Part I – 28 premier crus and grand crus

Part I of our tasting of the 2000 vintage was held on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at Campanile Restaurant. We had twelve very experienced tasters in attendance (all drawn from the same group of guys I regularly taste burgundies with): Ron Movich, Joel Deutsch, Peter Funsten, Michael Zadikian, Robert Thornton, John Brincko, Mike Fitzgerald, Howard Horwitz, David Schacter, Jeff Balash, Jay Perrin (Campanile GM and Wine Director) and me (Don Cornwell).

Each taster brought two bottles, divided into two categories – essentially, one premier cru and one grand cru (or two grand crus) selected from a short list of the top wines of the vintage. We had a total of twenty-seven 2000 burgundies divided into five flights by appellation, all served single blind. Only Campanile Wine Director Jay Perrin knew the order.

Chef Mark Peel of Campanile did an absolutely incredible job of matching up the flights of food with the burgundies and the food was spectacular. Jay Perrin and his colleagues superbly orchestrated the food and wine service for the evening. On to the wines….

Appetizer Flight:
Jamon Serano and Blood Oranges

1990 Veuve Cliquot Grand Dame Magnum
Light gold color; aromas of citrus oil and toast; very bright, lime and chalk flavors; excellent acidity for a 90; citrus and chalky finish. 92

Flight One – Puligny Montrachets (served blind)
Poached Oyster Stew with Braised Bacon and Butter Lettuce

2000 Leflaive Puligny Mon. Les Pucelles
Light yellow color with hints of green; some oak and a little green apple on the aromas; round, attractive green apple flavors; decent fruity finish without a lot of minerality. I was surprised this turned out to be Pucelles because the trademark honeysuckle/sweet basil aromatics weren’t there. Not a great Leflaive Pucelles. (No votes) 91

2000 Sauzet Puligny Mon. Les Combettes
Very light yellow color; lots of white flowers aromas and lighter note of sweet basil that made me and a few other tasters guess Pucelles; pear flavors with good density, reasonably sweet and a long elegant fruity/mineral finish. Impressive 1er. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was a Sauzet when the wines were unbagged. This is the second excellent showing for the 2000 Sauzets. Sure makes me wonder what they did differently in 2000 vs. 1996 and 1999. (No votes) 93

2000 Henri Boillot Puligny Mon. Les Pucelles
Very light yellow with green colored edges; relatively faint white flowers aromas; thinner than the two preceding wines, a little sweet green apple flavor and very good acidity; nice long finish. This wine just seems smaller scaled than the two before it. (No votes) 91

2000 Coche-Dury Puligny Mon. Les Ensigneres
Very light yellow color; some white flowers, pears and subtle oak aromas; relatively rich wine, layered pears and minerals – much greater minerality than the preceding wines and great acidity. Group 9th place: (1/0/0/1/0) 93

2000 Coche-DuryBourgogne Blanc
Thanks to John Brincko, we included this as an unidentified ‘mystery wine’ and included it with the Pulignys based on some comments I’ve heard before that the Bourgogne contains a lot of Puligny. Very light yellow color; some citrus, floral and smoky notes in the aromas; the flavors are quite pleasant, but lighter and thinner than you might think from the aromas; not much of a finish though. (No votes) 90

2000 Sauzet Puligny Mon. Folatieres
Medium gold color, darkest of the flight; green apple and oak aromas; bigger than most of the wines in this flight – slightly sweet green apple and citrus flavors which seem ever so slightly disjointed; a sense of a little more alcohol and body here, but it’s not as enjoyable as the other wines; not much of a finish on this wine either. (No votes) 89

Flight Two –Meursaults (served blind)
Risotto with Mussels, English Peas and Savory

2000 Matrot Meursault Perrieres
Very light yellow color; pear and citrus aromas; light pear and citrus flavors with lots of minerality; very elegant; super long minerally finish. Very impressive showing for the Matrot. My third place wine of the night. Group Tied for 7th: (0/0/2/1/0) 95

