle and Paul Chavy).
Louis Latour has parcels everywhere except En Charlemagne. Head winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas observes, “Corton-Charlemagne is a grand cru that is benefiting from climate change, while we see more hydric stress in Montrachet.”
Red Corton has performed well enough in the hot 2022 vintage. Pinot Noir planted at the bottom of the slopes in the deeper, moister soils has made rich and succulent wines (Rapet and Génot-Boulanger). Dubreuil-Fontaine’s three Cortons illustrate how clearly the different terroirs are clearly expressed in the wines of 2022. Even talented producers cannot elevate some parcels to be worthy of grand cru status. The whites from the hill of Corton are certainly better than the reds—the reserve of my general feeling for this vintage.
A lot of fruit and wine from the Corton hill is traded. In white, it is the easiest and cheapest grand cru to access; which producer hasn’t now got a barrel of Corton-Charlemange in their cellar? Notwithstanding, the whites are better and more consistent.
Savigny-lès-Beaune and Beaune
The ripe vintage suits Savigny’s whites, and where extraction was careful, Savigny reds are pretty, although I also came across some reds here with surprisingly rustic tannin in 2022. Marion Javillier describes her extraction as “kind,” and this gentle approach has pleasing results.
In Beaune, Fréderic Webber remarks, “The challenge for whites in Beaune was to catch the moment, or else they would be too creamy and dense.” It’s certainly heading that way with Bouchard Clos Saint Landry, while Beaune de Château, a blend of five premiers crus, comes together with a more satisfactory balance. I am not a great fan of Beaune whites in warm vintages, as they often feel ponderous, whereas Pernand’s whites seem much fresher, more energetic and attractive.
Things improve with Beaune reds, which are much better than the whites, but here, too, the danger is heavy, soft wine and premiers crus that lack structure. The soil varies across this large appellation. From dense, rich clay, where vines never suffer hydric stress, the wines are juicy and fruity in 2022 (eg Clos de la Mousse), while vineyards with thin limestone soils and sunny expositions ripened quickly and can be quite exotic. Catch the moment, and Aux Cras is salty; Teurons, sappy. Rossignol-Trapet shows how it’s done, producing a light, crisp, salty, and nervy Teurons using two thirds whole-bunch and very little extraction for this hot terroir. Left too late, and the wines can be flat and pruny. As ever, Grèves is the most reliable premier cru. In Bouchard’s lieu-dit L’Enfant Jésus, the soil is sandy, but the vines didn’t stress. Rapet’s parcel high on the slope produced an excellent, lively example.
On the Savigny side of Beaune, where Cent-Vignes, Marconnets, and Clos du Roi are located, the reds are rather soft and loose on the mid-palate. On sandy soil, in Clos du Roi, the vines were losing leaves in August as they stressed on the well-drained soil. Cent-Vignes can be quite exotic, but definitely fresher than Clos du Roi. On the positive side, wine from these well-drained soils can have an appetizing, dry, salty finish—different from a mineral salinity, but useful for balance nonetheless.
Moving to the Pommard side of Beaune, Les Aigrots is trim and fresher, working well with some whole-bunch. Bouchard and Dimitri Bazas at Champy were among those who successfully used more whole bunches than typical in Beaune, to lift their wines and give them more energy.
It’s a red-fruit vintage in Pommard. The current generation of winemakers is extracting much more carefully, which has vastly improved the refinement and texture of Pommard’s wines.
Pommard benefits from warmer summers, and its potential to produce smoothly textured wine of some refinement is once again demonstrated this year. The 2022s have lower acidity than the 2020s, and are consequently more forthcoming and accessible. In comparison with Volnay, Pommard has cold draughts from three valleys, which keeps the acidity on the fresher side. This acidity accentuates Pommard’s naturally firm tannins, which is especially tricky in cooler years, including 2021, when phenolic ripeness is more difficult to achieve, but in 2022 the tannins are ripe and the pHs are average, so the acidity works a treat to keep the profile lively and fresh. The growing season was short, however, and not everyone achieved phenolic maturity in their grapes.
