The notes below are compiled by myself, Tom Cannavan, and my colleague, wine-pages columnist, Rosemary George MW. Rosemary paid special attention to Chablis, about which she wrote one of the definitive text books. We are joined by two friends of wine-pages who are highly experienced tasters and all-round Burgundy nuts. Bill Nanson is a real “burg-hound”. Currently living in Switzerland, Bill flew in for the round of tastings. Those who follow the wine-pages’ UK Wine Forum will have seen hundreds of Burgundy notes from Bill over the years, archived in the UK Forum TN archive. Neal Martin is fine-wine buyer for one of the biggest importers in Japan. He holds the WSET Diploma and is an occasional taster for Wine magazine.
Tom Cannavan: as a very general rule of thumb I thought that 2000 was a slightly better year for white Burgundy than for red. The whites on the whole seem plump, ripe and fruit-forward, yet with good acidity and plenty of concentration. The reds are possibly a little lighter, but the fruit is of good quality, there is good concentration, but these are perhaps a little more ungenerous and don’t quite have the structure of the whites. Having said that, this is not a bad red vintage by any means, and the wines have plenty going for them.
Rosemary George: in a nutshell it seems that Chablis has performed better in 2000 than in 1999, while in the Côte d’Or whites are better than reds in 2000. The reds tend to be lighter than the 1999s, though with Burgundy so much depends on the grower. I firmly believe that Chablis benefits from ageing; the premiers crus and grands crus are simply not meant to be drunk young and they become so much more interesting in five or ten years.
Bill Nanson: I found the reds to have terrific structure i.e. great acidity and strong tannin, though at this stage, very few of them could be described as charmers, though no obvious duds either. Of the 34 reds that I tasted, there are no opaque, saturated monsters, and only 5 or 6 showed the intensity of fruit you will find in the 1999’s – but then, what difference does a year make? I’m guessing that there are parallels to 1998 here, which is turning out to be a cracker of a vintage that I’m still buying. A generic TN would read: pale to medium cherry colour, red fruits plus wood on the nose, good acid and tannin, mainly medium intensity red fruit, good finish. Overall, good+/very good. I’d rate the vintage historically a very good one, but in the context of the vintages you can still buy from the 1990’s, no more than average.
Neal Martin: A similar vintage quality wise to the 1999’s though more uneven. The Côtes de Nuits is superior to Côtes de Beaune and the quality-conscious vignerons with low yields made some fine, early-drinking wines. Little will merit long-term cellaring, with too many disappointing wines. The movement of growers making their own wines instead of selling to negociants remains unabated. It will be interesting to see how the negociants react in the future. Speaking to the young grower of Vicomte Liger Belair, he told me that this was his first vintage and that he had previously sold his crop to Bouchard. I was interested to know that he will produce his own La Romanée Grand Cru from next year, so I assume that Bouchard will lose this monopole from now on. The grower is increasingly paramount to quality – the same growers remain top of my list year in year out: Bruno Clair, Robert Chevillon, Etienne Sauzet being most consistent.
Berry Brothers & Rudd
Bourgogne Aligoté, Michel Bouzereau £49.56
Fresh, crisp, pear and apple nose. Quite appealing this, with a clean palate showing equally zippy fruit, but quite rounded and acidity not at all harsh. Good.
Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Jean-Marc Bouley £62.76
Fairly light, rather neutral nose. Touches of straw and pear fruit, a little hint of toast. The palate has a silky texture and good weight of fruit, with a touch of creamy oak showing through and again this is rounded and easy, though with adequate acidity. Good.
Rully Les Cloux 1er Cru, Jean-Marc Boillot £100.08
More new oak evident on the nose here, actually a little raw at present with vanilla and toast. The palate has nice weight and a punchy quality of juicy orchard fruits, lemon, fine acidity and finishes with some style. Good/very good.
Monthélie, Denis Boussey £89.76
Lighter style again, more mineral and crisp. Just a touch of sweet oak in the background. The palate is powerful, with tight, punchy citrus fruit. This is balanced and savoury with a lovely acid balance and good length. Very good.
Santenay, Roger Belland £82.68
Classy nose here, with fine fruit quality of limpid pear and ripe apple and a sheen of custardy oak, with little floral nuances. Quite complex, and the palate is long and cleanly-fruited, very smooth and has good definition. Poised and long. Very good indeed.
St. Aubin Le Charmois 1er Cru, Michel Colin-Deléger £139.56
Big, powerful, toasty new-oak nose. Lots of nuttiness and toasted sesame seeds. The palate is very cool and classy. There is lovely clear orchard fruit and a definite mineral acidity. Juicy fruit, and really quite long and fine. Very good indeed.
Meursault, Jean-Michel Gaunoux £133.32
Sweet, lightly-honeyed fruit on the nose. Ripe, with weighty pear and touches of hazelnut. Fine, elegant fruit is quite rich and oily with a lovely cut from orange acidity. Powerful and long. Very good/very good indeed.
Meursault, Matrot-Wittersheim £170.52
Integrated, smooth, creamy oak on the nose. Nutty, with light herbal nuances. The palate is rich, with that creamy vanillin influence adding a sweet edge to buttery orchard fruits. Quite rich, powerful style. Very good.
