About 3 weeks ago I had the great pleasure to attend the ’10 years-on’ tasting near Beaune for the 1997 vintage – it’s copyright Clive Coates, so other than slowly typing up the notes, this is the closest I’ll get to a ‘report’ – though I note that Clive is still yet to publish his notes from the previous year’s 1996 tasting. From over 100 wines on display I only got round to making notes on around 80 because I desperately needed food two-thirds of the way round, and those more ‘professional’ than I (or perhaps who had an earlier sandwich) downed many of the ‘name’ wines before I returned – still, it was only Richebourg and La Tàche etc… :
Whites: since day 1 they have been ripe and tasty, of some depth if without real minerality, though in contrast to 2003, with quite enough (acid) balance. They remain tasty and apart from some obviously mature ‘lower’ wines there’s no rush to drink and I suggest great restaurant buys – I don’t know if any bottles suffered the ‘p.ox’ (premature oxidation), but those on display were fine.
Reds: The only (semi) surprise was that the wines taken from the producer’s cellars tended to be somewhat fresher than those that have been in the market for the last 8 or so years. About two-thirds of the wines were well-enough balanced – the other third typically had some issue with the acid balance; probably from less well judged acidification. All the more ‘serious’ wines need more time for the reasonably prominent tannins to soften and almost all have rather high-toned and diffuse aromatics (if not roast) i.e. from an aroma perspective tended to disappoint this taster. Only one wine in all the tasting had a dense, deep core of fresh fruit on the nose – that was the Ponsot/Chézeaux Griotte. Essentially, and despite falling some way short of great, they are pretty good wines that burgundy buffs will enjoy for what they are, rather than what they are not! One or two were standouts and I’ll highlight them as I write up the notes.
Some notes have already trickled through the diary in the last two weeks and more will come during the next two weeks while I’m travelling in Asia – normally there are few tasting opportunities on these trips…