1998 Burgundy - Ten Years On

Nineteen ninety-eight was by no means the easiest vintage the growers have been presented with recently, but as the right things happened at the right time, the eventual result has proved to be highly satisfactory, with a good if not over-abundant crop of ripe, balanced fruit producing geographically consistent high quality in rouge and very good quality in blanc. At the outset some feared that the tannins in the red wines were a little too aggressive. Happily this has turned out not to be too prevelant. At ten years on the wines are now – in all but a handful of cases – fully ready for drinking, and the wines show well. The tasting of some one hundred wines was not too exhausting: indeed rather less so than both the 1995 and 1996 equivalents. There is an appealing fresh fruit here, and both elegance and harmony. There is neither the richness of the 1999s, nor the grip of the 1996s, nor the depth of the 1995s. But there is much to enjoy, and plenty of scope for cellaring the best bottles for at least another decade.

The year got off to a bad start. Easter Monday brought severe frost to the Côte d'Or. Just about all the communes with the exception of Savigny-lès-Beaune and Chassagne-Montrachet were blighted, and, the frost being early, it was the best-exposed slopes, i.e. the grands and premiers crus, which were the most affected. Here the eventual harvest would be ten percent less than in 1997. The village wine crop was ten percent higher.

After this the summer was uneven: fine in May and the first half of June, so a successful flowering. Dismal for the next six weeks, leading to coulure and millerandage, which would mean that some first growth wines would have to be grouped together rather than separately vinified. Then in August it was almost too hot, and very dry, leading to hydric stress in the young vines. Humid conditions returned at the beginning of September, threatening rot, but in fact the weather then cleared up, and the harvest took place under sunny skies. You have to be a philosopher to be a wine-maker!

Overall 1998 is a very good vintage for red wines. There are few great wines, but there are very few duds. The very best 1996s and 1995s are clearly superior, but these are less even vintages. And of course there are many very splendid 1999s, as I am sure we will discover in twelve months time.

The whites showed rather better than I had expected, offering both more depth and better balance – and, incidentally, as far as our samples were concerned (we had three bottles of each wine) no examples of premature oxidation. I had rather written the 1998 whites off - drink up before they die on you – but given our by no means comprehensive selection, I have changed my mind.

The following wines were sampled at my annual tasting for the growers in June 2008.





WHITE WINES



Aligoté de Bouzeron, Domaine A & P de Villaine.

Ripe. Surprisingly fresh. Who says Aligotés don't last? Stylish. Fine for what it is. Drink soon.



Mâcon, La Roche Vineuse, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Olivier Merlin.

Magnum. Brisk, fruity, no undue age. Good depth. No hurry to drink. Good.



Montagny, 1er Cru, Cuvée Sélection, Domaine Stéphane Aladame.

Ripe, even rich. Plenty of personality. Very good. Still has plenty of life ahead of it.



Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Champs Perdrix, Domaine Jean-Yves Devevey.

Evolved colour. Decent but now too old.



Côte de Beaune, La Grande Chatelaine, Domaine Emmanuel Giboulot.

A bit reduced. Lacks style. Drink up.



Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Vergelesses, Domaine Lucien Jacob.

A bit old and a bit reduced. Lacks style. Drink up.



Pernand-Vergelesses, Les Combottes, Domaine du Château de Chorey.

Magnum. Showing a little age on the nose. But quite crisp and stylish on the palate. And decent weight. Drink soon.



Saint-Aubin, Clos du Chatenière, Domaine Hubert Lamy.

Magnum. Well matured but not tired. Quite rich and fruity. Good depth. Very good. Drink soon.



Meursault, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot.

Lovely nose. Ripe and mature and really quite profound. Fullish. Very good fruit. Long and fine. No hurry to drink.



Meursault, Maison Morey Blanc.

Reticent nose. Quite firm. Very good depth and style. Still vigorous. Very good indeed.



Meursault, 'Tête de Murgey', Domaine Patrick Javillier.

Magnum. Spicy. Good depth. But it lacks a little grip. Good though. Drink soon.



Meursault, Desirée, Domaine des Comtes Lafon.

Fresh. Lots of fruit. Quite exotic, but not too tarty. Good plus. No hurry to drink.



