Every year growers gather at my neighbour’s in Burgundy in June and bring with them bottles or magnums (M) of the 10 year old and, in a few cases, the 20 year old, vintage. So this year we had fourteen 1997s and around a hundred 2007s to taste.
As well as scores out of 100, a few wines have been awarded *, which denotes that they are outstanding in their category, or **, which denotes that this is an exceptional wine by any standards.
2007 White Wines
The 2007 whites at ten year old showed ahead of expectations. I like this vintage a lot, but do not place it in the first rank. It has always seemed attractive and well balanced, relatively rarely suffering from premature oxidation, but perhaps missing depth and enough personality for a top rating. These wines, admittedly taken directly from the producers’ cellars and often in magnum format, offered a little more flesh than I expected combined with attractive character.
Just two wines were more advanced than they should have been while several wines indicated that there was more still life to come. Most were in an excellent place for drinking now or over the next few years.
Viré-Clessé La Verchère, Bret Brothers 85
Bright colour but deepening now. Some baked-apple notes, but still a suggestion of good flesh. The fruit is starting to dry on the palate but this is still a very enjoyable drink with good persistence.
Mâcon la Roche Vineuse Les Cras, Olivier Merlin 88
Fine mid-straw colour, bright. Rich nose though with evolution and plenty of oak. Excellent weight on the palate, good acid balance, much fresher than the first nose, still plenty of life. NB rich in style.
Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Quarts, Domaine de la Soufrandière (M) 93*
Still pale and bright. An exquisite nose, some maturity but it is complex and multi-layered. Noble fruit in the mouth, a little southern sucrosity, just enough acidity behind. A delight to drink now.
Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Varambon, Château des Rontets 91
Fine bright clear colour, beautifully pure fresh notes, a fraction reductive, nicely poised; not as rich as some Pouilly-Fuissé but a lovely chiselled wine nonetheless.
Pouilly-Fuissé Les Birbettes, Château des Rontets 88
Noticeably more colour and a little more evolved on the nose; good weight of fruit in the mouth and quite creamy in texture. Ready to go now, whereas Clos Varambon can be kept.
Rully, Les St Jacques, Domaine A et P de Villaine (85)
Pale straw, a little bruised apple, more Rully than oxidation though. A touch of resolved sulphur. Somewhat angular on the nose, thicker texture on the palate, drink up. Apparently a second bottle was much fresher
Auxey-Duresses vieilles vignes, Prunier Bonheur 90*
Fine pale colour, still lively and fresh later on, fragrant green tea notes, good acidity, this still has plenty of energy and some length. Very well done. Perfectly balanced reduction.
Savigny-lès-Beaune, Domaine Jean-Marc et Hugues Pavelot 88*
Pale straw colour and some hay on the nose. Lean but bright on the palate, more fruit at the back than the front, still very enjoyable. A clear and classy thread runs through the middle.
Marsannay Blanc La Charme aux Prêtres, Domaine Sylvain Pataille (M) 89*
Pale straw; an energetic nose, all fruit, suggests considerable generosity. Lovely full mouthful, balanced by exactly the right acidity. We may not know this terroir perhaps but this is delicious white Burgundy.
Morey St Denis Les Monts Luisants 1er Cru, Domaine Dujac (M) 88
Reductive nose hides the fruit at least at first. On the palate it is stylish, precise and long. Understated in character with attractive oaking behind.
Meursault Les Narvaux, Benjamin Leroux (M) 94
Fine pale bright colour with a superbly elegant nose. Plenty of fruit so obviously picked late enough, great poise, lively acidity, indeed racy throughout with a saline touch at the finish. Persistent.
Meursault Luchets, Domaine Roulot (M) 95*
Strong luminous pale yellow with complex reduction on the nose. Dancing fruit on the palate but the reductive aspect has very slightly dried the finish. Not to worry because the fruit comes back behind. Very long indeed.
