2000 red Burgundy

drink soon

Low acidity suggests a vintage for relatively early consumption. Quality will depend on strict selection

Weather Conditions

After a mild winter and frost-free spring, May and June were dry and warm, giving an early flowering. But a cold stormy July led to mildew and other problems, which were largely cured by a hot August. Early September was cool again, but by 13 September fine weather had returned. Storms interrupted the harvest in the Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise. There was considerable rot among the Pinot Noir, and strict selection was essential. Harvesting began on 6 September in the Mâconnais, on 11 September for the Côte de Beaune, and on 13 September for the Côte de Nuits, except for Grands Crus, which were picked from 15 September onwards.

Best Appellations

By and large the Côte de Nuits fared best, with some wines potentially the equal of 1999. Low acidity levels suggest this will be a vintage for relatively early consumption. The crop level was high, so green-harvesting was widespread among quality-conscious producers. At the Clos des Lambrays in Morey-St Denis, about 15 percent of the crop was rejected. Hail damage in Savigny will have reduced the crop from that village, and in the Côte de Beaune as a whole rot incidence varied from 10 to 40 percent. Ultimately, quality will also depend on the strictness of the selection in the vineyard and winery.

Best Producers

While there are some very good results in the Côte de Beaune from e.g. the Marquis d’Angerville and Michel Lafarge (both Volnay) and in Savigny-Lès-Beaune (e.g. Jean-Marc Pavelot) we recommend that you concentrate on the Côte de Nuits.

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES: Robert Chevillon; J.J. Confuron; Henri Gouges.

VOSNE-ROMANÉE: Sylvain Cathiard; René Engel; Jean Grivot; Anne Gros; Gros Frère & Soeur; Méo-Camuzet; Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY: Ghislaine Barthod; Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier; Georges Roumier; Comte Georges de Vogüé.

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS: Hubert Lignier; Lignier-Michelot; Perrot-Minot; Ponsot; Clos de Tart.

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN: Denis Bachelet; Bruno Clair (Marsannay); Claude Dugat; Dugat-Py; Fourrier; Humbert Frères; Denis Mortet; Armand Rousseau.

MERCHANTS: Bouchard Père & Fils; Drouhin; Faiveley; Vincent Girardin; Jadot; Dominique Laurent; Nicolas Potel.

‘A difficult year for winemakers’

Burgundy expert Clive Coates said “For those who had not controlled the size of their crop, and who felt the full force of the September rain, the 2000 vintage was a disaster. The crop would not have been fully ripe. The outset of rot would have been swift. Even where the harvest had been restrained, and sugar degrees were satisfactory, the fruit was phenolically unripe. Colours were difficult to extract. Flavours were lacking.”

“It was as crucial to sort out the ripe from the rotten and unripe (triage) as to bleed off excess juice (saignée) to obtain a more satisfactory solid-to-liquid ratio. It was a difficult year for winemakers. In the Côte d’Or the vintage gets progressively better as one travels from south to north. Volnays and Pommards are better than Santenays, Savignys proportionately better still. In the Côte de Nuits there is yet more success, with Gevrey-Chambertin the best village of all.”

“The best wines are fresh and fruity, soft centred and will evolve in the medium term. As one climbs the hierarchy from village to grand cru the wines get proportionately better.”

“‘I call it a vintage without problems,’ says Christian Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges (meaning no problem for the consumer to enjoy). It is a vin de plaisir. Yet the wines are true to their terroir.’ François Millet, the usually restrained winemaker at the Comte Georges de Vogüé domaine, is more enthusiastic. ‘We have a confit of fruit,’ he says. ‘The wines are sensual, yet with no lack of structure and tannin.'”

“What is obvious is that the vintage has improved. ‘At first,’ says Aubert de Villaine of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, ‘I regarded 2000 as a 1992-plus, possibly a little fragile. But they aren’t thin at all, as we feared.’ I think the wines in the Côte de Nuits are more interesting than the 1997s. As Christophe Roumier of the Georges Roumier Domaine points out, the 2000s have less alcohol than the 1997s but are fresher. The wines have aged less rapidly in barrel and may last better in bottle.”