Meursault, Les Tessons, Clos de Mon Plaisir.

Magnum. Very delicious. Lovely fruit. Good substance. Balanced, long, and subtle. Still virile.



Meursault, Les Poruzots, Francois and Antoine Jobard.

Somewhat austere. Slightly hard. Not enough fruit. Drink soon.



Meursault, Les Genevrières, Francois and Antoine Jobard.

Good fruit. Firm, full and rich. Still lots of life ahead of it. Very good.



Meursault, Les Perrières, Domaine Guy Roulot.

Magnum. Very lovely nose. Ripe and elegant. Ample, fullish, profound and very fine. Lots of life ahead of it.



Meursault, Les Perrières, Domaine des Comte Lafon.

Fullish, rich, multi-dimensional. This is excellent. Minerally and yet very ample. Lovely. Will still keep very well.



Chassagne-Montrachet, Clos du Maltroye, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard.

Fresh, ripe, good vigour. This is very good. Long and balanced. Drink soon.



Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Blanchots Dessus. Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard.

Very good depth, but just a hint of age now. Ripe and stylish, but drink soon.



Puligny-Montrachet, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot.

Ripe, full of fruit. Vigorous and fresh. Lovely finish. Very good indeed.



Puligny-Montrachet, Le Cailleret, Domaine de Montille.

Very lovely fruit. Lots of life and complexity. Lovely minerally style. Very, very long. Excellent. Lots of life ahead of it.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Clos de l'Arlot, Domaine de l'Arlot.

Soft and elegant on the nose. Ripe and abundant. Even a tough sweet from the new oak. Ultimately lacks a little zip and flair. Drink soon.



Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Bonneau du Martray.

Firm, fresh nose. Lots of depth. Fullish, vigorous, clean and very stylish. Long on the palate. Very fine. Lots of potential still here.



Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, Domaine Leflaive.

Some evolution here. Ripe and abundant. Gently oaky. Fine but I would have liked a bit more minerality and freshness.



RED WINES



Givry, Clos Salomon, Domaine du Clos Salomon.

Magnum. Lightish, but pretty, fresh nose. Medium body. Ripe and fruity. Stylish. An attractive bottle. Now-2012.



Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Marconnets, Domaine Simon Bize.

Magnum. Slightly recuced on the nose. Better on the palate. Good grip. Plenty of fruit and backbone. Long; Very good. Now-2015.



Savigny-lès-Beaune, Les Gravins, Domaine Jean-Marc Pavelot.

Fine, stylish nose. Good depth and grip. Medium to medium-full body. Very ripe. Ample, slightly spicy fruit. Balanced, long, elegant. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Savigny-lès-Beaune, La Dominode, Domaine Jean-Marc Pavelot.

Profound nose. Rich and succulent. Lots of character. Ample, cool fruit. Medium-full body. Vigorous. Very good indeed. Now-2018.



Pernand-Vergelesses, Ile de Vergelesses, Domaine Chandon de Briailles.

Magnum. Soft, ripe, ample, stylish nose. Medium body. Good intensity. Virgorous and succulent. Long. Very good plus. Now-2014.



Beaune, Julure, Domaine Emmanuel Giboulot.

Soft, attractively fruity nose. Quite developed. Ripe. Medium bidy. Not the greatest depth but a pleasant bottle. Now-2011.



Beaune, Les Champs Pimont, Maison Champy.

Magnum. Somewhat pedestrian on the nose. Some developement. Somewhat suave. Astringency lurks underneath. Only fair. Drink soon.



Beaune, Les Cents Vignes, Domaine Lucien Jacob.

Vigorous but somewhat artisanal nose. Better on the palate. Freh and amply fruity. Medium to medium- full body. Positive follow through. Good plus. Now-2014.



Beaune, Les Cras, Domaine du Château de Chorey.

Magnum. Strangely lean on the nose. Medium body. Cool. Slight elements of astringency. Quite stylish underneath, and no lack of charm. Good plus. Now-2012.



Beaune, Les Bressandes, Maion Camille Giroud.

Ripe nose. Lots of fruit. Medium-full body. Ample, rich and spicy. Long and vigorous on the palate. Very good. Now-2015.



Beaune, Les Grèves, Domaine Michel Lafarge.

