Learn more about 1988 Red Burgundy
Arguably the of the decade producing consistently high quality wines the breadth of the Côte de Nuits. 1988 is a more complete version of 1985. This time the wealth of sumptuous fruit was matched by a firmness of structure gave us first class wines.
Prices rose at the Hospices sale by 35%, albeit after two quiet years, and growers also increased their prices though not by as much. Tasted later in 2000, the wines seemed still very much on the young side. Those at village level were singing, the premier and grands crus still tight.
Tasted 20 years on, a sampling of over 30 red wines was very encouraging. Few wines will benefit from significant further ageing but nor do they need drinking up in a hurry as the top Crus can last to 2015-2020.
Red Burgundy 1988 - The Weather
For once Burgundy escaped the pitfalls of frost, hail and rot. Spring 1988 was warm and gentle without a disastrous cold snap, leading to good flowering conditions in June, followed by hot, dry weather throughout most of July and August.
September was mostly fine and dry; some growers began harvesting in the 3rd week of the month but those who waited until the end of September were amply rewarded and produced the best wines.
In youth the wines were deeply coloured and well structured with very prominent tannins. Over the years they have become more integrated and harmonious, with the best wines now combining a very good balance of ripe fruit, crisp acidity and svelte tannins. They are drinking well now, although many of the top wines still have not reached their peak.