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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
15 Dec 2003

I'm sorry to go on about this but I really do want to remind you how beautifully the 2000s are tasting at the moment, even many a wine at Grand Cru level, and they go particularly well with game and birds such as goose, duck and turkey which will find their way on to many a table at this time of year.

To me these wines just prove what pleasure is to be had as a result of the dramatic vintage variation in Burgundy. It seems to me quite wrong to expect the Pinot Noir grown there to produce dark, concentrated, tannic wines for long aging every year. In some years, such as this one, well-kept vines can produce charming, fruity, early maturing wines which do not tie up capital for year after year but simply respond fast to wine's principal purpose: to give drinking pleasure.

I remember being a great fan of the 1982s and 1992s for the same reason. In the wrong hands, the vines tended to produce wines that were too light and thin and/or had that nasty metallic edge of wines incorporating rotten berries, but bottles from the best addresses, where any rotten grapes are strictly avoided or eliminated, were absolutely delicious.

Here's how Aubert de Villaine at Domaine de Romanée Conti described the 2000 vintage to me just over a year ago: 'The 2000 vintage was very difficult vintage for us at first. There was some rain and rot during the harvest. But the wines seem to have continued to get better and better ever since the malo. They absorbed the oak very fast. I see them as in the style of 1992 with the flesh of 1995, so sort of 1992-plus - and I like the 1992s. The 2000s, like the 1992s, will be much better than their reputation.'

So I am just pointing this out while there is still time to lay in stocks before Christmas and New Year. To locate particularly good examples, see wine news and long-term subscribers to purple pages can also check out my 2002 tasting notes on more than 580 2000 burgundies. Note that I was much more disappointed by the whites (see my 2002 tasting notes on 2000 grands crus white burgundy) than by these lovely reds.