Still quite closed on the nose. Fullish body. Lots of very lovely succulent fruit. Lots of depth too. Rich and satisfying. A real triumph. Very good indeed. Now-2018.



Volnay, Les Carelles, Maison Camille Giroud.

Good fruit on the nose if a little four-square. Medium body. A touch astringent. Only quite good. Drink soon.



Volnay, Les Champans, Domaine du Marquis d'Angerville.

Soft nose. Some evolution. Elegant fruit. Ripe. Medium body. Long and stylish. But not for the long term. Very good. Now- 2012.



Volnay, Clos des Chènes, Domaine Michel Lafarge.

Rich, ripe, vigorous nose. Still firm, but just about à point. Fullish body. Lots of depth and energy. A lovely stylish wine. Fine plus. Now-2020.



Volnay, Les Fremiets, Domaine du Comte Armand.

Very Volnay on the nose. Fragrant, soft and fruity. Medium to medium-full body. Intense and very elegant. Long and lovely. Now to 2015.



Volnay, Les Santenots, Maison Champy.

A bit dried-out on the nose. The fruit is artificial too. Lacks style. Medium to medium-full body. Only fair. Drink soon.



Volnay, Les Santenots du Milieu, Domaine des Comtes Lafon.

Very good colour. Firm vigorous nose. Rich and full. Still very youthful. Lots of energy, lots of fruit and lots of depth. Fine. Will still improve. 2010-2020 plus.



Volnay, Taillepieds, Domaine Hubert de Motille.

Youthful colour. Soft fragrant nose. Stylish Volnay fruit here. Medium to medium-full body. Balanced and stylish? Very good energy. Still just a little raw. But very good grip and vigour.Very complex and elegant. Long. Fine. 2010-2020 plus.



Pommard, Clos des Epenots, Domaine du Comte Armand.

Magnum. Very good colour. Splendid nose. Full, concentrated, rich and vigorous. This is a profound, multi-dimensional wine. Both a true Pommard and very elegant. Fine plus. Just about ready. Now-2020.



Pommard, Les Jarollières, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot.

Odd flavours on the nose. More 'natural' on the palate. Fullish, ripe, good depth and vigour. Very good. Now-2015.



Pommard, Les Rugiens, Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot.

Rich, slightly over-ripe nose. Medium to medium-full body. Somewhat over-done. Slightly astringent. Lacks style. Now-2012.



Pommard, Les Rugiens, Domaine Hubert de Montille.

Lean but quite stylish nose. Good fruit on the palate. Ample, balanced, long and intense. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Marasannay, Longeroies, Domaine Bruno Clair.

Soft, ripe fresh and à point without being aged. Not the greatest depth but stylish and attractive. Very good for what it is. Now-2012.



Marsannay, Les Saint-Jacques, Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair.

Magnum. Pedestrian nose. Some fruit on the palate but no depth and no flair. Medium body. Only quite good. Now-2011.



Fixin, Clos Marion, Monopole, Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair.

Magnum. Soupy nose. Medium body. Unstylish and unexciting. Drink soon.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Clos de l'Arlot, Domaine Clos de l'Arlot.

Soft, ripe, attractive nose. Medium body. Quite rich. Not a bit stemmy. Good balance and vigour. Attractive and fully à point.Very good plus. Now-2014.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Boudots, Domaine Jean Grivot.

Quite a firm nose still. Lovely ripe fruit on the palate. Fullish body. A little tannin still to mellow. Rich. Very good grip and class. Very Vosne-ish. Long. Fine. Now-2020.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Boudots, Domaine Leroy.

Ripe nose with a hint of austerity still. Fullish body. Firm but rich underneath. Ample, succulent, classy fruit. Generous at the end, balanced and with plenty of dimension. Long. Fine plus. Just about ready. Now-2020.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Boudots, Domaine Gerard Mugneret.

Quite an evolved nose. Plump and fruity on the palate. Medium to medium-full body. Quite rich. Positive and vigorous on the palate. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Boudots, Domaine Jean Tardy.

Soft nose, quite evolved. More freshness on the palate. Medium to medium-full body. Good fruit.

Ample and attractive. Very good. Now2014.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Pruliers, Domaine Henri Gouges.

