1992 Vintage Overview

1992 Vintage Overview


An extremely attractive vintage for whites, mostly soft and simple among the reds, though probably better in Burgundy than in Bordeaux. I would not seek to keep further any wines of either colour, though I would be perfectly happy if I chanced across a bottle of premier or grand cru white.

The weather Before the flowering it looked as though a huge crop was likely to compensate for the previous year. Cool, wet weather then moved in at the start of June, which limited the flowering and with it the eventual size of the crop. The weather was not special during the summer, although specific disasters such as hail were avoided. However, it finished on a bright note during the important few weeks up to the harvest. This was set to begin on September 12th in the Côte de Beaune; six days later in the Côte de Nuits. It was worth starting promptly, as Tuesday September 22nd saw a significant downpour, albeit not as disastrous as that further south at Vaison-la-Romaine in which lives were lost.

First impressions A very fine vintage for whites, possibly a great one, and a good year for the red wines, sometimes very good. The whites showed both breed and balance, with flowery bouquets, elegant, ripe fruit, and good acidity. They were less weighty than, for example, the ’89s, but this was a first-class vintage to give a great deal of pleasure in the medium term. Parallels could be drawn with 1979, 1982 (but better) and the best wines of 1986.

The red wines, forward and supple with delicious fruit, were rewarding to drink over the following half-dozen years. There was no problem arriving at ripeness, and most growers achieved very good sugar levels without needing to chaptalise. I was reminded of a more concentrated version of 1982, with touches of 1985 and 1989.

The wines in bottle It has proved accurate to describe 1992 more as a delicious vintage for white wines than as a great one. Most wines reached their apogee after ten years and few, apart from well stored grands crus from first-rate producers, still have much to offer.

In red, 1992 performed the same role as 2000 has subsequently done – offering very attractive wines without especial depth or distinction. There are some exceptions however, where yields were lower or the grower happened to strike lucky. The 1992 Clos de Vougeot from the late Philippe Engel has been a spectacular wine, though even this outlier has now developed to its full potential.


Tasting Notes

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Click to read tasting notes on wines from 1992

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