2000 Lafon Meursault Perrieres
Light yellow gold color; green apple and pear aromas, relatively soft, slightly flabby pear flavors; but a nice fruit/mineral finish. I was really surprised when this was unbagged because the Lafon MP is normally super, but this was only very good. (0/0/0/0/1) 93

2000 Roulot Meursault Perrieres
Bright, light gold color; green apple aromas; tight green apple and citrus flavors, but it also gives an impression of richness on the mid-palate; long, very minerally finish. Tied for my fifth place wine of the night. Group Tied for 4th: (0/1/1/0/2) 94

2000 Roulot Meursault Charmes
Light to medium gold color; white flowers and green apple aromas; green apple flavors with good acidity and notable degree of texture and cling on the finish. A few tasters liked this a little more than I did. Group tied for 11th: (0/0/1/0/2) 92

2000 Jadot Meursault Perrieres
Very light yellow color; some citrus and pear aromas; very bright citrus with lots of minerality; very good acidity; long minerally finish. The best Jadot MP I can remember tasting. The only Jadot in two 2000 tastings not oxidized or advanced. (No votes) 93

Flight Three – Batard, Bienvenues and Criots-Batard (served blind)
Broiled Lemon Fish on Wild Mushroom Duxelles

2000 Ramonet Batard Montrachet
Very light yellow color; lots of white flowers aromas; the flavors were thin and lacked depth in my view although the finish was elegant, minerally and long. The bottle we had at the 6/18/2007 tasting was far superior. Controversial wine. Group tied for 4th: (0/0/2/1/1) 90

2000 Ramonet Bienvenues Batard Montrachet
Light to medium yellow gold; some white flowers and a hint of honeysuckle (BBM?); sweet pear and tropical fruit flavors; very modest finish. Group tied for 7th:(0/0/1/2/1) 91

2000 Fontaine-Gagnard Batard Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; some white flowers and pears aromas; brilliant pear and minerals flavors with lots of elegance and good acidity; nice long fruity/mineral finish. Tied for my 5th place wine of the night. Group tied for 11th: (0/0/0/2/1) 94

2000 Leflaive Batard Montrachet
Light yellow color; rich floral aromas; very round light pear flavors with some richness but good acidity; nice finish with a degree of the fat and swell of Batard. Group tied for 4th: (0/1/1/1/0) 93

2000 Hubert Lamy Criots Batard Montrachet
Full gold color; sherry aromas and similar sherry flavors – our first oxidized wine. A shame, this wine was absolutely stunning (rated 95) at the 6/18/2007 tasting. (No votes) DQ-oxidized

Flight Four – Corton Charlemagne (Served Blind)
Pan Roasted Quail with pumpkin puree

2000 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne
Very light yellow-green color; pear and apple aromas with some background floral elements; round, rich, relatively forward, pear-apple flavors; long fruity finish with some modest minerality Group 10th: (0/0/2/0/0) 93

2000 Boillot Corton Charlemagne
Medium gold color; pear and apple; some initially odd aromas seem to blow off leaving some green apple and pear notes; forward pear flavors which were charming and matched by good acidity. Except for the slightly advanced color, I would say this should improve. (0/0/0/0/1) 92-advanced

2000 Latour Corton Charlemagne
Advanced gold color; odd toasty aromatics that we agreed were oxidized. (No votes) DQ-oxidized

2000 Jadot Corton Charlemagne
Very deep gold color—obviously oxidized just from the color; lots of sherry—gone. David Schachter brought along a second bottle, but it was also oxidized. DQ-oxidized

Flight Five – Chevalier Montrachet (Served Blind)
Braised Veal Shank on Creamy Polenta with Anchovy Butter