Vigorous nose. Clean, pure, firm and fresh. Slightly austere still. Will still improve. Medium-full body. Lots of depth. Classy. Fine. 2010-2020.



Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Vaucrains, Domaine Robert Chevillon.

Soft nose. Quite evolved. Ripe and mellow. Medium body. Decent fruit but not enough vigour. Good at best. Now-2012.



Vosne-Romanée, Les Beaumonts, Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noëllat.

Soft, aromatic nose. Medium to medium-full body. Ripe, mellow, balanced and classy. Long and complex. Fine. Now-2018.



Vosne-Romanée, Les Brulées, Domaine Engel.

Soft; smoky nose. Medium body. Now fully mature. Aromatic. Lots of fruit. Harmoious, complex and stylish. But very good indeed rather than great. Lacks just a little dimension. Now-2015.



Vosne-Romanée, Aux Brulées, Domaine Michel Gros.

Lovely nose, if not quite as intense and individual as the Clos des Réas. Medium-full body. Very good grip. Succulent and very classy. Long. A point. Fine plus. Now-2020.



Vosne-Romanée, Les Chaumes, Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils.

Good plump nose. Medium-full body. Ripe, succulent, stylish and fresh. Long. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Vosne-Romanée, Les Malconsorts, Domaine Sylvain Cathiard.

Magnum. Still quite closed on the nose. But very high class. Fullish, rich and concentrated. Vigorous and profound. Very lovely finish. Very fine. Now-2020.



Vosne-Romanée, Clos des Réas, Domaine Michel Gros.

Delicious fruit and very gently oaky on the nose. Medium-full body. Vigorous and intense. Ripe and rich. Very elegant. Lovely Vosne fruit. A point. Very fine. Now-2020.



Vosne-Romanée, Les Suchots, Domaine Robert Arnoux.

Good colour. Rich, fat, concentrated nose. Very classy old-vine Pinot. Gently oaky. Very good backbone. Fullish bidy. Just a little tannin still to resolve. Fat, rich, concentrated and succulent. Vigorous and full of finesse. Very fine grip and lots of dimension. Lovely. Really remarkably good for a premer cru. Will be yet better in two years. Now to 2020 plus.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Amoureuses, Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier.

Very lovely soft nose. Very classic. Smooth and mellow and medium to medium-full bodied on the palate. Not the concentration and intensity for great but certainly fine. Now-2015.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Beaux-Bruns, Domaine Thierry Mortet.

Round, quite oaky, succulent nose.Medium body. Decent fresh fruit but not a great deal of dimension. Good plus. Now-2014.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Charmes, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod.

Poised, elegant, fragrant nose. Medium to medium-full body. Very lovely balanced, Chambolle fruit on the palate. Lots of finesse and depth. Lovely and intense. Fine plus. Now-2018.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Cras, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod.

Rich, fat, quite substantial. Lots of depth and class. Fullish body. Intense, Stylish. Lots of vigour. Very lovely. Fine plus. Now-2018.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Fuées, Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier.

Firmer than his Amoureuses on the nose. Seems richer as well as fuller von the palate. Medium-full body. Very lovely intense fruit. Lots of depth. Fine plus. For once better than the Amoureuses. Now-2018.



Chambolle-Musigny, Les Sentiers, Maison Frédéric Magnien.

Fragrant nose. Not too overextracted. Good grip. Medium-full body. Rich and succulent. Balanced. Vigorous. Long and stylish on the palate. Very good indeed. Just about ready. Now-2018.



Morey-Saint-Denis, Clos de la Bussière, Domaine Georges Roumier.

Vigorous colour. Rich, fat, cool and stylish on the palate: more so than in the past. Fullish. Balanced. Lots of energy and a lovely finish. Fine. Now-2018.



Morey-Saint-Denis, Les Chaffots, Domaine Lucie and Auguste Lignier.

Good vigorous colour. Quite a chunky wine. Slightly four-square. Medium-full body. Good fruit here and plenty of energy. But very good plus at best. Now-2016.



Morey-Saint-Denis, Clos Sorbé, Domaine Fourrier.

Quite a developed colour. Quite evolved on the nose, too. A little too much so. Medium body. Fruity and stylish and positive on the palate, though. But very good rather than fine. Now-2013.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Prieur, Domaine Thierry Mortet.

