1981 Red Burgundy

Learn more about 1981 Red Burgundy

1981 has been one of the smallest wine vintages in living memory for Burgundy and a year in which growers` wits and tempers were stretched to new limits as the weather and growing conditions were some of the most challenging ever witnessed.

The winter and spring were warm, which brought forward the vines' development. May was very cold and there was widespread frost damage which severely reduced the final potential yields. June and July were both fairly miserable and then to cap it all there was extensive hail damage in August. The harvest began on 1st October and was badly affected by rain throughout.

The majority of growers struggled to produce wines of any quality. The finest domains were able to stagger their harvests and were able to discard rotten and unripe fruit from their final cuvées.

Miraculously, a handful of the best producers produced some complex and noteworthy wines, all of which are now fully mature. I have fond memories of the 1981 Charmes-Chambertin made by the then 17 year old Denis Bachelet.
Jasper Morris MW, BBR Buyer

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