2000 Georges Deleger Chevalier Montrachet
Mature gold color; no sherry on the aromas and I didn’t pick up anything I detected as oxidized; ripe pear, slightly sweet, good acidity; didn’t impress or really exhibit the trademark minerality and this was one of the favorites in the 96 and 99 tastings. We were evenly divided about whether this wine was partially oxidized or not, with six tasters saying it was, and the other six (including me) disagreeing. It did under-perform. (No votes) 90-advanced

2000 Jadot Chevalier Montrachet “Demoiselles”
Fully developed gold color; rich, coconut and brioche aromas; flavors that tasted like sweet corn, cereal and anything but normal white burgundy flavors. By consensus partially oxidized, but drinkable if you wanted to. [N.B. We had another partially oxidized bottle of the “regular” Chevalier at our small 2000 tasting on 6/18/2007.] (No votes) 86-oxidized

2000 Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet “Cabottes”
Color between light and medium gold; a little white flowers, pear and citrus aromas; sweet pear flavors, excellent acidity and a pear and mineral finish. My fourth place wine of the night. Group 3rd: (2/0/1/3/0) 94

2000 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
Color between light and medium gold, slightly brighter than preceding wine (Cabottes); white flowers and lemon/lime aromas; light pear, citrus and mineral flavors with excellent acidity and an incredibly long pear and mineral-driven finish. Wow, must be Leflaive. My first place wine and the overwhelming WOTN for the group. Group 1st : (7/3/0/0/0) 96

2000 Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet
Medium gold color; green apple and some mineral tones in the aromas; surprisingly rich, forward citrus and mineral flavors and decent pear and modest minerals finish. I enjoyed this, but it was a controversial wine. A couple of people thought there was “something slightly off” or “slightly cheesy” in the aromas; others thought the wine was fine. Except that it seemed somewhat more advanced/ready than the Cabottes I thought it was a good wine. (No votes) 92-advanced

2000 Sauzet Chevalier Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; citrus blossom and fresh lime aromas; incredibly tight, bright fresh key lime flavors with loads of minerality; the fruit seemed to swell up on the mid-palate; clear minerally backbone here; very long mineral and citrus finish. My second place wine of the night. Group 2nd: (1/6/0/0/0) 95

2000 Jean-Marc Pillot Chevalier Montrachet
Medium gold color; some white flowers and citrus aromas; lemon, lemon zest and somewhat chalkly flavors with good acidity; the finish has some citrus, and minerals, but most of that minerality is on the chalkier side. When the wine was unbagged, I was surprised by the showing of this wine. Every bottle of 1996, 1999 and 2000 JM Pillot I’ve had previously has been oxidized, including a bottle of 2000 Puligny Caillerets from my own cellar that we had at the 6/18/2007 tasting. A recent 2002 Chevalier was very backward and youthful. Group 13th: (0/0/0/0/2) 93

Dessert course
Roasted Ruji Apple on mascarpone with spiced nuts and apple sauce

1983 Climens
Deep gold color; aromas of raisins and hints of brown sugar; fairly buttery, long sweet finish that seems like it will continue to improve. 92+

And then some after-dinner reds (courtesy of Jay Perrin and Campanile)….

At this point, after tasting 27 wines plus the dessert wine, I was pretty out of it, but Jay had opened four reds for the crew. I quickly sampled two—

2002 Dujac Clos de la Roche
Deep violet red; cherry and earth aromas; forward cherry fruit, very primary with lots of tannin and seemingly some alcohol (which is what I’d had way too much of at this point.) 92+

2005 Dujac Pere & Fils Vosne Romanee Beaumonts
I made no real notes but scored the wine 92+

There were two more wines, a Rousseau Clos St. Jacques and Chauvenet Clos Vougeot, but I didn’t catch what the vintages were and have no recollection of trying them. Perhaps some of the other attendees who are accomplished at spitting and more coherent than I was late in the evening can comment on these wines.

