Red burg vintages in the last ten years and 06/07/08

As some of you might know (or have noticed), I’ve been traveling for 18 months already, touching base only very infrequently with friends and the whole wine community in France, therefore I have to admit I have not been paying attention to the last few vintages as much as I should have. I’ll start by recapping what I remember from the red burg vintages starting with 1999, and go fish for information about the recent ones. Of course as can only be the case when whole vintages are characterised, there’s going to be some generalisations and what not.

  • 1999 - a classic vintage in virtually all villages, touted as the best of the last decade with 2005. Not sure there’s really much more to say about this.
  • 2000 - not sure about CdB (not my strength) but in CdN the wines are often seen as being more supple than in other vintages, meaning they should be approachable earlier than usual. I have found this to be right as far as regional or village wines are concerned - on the basis that I’m the kind of guy who will wait 6-8 years for Bourgogne and 10+ years for villages. But I still see no reason to hurry through them. With 1ers and GC I have not found 2000 particularly approachable early, e.g. a 2000 Roumier BM was just as tight, dense, and in its infancy that one could expect - and right up there as far as quality is concerned. Same for e.g. his Amoureuses.
  • 2001 - again not sure about CdB, in CdN seen as a classic vintage, straight, pure, good expression of terroir and nice potential for aging. I haven’t really found a reason not to be a big fan of the 2001 from the CdN
  • 2002 - considered to be stronger in CdB than CdN, although I have a soft spot for the plush quality that the CdN showed (plush in the context of Burgundy, obviously). Not sure how others feel about this - I’d say I take a lot of pleasure drinking those but since it’s pretty much true of all vintages I guess it won’t really help!
  • 2003 - the most controversial vintage of the decade for sure, the heat wave didn’t get along very well with the nature of Burgundy in general. Are they too rich, too “jammy”, imbalanced? Are they burgs not for Burg lovers? Tough to say, to each his own and all that. There are definitely some wines I didn’t like too much, but since I buy the same stuff year in and year out I’ll wait it out.
  • 2004 - another vintage where I didn’t follow CdB too much, CdN was decent but with the green problem popping here and there about as randomly as premox… ah well… from Roumier I liked the Bourgogne and Chambolle I had so far, but the Cras was really marked by the green streak. Another vintage where crossing fingers will be crucial.
  • 2005 - great vintage across the board, somewhere between greatest of the decade and one of the greatest ever… it’s true the wines have this “air of perfection” about them (expressed in the typical paradox of richness and purity) - there’s just so much consensus on this vintage that it’s not even fun. Will be remembered as the vintage when the trophy wines prices really went through the roof. The Musigny at Mugnier was spectacular, too bad there’s none in my cellar, especially since half the buyers won’t be in a position to taste it before this wine comes around (sorry guys, couldn’t help it :smiley:)
  • 2006 - ??? I visited my usual producers but at this point I know I will like what they put in the bottle so it doesn’t really help me with the big picture… any info welcome. I liked what I tried - the Gevrey at M-G was great, among others.
  • 2007 - ??? pretty much the same as 2006 except I had only one day in Burgundy and therefore went only to Roumier and Mugneret-Gibourg - great wines as usual, not enough to form my own idea of the vintage. I came in without any preconception and was more than pleasantly surprised. I will like these wines a lot.
  • 2008 - ok here we’re all going out on a limb since nobody has tasted them yet for sure. I should have more time come the fall to go and organise some visits. In the meanwhile any early reports about the growing season, harvest, weather… ?

Your turn.

Some streams of consciousness from me:

Like the CdN '99s a lot and have gone through many. I also enjoy many '99 Chassagne and Puligny, but, generally, structure could be better.

2000 > - not sure about CdB (not my strength) but in CdN the wines are often seen as being more supple than in other vintages, meaning they should be approachable earlier than usual. I have found this to be right as far as regional or village wines are concerned - on the basis that I’m the kind of guy who will wait 6-8 years for Bourgogne and 10+ years for villages. But I still see no reason to hurry through them. With 1ers and GC I have not found 2000 particularly approachable early, e.g. a 2000 Roumier BM was just as tight, dense, and in its infancy that one could expect - and right up there as far as quality is concerned. Same for e.g. his Amoureuses.