Meursault Cuvée Tête de Murger (M) 92
Fine pale lemon and lime colour. Beautiful fruit emerges from the start, this is hitting its ideal moment. A wealth of fruit, lots of charm; not quite the thread of class and persistence as the two previous wines, it is built to a bulkier frame but that is fine for Meursault.
Meursault Clos de la Barre, Domaine des Comtes Lafon (M) 93
Clear pale colour, luminous. Tight, reductive, with a little lingering sulphur. This is very linear yet with some flesh on the bones, the reductive thread running through. Very persistent. Not fully developed yet.
Saint-Aubin Clos de la Chatenière 1er Cru, Domaine Hubert Lamy (M) 95*
Fine pale colour with the faintest of lemon and lime tints. Brilliant purity, class and poise. While it may have been lean in youth this has now opened out to display flesh, fruit class and balance in equal proportions. Bravo!
Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er Cru, Domaine Hubert Lamy (M) 94
Another pristine colour, this also has a nose that suggests a wine just thinking about entering its prime. A touch more oak than Chatenière, white fruit, much more tightly wound on the palate – and perhaps the oak intrudes a tiny bit too much. Very good indeed but at least for now go with Chatenière.
Meursault Poruzots 1er Cru, Domaine François Mikulski (M) 90
A little bit fuller in colour than some, with a boldly attractive nose, plump and forward but not tiring. Perhaps too much new wood here. Good acidity on the palate keeps the wine in balance and there is an attractive richness of fruit (and oak) through to the back.
Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru, Domaine Matrot 91
Pure clear lemon colour, tight nose, old-fashioned sulphur in a good way, lemon and lime fruit on the palate, discreet, backward, yet with good length. Recognisable Meursault and quite persistent.
Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru, Domaine des Comtes Lafon (M) 94
Clear bright colour and a nose of intensity and purity, much less reductive than Clos de la Barre. Some rich fruit including some hints of banana and a very light touch of pineapple, but this doesn’t stray too far into the tropical arena. Very intense and exceptionally long.
Meursault Les Perrières 1er Cru, Domaine Roulot (M) 98**
Pale colour with a lemon green tint. Fresh pure and backward, also less reductive than the Luchets, though there is a hint of it. Then an explosion of fruit on the palate, subtly nuanced yet full-bodied in a very balanced way. Predominantly yellow fruits, a little touch of lime occasionally mixed in; this is about as good as Meursault gets.
Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie 1er Cru, Domaine Bernard Moreau 93
Pure clear colour with a fresh, welcoming nose. Able, classy, oak judged to perfection, white fruit. The oak comes back quite strongly behind but the fruit beats it to the finish.
Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroie 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard 91
Pale colour with a light green tint, waxy almond-paste nose, quite typical of JNG. Solid powerful wine on the palate, excellent acid balance, a wine to spend time over with food rather than to taste in a line up. Superb length.
Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard 93
Very similar nose to the Clos de la Maltroie but a little bit more fruit fights through. Powerful, backward, needs extra time to come together but the potential is excellent, as evidenced by the richness of fruit and minerality of the aftertaste.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux, 1er Cru, Domaine Matrot 84
A touch of yellow to the colour, rather an evolved nose with a little touch of wax to it. Still enjoyable, but to drink up. Easy-going, soft in style, but still with some length. However this is not one to keep.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes, 1er Cru, Jean-Marc Boillot 96*
Pale colour, a delicious classy fruit-laden and just lightly waxy nose, complex and interesting. Full fruit on the palate, an absolute delight, with beautifully woven in mineral acidity and great persistence.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine d’Ardhuy 88
Pale colour with a light lemon tint. Some new oak and a little wax, but holding up well. Tightly knit, some good minerals behind; the fruit is there but a touch subdued.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Dublère 94
Fine pure pale colour, lots of energy and a little bit of reduction on the palate, impressive potential. Superb weight to this; yellow fruit, some of the necessary stones, good oak balance. Very well made.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Bonneau du Martray (M) 96
Very pale pure colour, this is exceptionally classy – yet understated too. An absolute explosion of fruit on the palate, especially at the front, well-judged oak is nicely woven in and there are some minerals behind. For perfection there would have needed to be as much fruit at the back of the palate as the front.
Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Leflaive NR
Full straw colour and some oxidative notes. Bruised apple. Quite fully evolved though this may be temporary as there is good acidity behind and the wine finishes fresher than it starts. To revisit. Second bottle much the same.
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard 94
Pale straw but bright. Delicious potential on the nose, partly in the fruit, partly in the JNG waxed almonds style, but you can feel the weight and joy behind. Glorious wine, golden sunshine on the palate, thick texture, almost OTT but just reined in. Ripe mirabelles, just enough acidity.
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot 97
Brilliant fine pale colour, a very fine classy nose with white fruit and a hint of something more tropical. Complex, balanced, intense, not too massive, a wonderful wine which is great now but with many years ahead. Just the start!
2007 Red Wines
The reds were also looking brighter than expected. The more elegant villages such as Volnay and Chambolle showed better than the more structured appellations. Pommard showed marginally under-ripe; Gevrey had tougher tannins, especially from the stronger extractors. This wasn’t a good vintage for whole-bunch fermentation on the whole.
Mercurey Les Montots, Domaine A & P de Villaine 89*
Still a clear red colour, maturing gently, a few leathery notes along with some light red fruit – raspberry perhaps. Firm rather than generous, but attractive floral notes and raspberry fruit on the palate. Perfectly balanced and persistent finish. Good now, can keep but will not improve.
Givry Clos Salomon 1er Cru, Domaine Clos Salomon 86
Fine mid-red, ageing only slowly. Rounded fruit, quite generous, a suggestion of some acidity, which does indeed appear on the palate. A little bit of heat behind, some length but less elegance.
Santenay Passetemps 1er Cru, Maison Jaffelin 83
Light to medium colour, now maturing. Age evident on the nose but by no means dead. Red fruit but now somewhat smudged. High acidity at the back as the wine begins to dry out.
Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Talmettes 1er Cru, Domaine Simon Bize 88
Pure clear red-orange with a delicious bouquet of maturing fruit. Just ripe, but being on the cusp has engineered complexity rather than lack of grace. Medium-bodied, candied orange peel and light red fruit; some acidity but surrounded by the fruit. Good length.
Beaune Les Champs Pimont 1er Cru, Domaine Clos de la Chapelle 87
Pale- to medium-bright garnet, holding up well. A little fruit on the nose and nothing untoward. Discreet at first on the palate, then a burst of still youthful red fruit before a mix of gentle acidity and wood tannins at the finish. Not quite harmonious, but plenty of interest.
Beaune Les Bressandes 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc & Hugues Pavelot 90
Bright mid-red with a little more depth of colour than most. Plenty of energetic fruit, mostly raspberry, no sign of age. An excellent mouthful, very classy fruit, just the right acidity. This still has a good future.
Beaune Les Cras 1er Cru, Maison Camille Giroud 88
Fine pale colour, no great depth. The bouquet is beautifully engaging, maturing gracefully. On the palate the oak is a little bit present but it is of good quality and does not really interfere with the fruit. A wine of charm to drink soon.
Volnay Fremiets 1er Cru, Domaine du Comte Armand (M) 87
Fine mid-red, holding up, the bouquet shows plenty of fruit but perhaps not so much elegance. Lean on the palate, some orange notes, medium-bodied, a wine which cannot decide if it is Volnay or Pommard.
Volnay Taillepieds 1er Cru, Domaine Clos de la Chapelle 86
Dense comparatively youthful colour, with plenty of energy. Quite tight on the palate and the acidity is a little bit forced. Still youthful fruit but how well will this come together?
Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru, Domaine Michel Lafarge 94*
Fine bright red, very clear. The nose seems extremely youthful but this is partly reduction, which blows off soon. Fresh cherry notes. Superb fruit on the palate, still far too young, nicely supported by the oak, more acidity than tannins. Understated but with latent intensity. We don’t expect a wealth of primary fruit here! 2020-2027.
Volnay Caillerets 1er Cru, Louis Boillot 91
Rich dense dark colour, quite firm nose, some liquorice notes, quite full and juicy, ready soon. Almost overbalances in headiness, but not quite 91.
Volnay Santenots du Milieu 1er Cru, Domaine des Comtes Lafon (M) 93
Youthful bright red, with an explosion of dark raspberry fruit. This is impressive, accessible yet seeming still on the young side. There is a great deal here still to come out, with some firm tannins which are not invasive. Could start to drink, but best 2020-2025.
Volnay Les Santenots du Milieu 1er Cru, Domaine François Mikulski (M) 90
A fine bright youthful colour with some depth. Good weight of fruit on the bouquet, some reduction. Impressive intensity of quite dark fruit, though more at the front of the palate than the back. Good weight and some acidity.
Pommard Largillière 1er Cru, Maison Romane (M) 90
Fine pale- to mid-red, maturing gently. Delicious bouquet, classy and accessible. Marginal ripeness but that’s good enough. Fuller-bodied than the nose suggested, good acidity, some oak; well-made wine with more time ahead. 2018-2023.
Pommard Jarollières 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot (78-88)
Rich dense colour, reductive nose with maybe some pyrazines too. Strong reduction too on the nose. Good weight of fruit and cleaner at the finish. Horrible to drink now but this will come good in another 5, or more likely 10, years.
Pommard Chanlins 1er Cru, Domaine Nicolas Rossignol NR
Dense dark colour, nose not quite clean. Which is a pity as there is some class underneath. Fractional cork taint I think. Long classy finish with generosity beneath.
Pommard Grands Epenots 1er Cru, Domaine Clos de la Chapelle 90
Clear bright colour, some energetic fruit, a hint of fractional under-ripeness but still good attractive juice. Blossoms in the glass and starts to show the greater elegance of Epenots. There is plenty of muscle behind, a little touch of wood tannins, but the fruit shines through.
Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er Cru, Domaine du Comte Armand (M) 93
Fine medium depth of colour, backward on the nose but with good purity of fruit. This also blossoms in the glass to display a pure and youthful fruit. Tight Pommard tannins behind which require a few more years yet. Great potential here for a classy wine.
Pommard Rugiens 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot 90
Rich deep colour, sturdy fruit on the nose, with a few reductive elements – less than his Chanlins. Some pyrazines again on nose and palate, but a wealth of vibrant red fruit. Give this time to harmonise and it will be impressive in a firm masculine way. Excellent persistence.
Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley 87
Medium-deep colour with a lighter rim. Some high-toned notes, a little zest of orange perhaps. The nose gains in the glass with red notes taking over. There’s a good volume of fruit too, but the acidity is a touch too prominent and slightly dries the finish.
Corton Grand Cru, Domaine Bonneau du Martray (M) 91
Good bright mid-red, not ageing too quickly. The nose has attractive if uncomplicated fruit. Excellent intensity on the palate, high acidity, needs a little time still, fair persistence. Actually very good indeed for what it is, as Clive would have said, if you ignore the grand cru status.
Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru, Maison Camille Giroud NR
Fuller red but showing maturity. Somewhat bruised and evolving fruit on the nose. Not a clean bottle. Generous gracious fruit on the palate up front, some drying notes behind. A second bottle (not tasted by me) was said to be much fresher.
Côte de Nuits 2007
Marsannay Les Longeroies, Domaine Bruno Clair 89
Bright youthful dark red, with some brisk red fruit notes on the bouquet, still under-developed.
Marsannay Les Longeroies, Domaine Jean Fournier (M) 89
The paler of the two Fournier wines, with some red fruit and light coffee notes. This is the more understated of the two but also the finer. Clear crisp raspberry fruit develops behind.