Good colour, but somewhat tired and faded on the nose. Medium-full body. A little astringent on the palate. Decent fruit. Quite good plus. Now-2012.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Mes Favorites, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Alain Burguet.

Firm nose. Plenty of wine here if not a great deal of class. Better on the palate. Rich, fullish, balanced and very good for what it is. Now-2018;



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, Domaine Bruno Clair.

Very lovely, intense, classy fruit on the nose. Fresh and harmonious. Vigorous and fragrant. Medium to medium-full body. Long, subtle and multi-dimensional at the end. Very fine. Now-2018.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot.

Slightly diffuse on the nose. Soft and sweet on the attack. Somewhat tired and soupy on the finish. Medium body. Quite good at best. Now-2012.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, Domaine Faiveley.

Good colour. Fullish on the nose. No undue oak. Fullish body, rich, meaty and still with some tannin. Lovely fruit underneath. Still needs two years. Fine. 2010-2020.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, Domaine Christian Sérafin.

Good colour. Ripe, vigorous and succulent on the nose. Full, rich, very gently oaky and profound on the palate. Lots of energy. Fine. Now-2020.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Combottes, Domaine Lucie and Auguste Lignier.

Lightish colour. Not a lot of backbone here. Medium body. Round, ripe, sweet, and gently oaky on the palate. Very seductive. Good grip. Long. Very good plus. Now-2013.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Corbeaux, Domaine Lucien Boillot et Fils.

Slightly pedestrian nose. Ripe and succulent on the palate but not very classy. Medium to medium-full body. Good plus at best. Now-2014.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Estournelles-Saint-Jacques, Domaine Humbert Frères.

Soft, stylish nose. Good fruit. Fragrant and succulent. Medium to medium-full body. Balanced and elegant. Long and positive. Very good indeed. Now-2015.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos du Fonteny, Domaine Bruno Clair.

Lovely cool stylish nose. Lots of depth and class. Meduim-full body. Balanced, poised, intense and multi-dimensional. Lovely. Fine plus. Now-2018.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Lavaux-Saint-Jacques, Domaine Denis Mortet.

Magnum. A little reduced on the nose at first. Medium-full body. Not as exciting as I had expected. Ripe and rich but a certain lack of flair. Very good at best. Now-2016.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos-Saint-Jacques, Domaine Louis Jadot.

Firm, rich, profound nose. Very lovely fruit and greay style here. A full, meaty wine; still with some tannin to resolve. Lots of energy. Real grand cru class. Long. Very fine plus. 2010-2025.



Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos-Saint-Jacques, Domaine Armand Rousseau.

Rich fruit, gently oaky and very classy on the nose. Medium-full body. Just about ready. Ripe and complex and profound. Very long. Very lovely. Very fine. Now-2020.



GRANDS CRUS



Corton, Les Bressandes, Maison Champy.

The colour is quite evolved. A bit more elegant on the nose than the other Champys. But not really the depth of a grand cru. Medium to medium-full body. Somewhat soupy-sweet. Quite good. Now-2013.



Corton, Clos des Cortons-Faiveley, Domaine Faiveley.

Full, firm, backward nose. Lots of depth here. Full bodied. Some tannin. But not dry. Vigorous, elegant, profound. Still needs time. Fine plus. 2010-2020.



Corton, Les Perrières, Maison Nicolas Potel.

Fresh but slightly weak nose. Fruity and stylish and not too ephemeral on the palate. Medium body. Ripe and balanced. A point. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Echezéaux, Domaine Robert Arnoux.

Rich, ripe and classy on the nose. Lots of depth. Medium-full body. Very good grip. Lots of character. Now just about ready. Nicely fat and concentrated, with a long, positive finish. Fine. Now-2020 plus.



Echézeaux, Domaine Jean Grivot.

Firm, full, ample, concentrated nose. Lots of depth and quality here. Fullish body. Still just a little tannin. Vigorous and classy. Very lovely fruit. Excellent harmony. Fine plus. Now-2020.



Echézeaux, Domaine A.F. Gros.

Megnum. Plump, stylish nose. But without much nuance. Better on the palate. Ripe. Medium-full body. But very good plus at best. Now-2016.



