Burgundy’s 2015 Pinot Noir vintage is shaping up to be one of the great vintages of the century.
Only 18 years into the new millennium, we’ve been blessed with several great Burgundy vintages: 2002, 2005, 2010, and now, 2015. All show that ripe fleshy, perfumed character allied to firm tannins and intense acidity that’s the hallmark of great red Burgundy.
Sure, the initial “ah” factor that seduces many of us to Pinot Noir can be found in all great Burgundy, a combination of structure, poised fruit and distinct core of dryness. This makes for great reds that can age for at least 20 years.
But the 2015 vintage is something special. Tasting through a large range over the past few months, its tannins and concentration are striking. They have heft and show weight as well as fruit, though the alcohol levels generally remain at the Burgundy average.
There’s no question that these wines will age. In 10, 15 or even 20 years from now, the top wines will give an almost otherworldly pleasure you can only find in Burgundy. And even at the level of generic Bourgogne Rouge, there’s surprising richness and, of course, much more immediate pleasure.
The only downside to this landmark vintage? Finding and buying these wines. Prices at the top continue to skyrocket, way beyond almost all red Bordeaux or Napa. Supplies of the finest bottlings are limited, and importers often fight over small quantities. A succession of low-yield vintages since 2011 hasn’t helped availability.
But I urge you to persevere. These are great wines that will only become greater with age. For a taste of some of the world’s best Pinot Noir on its home turf, these are the wines to buy.
Recommended 2015 Burgundy Pinot Noir Bottlings
Louis Jadot 2015 Clos de la Roche; $330, 98 points. This grand vineyard is one of the jewels of Morey Saint-Denis. The structure and density behind this vintage of the wine is generously impressive, with a dark, dry core and fine tannins. To balance this, the wine has weight, opulent fruit and acidity. The result, as it matures, will be a major wine that will age for many years. Drink from 2025. Kobrand. Cellar Selection.
Maison Roche de Bellene 2015 Charmes-Chambertin; $314, 97 points. From one of the series of grand vineyards that line the slope of Gevrey-Chambertin, this powerful and dense wine is packed with tannins as well as beautiful fruit. Its red fruit flavors are supported by a solid structured and concentrated tannins. Despite this power, the wine is stylish, striking a fine balance between structure and fruit. Drink from 2025. Loosen Bros. USA.
Domaine Chevillon-Chezeaux 2015 Les Saint-Georges Premier Cru (Nuits-St.-Georges); $90, 95 points. This vineyard, on the hill above the city of Nuits-St.-Georges, is widely seen as the top premier cru of the appellation. Certainly this rich, structured wine with its great fruit and firm tannins is serious and ageworthy. Ripe, full and concentrated, it needs to age. Drink from 2024. Saranty Imports.
Maison Champy 2015 Les Suchots Premier Cru (Vosne-Romanée); $N/A, 95 points. This wine has great fruit, ripe tannins and enormous potential. The density of the wine speaks to that, with full black fruits and layers of solid tannins. Richly endowed, it should age for many years. Drink this powerful wine from 2026. Verity Wine Partners. Cellar Selection.
Roux Père et Fils 2015 Les Noirots Premier Cru (Chambolle-Musigny); $121, 95 points. This bold, ripe wine is packed with red fruits and balanced acidity. The density and generous tannins are all part of the concentration and powerful texture. Acidity brings necessary freshness to an impressive wine. Drink from 2025. Opici Wines. Cellar Selection.
Domaines Devillard 2015 Domaine des Perdrix Les Terres Blanches Premier Cru (Nuits-St.-Georges); $115, 95 points. This rich, ripe and structured wine is dense with solid tannins. It is also full of generous cherry and berry fruits that make a great counterpoint to the dry core. These two elements promise well for the future. Drink this wine from 2023. Tenzing Wine and Spirits. Cellar Selection.
Hervé Kerlann 2015 Les Borniques Premier Cru (Chambolle-Musigny); $130, 95 points. This dense wine is full of ripe red fruits. Tannins give structure but the main thrust of this rich wine is the sumptuous fruit. The wine is juicy, cut with bright acidity and will be delicious when it matures. Drink from 2024. Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Cellar Selection.
Maison Stéphane Brocard 2015 Closerie des Alisiers Les Corbeaux Premier Cru (Gevrey-Chambertin); $90, 95 points. This powerful wine is both dense and rich. Its tannins and acidity bode well for aging, while the red plum and berry fruits add to promise for the future. From a parcel close to the series of Grand Cru vineyards, the wine shows the density of this fine vintage and its potential. Drink from 2024. Wine Universe Corp. Cellar Selection.
Albert Bichot 2015 Les Sorbets Premier Cru (Morey-Saint-Denis); $90, 95 points. This generous wine is still young with its firm tannins, although also rich with black fruits and concentration. It is juicy, ripe with blackberry flavors and packed with spice and a dry core. The vineyard, at mid-slope like all premier crus, is named after the rowan trees that were found around the edge. This is a wine with a great future; drink from 2025. Albert Bichot USA. Cellar Selection.
Domaine Faiveley 2015 Aux Chaignots Premier Cru (Nuits-St.-Georges); $127, 95 points. Dense and full of black-cherry fruits, this is a richly textured wine. Its concentration and firm tannins are there for the long haul, although it is tempting to drink such a delicious wine young. Resist: this wine will be best from 2025. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Cellar Selection.
Published: January 31, 2018