Postscript Statistics and Comments:

Corked= 0/27, or 0% - a new record!
Oxidized= 4/27 15%
Advanced=:3/27 11%
Total Oxidized + Advanced= 7/27 26%

Top 1er of the night: A tie since one voter insisted he couldn’t pick a winner between two wines – Coche-Dury Puligny Ensigneres and Roulot Meursaut Charmes (each with 3 votes). This year's group of 1ers was particulary stellar and the votes were almost equally divided among five wines.

Part II – “Mostly Montrachet” (14 additional wines)

We held Part II of the 2000 White Burgundy Vintage Tasting/Oxidation Check on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at Campanile Restaurant in Los Angeles. (In case you missed them, you will find the notes on 27 1er and grand cru wines from Part I here:

We had eleven tasters for this evening, some of whom traveled a considerable distance to join us: Herwig Janssen, a Squires Board member from Antwerp Belgium (and a member of the new Grand Jury European), John Kapon from New York (proprietor of Acker Merrall), Brian Devine (San Diego), Brian O'Toole (Newport Beach), and several of my regular burgundy tasting cronies: Michael Zadikian, Wes Jennison, Ron Movich, Joel Deutsch, Peter Funsten and John Brincko. The evening was orchestrated by Campanile's GM and Wine Director, Jay Perrin, who as usual, did a splendid job of getting food and wines to arrive on time.

Although everyone knew in advance the list of wines to be tasted, we served all of the wines completely blind. I placed the wines in flights (and tried to mix things up a bit so it wouldn't be predictable) and Jay Perrin then selected the order of the wines within flights. We even voted on our favorites before the wines were unbagged.

Appetizer Flight:

1985 Dom Perignon Champagne
Medium gold color; attractive nectarine and citrus aromas; abundance of bubbles suggested recent disgorgement, but this was not an Enoteque bottling; still relatively youthful, but quite rich, and yet well balanced by acidity and lots of minerality that lingered a long time on the finish along with some fruit. A truly great DP. 95

1986 Alain Robert Fleur de Mesnil Champagne
Light yellow gold color; very modest, fine bubbles; aromas of citrus and minerals; brilliant, citrussy flavors and minerality that just kept coming from everywhere; the finish was incredibly long and minerally. 94

Flight One – (served blind)
Roasted Celery Root Soup with foie gras and
Maine Scallop Tartare with avocado and meyer lemon aioli

2000 Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet
Medium yellow gold color; some pear and green apple aromas; relatively simple pear/green apple flavors but this did have some elegance; long, somewhat minerally finish. My favorite wine of the first flight. Group 6th: (0/1/0/2/1) 92

2000 Girardin Montrachet
Medium yellow gold color; biscuit and apple pastry aromas; sweet pear and green apple flavors but not a lot of depth or dimension to it; sweet green apple flavors with modest minerality. (No votes) 91

2000 Jadot Montrachet
Medium gold color—deepest of the first flight, but not excessively dark; very obvious, or should I say prominent oak, a yeasty smell (“dirty underwear” said one taster) and the oak and yeast pretty much drown out some underlying green apple aromas; some green apple tones on the palate and the wild yeast thing again; okay finish but still showing a little of the oak and yeast thing here. Everyone agrees this wine is seriously flawed but there was a consensus that it wasn’t suffering from premature oxidation [N.B. However, a prior bottle at our 6/18/07 small tasting was partially oxidized.] (No votes) 86-advanced

2000 Marc Colin Montrachet
Medium yellow gold color—deeper than #1 or #2, but not as deep as #3; smoky oak and faint white flowers aromas; very fat, oily, applely flavors; what finish there was struck me oaky too. Based on prior experience (and in my case knowing what was in the flight, but not the service order), I’d guess Marc Colin. (No votes) 88? advanced

Flight Two – (served blind)
Baked Pasta Shells stuffed with chicken, lobster, spinach and bluefoot mushrooms served with walnut bread crumbs and parmesan gratin