There are some decidedly fruity village wines, which are plump and fresh from the plain (eg Les Cras, which is always a good spot). In such a vintage, even Vaumuriens—at the top of the slope, with a cooler, east to north exposure—has ripened well, while on the other side of the valley, wines from Vignots are both ripe and breezy, and the well-situated Noizons is positively luscious in 2022.
The second division premiers crus show well. Arvelets, which catches the draft, is crisp and has lively energy, but is nicely ripe. I particularly like Charmots. The white soil gives it a slight austerity, while the red clay of Refène makes a juicier wine. Clos Blanc benefits in 2022 from an underground watercourse, which helped preserve its freshness.
Pommard suffers less from drought than Volnay. There is naturally more water, which is easy to appreciate in a wet season, when the ditches on the hillsides, built to channel the water away from the vineyards, are brimming. Pommard’s clay soils hold on to water reserves. Vines here are under less hydric stress than drier places on the Côte and should comfortably reach phenolic maturity. For the most part, this has resulted in nice, ripe tannins and an impression of juicy freshness. To repeat my comment in the winemaking section though, a little whole-bunch goes a long way in Pommard.
The various Epenots are gorgeous this year—so velvety. Paul Zinetti, who eschews whole-bunch, has made a delightfully satin-textured Clos des Epeneaux.
The 2022 wines here showcase red summer fruits; cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. The style is nicely rounded, generous but not heavy, with soft, silky tannins. It’s a vintage that becomes Volnay well, as long as the harvest was timely and the extraction careful. But this was not aways the case. At one extreme, Marquis d’Angerville has produced a flight of lucid and precise wines—if only everyone could make such lissom Volnay. The other extreme is soft and jammy.
To generalize, the fruit in Volnay ripens swiftly toward the end of the season due to its sunny exposition on a convex hillside slope. It is not surprising that Volnay quickly becomes rich, extravagant, and alcoholic in hot vintages. Some 2018s can be heavy, dark, and spicy, and some 2019s overly sweet, while 2020 is rich but fresh. 2022 has lower acidity than 2020 but also less alcohol, and the style is balanced and more instantly charming.
Again to generalize, Volnay has plenty of limestone, and consequently some premiers crus on the slope suffered from hydric stress; less so at the bottom of the slope, where there is more clay and where most of the village parcels are located. Village wines in 2022 are deliciously fruity and should be fresh enough. There is also a band of premiers crus toward the bottom of the slope, above the village parcels, among them Roncerets—typically a burly expression of Volnay, but in 2022 it is chunkily charming and remarkably smooth from Domaines des Terres de Velle and Michel Bouzereau (the Aussey part), where the extraction is light-handed.
Clos des Chênes stands out among the premiers crus. Although the slope turns slightly south, here the wines seems to retain vigor and freshness. In any vintage, hot or cold, the style is underscored with mineral grip. The limestone makes the tannins slightly strict. At Château de Meursault, they are positively austere—especially welcome in 2022 to balance the ripe fruit, but always good in my book.
While Clos des Chêne is quite consistent—reliable whether the summer is hotter or colder—Caillerets struggles in hot vintages, so with climate change is becoming less dependable. The thin, rocky soil makes this vineyard very warm, and it can quickly lose its fine, delicate structure and perfume, becoming jammy. Webber started the harvest for Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot on August 25, and felt that one day later would have been too late. D’Angerville clearly picked at the optimum monument, as its Caillerets is diaphanous. A text-book example.
Examples of lesser premiers crus that have benefited from climate change are Chanlins and Pitures. In classic vintages, they can be a bit lean and green, but in warm vintages they are light, nervy, and zesty. Pitures is shaded by pine trees for some of the day and has a natural spring. Vincent Girardin has an attractive example. (It would be good place for Chardonnay.) Just below these premiers crus, Fremiets has a scree soil and typically makes an edgy style of Volnay, which I like—particularly in 2022, when it is combined with delightful red fruit.
