February 6th 2018
Last Wednesday we kicked any lingering January blues into the long grass with a magnificent tasting in the Goedhuis tasting room organised by Sarah Marsh MW. A full report of the day’s wines will be available on Sarah’s blog: http://theburgundybriefing.com/burgundy-tastings/ where she will detail her own thoughts and collate those of the other tasters.
Sarah had sourced wines from across the Côte d’Or, showing 22 wines from the 2001 vintage and 15 from the 2000 vintage. All the wines had been kindly donated by the growers, coming directly from their cellars in Burgundy. Many thanks to all who took part, it was a unique and fascinating event.
David Roberts MW will discuss the 2001 wines in more detail in a separate blog, and so it falls to me to address the 2000 vintage.
Having not tasted the 2001 or 2000 vintages in their youth I came to this tasting as a relative novice. Sarah is particularly interested in seeing how these great Burgundies age, and this was the second event she has arranged around this theme (the first was a tasting of 2008 White Burgundies, further details here: http://theburgundybriefing.com/2008whitetimetomature/). As professionals we happily have regular opportunities to taste many great wines from Burgundy in their youth, often from barrel. And whilst we might be lucky enough to taste mature bottles on occasion, it is a rare luxury to taste such a range of appellations and producers from the same vintage, peer against peer.
Sarah had invited a group of sommeliers, wine journalists and wine buyers to the event. What became clear in discussions over the lunch that followed was how varied our impressions were, how diverse our preferences. Indeed, there was little consensus over whether the 2000s or the 2001s had shown better. Rather feebly, I concede I couldn’t make my mind up. Both flights had their highs and lows. My top two were one from each: 2000 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche and 2001 Dujac Clos St Denis.
Below, I have picked 8 wines from the 2000 flight that I particularly enjoyed.
Domaine Tollot-Beaut Aloxe Corton 2000
Given that this followed a crescendo of 2001 grands crus, this little village wine showed commendable pluck, more than holding its own in a tasting of, on paper, much more senior wines.
Pale brick red. Dried black tea and gun smoke nose, with berry fruits in the background. Grainy tannins supplying admirable structure to the crunchy red fruits. This was a very pleasant surprise.
Domaine Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux 2000
Well what can I say, I am probably a little biased. Both the 2000 and 2001 were included, and on balance I think I marginally preferred the 2001, however this 2000 was also very good, and my top pick of the Côte de Beaune 2000s.
[Decanted before tasting] Something faintly Cabernet-esque on the nose: brambles and smoke. The tannins are grippier than the 2001, lending Pommard’s recognised structure to what I consider one of the most nuanced and elegant wines of the appellation. Showing evident development of flavour, the wine retains tension across the palate.
Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses 2000
Goedhuis & Co have a long history with this wonderful domaine in Savigny lès Beaune. It is one of the most beautiful properties in the region, matched by the superb quality of their vineyards. The wines often show best after some ageing, so it was a pleasure to taste this 2000.
Pale garnet. Spice on the nose. The palate has retained its tannic integrity over the years and the finish is long and savoury.
Domaine Michel Gros Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulées 2000
My first encounter with this domaine. Four of their wines were in the tasting (sadly one of the 2001s was corked). They showed well, with this being my marginal favourite.
Pale garnet/brick. Vosne’s delicate, sweet red fruit still alive on the nose. The palate has the silky flow of juicy autumn raspberries. Altogether charming.
Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses
A fabled vineyard in this producer’s hand. What struck me most was the delicacy of the Mugnier wines.
A lightly spiced nose with whispers of smoky charcoal. The palate had a gliding smoothness, and there was poise in the tender fruit that flowed across the palate. Not the most powerful style, but one of the most light-footed.
Domaine Jean Tardy Clos de Vougeot Grand Maupertuis Grand Cru 2000
Another new domaine for me, I was rather taken by this handsome wine. The 2000 would have been one of the final vintages Jean vinified before handing over the reins to son Guillaume in 2003. The Clos de Vougeot parcel has since ceded back to Méo-Camuzet, with whom the Tardy family had a share cropping agreement.
Medium garnet, with a touch more colour than some others in the flight. The healthy dose of new oak during its élevage has yielded a sweetly spiced perfume with time in bottle. The palate has tones of macerated wild strawberries and supple tannins. [Note to self: needs food!]
Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de La Roche Grand Cru 2000
This domaine needs no introduction, and the Clos de la Roche, positioned towards the end of the line-up, promised potential as a high point of the day’s tasting. Not all my fellow tasters will agree, but for me, this really did live up to my expectations.
A brilliant garnet lustre, the aromas showed such purity and poise. Fabulously complex and simultaneously utterly harmonious: all elements perfectly pitched, and integrated as one. The quality of the tannins was unsurpassed by any others in the flight.
Domaine Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2000
Yet another new estate for me. I learned they have many admirers now, but their fame has been more recently won than some others here. With four wines in the tasting it was an opportunity to see the dimensions of this domaine back in the early 2000s, and whilst not all the cuvées won me over, this was highly impressive.
Pale garnet. Intense nose of mature Pinot – sous bois, strawberries, leather and spice. The palate had a pleasingly chewy volume combined with gliding elegance of excellent quality fruit. Delicious.