2000 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne
Medium yellow gold color; some modest oak spice and green apple aromas; green apple and creamy tones, fat on the mid-palate; finish is elegant, rich and long. This wine isn’t really completely together yet, and it improved over the course of the evening. My fourth place wine. Group 2nd: (3/2/2/1/1). 94+

2000 DRC Montrachet
Light yellow gold color; sweet, white flowers, perfumed, Coche-like aromas; the mid-palate has simple pear flavors but creamy texture and fat; the finish is fat, creamy and long but again somewhat simple. Group tied for 9th (0/0/0/1/1) 93

2000 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrieres
This is between light and medium gold color; some light oak, perfumed white flowers and green apple aromas; some sweet, almost tropical fruit flavors with some obvious minerality; some minerality and a degree of fat on the finish. I liked this. My third place wine. Group 5th: (0/1/2/2/1) 94

2000 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne
A ringer that I threw in because we had missed out on it in Part I of the tasting and it had served so well in this role a year earlier finishing fourth overall. Light yellow gold color; perfumed white flowers aromas; some lemon-lime and pear flavors with some soft edges and elegance; very minerally and sweet pear finish. My fifth place wine. Group tied for 7th: (0/0/1/1/2) 94

2000 Lafon Montrachet
Medium gold color; rich coconut and pear aromas; very rich baked pear pastry flavors, lots of volume and quite fat, but somewhat one-dimensional and showing no minerality or cut. My least favorite wine of this flight. Group tied for 7th: (0/1/0/1/1) 92-advanced

Flight Three – (served blind)
Pan Roasted Striped Bass with english peas puree, nettles, romanesque cauliflower

2000 Henri Boillot Montrachet
Lighter yellow-green color; green apple and white flowers aromas; rich pear and green apple flavors; there is a lot of fat here, but also moderate acidity to hold the balance; very rich, fat finish that didn’t have enough dimension to really excite me. Group 4th: (1/4/1/0/0) 93

2000 Ramonet Montrachet
Light yellow gold color; spearmint (Ramonet!), rich citrus and pear aromas; bright, citrus, pear and creamy flavors with a symphony of minerality that is largely missing in many of the other wines; powerful, building, minerally finish. My wine of the night. Group 1st:(5/1/1/1/1) 96

2000 Sauzet Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; some smoke, green apple and lightly perfumed white flowers aromas; this wine has some richness, baked pear flavors, and yet decent acidity too; lots of minerality in the finish, which is quite long. Great wine. My second place wine. Group 3rd: (2/1/4/1/2) 95

2000 Fontaine-Gagnard Montrachet
Medium yellow-gold color; aromas of pear and citrus; green apple and citrus flavors with some richness/density, but not a lot of shape or minerality; some sweetness on the finish. [N.B. Very disappointing showing compared to the last bottle I opened on July 5, 2005] Group tied for 9th: (0/0/0/1/1) 91

2000 Bouchard Montrachet
Full gold color; some honeyed tones, a faint hint of sherry, and some musky tropical fruit tones on the aromas; very rich, honeyed and a degree of toast on the palate here. I thought this was clearly partially oxidized but I got some very strong disagreements from a couple of people who agreed it was definitely off, but didn’t think it was oxidized. The group was roughly evenly divided, but from my perspective I didn’t have any doubt about it—it has the markers in the colors, aromas and flavors, so to me it’s partially oxidized. It was still drinkable, but a far cry from the bottle that finished #1 with a 96+ rating at our smaller tasting on 6/18/2007. (No votes) 90? -oxidized

And then a couple of 2000 reds (courtesy of Ron Movich and Wes Jennison)….