Meursault Pré du Manche, Denis Boussey £123.96
Some buttery vanillin oak dominating. Ripe, quite powerful fruit that is sweet, round and tightly-focused onto the palate. Lots of very ripe and juicy pear and light peach. Weighty, with good acidity and lovely structure. This should age well. Very good/very good indeed.
Meursault Le Clos, Hubert Bouzereau-Gruère £147.60
More vinous nose, with slightly vegetal notes and a powerful undertow of almost liquoricy concentration and oak. The palate is structured and robust, but also quite lush, with good weight and lots of juicy, broad, savoury acidity. Fine and very good.
Meursault Grands Charrons, Michel Bouzereau £165.00
Tight, nutty nose. Lovely classy subtlety here, with a slight honeyed edge to gentle peach and pear fruit. Nutty, meally undertones and a buttery note with again an impression of power on the palate, with bursting fruit, good acidity and a broad, creamy oak-buttressed appeal. Very good indeed.
Chassagne-Montrachet, Michel Colin-Deléger £180.00
Herbal notes here with lightly-toasted oak and nuances of hazelnut, brioche and pear. The palate is quite tight and mineral at present, with shimmering mineral acidity and crisp acids evident on the finish. The fruit quality is fine though, and this should be very good indeed given a few years.
Chassagne-Montrachet, Morey-Coffinet £162.36
Punchy fruit quality here, with subtle toast and vanilla, but mostly melon, pear and a mineral nuance. Comes alive on the palate, with sweet fruit flooding over the tongue, though the finish could perhaps do with more definition and it lacks a little length perhaps. Good/very good.
Puligny-Montrachet, Gérard Chavy £146.76
Nice clean, elegant, orchard fruit on the nose. The oak is subordinate on this one. The palate seems a touch coarse perhaps, with rather harsh acidity overpowering the moderate white fruit. Doesn’t seem to have the elegance promised by the nose. Good/very good.
Puligny-Montrachet, Jean-Marc Boillot £236.04
Controlled, assured, classy nose. Minerals and cool, elegant, lemony fruit with a very subtle note of almond and vanilla. Lovely palate here too, with a fine quality of fruit that pushes through with balanced acidity into a long, pure crystalline finish. Complex and very good indeed.
Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru, Hubert Bouzereau-Gruère £224.28
Subtle again, with a caraway seed oaky note and lots of citrus fruit, hints of plump apricot. The palate is cool and elegant, with good sweetness of ripe fruit and good length. Very good.
Meursault Les Genevrières 1er Cru, Hubert Bouzereau-Gruère £224.28
Similar nose of cool, crisp lemony fruit with nutty undertones and a little more minerality. The palate is cool and quite elegant, perhaps not the quality of fruit evident in the Charmes, but very stylish and finish is good. Very good/very good indeed.
Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru, Yves Boyer-Martenot £187.32
Rather closed nose with light mineral and lemon scents, a little peppery quality, but not giving much aromatically. Palate has a very mineral quality with a sherbetty, clean, citrus profile. Nice texture, and there’s a definite orange note into the finish that suggests there is really nice fruit buried beneath minerals and acids at the moment. Very good, but I suspect this might end up as very good indeed or better.
Meursault Les Perrières 1er Cru, Jean-Michel Gaunoux £225.00
Big, nutty, ripe, much more flamboyant buttery nose. Lots of oak and lots of deep, herb-tinged ripe fruit. Good quality on the medium- to full-bodied palate, with sweet peachy fruit and a powerful style. Good acidity and length. This is very good indeed.
Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru Matrot-Wittersheim £213.12
Nuts, herbs, and some spicy toast, though also an elegant floral personality and some sweet, ripe pear fruit, though very vividly perfumed. Lots of concentration and power on the palate, this is a tightly-focused wine and very well made, with suggestions of real staying power. Very good/very good indeed.
Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot-Clos Pitois 1er Cru, Roger Belland £204.48
There is a little vegetal quality to ripe white fruits, with plenty of smoky oak; a light charry quality. Round, rich palate with lots of classy, ripe, pear, apple and nutty almond notes. There’s a little superripe toffeed note and a long finish with decent acidity. Well balanced and very good/very good indeed.
Chassagne-Montrachet En Remilly 1er Cru, Morey-Coffinet £245.40
Tight mineral nose. A little lean perhaps, with lemony fruit and fine purity. Little obvious oak. A honeyed nuance emerges and carries through onto the palate which is really quite ripe. It has a similar initial austerity, but the class and quality of the fruit is there, as well as balanced mineral acidity and finally a hint of oak. Very good/very good indeed.
Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumées 1er Cru, Hubert Bouzereau-Gruère £193.56
Lots of honey and ripe fruit on the nose here, with notes of peach, pear and light tropical nuances. Good fruit on the palate, with again that honeyed note over quite lush mango and ripe, sweet melon. Flashy style, with a little residual sugar perhaps, but very good and delicious.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru, Gérard Chavy £229.80
Decent fruit quality here, and it has lots of honeyed, pure, clean fruit tinged with floral sweetness. On the palate this has balance with lots of ripe pear and then firm apple acidity. Good/very good.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru, Yves Boyer-Martenot £390.60
End of the bottle, and lots of gunge tipped into my glass, so I only nosed this wine. Citrus fruit is bright and focused, with a nice secondary note of vanillin oak. Seems tight and powerful.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru, Jacques Prieur £288.12
Lovely nose here, with a creamy vanilla suffused through nuts, pear, light tropicality and a little hint of mineral salts. Clean, slightly oatmeally palate is broad and weighty, with lots of good quality fruit and depth. Finishes with concentration and style with fine, crisp acidity. Very good indeed.