Echézeaux, Maison Nicolas Potel.

Somewhat non-descript on the nose. Medium body. But pretty rather than serious. Lacks depth and dimension, though balanced and stylish. Very good but not grabd cru quality. Now-2014.



Grands-Echézeaux, Domaine Engel.

Ripe, rich, classy and intense on the nose. Fullish body. Excellent concentration, grip and depth. Vigorous and fine plus. Now-2020.



Grands-Echézeaux, Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur.

Rich and meaty but not very elegant on the nose. Fullish, ripe and quite succulent on the palate. Some tannin. Good energy. Very good indeed. Now-2016.



Clos Vougeot, Maison Champy.

Somewhat lumpy nose. Poor. Astringent and evolved on the palate. No. Drink up.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Engel.

Softer on the nose than his Grands Echézeaux. Plump, attractive, stylish fruit. Medium-full body. Aromatic and seductive. Not quite the energy but very good indeed. Now-2015.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Jean Grivot.

Magnum. Very fine composed nose. Laid back. Lovely fruit. Not the greatest weight, but balanced and energetic, fragrant and classy. Fine but not great. Now-2015.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Anne Gros.

Full, firm, still backward on the nose. Full body. Still a bit closed, but very lovely, rich, intense fruit. Lots of depth and vigour. Still needs two years. Fine plus. 2010-2020.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Michel Gros.

Some evolution on the nose. Very lovely fruit on the palate. Succulent and ripe and intese. Lots of depth. Generous and very lovely. Very fine. Now-2020.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noëllat.

God vigorous colour. Round, ripe, slightly spicy, soft and mellow on the nose. Good class, depth and grip. Medium-full body. Fresh, long and seductive. Balanced and fine plus. Now-2018.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg.

Elegant nose. Ripe and fragrant and stylish. Good depth. Vigorous and generous. This has a lot of personality. Long. Complex and elegant. Fine plus. Now-2018.



Clos Vougeot, Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils.

Decent fruit on the nose but a lack of flair and depth. Medium to medium-full body. Succulent but slightly four-square. Good at best. Now-2014.



Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Domaine Robert Arnoux.

Full, youthful colour. Complex, very classy, profound nose. Fullish body. Mouth-filling fruit. Just a little tannin still to absorb. A wine with harmony, depth, concentration and lots of dimention. It still needs a couple of years. Very lovely long lingering finish. Very fine. 2011-2025 plus.



Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Domaine Sylvain Cathiard.

Good colour. Very lovely nose. Elegant and subtle; fragrant and profound and splendidly well-balanced. Fullish body. Very ripe. Gently oaky. Rich and concentrated and multi-dimensional. Very, very long on the palate. Just about ready. Very fine indeed. 2010-2025 plus.



Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noëllat.

Medium-full colour; just about mature. Fat and succulent on the nose with a touch of oak. Fullish body. Just about ready. Rich and concentrated. Long and harmonious. Fine plus. 2010-2020 plus.



Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Domaine Nicolas Potel.

A bit slight for a Romanée-Saint-Vivant on the nose. Pretty but no real depth. Medium body. Elegant and fruity and well-balanced. But it doesn't have the depth for a grand cru of this potential. Very good. Now-2015.



Richebourg, Domaine Anne Gros.

Still very closed on the nose. But great richness and depth here. Full body. Will still improve. Hugely concenrated and very finely balanced. Real finesse. A great wine. 2010-2025.



Richebourg, Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur.

Slighty lumpy and reduced on the nose. But better on the palate. Fullish. Quite rich. Quite stylish. Just a little four-square. Still needs two yers. Very good indeed at best. 2010-2020.



Richebourg, Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noëllat.

Good vigorous colour. Fine, rich, very classy, old-viney nose. Long and very lovely. Full body. Still a little unresolved tannin. Very good grip. Lots of energy. Elegant and profound. Oaky at the end. Just about ready. Very fine. Now-2025.



Richebourg, Domaine Dominique Mugneret.

First bottle a little flat. The second bottle was rich and fat. Gently oaky. Ripe and classy. Not a blockbuster but fullish body and very seductive fruit. Balanced, long and very fine. Now-2020.



Clos des Lambrays, Domaine des Lambrays.