2000 Rousseau Chambertin
Medium red ruby color; some cherry and raspberry aromatics and faint hint of spice; soft cherry, strawberry and earth tones on the palate; the fruit profile is strongly reminiscent of some of the better California pinots made in a lighter style; at best 1er level density; soft fruity finish. Nice wine, but not exciting. 90

2000 Roty Gevrey Chambertin Les Fontenys
Bright red color, a little deeper color than the Rousseau; boysenberry and earth aromas; relatively simple, blue fruit flavors but fairly hard, somewhat green tannins on the finish. Very difficult to drink much of this. 86

Dessert course
Semolina Pound Cake with boysenberry compote, pineau des charantes ice cream

2000 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Berenauslese
Very bright, medium gold color; rich peachy, tropical (botrytis) aromas; some peach/apricot pastry flavors and a buttery, pastry-like finish. Pretty good for a vintage 2000 reisling. 92+

Postscript Statistics and Comments:

Corked= 0/14, or 0% - a new record!
Oxidized= 1/14 7%
Advanced=:3/14 21%
Total Oxidized + Advanced= 4/14 29%

Cumulative Stats for Nights One and Two:

Corked= 0/41, or 0% - a new record!
Oxidized= 5/41 12%
Advanced= 6/41 15%
Total Oxidized + Advanced= 11/41 27%

Some overall thoughts on the 2000 vintage: This vintage unquestionably has the lowest incidence of premature oxidation we’ve yet encountered. If you’re going to a restaurant and want to pick one bottle you can be almost sure won’t be oxidized (as long as it’s not from Jadot), bring a 2000. While the 2000 vintage wines are very good overall, from a quality and excitement standpoint, I would place 2000 a notch below both 1996 and 1999. The 2000’s do not lack for density. They are slightly bigger, fatter, and slightly higher in alcohol than the 1996’s and 1999’s, but they do not have the same level of acidity or minerality that the former do. The very best 1996’s and 1999’s have a racier style and an incredibly lacy minerality character that is lacking from all but a small handful of the 2000’s that we tried (notably the Ramonet Montrachet, Leflaive Chevalier, Sauzet Chevalier and Sauzet Montrachet.)

2000 is a vintage where the 1ers from Puligny and Meursault seem to have slightly overachieved, while the Batards, Bienvenues, Criots, Montrachets and Cortons seem to have slightly underachieved. The 2000 Chevaliers were nearly as good as their 1999 counterparts, though I slightly prefer the 1999’s to the 2000’s.

From an oxidation perspective, the 2000 vintage is remarkable compared to the high rates of oxidation we experienced with the 1996 and 1999 vintages. I can’t help but wonder what Mother Nature provided in 2000, or the winemakers did differently as a group (perhaps using more SO2 and less batonnage due to concerns about rot?), that helped to avoid to avoid oxidation at 7.5 years for most producers. Our experience certainly seems to defy those who insist that the premox problem is all caused by the corks.

There were two noteworthy divergences from past premox trends here among the producers. After three separate tastings of the 2000’s, Jadot is the poster child for premature oxidation in the 2000 vintage. Except for the 2000 Jadot Meursault Perrieres, every bottle of Jadot we had was either obviously oxidized to some degree or very seriously flawed (in the case of the 2000 Montrachet noted above.) On the other hand, over three tastings (and some miscellaneous bottles tasted from time to time) I haven’t experienced a single bottle of prematurely oxidized Sauzet.

**Part III -- More 2000's tasted on June 18, 2007 (16 additional wines)**

On Monday, June 18th, nine people from the same group of tasters gathered at Campanile Restaurant for an almost-seven-years' old look at the 2000 white burgundy vintage. In attendance were Howard Camhi, Joel Deutsch, Howard Horwitz, Wes Jennison, Michael Zadikian, John Brinkco, Peter Funsten, Campanile's GM and sommelier Jay Perrin, and me (Don Cornwell).

