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Burgundy: the 2002 vintage

by Tom Cannavan, 2004

Each January London's wine trade turns itself over to showing the wines of the latest Burgundy vintage. These 2002s are on sale now "en primeur". By and large the whites have already been bottled, whilst some of the reds are barrel samples, which have still to be bottled. Notes on the red wines in particular carry the caveat that these are not necessarily finished wines.

One unmissable fact about the 2002 vintage is that prices have gone up considerably for most domaines. For example, Nicolas Potel's Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes was offered at £95 last year, but £140 this. In the foreword to the vintage tasting booklet, Berry Bros. & Rudd's Director Mark Pardoe MW reminds us that Burgundy prices have remained more or less unchanged for three vintages, so increases were inevitable. However, the principal driver is the knowledge that the quality of the forthcoming 2003 vintage will be exceptionally good, yet the drought conditions of 2003 mean that volumes will be halved. Prices next year would have to leap compared to 2001, so the decision to raise 2002 prices is partially an attempt to stabilise the market ahead of the scramble when the 2003s are released.

Notes are provided by Tom Cannavan and Rosemary George MW.


  Tom Cannavan
"The good news is that quality is extremely good, and consistently so across red and white, and across appellations. There are some good deals on "smaller wines", like Bret brothers dazzling Mâcons at only £114-£150 per case, or Hubert de Montille's lovely, classic Bourgogne Rouge at £126. Sylvain Cathard's village wine, the Nuits-St. Georges at £215 will be equivalent to £20 a bottle once duty and VAT are paid, but it is a beautiful red Burgundy".

Rosemary George MW
"Burgundy this year has been a pleasure. The 2002s are a delight, with harmonious, balanced wines and happy winemakers pouring them. Ask them how 2002 went and a smile spreads across their faces. In 2002 the grapes got what they needed; there was no frost; the summer was good without too much rain, and a fine September ripened the grapes nicely. The wines at this relatively early stage have some lovely ripe fruit, supple tannins and good length in the Cote d'Or. Chablis has some wonderfully mineral flavours and balancing acidity. In short, a treat to taste".
 

Over 200 tasting notes will follow, presented by stockist. The first batch features over 70 wines from Berry Bros & Rudd tasted by Tom Cannavan. Rosemary George's reports on Howard Ripley, Justerini & Brooks, Hayes, Hanson & Clarke and others will follow in the next few days. Prices are only estimated for some wines, and are per dozen bottles in-bond - so £14 duty per dozen, plus 17.5% VAT must be added.

In the Burgundy-loving UK market at least, the tiny production of many of these wines will ensure they sell. Burgundy lovers will pay to secure their favourite wines, made by their favourite producers. In many ways this makes more sense than in Bordeaux, where even the 1st growth clarets are made in quantities often 100 times that of a Burgundy Grand Cru.

Berry Brothers & Rudd by Tom Cannavan


white wines

Michel Bouzereau Meursault Tessons 2002
Rich, hazelnutty nose with lots of apple and crunchy pear fruit. The palate has a lovely sweet, pure, elegant fruit. Quite rounded and full, with a boiled-sweet character and good acidity, this has plenty of grippy concentration and good length. Very good indeed. £180.

Michel Colin-Deléger St. Aubin 1er Cru Le Charmois 2002
There's a nice hint of ripe, buttery, weighty fruit with a certain yeastiness before crisp orchard fruits push through. On the palate it quite muted at first, the fruit clean and stylish, but reserved. Then a certain richness evolves in the mid-palate, with some oatmeally quality and a nuttiness. This has good acids too, and concentrated fruit. With decent length, this ends up being very impressive at a modest price. Very good indeed. £150.

Michel Colin-Deléger Chassagne-Montrachet 2002
Distinctive, high-toast, coffee bean notes dominate the nose, over sweeter, almond, marzipan and pear-like fruit. That almond quality persists onto the palate, with a nice weight of racy, polished fruit beneath. This seems a little lacklustre given it is more expensive than the St. Aubin, but it has good length and is very good/very good indeed. £192.

Michel Colin-Deléger Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes 2002
Quite rich on the nose, with a big, buttery overlay to pure, rounded, creamy orchard fruits with even a hints of old-fashioned Spangles. The sweetness of the oak fills out the wine on the palate, giving this a fleshy, generous texture and weight pushing through to a long finish. Very good indeed. £288.

Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée 2002
Dominated by a layer of coffeeish oak at present, this nevertheless displays a succulent quality of white fruits, with a hint of honey. The palate is quite decisive, with a searing core of minerality adding some serious backbone to underripe ogen melon and lemony fruit. Lovely finesse and raciness here, and a very good wine indeed, possibly excellent. £276.

Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Fairendes 2002
Rather more subdued on the nose, with a tight, mineral quality and reserved if concentrated fruit character. There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, with creamy oak and lots of succulence: orange and grapefruit acids giving a vibrant underpinning to white fruit. Good balance and length, and Very good indeed/excellent. £288.

Patrick Javillier Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée Oligocène 2002
Quite plump and buttery, with a fine melon and pear fruit quality. It is fine, ripe and precise on the palate, with a focused quality to the fruit; lots of racy, pure orchard fruit and hints of nuttiness. It has only medium length, but is poised, elegant, balanced and lovely to drink. Very good indeed. £114.

Patrick Javillier Meursault Les Tillets 2002
Similarly precise, controlled style, with fine hints of acacia and floral notes, a touch of hazelnut. There is lots of succulence and richness on the palate, with excellent concentration and a mouth-filling, fleshy texture. This is very stylish and persists into a long finish. Excellent. £210.

Patrick Javillier Meursault Tête de Murgers 2002
Again follows a house style of fine, poised, very precise and refined winemaking. It has a lovely weight of limpid, pure melon fruit on the nose, underpinned with warmer, nutty aromas. The palate is very concentrated and complex with layers of luscious, peachy fruit and a drier apple and melon quality. Full and rounded in texture, this nevertheless has fine acidity to balance and extend the finish. Excellent, almost outstanding. £342.

Gérard Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Clavoillon 2002
A clean, racy, pure style here, with restrained, creamy oak layered over succulent white fruit, with a hint of tangerine. Fleshy, full and very savoury palate with a broad texture and focused, ripe fruit. This is rich and concentrated with a full texture, yet is balanced and refined. Impressive stuff, and excellent. £252.

Gérard Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières 2002
Very clean, mineral nose; bright with lots of precision and concentrated citrussy fruit underpinned by some oak. On the palate a real buttery quality emerges in a broad, expansive style of Puligny, but there is a core of much more crisp and steely mineral acidity and concentration. Very good indeed. £210.

Gérard Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain 2002
Lots of finesse immediately here, with perhaps a little more toast and depth o the oak treatment, but fine, very fresh lemon and apple fruit quality cutting though. On the palate lots of crunchy, supple fruit with a creamy texture. despite that rich mouthfeel, the fruit stays razor sharp, with mineral qualities. The mid-palate fills out with a fleshy texture before a grapefruity acidity cuts through to the finish. Long and very fine, this is very good indeed/excellent. £252.

Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne Blanc 2002
Immediate polish and finesse on the nose, with fresh pear and apple fruit and a little hint of opulence. Good fruit on the palate: quite robust with underripe melon, pear and a lean, sinewy, steely stripe of acidity. Quite a classic style and very good. £81.

Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières 2002
Much more nutty on the nose, with an apricot kernel character and ripe, clean orchard fruit. Very brisk on the palate, with concentrated, clean fruit and quite a searing acid quality that cuts through with an intense minerality. There is plenty of tension here, with a sweetness of fruit at the core suggesting lush nectarines and peach, before that decisive acid stamps its authority in the finish. Uncompromising, but excellent. £420.

Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières 2002
Similarly elegant nose that is nutty and dry, with a white fruit character. There are little hints of honey showing through. Full, quite broad on the palate, where a spicy quality of oak emerges to dominate rather lean and slightly tart fruit. Seems a little unbalanced on this tasting and a hard one to call. Potentially very good indeed. £360.

Yves Boyer-Martenot Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2002
Immediately very poised, with a full, rounded, creamy nose that is quite subdued and subtle, with integrated oak and fruit - very "whole" as a picture, though not really singing. The palate is dry with lots of melon, Asian pear, and crisp, succulent fruit character. There's a real core of mineral acidity and the wine fills-out subtly on the mid palate. Good concentration, and fine length here. This seems like a sleeping giant of a wine, that might need some time to really open. For now, very good indeed, potentially excellent. £300.

Yves Boyer-Martenot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières 2002
Very lithe and a little leaner on the nose than the Charmes, with distinctive mineral and white fruit character - seems more Puligny than Meursault in some ways. Hints of salts and wet stones. Lovely fruit emerges on the palate - subtle toasty oak adding a vanilla and cream note to juicy, warming pear and peach fruit. There's an intense mineral acid quality than adds a lot of tension, and very good length. Excellent. £348.

Yves Boyer-Martenot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Cailleret 2002
Again very poised, restrained and elegant in style, with a powerful yet oddly quite reticent nose at this stage: seems to have obvious concentration, but it only slowly reveals a little more floral, honeysuckle aroma. Tight and mineral on the palate too, but plenty of fruit in there and a very composed, seamless, lithe quality of concentrated fruit and integrated acids. This is all about reserves of power within a taut, reserved framework, and should be a great wine for the long haul. This vineyard adjoins the Grand Cru Le Montrachet. Excellent. £450.

