TN: 2000 Bordeaux Blind

WCC 2000 BORDEAUX BLIND - Dorato’s Resturant, Guilderland, NY (10/3/2013)

My regular Albany area group met for a blind tasting of 2000 Bordeaux. The first flight made up of Margaux and Cali ringers was nice, while the 3rd flight of St. Juliens was lovely. The 2nd flight of Pauillacs was surprisingly backward. I never had any 2000s show like this before. Quite interesting if less enjoyable.

Photos and more details here:

Flight 1: Wines from Margaux and California
Someone bringing another Margaux canceled late, so Bob inserted a 2nd California ringer. The Phelps stood out as very Californian. With Raghu of Escargot, White Beans, & Mushrooms.

  • 2000 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley
    [Double decanted at 1pm.] Big, ripe black berries with licorice and cardamom in the nose. Thick, tannic, ripe, and juicy. Once I found it it was a 2000 from Napa, I was quite impressed. Should drink well for another decade. (91 pts.)
  • 2000 Château du Tertre - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Decanted at 3:30pm, then back in the bottle at 5pm.] Black plums and tobacco in the nose. Silky, long and delicious. A terrific wine to drink tonight. Long finish. Excellent. My #2 and group #2 WOTN. (93 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Giscours - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double decanted at 5:30pm.] Metallic nose of wet stones. Green in the mouth. A bit corked or a bad wine? (84 pts.)
  • 2000 Joseph Phelps Insignia - USA, California, Napa Valley
    [Double decanted at 1pm.] More flamboyant and fruit-forward nose. Silky and soft in the mouth. Appealing but short compared to 2 (2000 du Tertre). This ringer didn’t fool anyone. Lots of folks guessed it was from California. Tied for #3 Group WOTN. (92 pts.)

Flight 2: Wines from Pauillac
All but the PLL were quite backward, not giving much pleasure at this point. With Pâté de Foie Gras on Garlic French Toast, with Arugula and Balsamic. That last part was not surprisingly bad for the wine.

  • 2000 Château Haut-Batailley - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    [Double decanted at 5:15 pm for 45 minutes.] Dark smoky nose. Sour black cherry in the mouth. Tart and tannic. Really shut down. Will it come around? I think so. Will be good, not great. (88 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    [Double decanted at 8am.] Muted smoky nose. Tart, but more balanced than the previous. Needs more time. Really tight and backward now. May be quite a bit better in 8-12 years. (90 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    [Double decanted at 8am.] Geez, what happened to this flight? I can’t believe how much these 2000 Bordeaux have shut down. This one is giving up nothing. (89 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    [Double decanted at 7am.] Sweeter and longer than the previous wines in the flight. Showing better but still tight. (91 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    [Double decanted at 7am.] Much more open than the rest of this flight. Almost showy relative to those. Easily WOTF for me, but it’s the one-eyed wine in the land of the blind. Coming back to it later, it is really pretty damn good. (93 pts.)

Flight 3: Wines from St. Julien
These showed very well. With Ribeye with Mushroom and Goat Cheese, Bordeaux Reduction Demi-glace, and Duchess Potatoes.

  • 2000 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru) - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    [Decanted at 1pm and put back in the bottle at 6pm.] Sweet red fruit. Quite a relief after the last flight. Good tannic structure but quite drinkable tonight. My #3 WOTN. (93 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    [Decanted at 8am and put back in the bottle at 6pm.] Big smoky nose. Leather and black fruit. Sweet and appealing. (93 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    [Double decanted at 11am.] Smoke and chocolate nose. Interesting but something metallic in the mouth that puts me off. Group WOTN. Go figure.
  • 2000 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    [Double decanted at 11am.] Beautiful on first opening. Next time I might pop and pour, but at 9pm, it is terrific. Complex nose of cedar and smoke. Gorgeous in the mouth with a super long finish of black fruits and licorice. (95 pts.)
  • 2000 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    [Double decanted at 7am.] Short and tannic at first, not showing much. Over time (and with steak) showing much better. Rich black fruit with plenty of tannin and licorice. This is a very serious wine that may eventually rate a much higher score. Tied for group #3 WOTN. (93 pts.)

Another lovely evening, even though some wines were disappointing.

Rank Wine Points
1 12 18
2 2 14
3 4 9
3 14 9
5 13 5
6 1 4
7 3 2
7 11 2
9 7 1
9 9 1
9 10 1

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for the perspective. One note that particularly stands out for me is the Gruaud Larose. Haven’t had it for quite some time but even young the “sweet and appealing” aspect was there.

Nice report. I haven’t been a Bordeaux buyer since the 1990 vintage, but for some reason I bought 2000. The vintage seems to have accumulated detractors, but my own feeling is that it just needs more time. Did you get the feeling that the showing would be more uniformly better in 3-5 years?