Meursault and Blagny
The village parcels of Clous and Narvaux stood out. Both are concentrated in 2022. Clous has chalkiness to offset the rich fruit, while Narvaux has a firm, mineral grip and impressive power on the finish for a village wine. Above these lieux-dits, Tillets is more richly citrus, with less white-flower perfume in 2022 than in a cooler vintage. Tessons is rounded and rather golden in feel, but sliced with citrus freshness and there’s still plenty of energy. I really liked Chevalières this year. From lower sites, Meursault village wines can feel a bit hefty in 2022—fresh enough and with plentiful fruit, but they can lack a little pizazz.
As for the premiers crus, there were ups and downs. Bouchères should be aromatic and airy, rounder than Genevrières but lacy, and always perfumed on the finish. In 2022, some of those I tasted captured this style, albeit with a generous, softer, more languid feel, while others were definitely glossier and richer, heading toward a Gouttes d’Or profile. 2022 is a challenging vintage in which to capture the precision of a good Bouchères. I prefer it in a fresher season, and I prefer both Bouchères and Genevrières without any new oak. The vintage is better suited to Gouttes d’Or, its profile being full, fresh, and juicy, with textural richness, candied fruit, and chunky opulence. They bounce through the rich 2022 vintage, while Poruzots punches. Poruzots is strong and can take on board more new oak. It is the most firmly structured of these three, of course, and its assertive personality is most welcome in 2022.
Charmes is very nice, but nothing grabbed me with excitement. The two faces of Charmes were on show in 2022. Charming, rounded, soft, brioche and buttery Charmes from lower parcels; slimmer, more precise, brighter, and more refined Charmes from the upper part. But generally, they are creamy and rich, even from Dessus, although Buisson-Charles has a delicate but persistent Charmes from this upper part. It’s early days, however, and the best examples should slim down, focus, and show more freshness with time.
Genevrières’s identity hinges on its minerality, aromatics and precision. Those aromatics can be quite extravagant in 2022. It escapes the heaviness of 2019, but it can be very spicy, with a dominant, heady and exotic perfume, and can fall short on tension. I can forgive Bouchères its shortcomings, but my expectations of Genevrières are much higher. It has the potential to equal, and sometimes better, Perrières.
In a hot, dry vintage, old vines are an advantage. They have more chance of capturing the delicacy and intensity of Genevrières, as Latour-Giraud’s Cuvée de Pierre demonstrates. It’s also an advantage to have vines in the upper part of the climat. Bouchard has a lovely example of Genevrières Dessus. Webber comments, “The part from the slope is always opulent and generous, and the other part, which is above the fault, is always more chalky. The maturity is later and it has more acidity, citrus, and focus. The higher plot is more and more important for us in the balance, for its acidity and salinity.”
While Genevrières vacillates, Perrières is generally more reliable in style and quality, and just more complex than Charmes. Vincent Boyer tells me his Genevrières vines were stressed in 2022, while his Perrières vines, where there is more white clay and humidity, did not.
Perrièrres from the Dessous part is dense, focused, and powerful, with candied fruits and stem ginger, but those from Dessus also showed very well. I liked their stricter and straight palate—not as rich and deep as those from Dessous, but super-sapid. With a good producer, you can’t go wrong with Perrières.
I enjoyed Blagny wines from the Meursault side. The tiny premier cru vineyard of Ravelles holds onto its freshness. This is probably due to the springs mentioned previously, rather more so than to the shade or humidity from the woods. Light, pure, and glinting wine. Below this, La Pièce sous le Bois and Sous le Dos d’Ane beneath are richer and softer than typical in 2022. Although it’s high here, close to 1,000ft (300m), it’s warm, and the gloriously sweeping Pièce sous le Bois is a sun trap, but the whites have savory saltiness to balance the ripe citrus fruit and offset the warm, spicy aromatics. Ben Leroux’s is super-saline. And both Leroux and Drouhin have fabulously silky Pinots from La Pièce sous le Bois.
Chapelle de Blagny is the only producer with Pinot Noir in Sous le Dos d’Ane. With climate change, Blagny is much improved as a place for Pinot, and the warm Dos d’Ane a good spot. Leflaive removed its Pinot Noir in 2002, which I think is a shame, as I liked it, and Leflaive could have trail-blazed Blagny reds across the world. Ben Leroux and Etienne de Brechard, however, are doing a great job of promoting them.
