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Random ruminations…


July 2004
Amazing, two consecutive reports without a change in design – I must be getting tired – or too busy…

The 2002 wines are now starting to filter into the stores and just look at some of those prices! High or not, the merchants have made brisk trade with top (and trophy) wines. I wonder what sort of precedent that will set for 2003(?)

Talking about 2003; the vast majority of wines have finished their malolactics. There are still a few in each cellar that are chock full of gas, but in the main, it’s already possible to make some generalisations:

  1. First, prices will probably increase again – the yields were miserly
  2. Second, North or South there is little to choose between the Côtes
  3. Third (this is where it starts getting interesting) the wines are unique

Remember the 2002 reds? fleshy, very ripe and very friendly – in many cases the 2003’s take this a step further, almost becoming ‘top-heavy’ – I’m thinking of a well endowed lady with very high heels – the wines still seem balanced, but it looks a little precarious!

Then there are the whites. The chardonnay often suffered more from that heat than the pinot, hence, there is less good white available than red. There is a fabulously lush and concentrated character to many whites, and acidity seems not at all bad, but they seem to offer more New World aromas than the standard. I’m looking forward to trying a few more – I hope it’s just a phase…

Coming back to my first point on pricing, I know it’s a relatively ‘flat’ market in many regions, and I know that prices (mainly due to currency in the US) have gone up with a bump for 2002, but Burgundy still remains a relative bargain. You don’t believe me? Take a look at the pricing of Bordeaux ‘2nd wines’ from 2000: Latour and Lafite’s versions can cost you as much as 100 Euro – year-in, year-out you won’t pay much more for Rousseau’s Chambertin or Drouhin’s Musigny – always assuming you can find some of course 🙂

I felt very lucky indeed, in fact almost privileged to happen upon a classic scene the last time I visited the vineyards of Vosne. The ploughing in La Romanée was being done the ‘old-fashioned’ way and required considerable skill too; these are big horses and one wrong foot (hoof) and there goes a 70 year old vine. Great to watch.

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