Chablis Flight:

2000 Dauvissat Chablis Clos
Light, yellow-green color; light floral, key lime and minerally aromas; intensely minerally on the palate with only modest background fruit but an impression of locked-up citrus; very good acidity; definite lattice-work chalkiness on the back half of the mid-palate; long finish of fresh lime and minerals. Miles to go. 94+

2000 Fevre Chablis Clos
Light yellow gold color; some citrus and nectarine aromas; surprising richness here on the palate – some white nectarine and pear tones; almost fat; much lower acidity than the Dauvissat and not nearly as minerally on the mid-palate; ripe fruit and minerally finish. Very different from the Dauvissat and the Dauvissat will out live this probably by a decade or more. 92

Flight One (served blind)

2000 Boyer-Martenot Puligny Caillerets
Medium gold color (surprisingly mature); unusual aroma profile –white cheese, candied ginger and some toast; some elegant but light pear and white nectarine flavors on the palate with lots of minerals that carry through to the finish. The relatively dark color and odd aromatics make me wonder if this is a really representative bottle, though overall I liked it and so did most of the others. 92? advanced

2000 Clos de Lambrays Puligny Clos du Caillerets
Light yellow color; aromas of citrus and minerals; light, ever so slightly sweet white nectarine and citrus flavors with obvious minerality reminiscent of Chevalier; long, elegant and subtle minerally finish Too light for John Brincko, but the rest of the group said they liked the wine. 92

2000 Montille Puligny Caillerets
Light yellow color; understated key-lime and pear aromas; the fruit on the palate was much more forward than the aromas; more depth and weight than the first two wines—grand cru weight in fact; pear and white nectarine flavors with a lot of minerality as a bonus; very long minerally and pear fruit finish. Easily the consensus favorite of the flight. 94

2000 Jean-Marc Pillot Puligny Caillerets
Relatively mature gold color; some pear and rich apple aromas and some honey; mature, sweet pear fruit and a slightly honeyed tone; fatter than the other wines, but still showed some of the trademark minerality, particularly in the finish. Nothing overtly screams oxidation to me, but from the color and the honey tones this is going fast—drink now. The group consensus on this was that it was oxidized. 90-oxidized

Flight Two (served blind)

2000 Hubert Lamy Criots Batard Montrachet
Light yellow gold; citrus and hints of spearmint aromas—Ramonet?; awesome on the palate, concentrated pear,, good acidity, intense minerality and layering; an amazingly long pear and minerals finish. 95

2000 Jadot Montrachet
Light to medium yellow gold; rich tropical fruit aromas; very rich and powerful, and slightly toasty tropical fruit flavors with some minerality too; the richness and the toastiness carried through to the finish Well below the others in this flight. The consensus on this one was that it was partially oxidized. 92-oxidized

2000 Sauzet Montrachet
Very light yellow color; white flowers and pears aromas; very elegant, lemon crème and pear flavors with good acidity and well-interwoven minerality; very long, sweet pear finish [Incredibly surprised to see this was Sauzet after the recent 1999’s] 95

2000 Bouchard Montrachet
Very light white gold color; lemon-lime and seashell aromas; the flavors are fresh key lime and D’Anjou pear blanketed by Chevalier-like minerality — and it seems to have multiple layers and good acidity; amazingly long minerally finish with a touch of pear. Wow! This has got to be Montrachet. 96+

2000 Ramonet Batard Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; citrus, white flowers and hints of spearmint again (another Ramonet possibility?); bright citrus and pear flavors with great acidity and some background minerality; most backward and least developed wine of the flight; long citrussy finish. Great future for this wine I suspect. 94+

Flight Three (Served Blind)

2000 Jadot Chevalier Montrachet
Medium yellow-gold color; moderately toasty, tropical fruit aromas; the flavors are bright citrus and pear, and good minerality; the finish is fairly long and intensely minerally. I have very mixed feelings about this wine. The toasty aromas and slightly advanced color suggest partial oxidation, but it is not overtly oxidized and is still enjoyable. I loved the minerally finish. 92-partially oxidized