Very disappointed with Armand’s '00 Clos des Epeneaux; JJ Confuron’s Clos Vougeot ok, cherries a bit tart, but pretty good.

b]2001[/b] - again not sure about CdB, in CdN seen as a classic vintage, straight, pure, good expression of terroir and nice potential for aging. I haven’t really found a reason not to be a big fan of the 2001 from the CdN

Generally quite pleased with those I’ve had from Chassagne and Puligny. I really like Daniel Rion’s "01 Clos Vougeot.

2002 > - considered to be stronger in CdB than CdN, although I have a soft spot for the plush quality that the CdN showed (plush in the context of Burgundy, obviously). Not sure how others feel about this - I’d say I take a lot of pleasure drinking those but since it’s pretty much true of all vintages I guess it won’t really help!

Niellon’s '02 Chassagnes very nice. Had some nice reds from Anne Gros and Hudelot-Noëllat, among others.

2003 > - the most controversial vintage of the decade for sure, the heat wave didn’t get along very well with the nature of Burgundy in general. Are they too rich, too “jammy”, imbalanced? Are they burgs not for Burg lovers? Tough to say, to each his own and all that. There are definitely some wines I didn’t like too much, but since I buy the same stuff year in and year out I’ll wait it out.

I’ve tried out a few, mostly too jammy and lacking in balance as you noted. The 2003 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Champeaux is virtually New World (but still enjoyable in a shallow sort of way). Same goes for Boillot’s Volnay.

2004 > - another vintage where I didn’t follow CdB too much, CdN was decent but with the green problem popping here and there about as randomly as premox… ah well… from Roumier I liked the Bourgogne and Chambolle I had so far, but the Cras was really marked by the green streak. Another vintage where crossing fingers will be crucial.

Haven’t tried any '04 reds. Not that I recall anyway. Great Chablis though.

2005 > - great vintage across the board, somewhere between greatest of the decade and one of the greatest ever… it’s true the wines have this “air of perfection” about them (expressed in the typical paradox of richness and purity) - there’s just so much consensus on this vintage that it’s not even fun. Will be remembered as the vintage when the trophy wines prices really went through the rough.

Haven’t tried any '05 reds for sure.

2006 > - ??? I visited my usual producers but at this point I know I will like what they put in the bottle so it doesn’t really help me with the big picture… any info welcome.

Barrel tasted with Anne Gros and at Daniel Rion. Very impressed. Laurent Tribut had some very nice Chablis.

Haven’t had any '07s or 08s - red or white.

I had an 06 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Boudriotte (white) the other night and it was fresh, lively and drinking very well. While I would expect that it will age well, that experience confirms what I’ve been reading, that the 06s should drink well now, as you let hte 05s sleep.

EDIT - I know that this is a red thread, but I’ve only had the 06 white variety thus far. So this is more a FWIW.

