TN: 1999 Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru En Remilly

Let me begin again. I bought a noticeable amount of Michel Colin Deleger from 1996 though 2001. I liked the wines on release, so on the principle that if you like them young, you have a good chance of liking them older, i bought. And C-D has been hit pretty hard my the premox bug. What this means is that I’ve been tending to open and drink the wines sooner versus later - if the choice is between drinking a wine beofre peak or letting it die… I’ll drink it.

Fast-forward to tonight. A simple Monday meal. Some lightly smoked steelhead, fresh corn on the cob, sourdough bread. I saw this wine and hesitated… it’s not ready if it’s good. But, give the history… I opened it. And it’s not premoxed. But it’s also not close to ready.

Pale golden color, tightly wound nose of pear and other white fruits. Nicely balanced with the acids here, the fruit is a bit reticent. Will air coax it out? Well, not so far. 30 minutes into it, the fruit has actually retreated. It’s not taking on the chracteristics of premox - it’s just too damn young. I’ll let this open a bit and update this note if things change, but thanks, premox, instead of wasting a bottle by letting it go bad, I pretty much wasted one that should have gone longer. Sigh…

Posted from CellarTracker

99 whites aren’t exactly babies. You dodged a bullet and got the wine on the way up–good for you.

Yeah, I know… it’s just such a crapshoot. FWIW, the wine is slightly more open and giving now. There’s a little white pepper and some more fruit. I’m putting the rest in a clean 375 and we’ll see what it’s like tomorrow.

If it’s premoxed, you’re not going to drink the bottle, right? So why not let any bottles of 2002 and earlier (prob 2004 and earlier) age as you normally would have if the pox doesn’t exist. Otherwise, you get squeezed from both ends–the wine is either prematurely advanced, or it’s too young. With some wines too young is ok, but with others, it can be really disappointing to miss what you bought the wine for in the first place.

I think the idea that you should drink all your wines early to avoid premox is misguided. I most cases, only a portion of the bottles are affected, and the others generally will be fine. (yet for many wines 1999 doesn’t seem like it should be all that early).

My own experience of this producer has been way more than half of the post 96 bottles are oxidised. Disaster area! You lucked out.


The only problem with that is that, if the bottles aren’t dead now, I’m letting some pleasure go to zero pleasure. For wines where they’re either 1) already premoxed or 2) never going to premox I agree with you. But some wines fall into camp 3 - they will premox but have not yet done so. To me, it seems better to drink those. And I’ve had such bad luck with C-D, that I suspect many of the wines fall into camp 3 for me.

I really liked this producers “en Remilly” and in the mid to late 90’s I bought and consumed a bunch with pleasure.

But alas, this producer has been bad for me in the premox dept. A real shame.

Does anybody still buy this producer to cellar (in its new incarnations) anymore?

Rick, I drink a fair amount of white Burgundy over the course of the year, but have changed my practice of letting them age for long periods in my cellar.
I’m drinking them early. Depending upon whether they are villages wines, ier Cru’s or Grand Cru’s, dictates the drinking window. Anything in a villages level are drunk up within three to four years of the vintage, while the 1er Cru’s run another year or so. The Grand Cru’s, which I used to leave for 10 to 15 years, are now drunk up before their 8th year. So far those drinking windows have held up. I might not hit the peak of potential but I don’t suffer the losses either.

I continue to buy white Burgundies.

Hank [cheers.gif]

Lucky man! I drained a six-pack of 1999 Colin-D Chevalier 2 years ago - yes, one after the other - all totally shot. That was in London. Never moved from there.


I buy zero white Burg. None. Not to age, not to drink young. They screwed me and I’m holding thousands of dollars of ruined wine. There’s not a chance in hell I’m giving them more of my money. “Fool me once, shame on you…”


I can see your method, but to me, GC and most 1er cru Burgs that have to be consumed so quickly aren’t a good bang for the buck. I’ve rarely thought that I get the extra value from a high end wine (vs a lower end wine of the same region) until they are early on in maturity. Put another way, A Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc gives a noticeable fraction of the pleasure of the Clavoillon if both are drunk within 5 years so why should I pay the 1er cru premium?

More bluntly, I’m not spending $1-200 for a wine that might well be flawed if I let it age at anything close to a reasonable profile. I have enough wine, white and red, that I don’t need short term agers. That, and I use the occasions when I drink young wine to explore new regions and producers.

Nigel… I feel that pain. Very acutely.

An update - after a night in the fridge in a 375 this is marginally more open, showing some fruit and spice. It’s not radically changed and if you don’t like acid in your wine you’d hate this (it’s a bit balanced to the acid vs the fruit) but hey, it’s not premoxed.

Never had the best of luck with Colin-Deleger. Generally the wines don’t have the extract I’d like to see in 1er Cru. But I don’t have recent experience - my data is pre 2000 vintage.

Had a Sauzet Montrachet last week from 1996. A real bust as expected. [swearing.gif] Highly oxidized, perhaps on the stale caramel side and could not be enjoyed. Tasted in 1999 with some promise but also some suspicions that I noted.

Yeah I had a couple of 99 Sauzets that were busts, but a 99 Le Montrachet was amazing. I hate the not knowing.

I still have some 96 and 00 Colin Deleger left in my cellar. Once in a while I hit a good bottle but usually not. Very depressing.

I keep hoping that someone in the distribution chain or the domaine is going to be a mensch, take responsibility and offer some form of restitution. Not holding my breath though.