2000 Sauzet Chevalier Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; citrus blossom and fresh lime aromas; very elegant, bright citrussy flavors with loads of minerality; clear minerally backbone here; very long mineral and citrus finish. Really impressive. [Surprise, it’s another Sauzet!!] 94+

2000 Georges Deleger Chevalier Montrachet
Utterly corked. DQ

2000 Colin-Deleger Chevalier Montrachet
Darkest color of the third flight; full blown gold color; toasty citrus aromas with some slight honey tones; sweet, slightly honeyed, rich, pear pastry flavors with some very interesting, bright minerality in the finish. Seems pretty clearly to be partially oxidized but still drinkable and the finish was nice. 91-oxidized

2000 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
Light yellow-green color; lemon-lime and white flowers araoms; light pear and citrus flavors with excellent acidity and lots of minerality; very bright, long minerally finish. 95

Dessert Course

2003 Gysler Weinheimer Holle Spatburgunder Rose Berenauslese (375 ml)
Light yellow gold color, doesn’t show the rose color anymore; some botrytis and nectarine aromas; sweet white nectarine and pear flavors, very good acidity, thick buttery texture; long sweet nectarine finish. 93+

2003 Keller Westhofener Morstein TBA (375 ml)
Very bright, light yellow color; amazing fruit aromas popping out – pineapple, yellow nectarine and hints of lime or even kiwi; incredibly forward, intense, buttery and syrupy pineapple and tropical fruit flavors with fabulous acidity and a finish you could almost measure with an hourglass. Wow. 96+

1983 Donhoff Oberhauser Brucke GKA Eiswein (375 ml)
Dark, brownish-red gold color; some maple syrup and peach aromas; very rich, intense peach flavors with lots of thickness and buttery, syrupy texture on the palate; at this point I was kind of overwhelmed by the all the sweetness from the first two wines, so I probably wasn’t as able to judge it fairly. 93

After Dinner wines (thanks to Jay Perrin of Campanile)

2004 Clos de Lambrays
Dark red-violet color; cherry/strawberry aromas with some earth; rich, cherry and blackfruit and earthy flavors; decent acidity; somewhat tannic on the back half of the palate and the finish 92

2002 Xavier Liger-Belair Richebourg
Very dark violet color; the aromas were quite tight, with a faint hit of plum and blackfruit; very tight, muscular plum and earth flavors which are very locked up right now and the finish is moderately tannic. Clearly needs time and very difficult to judge with any confidence. Best guess – 91+

Postscript on the whites: Everyone really enjoyed the 2000’s, and while there were no wines anyone could characterize as fully oxidized or unpleasant, the group consensus was that four of the sixteen wines were partially oxidized. I also thought that the I Boyer-Martenot Caillerets was clearly advanced. Four of the 17 bottles were oxidized or 23%. The oxidation problem is clearly not going away. Moreover, at just under seven years of age, we are only seeing the earliest signs of the problem in the 2000 vintage. If you have any Colin-Deleger or JM Pillot, I suggest you drink them very soon. If you have Jadot grand crus, I suggest you open some corks in the near term and decide for yourself how long you can afford to keep them.

When the wines were unmasked, I was genuinely surprised how well the two Sauzets did (given the consistent oxidation we've seen in the 1995-1999 vintages at chez Sauzet). The Sauzets were clearly very young, didn’t show even the slightest hint of oxidation and were showing their full potential. I'm pretty clearly on record about my displeasure with the Sauzets from 1995-1999 over the premature oxidation issue and I can only hope that the very youthful showings at this tasting will continue going forward. For the time being, I've suspended my plans to sell my 2000 and 2002 Sauzet Chevalier.

Cumulative Statistics for the three nights:

Corked: 1/58 (2%)
Oxidized: 9/58 (16%)
Advanced: 7/58 (12%)
Total Oxidized + Advanced= 16/58 (28%)
Don Cornwell

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