What an extraordinary year 2020 has been! One of the more minor consequences of which was that we couldn’t make our usual trip to Burgundy to visit our friends and suppliers. This year we have tasted widely in the cellars at Wyle Cop, which has given us an excellent insight to the wines of 2019, and we are delighted to report, amongst our growers, they are excellent. See the notes below about the weather in more detail however in essence it was a warmer and drier year than average but with the all-important diurnal temperature variation, with warm days and cooler nights, that maintains freshness in the wines, which can be missing in hot years without this variation. The combination of frost, unsettled weather during flowering and the drought is a reduction in yields again, quite considerably in some cases. The reds are evidently the product of a warm year having a beautiful round sweetness to the fruit, but they are far from one dimensional and show a mix of red and black fruit character. Another important note this year is that the terroir still shows through in both the reds and the whites. The whites are surprisingly elegant, ripe certainly but displaying minerality and freshness with great poise and balance. One thing most of our suppliers agree on, is that it is a truly unique vintage. Growers don’t like us asking the annual comparison question, however they will normally make a stab at it but this year they say it is impossible! To us they have the ripeness of 2018 but with more elegance and finesse; certainly it is an excellent, if small, vintage.
The winter of 2018/19 was dry and short, as a result spring started early with February and March more like April and May. The consequence of this was an early start in the vineyards as the vines responded to the early warmth. As so often happens the weather then changed. The most serious frost happened on the 5th April and was followed by cold days and several frosts until early May. The growers have learned a thing or two following the late frosts of 2016 and 2017, so this experience was put to good use, but despite their best efforts, some vineyards were affected quite seriously. The subsequent summer was one of the hottest on record with two heatwaves, the first in June and the other later in July, which saw temperatures in excess of 40°C in places and led to sun burn affecting some grapes. August was cooler and quieter with some rain towards the middle of the month which offered much needed respite for the vines and people alike. September started cool but warmed up as the harvest began giving good conditions for picking at optimum ripeness and balance.