Marsannay Clos du Roy, Domaine Jean Fournier (M) 88
Fine deep colour with a wealth of fruit and a little oak on the nose. Generous in the mouth, some acidity to hold it up; this is à point now. Good rich aftertaste.
Marsannay Clos du Roy, Domaine Sylvain Pataille (M) 88
Medium deep colour with the start of the evolution. Firm fruit on the nose, quite complex, darkish fruit, fairly prominent oak, good acidity. All there but perhaps lacks a little freshness. Good persistence.
Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine JF Mugnier 90
Agreeable pale colour with lightly amber edges. Fine but discreet bouquet, very elegant though with a touch of bacon fat, graceful, long finish. Understated as suits the vintage. Good finish.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Jean Fournier (M) 86
Fine bright colour with a little evolution. Delicious elegant fruit on the nose, à point. Becomes a little animal in the glass. There is good weight of fruit but his Marsannays are a touch classier.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Thierry Mortet 85
Pale- to medium-deep youthful cherry red, with lean but young fruit on the nose. This lean sinewy style continues on the palate. Not at all bad but I think I would like some more flesh on the bones.
Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Etelois, Domaine Rossignol Trapet 82
Mid-red, not quite bright, yeasty notes, perhaps bacterial. Rather dry on the palate, though with some red fruit mixed in. Bread yeast is the strongest note.
Gevrey-Chambertin En Croisette Vieilles Vignes, Jérôme Galeyrand 87
Fine bright mid-red, first signs of evolution. The nose offers a mix of vibrant youthful fruits and some notes of maturity. This dichotomy continues on the palate, making it a little sweet and sour. But there’s interest here.
Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Alain Burguet 89
Full rich colour, deep fruit on the nose, a little reductive, but showing some evolution too. Not quite pure. Sensual notes nevertheless, with delicious rich fruit. The nose and body cleans up. Drink soon.
Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Fôrets St Georges 1er Cru, Domaine de l’Arlot 88
Bright lightish colour, mid-red, beautifully perfumed, some orange blossom, suggests likely to be à point. There’s a fair weight of fruit with a slightly dry finish, probably time to drink up. Very persistent though. Orange notes.
Nuits-St-Georges Les Chaboeufs 1er Cru, Domaine Philippe Gavignet (M) 90
Medium depth of colour, the nose has plenty of fruit without a great sense of precision. Develops much more in the glass, albeit with a slight animal note. Sweet fruit on the palate, and a little cleaner, but excellent, aftertaste. Pleasing more than classy.
Nuits-St-Georges Les Pruliers 1er Cru, Domaine Henri Gouges 90+
Bright crisp colour, tense and backward nose, muscular if angular. Very firm on the palate; this won’t be enjoyable for many years yet.
Nuits-St-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru, Domaine Robert Chevillon 92
Deepish colour, the bouquet is beginning to evolve towards the forest floor, but by no means over mature. Sweetly enjoyable fruit up front but nicely spread across the palate, good weight and length.
Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru, Domaine Michel Gros (M) 89
Fine relatively youthful colour, plump red fruit on the nose, no particular distinction. Very attractive fruit on the palate, a touch of dry tannin behind, actually finishes very nicely on the palate.
Nuits-St-Georges Bousselots 1er Cru, Domaine Philippe Gavignet (M) 92*
Fine clear mid-red, hints of evolution and some wood on the nose, but the fruit has charm too. Excellent weight to this and not too easily accessible. Depths behind which are quite impressive. A discovery.
Nuits-St-Georges Aux Thorey 1er Cru, Benjamin Leroux (M) 88
Good depth of colour, if starting to evolve. Rich plummy notes on the nose, again with some evolution. Lovely weight of fruit on the palate, easygoing, drink soon. Medium-plus length.
Nuits-St-Georges Les Chaignots 1er Cru, Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg (M) 91
Fine pure red with a faint amber tinge. Glorious fruit on the nose, beautifully on the cusp of Nuits and Vosne. Classical classy fruit, perhaps a little too much new oak though it will survive. Their wines are usually a mite more elegant.