Good colour. Fragrant, soft nose. Elegant fruit here. Medium body. Balanced and stylish but neds more vigour and concentration. Very good plus. Now-2015.



Clos de la Roche, Domaine Dujac.

Classy nose. Fully à point. Very lovely, fragrant, intense fruit here. Medium to medium-full body. Rich and vigorous. Very classy and harmonious. Long and very lovely. Fine plus. Now-2015.



Clos de la Roche, Domaine Lucie and Auguste Lignier.

Fat, rich, quite oaky nose. Slightly four-square. Fullish on the palate. Rich. Meaty. Lacks a bit of flair and nuance but good depth and concentration. Just about ready. Fine. Now-2020.



Clos de la Roche, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ponsot.

Medium-full colour. Fully developed. Fragrant and vigorous on the nose. Medium-full body. Very good grip. Rich and ripe. Not quite silky but subtle and complex. Now quite round. Individual and lovely. Fine plus. Now-2020.



Bonnes-Mares, Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair.

Ripe, rich, full and succulent on both the nose and the palate, if without much flair. Yet balanced and vigorous. Very good plus. Now-2020.



Bonnes-Mares, Maison Frédéric Magnien.

Good colour. Somewhat over-extracted, oaky nose. But rich and full and fat on the palate. Plenty of wine here. Still needs two years. Very good. 2012-2020;



Bonnes-Mares, Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier.

Very lovely ripe fruit on the nose. Very Chambolle. Medium to medium-full body. Soft and fragrant and classy, but lacks a bit of vigour perhapps. Fine but not great. Now-2015.



Bonnes-Mares, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé.

All the samples were decidedly odd, and quite different from previous experiences. Soupy nose. Lumpy and astringent on the palate. Some built-in sulphur. Not 'off' but certainly not very good. And it will just get drier and drier.



Musigny, Domaine Joseph Drouhin.

Very lovely nose. Full, rich, subtle and fragrant. Similar on the palate. This is very delicious. Intense and full of fruit. Not a blockbuster but very complex and very lovely. Very fine plus. Now-2020.



Musigny, Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier.

Soft and intense on the nose. Understated and very classy.Medium to medium-full body. Like the Bonnes-Mares this is fine – indeed fine plus -  but it lacks the vigour and real flair for great. Now-2015.



Musigny Vieilles Vignes, Comte Georges de Vogüé.

This is a lot better than their Bonnes-Mares, but nevertheless a bit rigid on the nose. Fullish, sweet, a little over-done after the Drouhin. Lacks the nuance and sheer fragrance of a Musigny. Fine but not great. Still needs time. 2011-2025.



Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Denis Bachelet.

Very lovely nose. Rich, ripe, full and concentrated. Above all great style and depth. Fullish. Marvelous succulent fruit. Really very lovely. Multi-dimensional. Excellent. Will still improve. 2010-2025.



Charmes-Chambertin, Domaine Humbert Frères.

Soft and fragrant and classy on the nose. Fresh, balanced and intense on the palate. Very lovely fruit. Long. Very fine plus. Now-2020. (Emmanuel Humbert's first vintage: he got it spot on.)



Charmes-Chambertin, Domainr Taupenot-Merme.

Slightly lumpy but basically good depth on the nose. Similar palate. Good meaty fruit. Quite classy underneath. Very good plus. Now-2018.



Chapelle-Chambertin, Domaine Trapet Père et Fils.

Fresh, rich, fullish nose. Good class here. Medium-full body. Still a little tannin. Rich and fat and succulent on the palate. Very good grip. Lots of depth and style. This will still improve. Fine plus. 2010-2020.



Chambertin, Clos de Bèze, Domaine Armand Rousseau.

Good colour. Very lovely nose. Rich and succulent, profound and gently oaky. Fullish body. Lovely balance. Excellent grip and great class. Lots of energy. This is very fine indeed. Will still improve. 2010-2025.



Chambertin, Domaine Armand Rousseau.

Full, rich, backward nose. Still youthful. Full body. Very good grip. Still need time. Splendid intensity, vigour concentration and class. Very, very long. It's all here. A great wine. 2011-2025.





An edited version of this article appears in The World of Fine Wine, issue 23.