Haynes, Hanson & Clarke
Rosemary George MW
I talked to Claude Drouhin from Chandon de Briailles. August was hot in 2000 which has made for softer tannins and lower acidity, compared to 1999, with a cooler August and therefore more structured wines. They didn’t need to chaptalise in 2000, but they did occasionally add acidity. 2000 is a lighter vintage, more forward than 1999, with wines that will be enjoyable from early youth. Certainly there were some appealing wines amongst the basic Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc.
Domaine Roulot, Monthélie blanc, ler cru Champs Fulliot. £124.80
Note that all the HHC prices are ex-cellars.This is a tank sample. Delicate nose; good firm structure fruit with good acidity. should develop well; long.
Maison Champy, Puligny Montrachet les Enseignères. £187.60
Frm closed nose – oak providing some structure and tannins, with acidity and underlying fruit. Layers of flavour
Domaine Chandon de Briailles, Corton blanc grand cru. £335.20
Delicate nose – delicate, subtle, understated concentration of flavour; good fruit; some firm nutty flavours.
Domaine Etienne Sauzet, Bourgogne blanc. £89
Grassy, leafy fruit – with good acidity and attractive leafy flavours, nice structured and beginning to drink well.
Domaine Marc Morey – Chassagne- Montrachet blanc ler cru les Vergers 2000. £194.40
Firm nutty nose; ditto on palate, elegant with layers of flavour and good potential.
Rosemary George MW
Howard Ripley only showed Durup Chablis, which is not one of my favourites, so straight on to the Côte d’Or, with random highlights in tasting order:
Meursault ler cru les Perrières, Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux £270.00
Attractive herbal notes, ditto on palate – quite rounded, lightly buttery fruit. ex VAT prices given for all Howard’s wines
Nuits St.Georges ler cru Clos de l’Arlot blanc. £324
Quite rounded nutty fruit; elegant concentration of fruit on palate.
Chassagne-Montrachet ler cru les Grandes Ruchottes, Château de Maltroye. £378.00
Lightly nutty nose; quite firm tight palate with good acidity, structure and fruit to develop
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand cru, Domaine Jouard. £600
Delicate nose; hints of walnuts; ditto on plate, rounded but understated
Justerini & Brooks
Rosemary George MW
Very brief J & B highlights. The consensus seems that 2000 was better for whites than reds, but that said, there also enthusiasm for the reds; above all they have fruit; less structure than the 99s but the lesser appellations are very immediately drinkable.
Laurent Tribut, Chablis 1er cru Beauroy £129
Closed nose; firm mineral fruit, to develop
Dauvissat-Camus, Petit Chablis. £101
As good as some people’s Chablis – good acidity, firm fruit and good weight –
Dauvissat-Camus, Chablis 1er cru Vaillons. £157
Firm stony nose; good tight fruit – a hint of oak – to develop
Dauvissat-Camus, Chablis 1er cru Forêt. £193
Oak on palate, but nicely understated; with firm mineral fruit.
I talked to Michel Bardet of Albert Grivault, with a range of Meursault – for whites 2000 will age better than 1999, he thinks. Better acidity than 99, but also a touch of rot, but not serious. Cooler.
Albert Grivault Meursault. £193
Good – walnuty nose; delicate grassy fruit, but nice length.
A new estate whose first commercial vintage was only in 1996, makes 12 different wines from just five hectares of land! Seems good and serious:
Chassagne-Montrachet Tete du Clos ler cru. £297
Firm smokey nutty nose – elegant stylish – he says more elegant than 99
Chassagne Montrachet la Romanée, ler cru. £239
Firm nutty nose, again elegant – he says more fruit less extract than 99
Chassagne Montrachet la Grande Borne ler cru. £193
Firm, sturdy, with underlying fruit on palate
Talked to Philippe Brun from Bruno Clair – – admits to being nicely surprised; a very Pinot vintage – good acidity good fruit, big yields, finesse.
Marsannay Blanc. £97
Nicely grassy fruit and firm acidity
Rosemary George MW
The wines of William Fèvre, now part of Henriot, undoubtedly demonstrate the quality of Chablis in 2000. The vintage began on 23rd September which is relatively early for Chablis and the wines generally have a good backbone of acidity, balanced with good fruit and body, with an attractive concentration of flavour, making wines which will undoubtedly benefit from some bottle age.
tight closed nose, with a firm concentration of flavour and fruit.
Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons
Closed nose, with solid firm stony fruit. Firm mineral youthful palate, with good concentration and tight flavours.
Chablis 1er Cru Vaudésir
Very tight closed nose. Ditto on the palate, with a hint of oak and nicely integrated, with great concentration. Definitely a wine to age.
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
Again a rather tight ungiving nose. A very closed palate; the oak is barely perceptible and there is good concentration with a firm backbone of acidity, with hints of the mineral flint characteristics which will develop with bottle age.
Jean-Marc is very enthusiastic about his 2000s; for him they are the best wines that he has made since 1990; he described it as a “very Chablis year”; Chablis à l’ancienne, ie good acidity, as well as fruit; but also more elegant than 1999. All his wines have the refreshing flinty mineral notes which are the benchmark of good Chablis, as well as indeed elegance.