Vosne-Romanée Clos des Réas 1er Cru, Domaine Michel Gros (M) 87
Lightish mid-red with a bacon-fat reduction. Easygoing sweetish fruit with a soft and quite oaky finish.
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru, Domaine Jean Grivot (M) 93
Full mid-red, weight of fruit but the detail is not ready yet. Sweeter fruit notes on the palate, lots up front, then a hole, then a wealth of fruit behind to justify its precision. Great weight, some extraction, interesting wine.
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux 92
Full deepish red, some evolution, powerful oak on the nose, certainly a wealth of fruit and it has class. For my taste the wine is a touch monolithic but there is certainly plenty to enjoy here.
Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsorts 1er Cru, Domaine Dujac 82
Pale colour more orange than red. Very light bouquet given the nobility of the vineyard, and somewhat under-ripe. Maybe GMT (goût moisi terreux). This bottle at least not in good condition.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Groseilles 1er Cru, Domaine Digioia-Royer 91
Medium colour, some weight but lacks precision. A little barrel toast on the palate some sweet fruit, enjoyable with very good aftertaste. The final result is quite impressive.
Chambolle–Musigny Les Cras, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod (M) 93
Pure fine bright mid red, elegant and classy. Really stylish on the nose too. Not full bodied but there is some latent intensity behind. Pure and precise, long and fine.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod 93
Slightly deeper colour but the nose is not quite pure. Perhaps a touch of oxidation here. Excellent plump fruit behind but the edge has been taken off. Second bottle much classier, indeed excellent subsequently at dinner.
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 1er Cru, Domaine Thierry Mortet (M) 89
Full bright colour with more generosity on the nose than his village wine. Classy, attractive, ready to drink. Firms up in the glass and becomes more angular, but there is still a decent volume of fruit and good persistence.
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux 1er Cru, Domaine Denis Bachelet 86
Pure bright clear colour, vibrant ripe fruit, lively and delicious. Much tougher on the palate, quite heavily extracted, which dries up the finish.
Gevrey-Chambertin Cherbaudes 1er Cru, Domaine Louis Boillot 93
Medium-deep colour still showing youth. A clean and elegant nose, unforced, a wealth of attractive pure red fruit at the front of the palate, clear tannins behind, but the fruit should come through. Good finish.
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de Fonteny 1er Cru, Domaine Bruno Clair 88+
Bright youthful red, the nose is a bit occluded though. There is some concentration of high class fruit, but tannins and acidity are unexpectedly high. This comes through on the palate but it still has the weight of fruit which masks the structural notes better with time in the glass.
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru, Domaine Bruno Clair (M) 86
Bright mid-red with a lighter rim, some greener notes to the bouquet. It may begin to develop further later. His wines in the tasting were all very tight, hard to judge.
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1er Cru, Domaine Bruno Clair 88
Full bright colour, backward nose, youthful but at first ungiving. Tight on the palate but the wine is certainly there for later.
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1er Cru, Domaine Armand Rousseau 95
Paler mid-red colour, a light but flavoursome floral nose, only on the cusp of ripeness. Really pretty though. Lovely perfumed fruit across the palate; gracious, not blockbuster, medium length plus, actually stretches out very nicely.
Echezeaux Grand Cru, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 94
Medium depth of colour, some inbuilt reduction along with relatively youthful red fruit. Some stems in the back ground, moderate ripeness. An attractive perfume develops in the glass though. A little sweet fruit at first but pulled back by the minimal ripeness. Still an extremely pleasing wine on the palate, and scores very well for persistence. But it is not clear that 2007 lends itself well to the whole-bunch approach.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, Jérôme Galeyrand 90
Medium depth of colour, a firm nose without specific distinction. The fruit builds with time in the glass, medium weight plus on the palate, plenty of acidity, more than tannin, and quite persistent. Hangs in quite nicely but does it have enough personality?
