Representing more vintage as the terroir, with yields greatly reduced by the atypical conditions, quantities of the top wines are even more scarce than usual. I Think low entry red Burgundy’s in the hands of the better producers, can be quite good, at least for the short term. They’re not as bad as 2003 white Burgundies.
Today from a big Burgundy négociant house a 2003 Joseph Drouhin Côte de Nuits Villages; Black-fruit and spice aromas, soft ample palate with fairly low tannin; fresh, round, and upfront. Complete, well balanced, ready now and a great value!
I think there is a vintage character…from the heat and drought conditions, that dominates every wine I’ve had from the vintage. The effect is that the alcohol is what’s left on the finishes of most of them. I had/opened a 2003 Savigny-les-Beaune recently…that fit right into this…and it was from a producer who, I know, took great pains to keep the raisins out of the mix, by buying a special sorting table from Bordeaux that dropped out any small/raisined grapes…
If you don’t like the character (and I don’t)…it’s a problem, as there is no chance it will really change…ever. So, I don’t think they can be “quite good” to my criteria…in the long or short term. Will they last? Maybe…as alcohol can be a preservative.
A 2003 Clerget Volnay Caillerets last week was open, not overly ripe, and ready to drink. And at $50 in a wine store in Paris, a great deal. I only have a few bottles of the vintage mostly due to all the early negative reviews. Last year the Clos de Tart was juicy and ripe and good, but I’m waiting on the La Tache.
The “problem” with 2003 for me is not “overripeness”, but a roasted character I found in almost every wine…from the heat and drought conditions. Many have a lack of balancing acidity because the vines shut down under the drought conditions. Many, particularly the better wines, were acidified by the winemakers, which is very difficult to do artfully.
Since I don’t like that roasted character, at all…and since I don’t like wines that have mainly alcohol on the finish, I don’t like 2003. I also think it has nowhere good to go…though it might last in many cases, since alcohol is a good preservative. But, IMO, it will never lose its strong vintage character…
Opened a 2003 Lambrays Clos a couple weeks ago and was really happy with it. Most of us at dinner expected a warm, overly juicy fruit without the minerality that Lambrays can have. It was, however, nicely balanced and drinking well.
Stewart, could you please so kind as to provide a list of the 2003’s you have had in the last 6-12 months? This would help place your comments into a context as the other posters have been specific in their replies whereas your response is very general and high level.
Brody, The only one I’ve had in the past 6 months is Patrice Rion’s Savigny-les-Beaune.
I’m not talking about how they’re doing recently, though…I realize the thread is about current drinking. The one I drank last fall was very much in the character I’ve described. I bought a few of them because I thought that they were least objectionable among those available…and I did not want to spend “big” money on a vintage I did not like.
I am talking “in general” about the vintage…not about specific wines or how they might be doing at 9+ years old. My opinions on the vintage character were formed during a week long visit to Burgundy in 2004 and another in 2007, where I tasted lots of 2003s…and bought less than a case total.