Chablis, Cuvée Pargues
Attractive smoky nose, ditto on the palate, with fresh acidity; elegant.
Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
Closed nose; firm mineral fruit on the palate with good acidity and body.
Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu
Stony nose; firm fruit with good acidity and depth of flavour
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros
Elegant smoky nose; very stylish with depth of flavour.
Domaine des Malandes
Lyne Marchive is also very pleased with her 2000s – they picked in good conditions and the grapes were ripe and healthy, with good natural acidity and good balance. The acidity is not aggressive, and is masked by the body of the wines.
Chablis Tour du Roy
From 50 year old vines. Very mineral nose; firm fruit and a fine structured palate; mineral flavours with good concentration
Chablis 1er Cru Montmains
Again from old vines; stony mineral fruit on nose and palate. A wine to develop.
Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis de Biéville
Quite leafy nose; quite firm mineral fruit on the palate with stony flavours.
Domaine Alain Geoffroy Chablis Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Vines between 45 – 70 years old. Firm mineral palate, with a hint of oak adding weight.
Pick of the whites
Billaud-Simon’s Grand Cru Vaudesir shares the honours with a peachy Chassagne-Montachet 1er Cru Chaumées from Jean-Noel Gagnard. Many of the whites were quite forward, lacked definition and were bland. Excessive oak seemed to disguise the shortfall in fruit. It was interesting to compare the steely, minerally Pulignys from Sauzet to the exotic, peachy Chassagne-Montrachets from Gagnard – completely different in style.
Chartron et Trebuchet St. Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Closed nose. Seems less oak. Stony nose. Lacks some depth. Apples and citrous lemon. Vibrant with good definition. Really comes through on the finish. Good value. V fine.
Simon-Billaud Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir
Powerful honeyed fruits with racy acidity and a long satisfying finish. £282.00 Charles Taylor
Vincent Girardin Savigny-les-Beaune Les Vermots Dessus
Wonderful definition on the nose. Slight metally note. V fine nuance on the palate. Lime an apple. Slight welcome austerity absent in other wines. Classy and refined. More like a P-M. Superb value.
Jean-Noel Gagnard – Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées
Similar nose to Chenevottes. More intense. Again exotic. More refined with superb acidity and complexity. Lime, apple and lemon. Very persistent finish. Superb.
Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
Intense citrous nose. Apples & mineral. Great complexity on the palate. Classic P-M. Elegance and power combined. Limestone finish. Real vin de garde. Superb wine.
I don’t drink whites so often, and when I do it’s usually German & Alsacienne Riesling. I’m not really a fan of chardonnay, wherever it comes from.
Château de Maltroye Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
Pale yellow/straw. Nose smells like chardonnay, but has fantastic intensity. I was surprised how thick in the mouth this was. Good acidity and very, very long. An excellent chardonnay, in fact the best I’ve ever tasted. I’d happily pay over £10 for this, now how much is it ? Oops, £70 in bond, maybe I’m not converted then…
Nicolas Potel was a star of this line up, with fine wines also from Sylvain Cathiard, Ghislaine Barthod and Domaine Bertagna amongst others. Potel’s reds are perhaps more modern in style than many more traditional red Burgundies, with more new oak evident, and a greater extraction of fruit, but they are undoubtedly very successful in this vintage.
Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod £73.20
Lovely nose here immediately, with creamy, soft strawberry and a touch of earth. The palate is light, juicy and crisp with raspberry fruit and a little creaminess of texture and depth. Good.
Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Bertagna £70.08
Another pleasant nose, with mineral notes and crisp, punchy red fruit; raspberry and a gentle woodland note. Lovely mouthfeel here, and the quality of fruit is good. Quite a fat quality really, with decent length and good balance. Very good.
Santenay, Les Charmes, Domaine Roger Belland £79.44
Quite a cool, classy nose with a creamy, soft quality and good strawberry fruit. The palate has decent weight, and there is a nice toasty quality fattening up the fruit into a broad, lowish-acid finish. Good/very good.
Monthélie, Les Champs Fulliot, 1er Cru, Denis Boussey £107.40
Some more perfume here. Still quite fruit-driven, but adds a little violet note and a tiny hint of gaminess. Good palate; very pure, with red berry fruit and incisive acidity. Quite long, balanced and very good.
Santenay, Les Gravières, 1er Cru, Domaine Roger Belland £89.04
Slightly cedary quality is nice, with plenty of bright red fruit quality, and a little creamy, raspberry fool note. The palate is concentrated, with a slightly chunky, raw edge to the fruit and tannins, as well as powerful acidity. Might settle down given a year or two to be very good.
Blagny, La Pièce Sous le Bois, 1er Cru, Matrot-Wittersheim £220.20
Some vegetal, smoky nuances here, with nice undergrowthy Pinot quality adding an edge to solid red fruit. On the palate there’s a charcoally quality, and the fruit just holds up against powerful tannins and powerful acidity. Good/very good.
Aloxe-Corton, Boutières, Nicolas Potel £133.32
A really smooth, ripe, sweet-fruited nose filled with raspberry. This is the first wine of the red line-up that has really sung on the nose, thanks to some sweet, fudgy oak, but more on quality of fruit. The palate has plenty of fruit too, with a dense black fruit quality and hints of sweet jamminess. Very cool, long and classy though, with great balance. Very good/very good indeed.
