Tasting Burgundy 2020 | AF Gros, Bouley, Faiveley, Billaud-Simon & Roche de Bellene


It is fabulous to be back in Burgundy and the growers were all so pleased to have some visitors, after not seeing anyone for so long. The vineyards were looking amazing. The leaves now have the most wonderful autumn colours and the sun is shining, so what a welcoming start to our week.

Our first visit was Domaine AF Gros. We had already heard great reports on the quality of the whites so tasting at a top red Domaine was great way to start. The wines were rich and concentrated, but we were all surprised by the fantastic freshness all the wines had. We tasted through their whole range. The Bourgogne was delicious, very easy, but lovely and composed. The Vosne Romanees were rich and velvety textured - probably the star cuvee was their Aux Reas. The Savigny was very expressive. We tasted three Pommards all showing their unique terroirs and of course their two Grand Crus. The Echezeaux was lovely and elegant, Richebourg wonderfully concentrated and long.

Then into Volnay to Domaine Jean Marc Bouley. There were some lovely wines but the standout cuvees were his three 1er Cru Volnays. For me the Caillerets was the stand out cuvee as I love that mineral edge, but 1er Cru Carelles Sous was also top drawer.

Then up to Nuits St Georges where we had an appointment with Maison Faiveley. This is such an amazing winery and the cellars are really beautiful. We were looked after by Erwin Faiveley and tasted through quite a range of his wines. They are very big vineyard owners with some of the greatest vineyards in their portfolio, so it really was quite a tasting. We covered some ground from village, 1er Cru through to Grand Cru. It was spectacular and too many great wines to mention, but all the great vineyards are in their portfolio. Their most fabulous wine is Corton Clos des Corton which was a real classic.

They have fairly recently bought Domaine Billaud-Simon so we tasted these wines as well. Chablis have made very good wines in this vintage, and this now has to be one of the top Domaines in the village. They have very expressive terroirs, and the Grand Cru Preuses is sublime, hugely rich and concentrated. The 1er Cru Vaillons was lovely, very classic. We had a very spoiling lunch and drank an amazing 2008 Batard Montrachet, still very fresh and beautiful, and 2010 Mazy Chambertin, delicious but still young.

After lunch we then headed back down to Beaune to see our old friend Nicolas Potel and tasted his Maison Roche de Bellene wines. Some great wines he is a very skilled wine maker. Too many to mention, but his village Vosne Romanee was very good, as was a lovely Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combe aux Moines. The star wine for me was his gorgeous Clos de la Roche, this is one of the great Grand Cru terroirs of Burgundy which was showing all the characteristics of the vintage, with rich ripe red fruits and lots of freshness coming through on the finish.