Your scribe has certainly been following this 2002 Burgundy vintage rather closely since inception. Remember well a Burgundy Press Conference during the first Vinexpo held outside Bordeaux in New York on October 23, 2002 when Pierre-Henry Gagey (Louis Jadot) told an unbelieving media assembly that this would be an excellent year. After all we were aware that it had been terrible weather conditions with flooding in many European wine regions – look at very wet Champagne, torrential rains at harvest in Rhone/Southern France, no Chianti Classico Reserva in Tuscany & September hail in Piedmont. Burgundy was miraculously saved by rather good weather and 2002 turned out to be the best region for wine collectors of that vintage. The red wines started out early on showing accessible fruit roundness but often not the ripeness nor vineyard definition of the more intense 1999s. One encouraging quality balance factor was that 2002 (like 2010, 1985 and 1978) produced both red and white wines of high quality which had been quite a difficult task to achieve. The Gosset Celebris Champagne and German Riesling Auslese showed well. So it was with eager anticipation to re-visit some of these 2002 wines again at 17+ years of age at a dinner on February 11 at CinCin restaurant in Vancouver. Overall impressions were good but variable with some lovely Volnay charm and Richebourg power but most showed younger and more primary than expected. Generally no rush to drink up if you have some top 2002 red Burgundies in your cellar or are buying some better ones at auction or local wine shop. The menu is attached and here are some brief comments:
1. VOLNAY TAILLEPIEDS 1ER CRU MARQUIS D’ANGERVILLE – Lighter colour but delightful classy elegant delicate charming style with finesse, beautiful texture of finer tannins, and a long finish. Delicious! Super pairing with Parmigiano Reggiano hot souffle with twice cooked spinach & fresh cream. Estate now run by Guillaume D’Angerville but this was the last vintage of his father Jacques who passed away in 2003.
2. POMMARD EPENOTS 1ER CRU LUCIEN LE MOINE – Believe from Petits Epenots site. Big dense harder firmly structured style with flowers and mushrooms prominent initially. Mounir wouuld have recommended an earlier decanting. Improved with warming and airing in the glass being less reductive. No rush.
3. POMMARD GRANDS EPENOTS 1ER CRU DOMAINE MICHEL GAUNOUX – This was a ringer of 2001 vintage for comparison. Fairly powerful strong, bit tough, coarser but starting to dry out from uneven fruit ripeness of 2001. Talk of Pommard being elevated to a Grand Cru has settled down but best sites are clearly Les Rugiens Bas & Central Les Epenots (Comte Armand Monopole of Clos des Epeneaux).
4. CLOS DE LA ROCHE GRAND CRU J-C BOISSET – Darkest of second flight with lush smooth texture of good fruit but not singing yet. Can age. Often the biggest wine of Morey-St.-Denis. Though Chambertin usually more austere & Bonnes-Mares more dense muscular than Clos de la Roche styling.
5. CLOS VOUGEOT GRAND CRU JACQUES PRIEUR – Lighter look but more open with a better stylish nose and rather tasty indeed. Surprise.
6. CLOS DES LAMBRAYS GRAND CRU DOMAINE DES LAMBRAYS – Mid colour but much sweeter riper intense fruit on bouquet from limestone & sandy soil on unique north to south planting. Most attractive presently of second flight with complementary ricotta ravioli & Perigord truffles.
7. VOSNE-ROMANEE 1ER CRU CLOS DES REAS DOMAINE MICHEL GROS – Good Monopole walled triangle shaped at end of the valley. Not heavy at all but very fragrant pure and elegant! Lovely.
8. GRIOTTE-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU DOMAINE DES CHEZEAUX (ELEVAGE BY PONSOT) – Smallest Grand cru in Gevrey between Charmes & Chapelle below where Chambertin meets Clos de Beze. Usually a gentler softer and seductive perfumed cherries as here but this bottle not perfectly pristine clean. Slightly disappointed.
9. RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU DOMAINE MEO-CAMUZET – Upslope from Romanee-St.-Vivant and north of Romanee-Conti this site always seems to deliver full rich generous alive wine. Shows so much more intense concentrated very classy fruit as wine of the night! Dramatic outstanding balance which is so exciting already with mocha notes but will continue to develop even more violets with velvet complexity by further bottle age.
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