Volnay, Domaine Denis Boussey £107.40
Sweet, slightly confected raspberry fruit quality, with an undertone of vanilla. The palate is very fruit-forward, with plenty of stuffing too; powerful tannins and acidity, and quite a robust texture. Very good.
Volnay, Clos de la Cave, Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley £120.84
Herbal, mineral elements on the nose, over tight, powerful fruit of blackcurrant and raspberry. The palate has more focused, sweet fruit and a nice tannic grip, but well-balanced. Good length. Very good.
Volnay, Vieilles Vignes, Nicolas Potel £130.20
Deep, vinous, very impressive nose with cherry and black liquorice and bittersweet fruit. The palate has lovely integration already, with fine black fruit, a softer autumn berry undertone, and ripe tannins. Acidity is balanced, and this has good length. Very good/very good indeed.
Pommard, Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley £131.28
Slightly dumb on the nose at first; a duller quality of fruit than preceding wines certainly. The palate is rather dry and lacking zip too. Moderate.
Nuits-St. Georges, Domaine Jean Chauvenet £135.00
Slightly liquorice edge to firm black fruit on the nose. Sweet, and layered with creamy oak. The palate has that fine quality of fruit too and fudge-like depth. This is clean and fruit-driven, though powerful tannins add grip. Serious, well-balanced and quite long. Very good.
Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Perdrix, 1er Cru, des Perdrix £120.78 (6)
Very expensive, heavyweight bottle. Quite a lot of minerality evident, with black cherry and bittersweet damson-skin quality. Similar fruit quality on the palate. Good fruit here, and it is very ripe and silky, with well-judged oak and nice balance. Very good/very good indeed.
Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Porêts St-Georges, 1er Cru, Faiveley £207.96
This has a fine nose, with a certain poise through round, creamy, quite lush black fruit and little hints of custardy oak adding sweetness. The palate is a little leaner than I’d expect, but there’s a nice sauvage quality, with wild cherry and herbal nuances. Good/very good.
Vougeot, Les Crâs, 1er Cru, Domaine Bertagna £243.96
Sweet, almost jammy red fruits on the nose, with plenty of sweet, creamy, vanillin new oak. Very smooth, creamy, expansive palate. The fruit is ripe and glossy, with a subtle but supporting framework of tannins and balanced acidity. Very good/very good indeed.
Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Digioia Royer £149.04
Sweet, creamy. tightly-wound black fruit on the nose with hints of mint and violet. The palate has a classy quality of fruit that is medium-bodied and quite supple, with just an edge of minerality. Good balance, this is long, with a little spiciness showing up in the finish. Very good/very good indeed.
Chambolle-Musigny, Nicolas Potel £152.04
Inviting nose, flooded with soft red berry mixed with nuances of woodsmoke and coffee bean. This is ripe, juicy and forward on the palate with blackberry and cherry fruit, a keen edge of acidity and light, chocolaty tannins giving some grip to the finish. Very good/very good indeed.
Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod £180.72
Creamy, lush, berry-fruited nose with a touch of fudge and some nice damp, undergrowth nuances. The palate isn’t quite so expressive as the Potel, with acidity more dominant and a dark, liquorice bittersweet quality. The fruit is good though, and the balance is excellent going into a long, classy finish. Very good/very good indeed.
Chambolle-Musigny, Clos de l’Orme, Sylvain Cathiard £205.92
Mineral nose with sweet cherry and softer, creamy raspberry fruit supported by a little custardy new oak. Lovely palate here, with bittersweet qualities and black chocolate nuances. There is fine, sweet, ripe fruit and good tannins. These add a bit of muscularity through to the finish, but it remains poised and elegant. Very good indeed.
Morey St. Denis, Louis Boillot £138.00
Brightly styled, with raspberry and red cherry fruit and a background of vanilla, some pretty floral notes. Fine palate with plenty of fruit, plenty of grip and a long, powerful finish. Very good.
Vosne-Romanée, Domaine Sylvain Cathiard £188.28
Lovely Pinot character on the nose. Charry oak is dominated by silky red cherry and strawberry fruit, minerals, and little brown sugar nuances. There are hints of truffle and earth. The palate doesn’t quite deliver the promise of the nose, with a slight flatness about the mid-palate, but then a good quality of fruit emerges and the finish is long and confident. Should come around in bottle to be very good, possibly very good indeed.
Vosne-Romanée, Les Rouges, 1er Cru, Nicolas Potel £212.16
From a vineyard immediately above the Grand Cru échézeaux. This is silky-sweet on the nose, with vanilla and cream overlaid onto soft, ripe, sweet fruit that is perfumed and fine. The palate carries through the promise here, with silky texture and a deep fudge-like undertone to strawberry and more crisp, cherry fruit, though staying lush and forward into the finish with balanced support from tannins and acids. Very good indeed.
Vosne-Romanée, Aux Malconsorts, 1er Cru, Sylvain Cathiard £302.40
Again, a lavish new oak treatment here, with lots of silky vanillin, lush, rounded berry fruit and ripe, bursting freshness. Palate has a nice texture and a very focused fruit quality. Chocolate-coated berries spring to mind, and the finish is long and pure. Very good indeed/excellent.