This succession of vintages is the first that I have seen from their inception, and it’s been most interesting to follow them. As usual I have had my first impressions proved to be entirely mistaken, but in my defence that’s largely because I used to assume that it was sensible to take seriously the views of journalists (not that I have anything but respect for specialists like Kolm and Coates, but ‘general’ wine journalists have been just way off the mark). My perspective in general has become that we really, really should wait for these wines in order for them to deliver the excitement and complexity of which they are capable, even ignoring vintage. I’m increasingly baffled by those who are happy to drink them as fruit drinks just because they can perform that function, but each to their own-studying the history of burgundy consumption it’s absolutely clear that the wines have always been enjoyed young and that aged bottles were comparatively rare.
My brief and worthless current thoughts on these vintages, always bearing in mind that vintage is the least important variable in burgundy-
Most 99s are evolving at a glacial pace, many still showing the colours and characteristics of cask samples. Some wines are starting to be drinkable but except-and even sometimes at-bourgogne level it is rather a shame since even village wines promise to be beautiful twenty year olds.
I was wrong about 2000, thinking that the wines ought to be drunk young-many were both dull and obnoxious in this phase and wines such as S. Esmonin and Bachelet VV are only now starting to be good. Where I’ve found this vintage exciting is at grand cru level where vineyards that normally require 20 plus years of ageing actually started to deliver real GC experiences at age 7 or so, which is exciting because in general drinking GCs with youthful fruit is usually a waste of time whereas here real dimension is often perceptible.
I did have the feeling from the beginning that 01 was going to be good, but I’m still surprised by what a sensational Cote de Nuits vintage it’s turned out to be. In my recent experience they are in general to be left for a long time now, though not as long as 99.
02 does seem to me very much a Cote De Beaune vintage-I’ve never been able to get much of a handle on many wines from the Cote de Nuits many of which still seem quite obnoxiously and boringly fruity but it could very well be that I just need to wait for them to close properly and then reopen.
03 I’ve no idea-my best guess is that some will be great old wines but that none will be great old burgundy. I do not enjoy them currently, needing a little air in my wine.
In 04 the good growers on both Cotes made some sensational wines for which I have high hopes notwithstanding the tremendous fuss about the peculiar vintage characteristic which some think is caused by ladybird excretions. I have had some wines from 96 and 97, and one recently from 01, that appear to have shown this and later resolved but I seem to be in a minority of one here. We shall see.
05 is the most hyped vintage ever. I am sceptical that it is so much superior to other good vintages, but I am pretty sure that the wines will take a great deal of time to come around, during which people who only bought this vintage will give up, not understanding the ageing trajectory of burgundy and being given remarkably little help by printed sources.
06 is clearly an excellent vintage all over that will become very popular once the prices don’t seem so high.
07 is of very much less substance but I expect to be surprised by many wines down the line though prices are currently silly.

what a great decade (so far) for red Burgs. I’m out of the hunt after 05, but will still taste the occasional young wine. I’m hoping that the incredible density of 05 won’t blur/hide the terroir; I’ll know in 20 years. I’m pleased with 00’s showing currently and wish I had bought more 01s and less 03s, though the latter could surprise to the upside in a decade or 3.
alan

I’ve liked some of Dom. Laurent’s 2000s, incl. the Beze and Vougeot. Really am digging 01s right now, everything from Rousseau to Maume to Pavelot.

I have yet to taste an 06 (other than the Grivot VR) that is bad - and I need to start tracking down 07s as they trickle into the US. Not pinot, but had the 07 JM Burgaud Morgon Friday night and it was beautiful.

Guillaume,

Nicos and I visited a few producers a month or so ago and tasted through several 2003, 2006, and 2007 wines … as detailed here:

http://www.wineberserkers.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4417" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Alex

Ultimately I think 10 years out is the best time to paint the vintage picture, so '99 is at that stage now the rest will be all my impressions.

'99 - Young still. But glorious and maybe less-fruited than 2005’s, but lovely acids and much much more development to come.
'00 - I really liked them early on. Then came a dull phase but within last three years as Tom said, GC’s are drinking great. Classic burgs, very pretty, not stuffed. A great vintage to dig into if you want the GC and great 1er experience for short change.
'01 - A vintage that was difficult to assess young. But time was a friend to the 2001’s. Especially in the CDN where I think it might actually be better than 2002’s. CDB was problematic with the hail but in some areas good wine was made. Really pick your vineyards and producers in CDB in 2001 but if the reserach is done, some great wines can be had. Great acids, terroir up the wazoo and tremendous structure for aging. Not as intensely fruited as '03, '02, '99 or '05 but just a different style and right up there.
'02 - Interesting vintage. CDN was glorious out of the gates. I remember really loving the fruit in the 02 CDN’s. But for me this has always been a CDB vintage with amazing Volnays and Pommards. Structured very elegant wines with lots of stuffing. CDN wines as Tom said evolved so far into a dull phase but I think it is an appellation by appellation examination vintage at this point for the CDN. Vosne and Gevrey being very strong with Chambolle a bit behind. CDB’s are drinking well now but the CDN’s are closing.
'03 - For whites just drek. Reds mostly, hot, alcoholic wines that I did not care for. The one sweet spot was Volnay and Pommard as the extra heat did them a bit of good. Comte Armand and Lafarge come to mind with strong efforts, especially the higher up the qualitative ladder you go. I like acid so for me a pass and some of the fruit is roasted. I see these wines getting more dull with time and not the heralded 50+ year vintage some people claim.
'04 - The greenies are there but not everwhere. The patter reminds me of pre-mox. So random and variable to the point it might be a pass for most people. Seems even all around qualitatively the CDN and the CDB with stronger wines being made the more north you go in the CDN. Really like Rousseau and Fourrier. Mugneret-Gibourg very good but some greenies though. A vintage to really put away for five years and evaluate on at the ten year point in 2014.
'05 - Love it. Love it. Love it. Hyped beyond all it is? Sure. But isn’t everything that is remotely good these days anyway because of the communication-social-media world we live in? Throwing that out the window, the vintage rips. Amazingly fruited, tons of structure, awesome from the bottom up and long-agers, especially 1er and GC’s. What’s not to love. Closing down in some cases now but some have such mega-material that they won’t close for years, but when they do, will close hard. People seems to have bought tons of these. Open them and provide tasting notes!
'06 - The new '01. They keep getting better and better. From tasting them out of barrel and bottle in 2008 to now they are putting on weight and have a great terroir-stamp now. Lovely acidities and great perfumes. They will age in a classical style. Not forever but def. 5-8 for village, 10-15 for 1er Cru and 20-30 for GC. Just a classic vintage.
'07 - Nice, grapey, elegantly structured wines. I have tasted some but not enough. I nice early drinker. Like 2000 but better quality. I have tasted nothing really diluted and did so in a number of 2000’s. Best for whites since 1996 I think to. Smoking acidity and clarity in these wines from what little I have tasted.
'08’s - Know nothing.

