burg2020vintageblog
11 January 2022

Burgundy 2020 EP: Standout vintage hits the market

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Posted in: Wine Investment

Tagged: Burgundy

Hot growing season cooked up some fantastic wines.

Fine wine markets look to kick off the new year with a bang as the 2020 Burgundy en primeur campaign gets under way. This annual event is the first chance to purchase the 2020 editions of world-renowned Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that make up some of the most lucrative investments in all of fine wine.

After posting a 31% return in 2021 (Liv-ex Burgundy 150 index), we think the region’s wines can deliver continued performance, which we will discuss in detail in our upcoming Burgundy 2020 EP Report. One of the key factors underpinning our view is the widespread quality of the 2020 vintage despite the very hot growing season.

Andrea Marino

“Burgundy in 2020 is what winemakers and wine lovers will remember as one of the best vintages ever. I tasted my way through 35 domaines, and almost everyone could produce high quality, terroir-driven wine with admirable density and finesse.”

Andrea Marino, Cult Wines Senior Fine Wine Buyer

“From barrel this is looking like a remarkably successful vintage across the board… With both ripeness and freshness in both colours, it is a buy! And, as in 2019, you do not have to venture up to grand cru level to find satisfaction.”

Jancisrobinson.com

There is much to admire about the 2020s. The whites and reds are imbued with remarkable freshness given the precocity of the season, thereby making comparisons with 2003 null and void.

Neal Martin - Vinous

In addition to these high opinions, we’ve identified three takeaways for the 2020 vintage in Burgundy:

1 High temperatures and high quality

 A hot growing season led to the earliest ever harvest for the region with some producers beginning as early as 12 August and finishing before the month ended. Thanks to the skill of the best producers as well as the apparent ability of the vines to adapt to our warming climate, many of the 2020 wines strike a delicate balance.

Global warming is changing the wines of the Côte d’Or, and yet the vines are resisting the effects witnessed in 2003, so that even in a precocious season like 2020, they retain desirable freshness, tension and alcohol levels that have not spun out of control,” explains Vinous’ Neal Martin.

2 Harvest timing is key

The most successful producers allowed for enough grape hangtime for full phenolic ripening but also avoided leaving grapes on the vine too long and risk sugar concentration and overripe flavours.

While quality appears high across the region, expect some variability at the individual wine level depending on when vineyard parcels were harvested. 

3 Possible lower production for some producers but quantity above 2021

After a mild winter, the 2020 growing season began with balmy spring temperatures. Fortunately, most regions did not experience any severe frosts post-budburst, avoiding significant losses that are expected in 2021.

Although grape volumes were healthy overall, some producers reported crop losses due to sunburn while several others emerged with less juice due to evaporation during the growing season.

The excellence of the 2020 vintage could generate even more attention due to the frosts in 2021, which could reduce this vintage’s quantity (to be released in 2023) by up to 50% versus five-year averages. Burgundy always stirs the passions of wine lovers around the world but these expectations of future supply shortages are fuelling an even more competitive market for the new 2020s and back vintages. Therefore, let the new releases begin!