There is a well-established tradition for village lieux-dits in Meursault to be bottled separately. It’s certainly merited by the individuality and quality of the “deuxieme” crus on the slopes, but not really by those around the village, which I feel are best blended with higher parcels. In Puligny, with the exception of Trézin above Blagny, the village parcels surround the houses on flat ground. Traditionally, they have been blended—and with good reason as there are only minor differences. Les Enseignères is the exception. Lying below Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet grand cru, it has a natural density and vigor that merits separate bottling.
There’s no ignoring the trend for more village lieux-dits to be made separately—no doubt encouraged by the hot demand for Puligny—but to my mind, most of these do not justify a higher price than a village blend. Generally speaking, the village parcels directly under the premiers crus, where the soil is browner, rockier, and a bit heavier than the parcels below them, may have a bit more presence and freshness. I had some good examples of Nosroyes, including that which goes into Jacques Carillon’s benchmark village blend. Charmes, on the border with Meursault, made by both Chavy brothers, is a stonier and lighter terroir, with less clay than the mid-village parcels. It produces smoothly mineral village wine. Jean-Louis Chavy emphasizes the rounded, more “Meursault” style by using the BIVB Bourgogne yeast.
And so, to the premiers crus. On the Meursault side of the village, they are a mixed affair in terms of quality, style, and typicité. They are not rich in alcohol, but have a warm, exotic feel which is not very Puligny.
From the top of the slope, Hameau de Blagny has extravagantly spicy and exotic aromas as a result of its position sheltered within the trees. Truffières is more elegant, but exotic nonetheless. The Blagny side of Champs Gain, generally considered the better side, is also somewhat top-heavy aromatically. Wine with slight structure doesn’t stand up well to this level of warmth and spice. But a second winter in reductive conditions should make these wines more focused and precise. Over the past 20 years, most of white-wine-producers I visit on the Cote d’Or, with few exceptions, have extended aging to two winters. It was always beneficial, but in warmer vintages it is fast becoming essential, and nowhere more so than in Puligny, to preserve its typical profile.
I really liked the St-Aubin end of Champs Gain (made by both Chavy brothers), where the soil is thinner and the site more exposed and windy, and those I tried have the typical, nervy feel of this climat.
Moving down the slope, Chalumeaux is easy-going for Puligny, floral and slightly saline, but without much intensity. It is fruity, but lacks precision for now, as does Champ-Canet, which is tropical and does not feel as bright and fresh as wines with the same analysis. The soil is well-drained and the small stones radiate the heat at night, so it never really cools down. Extended aging will help, and fining may be useful, too. Casein should sharpen the palate.
In the deeper soils below Champ-Canet, things definitely improve with Combettes, which is punchy and broad. In 2022, there are stand-out wines from the band of premiers crus on richer clay soils that stretch from the Meursault border, to Pucelles. While Combettes is both rich and cold, at the other end, Pucelles has a much warmer feel and is gorgeously silky. There is plenty of freshness and Puligny minerality in the wines from this section, including Perrières and Referts. In the dry conditions, they benefit from deeper soils and the juiciness that comes with it. Perrières is punchy, grippy, and earthy. The soil has the most clay here, and the wine has muscle. Good examples abound, albeit not as complex and layered as the surrounding premier cru. The best example of Referts I tasted in 2022 comes from Jacques Carillon, which has breadth of palate and a super, sparkling finish.
Clavoillon’s 14 acres (5.59ha) is largely owned by Leflaive (12 acres [4.79ha]). Sadly, Leflaive no longer shows its wine in the year post-harvest, but the Chavy brothers both have small parcels. The soil is deep but well-drained, with not as much clay as Perrières, for example, so the vines suffered from hydric stress in 2022. Alain Chavy’s version is lighter and sharply saline, while Jean-Louis Chavy’s has soft salt and is more sumptuous, which is typical of his style.