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé 94+
Fine bright still youthful red, clean and pure aromatics, discreet but promising. More perfume, still discreet, begins to come forward. More weight on the palate than the bouquet suggests, a good thread of acidity, increasing intensity to the back – still a baby but this may become very fine indeed.
Musigny Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé 96
Medium deep in colour, a little deeper than the Bonnes Mares. The nose shows oak with quite concentrated fruit. Then more fruit backed by a little oak as the balance changes with air. On the palate the fruit does show clear nobility. Give this time, but we are at the start of a fine and noble wine. More fruit than the Bonnes Mares so the latent acidity is very well covered.
Musigny Grand Cru, Domaine J-F Mugnier 95
No exceptional depth of colour; a light touch from Frederic this year. The bouquet has bacon notes indicating reduction. Like the other better wines, the bouquet grows rapidly in the glass. These reductive notes continue on the palate just taking the edge off an otherwise beautiful wine. Sweet pure cherry and raspberry fruit lingers, and as time went by the wine became steadily purer.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Dujac 87
Mid-red with a lighter rim, the whole bunches are a little muted behind the soft raspberry fruit. Purer than his Malconsorts. Oak shows on the palate while the fruit, if a little undernourished, is quite persistent. This may grow in the glass.
Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Domaine des Lambrays (M) 92
Light to medium red, starting to evolve gentle. A pure and classy bouquet, albeit with a hint of greener notes. Sweeter raspberry fruit on the palate, the usual Lambrays white pepper, generous fruit at the back, and medium-plus length. Very attractive.
Clos St Denis Grand Cru, Domaine Michel Magnien 91
Deep colour if a little muddied – just arrived. Rich style, extracted but not dry, dark plums and spices, a very full mouthful: Christmas cake, with a drier finish. Very much of its style but will give pleasure.
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Maison Camille Giroud 90
Medium light colour with some evolution. Also on the nose, slightly baked fruit. Much fresher on the palate, some acidity behind is welcome too. Long fine strawberry and fresh cherry fruit leads to a moderately intense finish.
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Dublère 91
Medium depth of colour, a little reduction on the nose, with a touch of barrel toast. Fair depth of fruit, especially at the back. Not quite in harmony but there is very good raw material. The slight barrel toast reappears but otherwise this ends well.
Mazoyères -Chambertin vieilles vignes Grand Cru, Domaine Perrot-Minot (M) 93
Fine bright colour with a wealth of pure fruit on the nose, dark cherries with some raspberry. Bright and energetic, no shortage of fruit here, dense and vibrant, all in balance with the final structure. Impressive.
Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet 86
Lighter colour with some evolution. Middleweight fruit, a touch of band-aid, fruit too but it is all a bit on the clumsy side. I suspect some brett in this bottle.
Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg 92
Medium depth of colour, still youthful bouquet with some red fruits. Firm at first on the palate, some peonies, red fruit behind, a rather strict framework. Good potential here but a bit betwixt and between.
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, Frédéric Magnien 91
Another full colour starting to evolve. The nose shows similarly rich notes but with evolution, not oxidation. A bit of inbuilt reduction instead. The weight is there, and even on the palate some class, and certainly length. This style works better on the palate than the nose.
Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Rossignol Trapet 89
Bright medium deep colour, some evolution and definite breadsticks. Hard to fathom. However there is a much more impressive intensity and density here, a great wealth of fruit, and an intense finish. But the nose is not currently wonderful – not their year or just in an awkward place?
Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Armand Rousseau 96+
Medium depth of colour, the nose really needs teasing out but when it comes it is extremely classy. This is a baby still. The fruit at the finish is exquisite after a slightly quiet mid-palate. Come back to this later. Potentially very fine indeed – for now 96. The structure suggests waiting 5-plus years.