Thanks for the notes, Ken. I’m with John, that 2000 is supposed to need a bit more time yet, to my understanding, so I’m holding what few I have, but these notes would speak otherwise.

Very useful report Ken. I went long on 2000 and sold the cherries when prices went crazy, but I kept a lot of the wines you just drank. I agree that many need more time, but I like 'em old. Lynch should come around.

Exactly what I did. Glad to have a bunch of the cheaper things left. Actually, I had the 2000 Charmail over the last two days and it was drinking beautifully. Interesting report on Du Tertre, which was too green for me on release is drinking so well now. I’ll have to try one soon.

Ken, what was the format? Did all the tasters know heading into each flight which specific wines were included, or did you know only what wines were being tasted sometime during the course of the evening?

THanks for the notes. I think it will be a great vintage but still in need of more time. I am still holding most of mine.

The wines were blind. Specifically, the theme was 2000 Bordeaux and we each knew the bottle we brought, but nothing about the order (except the one guy who ordered them). We also knew their could be a ringer of any kind, e.g. many of us guessed that the Phelps was Cali Cab.

This is one of those critically-acclaimed vintages that I happened to have missed (new kid, work position, wife quiting work, yada yada), and have continously debated backfilling now. However, there appear to be so many conflicting data points on the quality. While you have scored some of the wines in a 93 range and one at 95 - fine ratings indeed - at the current price point, I have to pass.

MarcF popped 2000 Pichon Lalande for me a year or so ago, and it was fantastic. I popped a 2000 Troplong Mondotte last year as well, and it was like motor oil. A 2000 Lafite I shared with a friend a couple months ago was gorgeous, world-class (but way way way outside my ability to afford).

Thanks for these notes, Ken.

Based on my only experience with the '00 Du Tertre, I’m surprised it was so well-received at this meal — I would have thought it’d be just starting to fall off from its peak now; sounds like that was not-at-all the case with the bottle tasted at this event.

I very much agree with you re: '00 Leoville Barton: amazing wine, and still very primary. If I were lucky enough to have any in my cellar, I’d probably be holding for another 10 years.

And the '00 Pichon Baron: man, what a wine! I probably like it a lot more than you, however.

Why were you impressed with the Montelena only after you found it to be a 2000 Napa? Did Napa have a bad vintage in 2000? That certainly seems a very appropriate ringer for this tasting.

Did the 3 wines that are not listed in the votes tabulation not receive any votes? If “yes,” consider me amazed the PB didn’t garner a single vote!

btw, the parentheses around “not surprisingly” on your webpage answered my question about that clause; as it’s currently written here, on WB, it could go either way, depending on what the word “not” is modifying.

Fun tasting, and nice report.

98 and 2000 were not well received napa vintages though fine wines can be found in both.

I had a du Tertre and Lynch Bages in the past 12 months. They were exactly as you describe; Du tertre was gorgeous bt the Lynch Bages did not show much at all. Had Bechevelle that looked great; langoa Barton was a bit of a miss…

I think some wines are open and others quite shut. I would give them another 5-6 years to open up.

Montelena scored in 98. I am not a 2000 Napa fan so when somebody offered to trade their 1999 Montebello plus $10 per bottle for my 00 Montelena I struck immediately.

I am a dissenter on the 2000 Bordeaux style. I did not buy very deep due to the original cost and a style that I perceived as ripe and slightly sweet. I am opening some 2000 mid level Clarets now and they pair very well with homemade Umami flavor stirfries with a low spice level, but on their own I am less enthused.

I have half a case of untouched 2000 Rauzan Segla and hope to enjoy them down the road when the tannins fully integrate.

happy to have two of the leoville barton in the cellar

I’ve had a lot of the wines that Ken tasted and for the most part his notes are similar to mine with the exception of the Lynch Bages. It’s been over a year but the last time I had the LB it was showing very well and wasn’t close to shutting down.

With any wine your mileage may vary.

Super thanks for tasting. Own most of the wines above so very useful reference point and nice to see Gruaud and Barton do so well, as I have a case of each. Did a vertical of GPL last weekend at Merano Wine Festival and the 2000 does need more time. Not nearly as much more time as the 2005. For some perspective, the 1995 was absolutely delicious but tasted far less expressive when tasted again, after tasting the 1978! So keep in mind that these are Bordeaux and that they do shut down indeed… Too bad for the Giscours. Must have been an off bottle.

IMHO I wouldn’t touch 2000 Pauillac for a few more years, even at the low-end… had a d’Armailhac the other day that was just managing to open its eyes but not much more. A GPL two years ago was in deep-freeze.

I’ve got one, drinking windows in CT suggest it is about ready, or very soon

Not sure about d’Armailhac but GPL could sleep more in the cellar. Based on tasting this past weekend with Emeline Borie of the chateau.