2000 white Burgundy

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Chablis produced potentially the best wines of the 90s. Mâconnais well-structured

Weather Conditions

The weather conditions in the Côte de Beaune were the same as for Red Burgundy, with a mild winter and much warmer weather in May and early June, leading to an early flowering. The weather turned in July, and in the Mâconnais the was the wettest and coldest for half a century. The Chardonnay grapes seemed to resist rot better than much Pinot Noir, as many vines were picked before the September rains. Harvesting began early: on 6 September in the Mâconnais, four days later in the Côte de Beaune, but picking did not begin in Chablis until 23 September. Acidity is at roughly the same levels as 1999, but some of the wines may be less long-lived. Much depends on the yields, as this was a large crop. But the wines have good fruit and adequate acidity, and may turn out better than 1997 and 1998.

Best Appellations

The Mâconnais fared better than regions further north, as acidity levels were higher – ironically, as a consequence of the miserable weather in July. Growers who waited in the Mâconnais ended up with very well-structured wines. Chablis was spared some of the worst excesses of the weather, and produced excellent and typical wines, potentially the best wines of the late 1990s. In the Côte de Beaune there are signs that Puligny-Montrachet may be less successful than Chassagne-Montrachet or Meursault, but quality difference between growers may even out such climatic advantages. The wines with lower acidity will drink well in their youth, but the best wines should age well.

Best Producers

CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET: Michel Colin-Déléger; Richard Fontaine-Gagnard; Jean-Noël Gagnard; Château de la Maltroye; Jean & Jean-Marc Pillot; Ramonet.

SAINT-AUBIN: Marc Colin; Hubert Lamy.

PULIGNY-MONTRACHET: Jean Boillot (Volnay); Jean-Marc Boillot (Pommard); Louis Carillon; Leflaive; Paul Pernot; Étienne Sauzet.

MEURSAULT: Coche-Dury; Patrick Javillier; Rémi Jobard; Lafon; Latour-Giraud; Pierre Morey; Guy Roulot.

CORTON: Bonneau du Martray.

MERCHANTS: Bouchard Père & Fils; Drouhin; Vincent Girardin; Jadot; Olivier Leflaive Frères; Morey-Blanc.

How the vintage compares

Burgundy expert Clive Coates MW said “Despite the fact that the majority of Chablis is over-produced, picked by machine and made to fit into a price-point (all of which hardly encourages a perfectionist approach), 2000 is a fine vintage. The wines of the stellar domaines, those that can be sold at a premium, are very fine: rich, steely and profound, requiring several years of bottle age. Here 2000 is at its best.”

“This is the best year in Chablis for some time. The vintage is also successful in the Côte de Beaune, despite the rain, having benefited from the fact that most growers had to rush out and pick their thinner-skinned Pinots, for they were susceptible to rot, as Vincent Girardin pointed out.”

“The wines are fullish, ripe, balanced and attractive. They have more to them than the 1997s and 1998s. Whether they are better than the richer, more textured 1999s is a question of opinion. Most growers marginally prefer their 1999s except those in Corton-Charlemagne. ‘My best wine since the 1995,’ says Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Morinière of Domaine Bonneau du Martray.”

“Nonetheless 2000 is a fine vintage here.1999 was also a lovely vintage in the Côte Chalonnaise – where the whites come mainly from Rully and Montagny – and whether 2000 is superior varies from cellar to cellar, wine to wine. Prices are stable. In fact, given inflation they have been very stable throughout a decade of good vintages (not, sadly, something you can say for Bordeaux).”

“This makes the whites an attractive buy. Whether you should buy red Burgundy depends on individual circumstances. It depends what else you will have in 2005 or so to drink while you wait for your 1999s, 1998s, 1996s, 1995s, 1993s and even some 1990s to fully mature. If you intend to buy 2000 reds, stick to the Côte de Nuits and the Côte Chalonnaise.”