Everyone talks about the vintages that produced the finest wines, and why wouldn’t they? Delicious and quite often worthy of deep time in a cellar, they are the wines enjoyed and spoken of throughout the decades. Then there are the forgotten years, the vintages that saw terrible weather at the worst times, whose wines were all but written off as times passed. The worst years can still produce fantastic wines, when produced by houses that understand how to deal with what their dealt, and come out shining regardless of the conditions.
This series will be dealing with the vintages in Burgundy of fame, and infamy, with the best producers for that year – enjoy!
Some years serve as a textbook example of having too much widely varied weather, where the producers just happen to pull out a near-miracle. So while the world was still reeling from the lack of a Y2K collapse, Burgundy in the year 2000 managed to pull out some wines that were delicious, if not quite short-lived in the aging process.
Following a warmer winter season (complete with a lack of frost), the spring and summer saw some early flowering with dry heat. The season started to fall apart a bit with cold temps in July, and a whole lot of rain, which of course led to a substantial amount of mildew. Some relief came in a hot august, then a return of cool weather in early September, with mid-September having a return to form. Harvest in central burgundy was interrupted by a series of storms. Overall, harvests where scattered, and while there was considerable rot among the Pinot Noir - which needed very strict selection - the Chardonnay grapes seemed to resist rot better, as many vines were picked before the September rains, creating white wines that had good fruit and adequate acidity. Chablis was spared much of the worst cases in the weather, and produced excellent and typical wines!
Aside from the rollercoaster of weather variatons, a handful of producers had managed to make wines of surprising quality. The top two in 2000 for reds are Bouchard & Fils with their Chambolle-Musigny, and Domaine Romanee-Conti’s Echezeaux, Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, La Tache Grand Cru Monopole, and of course, Richebourg Grand Cru. Best white producers are Michel Colin-Déléger, Marc Colin, Jean Boillot (Volnay), Patrick Javillier, Bonneau du Martray, and Bouchard Père & Fils.
If you were to find one of these wines, hold onto it as a keepsake – they will not be drinkable. If an attempt were made however, make sure you are drinking them at the proper temperature. For whites, 52° is best, with reds rising up a few digits at 56°, and as always, don’t forget the Avintage DIVA line of wine refrigeration cabinets for all your wine storage needs. For more information, visit us at www.frenchcornercellars.com, or call at +1 (833) 839-4637.