Folatières is a large climat of almost 44 acres (18ha). Situated on a well-exposed slope with thinner soils than the premier cru below, it is typically straight and intense, with earthy, mineral grip and tension; the higher, more calcareous parcels being of somewhat lighter weight. In 2022, Folatières suffered hydric stress. Consequently, they are more exotic and salty than juicy and fruity. Au Chaniot, the parcel next to Caillerets, is a top spot in Folatières. Thomas Collardot and Génot-Boulanger have parcels here. The wines have greater fruit density and are not exotic. They veer toward Caillerets in character.
Caillerets hoovers up the vintage. The intensity, power, and cold grip didn’t fail to impress in 2022. The most impressive premier cru in the Côte de Beaune. One can only be grateful to Chartron for “distributing” its significant holding in Caillerets, providing opportunities to try this climat at several domaines. Jean-Michel makes an exemplary Caillerets, but it is a very consistent climat. Terroir well out.
That theme continues with the grands crus. Let’s start with Montrachet, as it abuts Caillerets. Montrachet, with its perfect mid-slope wash, has greater water reserves in dry vintages than Chevalier, but not always quite enough. Those I tried are opulent. Some are tropical for Montrachet, while others are less extravagant in fruit and perfume, but still showy and up-front for Montrachet. There is great depth in these wines, however, and a dynamic undercurrent that carries the finish. I don’t think they’re quite as good as the 2020s, but they’re pretty special, nonetheless.
There is not much topsoil, or indeed any, in some places, in Chevalier. The ’22s are super-savory, with the impression of vines sucking on bedrock. Chevalier provides the most extreme example of the sapid style, which ranges from light saline wines from smaller appellations, to grand cru with channeled, stony grip. If you can get to try Bouchard Chevalier from its terraces, the heat of the vintage is apparent in the orange aromas, while Bouchard Chevalier Cabotte is somewhere between the more rapier Chevalier and the extra weight and density of Montrachet. Cabotte is a 0.5-acre (0.2ha) strip above Le Montrachet. Bouchard believes it would have been included within the classification for Montrachet had it been planted at the time.
Bâtard is as full-bodied, broad, and powerful as you would expect in a hot vintage, although the acidity seems to get a bit lost. Grand in dimension, but in June it was difficult to glimpse the grandeur. Within the Bâtard gang, Jacques Carillon’s Bienvenues stood out for its beautifully sustained finish.
The 2022 vintage accentuates the extremes of Bâtard and Chevalier—Bâtard’s full-bodied, muscular profile, and Chevalier’s lithe, straight, and salty one.
Chassagne tastes more exotic than Meursault and—for the most part—Puligny.
The village wines are chunky and full-bodied, with the exception of Pot Bois. Glossy and attractive with soft acidity, they have honeyed, caramelized orange and ripe apricot characters. These unctuous village wines are undoubtedly crowd pleasers.
On the north side of the village, things are pretty tropical. It is not a vintage for delicate and racy Chaumées. Some are perfumed, others are sweeter with litchee fruit, but nevertheless they are fresh, straight, and softly salted on the finish. Vergers is smooth, with ripe citrus and papaya, undercut with a sweep of supple minerality. Marc Morey has an excellent example, but Jean-Marc Pillot and Fontaine-Gagnard are good, too. Chenevottes is heavily tropical, loose and unexciting, but will probably freshen up with some aging in tank. From deeper clay soils than Chenevottes, Macherelles is also chunky but much fresher.
Blanchot-Dessus looks toward a Bâtard style and quality. Those I tasted were rather distinguished in 2022, sappy-savory, dense, and persistent. Vide Bourse has also upped its game.
In the middle of the village, Champs-Gains is rather exotic, richly textured with crystalized fruits and ginger, while whereas Maltroie is generally less extravagant in fruit expression, juicy and energetic. There is a good comparative example in Jean-Noël’s Gagnard’s cellar. Clos St-Jean is silky textured and very attractive in red.