1997: Twenty Years On
An unheralded vintage in Burgundy, partly because the Bordeaux primeur campaign had stalled in the light of over-optimistic pricing; but actually weather conditions were not at all bad, with a hot August and good weather for the mid-September harvest. My first impressions were that the whites ‘tend to be fat, fleshy and relatively low in acidity’ while the reds had potential where growers were equipped to cool the grapes down for vinification. Otherwise fermentation got under way too quickly leading to fruity but somewhat shallow wines.
1997 White Wines
Pouilly-Fuissé Les Birbettes, Château des Rontets (M) 85
Some development to the colour and indeed a little bit of evolution all round. But still, a 20-year-old Pouilly-Fuissé with something to offer.
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru, Maison Morey Blanc 87
Still a fine colour with a soft sunny creamy nose. Really lovely fruit on the palate, held with enough acidity, but to be drunk up.
Puligny-Montrachet Champgains 1er Cru, Domaine des Comtes Lafon 91
Fine clear colour with a lemon tint. The nose remains pure, fresh, youthful, and the wine is delicious on the palate, clear and joyful. Very long pure finish, excellent wine. Even much later, though it had fattened considerably, it was a pleasure to drink.
Bâtard Montrachet, Domaine Leflaive 88
The colour is bright while the nose shows a touch of evolution. There is a stream of pure clear fruit at medium plus intensity and a good thread of acidity. This finishes very well, having been just a touch let down on the nose.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Bonneau du Martray 92
Palish colour still with a good thread of fruit on the nose, some wax a little banana, some heat on the palate but the fruit surges round behind and comes up fresh. Quite oaky. Full and flavoursome just short of really fine.
1997 Red Wines
Auxey Duresses, Les Duresses 1er Cru, Domaine Prunier Bonheur 89*
Still a good colour, with firm fruit on the nose; lovely fruit too in the mouth, delicious still, holds up extremely well. I am impressed.
Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Guettes 1er Cru, Domaine Simon Bize 88
Palish colour with a light tawny edge to it, smooth and easy, still with good fruit and certainly length. Not grand vin but certainly a pleasure.
Volnay Ronceret 1er Cru, Domaine Nicolas Rossignol 88
Still some good colour here and bright fruit on the nose, but a hardness from the extraction. Slight cork taint maybe. Second bottle much cleaner and purer.
Volnay Les Caillerets 1er Cru, Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley 89
Still some excellent fresh red colour to this, plenty of fruit in a gentle graceful way, fragrance continues through to the finish. Ready now.
Volnay Santenots du Milieu 1er Cru, Domaine des Comtes Lafon 95*
Full bright purple, with exceptional youth. The energy transfers to the bouquet and thence to the palate, rich fresh fruit throughout, the tannins slightly but not disagreeably present, lovely sweet fruit finish. Bravo.
Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er Cru, Domaine du Comte Armand 90
Quite full deep colour, bright and concentrated fruit, a little more sombre than the Volnay. Certainly the tannins are much drier behind, perhaps a little too heavily extracted. However the perfume from the fruit persists very well. Choose the right food to match.
Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Alain Burguet 92*
The colour has held up well and there is still some bright fruit on the nose, even more so on the palate which finishes exquisitely. Well done.
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 1er Cru, Domaine Thierry Mortet 84
Dense colour still, but very extracted and though there is plenty of fruit, this has dried out.
Nuits-St-Georges Les Chaboeufs 1er Cru, Domaine Philippe Gavignet 91
Fine pale maturing brick red, with a fresh if mature nose, balanced between fruit and oak. Still good fruit sweetness on the palate, some orange peel behind and enough acidity.
Nuits-St-Georges Bousselots 1er Cru, Domaine Philippe Gavignet 87
A central core of red with tawny edges, a little firm and dry. Today the Chaboeufs is showing better.
Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru, Domaine Jean Grivot 92
Bright relatively dark colour; the nose is brooding; dark fruit again on the palate, maybe too extracted, then it explodes on the palate. Still a few firm notes behind but the fruit insists on winning.