“Back to Burgfest”: Neal Martin assesses 2017 white Burgundies

  • For Martin, the 2017 white Burgundies have plenty of aging potential but do not match the 2014s.
  • Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault are his favourite appellations in this vintage.
  • His top-scoring wines range from £842 to £7,800 per case.


Neal Martin (Vinous) has revisited the 2017 vintage from Burgundy during the annual Burgfest tasting, starting with the whites. The critic reviewed over 200 premier and grand crus blind, and grouped by climat.

The tasting event, which took place in June, started with Chablis and, “broached each appellation in turn, finishing with the grand crus, eight Chevalier-Montrachets and five Montrachets”. Martin’s critical assessment of the reds is due next month (September 2021).

The whites

“Many of these 2017 white Burgundies lived up to expectations,” said Martin.

He noted, however, that: “This tasting did not provide evidence that the 2017 vintage matches the brilliant 2014 whites, which stand as the benchmark of recent years, and with global warming, one can speculate whether we will ever see their kind again. The 2017s do, however, have plenty of ageing potential, as many possess the necessary energy and concentration, and the best will reach their peak between 10 and 25 years of age.”

When it came to favourite appellations in 2017, Martin, “found much to admire in Puligny-Montrachet, closely followed by Meursault”. Martin thought that the 2017 Chablis, “have a lot to offer but they do not reach the highs that can be found in the Côte d’Or”.

Martin’s top-scoring wines (96-points and above), along with their current Market Price per 12×75 case, can be found in the table below.

The question of value

Martin’s favourite 2017s show some considerable price divergence: his top-scoring wines range from £842 to £7,800 per case.

In his report, Martin highlighted a familiar theme: the question of value and the broadening Burgundy market as price-conscious buyers seek alternatives to the very top tiers. Martin wrote: “There are some appellations where white Burgundy remains a good value, but the ineluctable fact is that many wines are now out of reach for the majority of consumers.”

Yesterday, we covered his thoughts on Burgundy’s changing value through time, including its evolution on the secondary market. You can read the article here. A recent Market Update also highlighted how white Burgundy is currently the best-performing Burgundy index and just out-performing the Fine Wine 100.

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