Gevrey Chambertin, Domaine Lucien Boillot £139.56
Lots of jammy blackcurrant and raspberry fruit to the fore; very ripe and juicy, if a little one-dimensional. Similar palate, with clean, bright fruit and plenty of concentration and oomph. Good tannins and a robust, fruity style. Good/very good.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Dominique Gallois £141.60
Mouth-watering raspberry fruit dominates the nose. Lots of sweetness and ripeness evident. Good fruit on the palate too, quite lush and full with a chocolaty depth. Fine quality in a fruit-driven, pretty foursquare style. Good balance. Very good.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Goulots, 1er Cru, Dominique Gallois £203.88
Classy nose here, with good sweetness of fruit; very tight and focused, glossy quality. The palate is cool and crisp, and perhaps lacking a little bit of complexity. It is a restrained style though, and the finish is quite long, with good support from gentle tannins and a little oak. Very good.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, 1er Cru, Domaine Faiveley £323.16
Big, new oak nose with hints of charry toast and a nice underlying minerality. Bright fruit quality too, with good purity and hints of darker, more substantial plum and leather character. The palate is cool, with good ripe fruit and classy ripe tannins. Very nicely balanced into a good finish, though doesn’t quite sing somehow. Very good.
Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel £362.64
Perfumed, sweet, gamey-edged nose with a fine quality of red fruits and smoky vanilla. Full-bodied, with a silky texture and lovely fruit. Has a fine mouthfeel and lots of complexity. Balance is good, and the finish stays focused and balanced. Excellent.
Clos St. Denis, Grand Cru, Domaine Bertagna £417.84
Bertagna is owned by the same German family as von Kesselstatt, so an unusual Burgundy domaine. Slightly less open on the nose, but very good quality with sweet, tight, creamy black fruit and notes of cinnamon, clove and cherry. Palate not quite singing at the moment; a little flat perhaps. Has length and obvious quality of fruit, and the balance seems good, so I guess this will come good given bottle age. A provisional Very good indeed.
Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru, Domaine Jacques Prieur £364.68
Loads of charry coffee bean, toasty oak. Quite a straightforward, fruity nose, but beautifully-crafted with sweet aromatics and great ripeness. Creamy texture, with a caramel quality of deep, glossy, savoury black fruit. A substantial wine, with good balance and plenty of power into a long finish. Very good indeed.
Corton, Clos de Cortons, Grand Cru, Domaine Faiveley £449.76
Creamy, sweet, blackcurrant fruit, a little woodsmoke, vanillin oak and a lush fruitiness that is very opulent. The palate again is a little unknit at the moment, seeming quite burly and powerful, with a peanutty quality that is a bit odd, but muscular tannins and good structure suggest it will age positively. Very good, with potential for very good indeed/excellent.
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Domaine Coste Caumartin Pommard
Good, rich, quite powerful nose. This has good sweet berry fruit and a powerfully tannic palate. It is quite chunky in style, but robustly characterful with plenty of black fruit and good balance. Good/very good.
Coste Caumartin Pommard 1er Cru Les Fremiers
More fragrant, adding a much earthier note and a real truffly edge to the raspberry and rich autumnal fruit, backed by some sweet new oak. On the palate there is a good quality of ripe fruit which is crisp through good tannin and acid balance, and though powerful, really quite refined and long. Very good indeed.
Coste Caumartin Pommard 1er Cru Le Clos de Boucherottes
Sweet damp earth and woodsmoke nose. Fragrant, with red cherry and strawberry that is quite plump and inviting. Cool, sweet, rich palate with plenty of fruit; a lovely mix of raspberry and peppery black cherry. Good structure and balance, very long and impressive. Very good indeed/excellent.
So will I buy ? Well, selectively yes, this is burgundy after all, so the producers can sometimes do amazing things. I only tend to buy when the TN is ‘fine’ or better, and I bought very widely the 1999’s which apart from some DRC I think I’ve stopped buying (I hope I’ve stopped buying !). I suspect I might only buy 20-30 bottles of the 2000’s – much less than the 1998 vintage, maybe even less than 1997 too which is already not bad drinking. I certainly don’t need lots more wine where patience is required and some of these will certainly require patience. CS=cask sample.
Domaine Didier Fornerol Bourgogne Rouge
Pale colour. Oaky & cherry nose. Not so bad acidity or tannin, good length. Good+
Didier Fornerol Cote de Nuits Villages
Pale-mid cherry colour. Oaky nose again, but this time higher toast and can’t locate any fruit. Both higher acidity and tannin than the previous wine with good length. Good but not my style preference.
Domaine de l’Arlot Côtes de Nuits-Villages Clos du Chapeau (CS)
Medium colour. This cask sample shows some mustiness and no fruit on the nose. On the palate we have nice red fruit and good acid with quite high tannin. The length is okay too. Without the mustiness, good+. Subsequent bottle was okay.
Domaine Guy Amiot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes
Mid cherry in colour. Some mild toasty oak on the nose. Very grippy tannin with good acidity. Good.
Domaine Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots (CS)
Darker cherry with a purple tinge. Again grippy tannins with good acidity. Most interesting wine yet. Very good.
Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Grands Liards (CS)
Mid cherry again, but this time no purple. First wine where fruit dominates the wood on the nose. Grippy tannins and very good acidity. Red cherry & raspberry on the palate, but a little shorter than previous wine. Very good.
Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Vergelesses (CS)
Medium cherry/ruby – looks a year older than previous wine. Not too much wood, high toned, though closed nose. Good high tannin, which is not so grippy. Nice acidity with red cherry fruit. Good+
Domaine Rapet Pernand 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses
Lovely medium cherry colour. Harmonious oak and red fruits on the nose. Good but not so obtrusive tannin, good acidity. Red & black cherry finish. First wine with a really good mouthfeel. Very good+
Domaine Paul Pernot Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversées
Medium cherry colour. Oak is quite sweet on this one with red fruits behind. Doesn’t have the structure of the previous wine but is not bad. Again a good mouthfeel and medium length. Good+
Paul Pernot Volnay 1er Cru Les Carelles
Medium cherry colour with a purple edge. Oaky nose has a hint of toast, doesn’t at this stage smell like a Volnay (to me). Good mouthfeel with good structure. Good+
Domaine Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanée, Les Hautes Maizières (CS)
Medium cherry, nose is a mixture of red & black fruits with subtle oak. Sweet with highish acidity and very good tannin. Finish is a long fruit compote. This has nice style. Very good.
Domaine Robert Arnoux Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizières (CS)
Subdued sweet nose. Very similar to the previous wine, but with an added strawberry dimension on the palate. Very good+
Domaine René Engel Vosne-Romanée (CS)
Less ‘new’ colour than previous wine. Some higher tones on the nose, but basically closed. Higher acidity than previous two, good tannin. The fruit is very long on this one. Not a charmer today, but this is at least very good+
Domaine des Lambrays Morey-Saint-Denis (CS)
Medium ruby colour. Some high tones though closed. High acid and medium tannin, much softer and more charming than the previous wine. Sweet with medium length. Very good+
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur
Medium cherry colour with some purple. Hint of spice on closed nose. Medium acid & tannin. Medium length, medium interest. Good+
Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Échezeaux (CS)
Darker cherry than previous wine. Spicy red and black fruit on the nose. Medium acid and tannins with very good fruit. Finish is only medium length, but still overall very good.
Domaine Géantet-Pansiot Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
Similar dark colour to previous wine. Closed though still sweet nose. Good acidity & tannin supporting deep black cherry fruit. Very good+
Domaine Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brûlées (CS)
Colour is vibrant cherry with purple edge. Nose has oak but also deep interesting ‘cooking’ black and red compote. Good acid and medium tannin. A lovely deep finish. The star of the show so far. Fine
Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers (CS)
Medium cherry with purple hints. Nose sweet but closed, though some mild spice. Palate is lovely with medium acid and tannin. Very good+
Domaine Rapet Corton Grand Cru
Medium cherry. Nice palate with good acid & medium tannin. Only medium length, but good red & black fruit mixture. Very good.
Domaine de Courcel Pommard 1er Cru Les Croix Noires (CS)
Medium cherry. Nose giving little away, though some sweetness and a few ‘low’ tones. Palate is much more interesting than the previous (Corton). Very high acid with good tannins. Very good length in a creamy black cherry way. Very nice and very good+
de Courcel Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens (CS)
Medium ruby colour. High toned nose – cranberry with a sweet undertow. Good acid and high tannin. Creeps up on you with the long finish. Very nice and very good+ again.
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium cherry with a hint of purple. Whilst a little closed, gives the impression of being very ‘wide’ on the nose with high tones that are more floral than fruit. Quite silky with well covered acidity and medium tannin. Very good+
Domaine des Lambrays Clos-des-Lambrays Grand Cru (CS)
Slightly darker cherry. Some high tones on the nose but less expressive than the previous ‘Ruchottes’. Good acidity and tannin. Exquisite fruit on the palate and very long too. Super, definitely fine+
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Chambertin Grand Cru
Similar colour to the Lambrays. Nose is oaky with toast. Highish acidity and tannin and good length too. Very good+
Frédéric Esmonin Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Pale cherry colour than last few wines. Nose is sweet & oaky. Good acid and very good tannins. Silky with plenty of fruit and length. Very good+
Domaine Géantet-Pansiot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Good cherry colour. Subdued nose with sweet undertones to the oak. Medium acid and tannin. Very silky and sweet, medium length. Very good+
Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru (CS)
Darker cherry with purple hints. Nose is at first a little disjointed, oak then raspberry then cherry. All comes together on 3rd sniff. Very good acidity and tannin. Sweet with lots of fruit and a good finish. Fine.
Domaine Jean Grivot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (CS)
Similar depth of colour, but no purple. Subdued nose has some spice and sweet background oak. Lovely raspberry fruits with a creamy background. Again good acid and tannin. Fine again !
Domaine René Engel Grands Échezeaux Grand Cru (CS)
Deeper cherry again. The nose was a little almondy, apparently reductive (very similar to a 91 Échezeaux from Grivot I recently had) and had a sweet oak background. This wine is more concentrated and intense than the colour would suggest. Good acid and tannin with creamy black fruits. Not so sure about this reductive nose business, but I’ll be buying some anyway. Fine+
Armand Rousseau Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Bright medium cherry. Very closed nose. Good acid with medium tannins. There are sweet red and black fruits. Medium length. Very good+
Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos-Saint-Jacques (CS)
Darker cherry colour. Sweet nose has subdued spice and oak. Good acid and tannin with a nice length. There’s nice mouthfeel, but on this showing the wine is not outstanding. Still very good+
Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru (CS)
Similar darker cherry colour. Good nose of harmonious oak and predominantly red fruit. Much more intense than the previous two wines. Good acid and tannin and nicely long. I think fine+
Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Colour as above, but with some purple. Nose is more subdued. Higher acid and good tannin. Fruit is again intense and interesting, but less length. This is certainly at least fine, but on this showing the Bèze is better.