On the south side of the village, the premiers crus are more serious and absorb the vintage character with ease. There are deliciously intense wines from the grouping at top of the slope, including Grandes Ruchottes, La Romanée, and Grande Montagne, which can encompass several climats. The aromatics may be a smidgen tropical, but these are straight, vibrant, and saline wines. Sabine Mollard of Domaine Marc Morey remarks, “It is easy to make Virondot. It is very consistent whatever the season, while Cailleret is difficult to make. It is difficult when it’s too hot or too cold” On the mid-slope, Cailleret shows a variety of expression in 2022. They are compact and intense. Some have a cool cut and tight edge, while others are more tropical and smoother.
In the higher section of the extensive Morgeot premier cru, Petit Clos, Tête du Clos, and the upper end of Fairendes, you sense the limestone influence, as the wines are sappy and stony. The dry 2022 vintage highlights the difference between these and Morgeot from deeper soils where there is more clay. The latter are fuller, fruitier, and juicier. In Fairendes producers tend to plant Chardonnay in the upper part and Pinot below.
It’s a fairly good year for Chassagne red, although I hoped the tannins would be smoother. Maybe in the race to save acidity, grapes didn’t quite reach phenolic maturity. Morgeot reds have plenty of matter but are a bit rustic. The village wines are fruity and pleasant. That apart, I would like to mention the women winemakers in Chassagne. Caroline Lestimé of Maison Caroline Lestimé, Sabine Mollard at Domaine Marc Morey, and Céline Fontaine at Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard are also making reds from vineyards in Volnay and Santenay. Not only are they excellent white wine makers, their sensitivity to tannin is clear in the texture of their red wines.
Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, and St-Aubin
There was nothing rustic about the supple reds on Volnay side of Monthelie, which borrow some elegance from their more illustrious (and pricey) neighbor. It’s worth seeking out Monthelie premier cru Sur La Velle and Champs-Fulliot. Jean-Philippe Fichet’s delicate Monthelie premier cru Les Clous illustrates what a light touch can achieve on the cooler, north-facing side of Monthelie. Faiveley has excellent vineyards in Monthelie, but is focusing more on the Côte de Nuits.
In Auxey-Duresses, reds and whites both have attractive, pithy bitterness—much more savory than the ripe 2020s. The tannins are well ripened in 2022. Even in Auxey, some spice it up with whole-bunch.
Auxey-Duresses whites are on point in 2022. Zesty, mineral, and ripe. Flowers and salt. With every passing year, there seems to be greater focus on the precision and purity of whites in Auxey. This is probably the combined effect of climate change and younger, more ambitious producers who are encouraged by the warmer summers to reach for a higher level of quality than was traditionally expected of Auxey. My favorite white of 2022 is the Premier Cru from Domaine Creusefond. Not for the first time.
While whites rule the roost, Auxey reds are also getting better and better. It is encouraging to see the younger generation in Auxey-Duresses—among them, Maxime Lafouge and Thomas Battault—paying greater attention to texture and refinement of their reds.
Auxey’s section of the premier cru Les Duresses has better exposure to the morning sun than the Monthelie flank, which is colder. Here the vines lap up the sunshine in 2022, with pleasingly ripe results. It has dark chocolate freshness from the white clay, and black-cherry richness. Climat du Val, on a limestone soil, gets the midday sun and the sunset, but ripens later than its neighbors; some are a touch snappy, but I like the energetic feel. Left later, they can be quite ripe, so you have sweet and savory coming together. Creusefond’s shows the sunnier disposition. Chapelle (from a southeast position between prem iers crus Les Breterins and Reugne) has smoothly textured tannins. Many of the producers in Auxey-Duresses like to make a premier cru blend, and this can often be the best balanced, although it may also be the most structured and require some aging.
Village parcels of red are more challenging. Domaine des Terres de Velle has 45-year-old vines in the village lieu-dit Les Closeaux, among the last remaining Pinot parcels on the colder Meursault side of the village. This has a northly exposure and, even in 2022, is a touch herbaceous, but has enticing redcurrant fruit and chalky notes. Sophie Laronze remarks, “We would like to keep it. The limestone and small stones bring a good texture to the Pinot Noir.”
