1999 Is The Greatest Red Burgundy Vintage

I have been saying this for a long while. I love the wines from top to bottom, from North to South.

Rod’s turn to host Monday Table so we took a sneaky peek at some ’99 red Burgs, focussing in on the Côte de Nuits. Big G was in fine form and after I stated that the ’99 reds will live forever he responded with ‘especially if you die’. He is rarely wrong.


2000 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut: The nose is very toasty. It has intense lemon fruit and is deep, rich, creamy and powerful. Starting to drink wonderfully well but plenty left in the tank.

1995 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année: Looking a bit oxidised with too much brulee and bruised apple action. Flavours are a tad dull.

1996 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut: Complex aromatics of lemon, white peach, chalk, custard apple and spice. It is rich, intense and beautifully balanced. A Champagne of such elegance and authority. Brilliant!

1999 Louis Jadot Montrachet, Grand Cru: Aromas and flavours are blunt from oxidation. It has some creaminess and intensity in the mouth but no definition and is far too nutty.

2013 Domaine Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet, Grand Cru: Some smoky reduction on the nose along with green melon and white peach aromas. The palate is rich and full with a line of exquisite, minerally acidity. Lovely proportion and balance with a fresh, long finish.

2015 Domaine Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet, Grand Cru: Fabulous nose of white flowers, flint, lemon and white peach. It is powerful and deep but has a high degree of elegance and great drive and energy. A very good ’15 white.

2016 Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère: I’ve often thought this wine to be close to Grand Cru quality. It was just a notch below the two Bâtard alongside but performed very well. There’s some notes of green melon, white peach and spice. It is dense and sappy with great shape and nice cut.

1999 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot, Grand Cru: Great perfume of rose petals, smoke, berry and spiced plum. It is sweet, luscious and deep, building through the palate and finishing with strength and stoniness.

1999 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts: The nose is quite stemsy and there’s a touch of beef stock development. You get notes of freshly grated ginger too. It is so silky in the mouth, with excellent depth. It has great presence in the mouth and outstanding length.

1999 Domaine Leroy Romanée St. Vivant, Grand Cru: Extraordinary purity, with a core of deep black cherry fruit. There’s some Chinese 5 spice powder and a little smoke. It is luscious, with velvety texture and fabulous precision. It continues to build and fans out on the finish, leaving a calling card of fruit, mineral and flora.

1999 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes, Grand Cru: Ripe, layered, textured with a savoury edge. There’s dark fruits trimmed with earth. It has some ginger spice and feels quite sensual against the gums. There’s great volume and balance and length is impressive.

1999 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru: A very mineral wine with delicious red and black fruits and a hint a suggestion of meat sneaking into the aroma and flavour profiles. Exquisite balance, great perfume and gorgeously sweet fruit.

1999 Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru: Deep, dark and penetrating and a wine that got better and better with air. There’s some volatility that punches whiffs of black cherry, spice and earth into the nostrils. It is luscious and layered. There’s great intensity here and the long finish is carried by spherical tannins.

1999 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Grand Cru: Pretty and powerful. The nose is quite spicy and there’s perfectly ripe cherry fruit. It is full, textural and mouthfilling. It is a wine of great volume and poise. Shape is near perfect and length phenomenal.

1999 Domaine Leroy Nuits St. Georges Aux Lavières: This has some licorice and leather notes. Fruits are dark and there’s good tannic support. It is a little chunky in relation to the other wines but still a very enjoyable drink none the less.

1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée St. Vivant, Grand Cru: This is a wine of exquisite perfume, balance and build. There’s plenty of floral spice coupled with perfectly ripe, red and black fruits. It is lacy in the mouth, with fabulous intensity and clarity. All aromas and flavours are so pristine and it has near perfect shape. Structural elements simply occupy a space in the mouth, without intruding on all of the sensual sensations going on. It has remarkable persistence.

2013 Château d’Yquem: Complex aromas of mandarin, guava, vanilla, mango and passionfruit. It has a lot going on and is super-intense, yet remains light on its feet. Length is imposing.

2005 Château Rieussec: Rich, heady and concentrated. There’s plenty of vanilla here along with apricot and honey notes. Sweet nectar invades every crevice of the mouth and for the wines sheer size it still remains fresh, inviting another sip.

Hard to argue with anything you’ve said or any wine on this page. Where do you live again, and how long is it going to take for me to get there?

Cheers John. I’m in the Barossa Valley. You could get to L.A., catch the Qantas flight from L.A. to Sydney, get a connection to Adelaide and drive an hour up to the Barossa. It will probably take about 30 hours all up.

What about some 83s?

Meaning not across the board

Hmm. Well I might just have to continue to live vicariously. BTW, I agree on 99, just beginning to come into it’s own.

Some '83’s are good Karl, most '78’s are great, a lot of '05’s are majestic, '10’s are terrific and '15’s will be legendary. But none are better than '99 in my less than humble opinion.

Agreed. Comparing 99 to 90s, I’ve found 99 much more impressive.

Haven’t had enough 78 to say.

That’s a bold statement after tasting such a bunch of mediocre wines:)

But yes I tend to agree although I only started collecting from the 96 vintage, it’s my favourite. Wish I had more left but I keep cracking them to see how the vintage was fairing. I will say that they did shut down pretty hard from around 2008 to 2015. depending on teh wine. They are now blossoming again.


The '99’s were pretty good wines overall. Certainly a legendary vintage that actually lives up to the hype.

Thought the Yquem was 2014? or was that the different Half bottle, as I am pretty sure I had a 2014…

I didn’t see the label on the Yquem Paul, but I though Rod initially said it was '14 and then corrected it to '13. I could be wrong.

I agree.
We’ve loved it since release.

Great wines and notes. It’s interesting that you are full steam ahead drinking ‘99 reds at the GC level. Folks I typically drink Burg with in New York, myself included and some others on WB, have been very reluctant to touch 1er Cru and GC ‘99 reds. A few weeks ago, I suggested a 20-year horizontal of village wines, and it turns out I’m basically the only one who bought village wines. And people are still inclined to hold PC and GC in favor of both older and younger vintages.

What I can’t tell from your notes is which of these you consider to be young. Considering what you were drinking, maybe all of them?

I don’t see a lot of “bottom” in that list of wines, but I would not argue the conclusion you reached.

Yeah, when you are drinking Leroy, Rousseau and DRC it’s a little odd to use that data set to define a vintage.

Agree. Jeremy needs to go down several notches before he can make vintage claims like that! [pillow-fight.gif]

I am quite sure that Jeremy was basing his assessment of the vintage on a broader sample than was represented in this tasting. I mean, he must occasionally drink like us

Why would he do that?


You funny. [rofl.gif] [bullshit.gif]

I, too, have loved 99. Tasted 99 La Tâche in barrels and it’s still the greatest young red of my life. Had 99 Rousseau CdlR a few months back and loved it. Grand crus aren’t quite ready for my taste yet but 1er is doing great. Super tasting. Would have loved to have been there. But no cleansing ales? What gives?

Jayson, I consider all of them to still be young, but there wasn’t a wine their that we regretted opening. The Leroy Lavières was perhaps the most advanced but at least a decade away from its apogee. The Lignier CdlR was the least ready but breathed up beautifully in the glass. Balance, depth and perfume were the key attributes to all of the wines.

I bought a lot of and have drunk a lot of Bourgogne and Village wines from '99. The brilliance of these wines is one of the keys to what makes the overall vintage great.