My Picks: I went back to the Grands Échezeaux again after tasting these last two and it still held its own, so it’s my top pick at £41 in bond, though the Clos-de-Bèze is maybe a bit better it is also likely to be nearer £60 in bond. My other top pick was the Clos-de-Lambrays – a really fine quality Grand Cru for only £28 in bond. Also, both of the de Courcel Pommards, and the V-R Brûlées from Clavelier were really super. Grivots Clos Vougeot is excellent but £37 in bond. The Clos de Tart is also a beauty, but a bit expensive at £52 in bond – I can still buy the 1993 for £37.50 off the shelf !
Haynes, Hanson & Clarke
Rosemary George MW
Maison Champy Gevrey Chambertin ler cru les Cazetiers £249.00
Mid colour – some vegetal notes on nose; quite rounded substantial fruit; raspberries, with underlying oak and structure; good potential
Maison Champy Bonnes Mares grand cru £497.00
Mid colour- firm quite tight knit nose, which developed in the glass to become ripe and chocolaty; new oak on palate, with some oak tannins and ripe sweet fruit, very appealing fruit with fine structure.
Chandon de Briailles Corton Maréchaudes grand cru £212.50
light colour; hints of oak and fruit on nose, but pretty closed. Quite tight knit palate, structured with layers to develop; elegant
Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes grand cru £257.70
Mid colour; firm tight nose; quite sturdy firm fruit. Tight knit, structured, with good concentration of raspberry and liquorice fruit. Layers to develop.
Domaine Georges Roumier, Bourgogne Rouge £78.80
Mid colour; ripe raspberry fruit, with some tannin and acidity. Nicely balanced
Domaines Jean & Annick Parent, Pommard 1er cru les Rugiens £198.00
Quite closed, firm liquorice nose; ditto on palate; firm tannins with fruit and layers of flavour. Long.
Domaine Anne-Françoise Gros Vosne-Romanée aux Réas £159.65
Firm nose; structured firm fruit with dry liquorice, some tannin and acidity. Long.
Justerini & Brooks
Rosemary George MW
Bourgogne Rouge £81.00
Very appealing – attractive raspberry fruit on nose and palate
Pommard les Pézerolles £275.00
Rounded fruit on nose and palate; elegant supple palate and long.
Talked to Philippe Brun from Bruno Clair – admits to being nicely surprised; a very Pinot vintage – good acidity good fruit, big yields, finesse.
Bruno Clair Marsannay Rouge £109.00
Very ripe, attractive refreshing fruit and acidity
Bruno Clair Savigny-lès-Beaune la Dominode £250.00
Firm structured fruit, ditto on palate; quite full and rounded, with good fruit and length. – original vines planted in 1902 – 60% of them still producing.
Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Bèze £651.00
Quite solid structured nose, but very attractive fruit on palate, in some ways very ready, but also long, with wonderful fruit.
Ghislaine Barthod said the 2000 was more difficult climatically than 1999 – August very hot but skins not so thick, so not same concentration – more elegant, whereas ’99 more powerful – good natural alcohol in 2000.
Ghislaine Barthod Bourgogne Rouge £109.00
Ripe raspberry fruit -ditto on palate – v. supple and appealing
Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny les Veroilles ler cru
Firm nose – quite structured; good raspberry liquorice fruit – good concentration – ripe
Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny les Fuées ler cru
Solid rounded fruit – good raspberry flavours; ripe fruit structured; well made. Great potential, but probably, as with most 2000 reds, not for the very long term
Pick of the reds
The reds from the Côte de Beaune suffered from weedy red fruits and dilution, although the Volnays from Marquis d’Angerville and Pommards from Domaine Parent stood out from the crowd. The Côte de Nuits displayed more cassis and black fruit flavours, but noticeable lack of tannin and grip. The reliable producers made fine, early-drinking wines with racy acidity and good ripeness. The Marsannay Rouge from Bruno Clair was embellished with some delicious crunchy blackberry fruits and remains excellent value. The Nuits Saint Georges from Robert Chevillon had admirable concentration and silky texture, Tollot-Beaut had a rustic charm about them. By no means a poor vintage, but one to pick and choose from with care.
Domaine Tollot-Beaut Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavières
Engaging delicate almost rustic nose. A little excess sulphur. Fine balance. Chewy black fruits. Quite sophisticated, great extraction – a really beautiful wine.
Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St.-Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles
More steely on the nose. Gamey. Silky smooth texture with superb extraction. Very concentrated with good acidity. Better than the 1999. Very long intense black cherry finish. Superb.
Domaine Bruno Clair Marsannay Rouge
Nose is closed: quite plummy. Powerful crunchy black fruits on the palate. Supple tannins. Good complexity with rounded black fruits. Not subtle but such quality. A steal at the price.
Domaine de Vicomte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Clos du Château
More integrated on the nose. Cassis and black fruits. Well-integrated with lashings of New Oak. Creamy. Firm tannins with great ripeness. V strong finish. Again a great wine for first vintage.
Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques
A huge nose of explosive black fruits and truffle. Wonderful smooth palate. Satin smooth like an RSV. Ripe creamy black fruits. Good acidity. Spicy finish. Alluring wine.