Was 97 a good vintage? I have seen a few bottles locally that I have been tempted to pull the trigger on in the $60 range… Volnay’s if I recall.

Thanks

I do not like '97. Muddied and low-acid but not everybody made bad wine. I would not pull the trigger because of price. I would do a CT note search, google search, snooth search, etc and then make an informed decision. Not worth spending $60 on some random Volnay from a maligned vintage (with the exception being Rovani) that could be terrible as the worst '97’s are terrible wines.

What’s wrong with the Grivot VR, P?

Cheers Lyle.
Still trying to find my way in burgundy so it sounds like this would be a bad path for me to start down.

I fully agree regarding the 2001’s. I recently had a Leroy 01 NSG Boudots and it totally blew me away. 01 got overshadowed between '99 and '02. But its really a classic, wonderful vintage that is just beginning to show its stuff.

I am a fan of 99, 01, 02, and 05 and 06. I’ve had some good experiences with 00 and some mediocre, but not enough to really weigh in.

I’ve tasted the 07’s from Fourrier and the 07’s/08’s from d’Angerville and Roumier. I would say that 07 is a pure if lighter vintage, not up to the quality of 06, a bit leaner and more acidic but no bad wines tasted either. 08 looks like it will be a bit better than 07 for reds, a bit more stuffing. d’Angerville and Roumier were 08s were all solid wines.

For whites, 07 looks better and better the more I taste, and 08 not far behind. I’m in for wines to drink in the first 5 years. Not willing to chance long term aging.

Although I don’t have the depth of experience with Burgundy as most of you do, I have HATED virtually all the 2003s I’ve tasted. Too full-bodied and with a velvety texture that I can’t stand. I’m hoping for a miracle regarding the 2003s I own.

own any Comte Armand Pommard Clos des Epeneaux or Lafarge Volnay Clos des Ducs? Or even Lafarge Clos des Chenes. Dem’s some delicious '03’s. I hate the vintage too.

Just an observation from someone new and don’t mean to hijack the thread. I know that scores from wine critics don’t mean much but why do bordeaux wines seem to score higher than burgs? Is this perception incorrect? A lot of 100 points for bordeaux on great vintage years (2000 and 2005) but I can’t seem to recall even one perfect score for burgs.

Differences in the scoring philosophies / scales used by the folks that score the wines.

IMO, this is is due to an era of critics that were primarily Cabernet oriented (much like the $$ volume in the business). Meanwhile the majority of winemakers and sommeliers feel that Burgundy makes the best wines in the world.

Hey Lyle,
It is great to see you posting again. I have a lot of opinions on Burg vintages, but it seems that you nailed all of them above.