The enterprising producers here are also exploring new parcels of land. About 5 percent of Les Duresses is now planted to Chardonnay. Gilles Lafouge purchased a parcel in 2014 and planted Chardonnay in a small part facing southeast at top of the slope, on the limit of Auxey-Duresses where the clay is very white. This was planted before phylloxera but abandoned subsequently. I like his racy Les Duresses Dit La Parapelle. Such are the possibilities afforded by climate change. (Guillaume Lavollée has done something similar with Beaune En Lulunne, from a tricky spot on the Beaune/Pommard border.)
Moving to St-Aubin, the aromatics are spicy and the fruit is quite tropical. The lighter structure of St-Aubin benefits from crisp freshness, which some wines lack, particularly on the village side.
Premier Cru Charmois is pretty reliable whatever the vintage, and in 2022 is well-balanced, rather fragrant, peachy, and rounded. On the warm southwest slope, the fruit is more melony, with few floral notes, but picked in good time to preserve acidity and modest alcohol, Les Murgers des Dents de Chien, Sur Gamay, and En Remilly all have sufficient freshness, backed up with plenty of salty minerality. I searched for these to include in the tasting notes.
Chalonnais and Mâconnais
I particularly liked the ripe and citrusy-fresh whites from Rully. There was hydric stress in Côte Chalonnaise, but not as severe as 2020. Mercurey has benefited from climate change, when in the past it was challenging to harvest at full phenolic ripeness. Faiveley has substantial holdings in Mercurey, and Jérôme Flous believes it is now reaching the same level of quality that premiers crus in the Côte de Nuits had 20 years ago. “It is a very good vintage for Mercurey. Maybe the best I have made.”
Heading down to Pouilly-Fuissé, the premiers crus from the sunny slopes stretching between Fuissé and Pouilly are certainly luscious; from full-bodied, weighty Ménétrières, to smooth opulence in Vignes Blanches; from rich Les Clos, to the ripely rounded Au Vignerais, from the warm south-facing slope in Solutré. The 2022 vintage fulfils Pouilly-Fuissé’s traditional reputation for fleshly, ripe wine. A touch on the soft side, but the calcareous soil gives sappy freshness.
I prefer minimal oak influence. Too much oak just emphasizes the traditionally extravagant Pouilly-Fuissé style. Some producers, including Jean-Philippe Bret, are using larger barrels and no new oak. Keeping wines for a second winter, as they do at Domaine Ferret, will help refine the warm style of this vintage. I liked the wines from this domaine. The 25 percent new oak may seem quite a lot, but the wines still have distinctive terroir definition, with Perrières naturally showing some snap and tension.
Vergisson has benefited from climate change and comes up trumps in 2022 for those who prefer Pouilly-Fuissé with high levels of energy, precision, and sapidity. It’s home to some of my favorite climats—notably Les Cray and Sur La Roche—both of which have been upgraded to premier cru. Even in a hot vintage, Sur La Roche produces straight, savory, and stony wine. Les Crays shows more of the sunny influence, but its 2022s are energetic and mineral as well as ripe. (Look out for Saumaize-Michelin and Gilles Morat).
There are excellent sites that were excluded from the list of 22 premiers crus because they didn’t quite meet the criteria. I draw your attention to those with the requisite limestone, but that are just too high or have a slightly cooler exposition to meet the official requirements. It’s worth noting that the classification did not take climate change into consideration. The top 12 acres (5ha) of Sur La Roche were excluded, but produce fresh and racy wine under the new village name, Haut de la Roche. On a plateau between Fuissé and Chaintré, the lieu-dit Les Rontets, which was also considered too high for premier cru, has yielded appealingly energetic 2022s. (Château des Rontets has two very good cuvées.)
It’s a good vintage in which to explore village lieux-dits from the cooler faces of Solutré and Vergisson, which will never make it into the premier cru ratings, but are very enjoyable nonetheless. Domaines La Soufrandière and Héritiers du Comte Lafon have neighboring parcels in En Chatenay on the north side of the rock of Vergisson, where no doubt the biodynamic farming contributes to the lively intensity of their wines.