Jean-Marc Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 2002
Boillot is grandson of Etienne Sauzet, and inherited some of his finest vineyards. This has a nicely nutty, gently toasty character with elegant mineral and underripe pear aromas giving way slowly to a more lush, almost tropical quality of fruit. Really lovely fruit on the palate - a real sweet edge to rounded, fleshy nectarine fruit. Medium-bodied and very stylish, this is quite a forward style, and is delicious. Very good indeed. £264.

Jean-Marc Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne 2002
Much more minerality on the nose here - a great shock of taut, firm, decisive white fruit edged by a vibrant, vivacious minerality. The palate is broad and beautifully fruited; masses of crunchy grapefruit, melon and sweet, quite nutty apricot and brazil nut. Some tropical ripeness too in a complex picture. Broad-based, generous acidity adds to the appeal of this wine, which has s long, pure finish. Excellent. £420.

Bret Brothers Mâcon-Cruzilles 2002
A small estate brought to Berry Bros by their recent takeover of Morris and Verdin, Jasper Morris told me the brothers started with a dew acres of their own, and are now making a name for themselves as négociants, buying parcels of really old vine grapes to make some impressive wines. This has a slightly overripe, cabbagy note to lush, sweet, very buttery fruit with a real impression of sweetness. That is confirmed on the palate were there is indeed plenty of fruit sweetness in evidence, along with a tangy orange and tangerine acidity. It has good length and is very approachable, yet has the balance to age for a few years too. Lovely, and very good indeed. £114.

Bret Brothers Viré-Clessé "Sous les Plants" 2002
Quite restrained and steely by comparison, with a cool, poised fruit quality and stony, mineral edge. Again, some real fruit sweetness emerges on the palate, with elegance and good length too. It is balanced, with the fruit staying focused into the finish. Very good indeed. £114.

Bret Brothers Pouilly-Fuissé "En Carementrant" 2002
Tight, focused, immediately mineral nose but a little suggestion of creamier, nuttier weight. The fruit is there too - very elegant, tight white fruit. It is dry and very composed on the palate, with a big lime-fruited core with just a suggestion of honeyed, creamy quality. Concentrated and really quite a serious style of wine, with good balance and length. Very good indeed. £150.

Domaine Bertagna Vougeot Blanc 2002
This village wine actually comes from two 1ers Crus: 20% from Les Cras, and 80% from Les Petits Vougeots. There is a hint of that super-ripe, cabbagy note here, adding a layer of depth to quite tight, intense mineral and white, apple fruit. Lots of tang and zest on the palate, with grapefruit and lemon, and a core of acidity. Stylish and long, this is very good indeed, almost excellent. £282.

Domaine Bertagna Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne 2002
This is big and bold on the nose, with a full-fruited, buttery character and plenty of toastiness from oak, and, I'd guess, malolactic. The palate has a luscious fruit quality, with mango and pineapple notes over more savoury orange and nutty flavours. Despite the obvious ripeness, there's a limpidity here with lovely acids and a silky texture. Excellent. £486.


red wines

Domaine Bertagna Vougeot 1er cru Clos de la Perrières 2002
This has a gorgeous, ethereal fragrance with raspberry fruit and chocolaty notes. There's lots of fruit sweetness, and a hint of mineral elegance. Dry, stylish and refined on the palate, it has plenty of lithe black fruit and a background of vanillin oak. Spiciness emerges too, and there's a bite of tannin and acid giving structure to the finish. Very good indeed, almost excellent. £312.

Domaine Bertagna Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot 2002
Layered with lots of polished, creamy new oak, espresso bean and tight, focused red fruits. There's a little bracken and cedar edge adding contrast. On the palate it is tight and crisply fruited, though it has a full, broad texture, there is good extract, with sinewy black fruit before the mid-palate really fleshes out, adding toasty oak and generous, ripe tannins to the long finish. Good balance, and excellent. £510.

Domaine Bertagna Grand Cru Clos-St Denis 2002
There seems to be great depth here, with a full, deep, sweetly-fruited nose laden with berries and plums, and with background hints of nuts and chocolate. It has a fine palate - very expansive and fleshy, with a seam of minerality, but enveloped in rich, sweet fruit. Plenty of power and concentration here, with ripe tannins and balanced acidity. Good length too, and excellent. £486.

Domaine de Lambrays Morey-St Denis 2002
Little glimpses of floral notes amongst ripe, sweet, very pretty fruit suggesting raspberries, delicate tea-leaf and ginseng. Very feminine and fine palate too, with a graceful, silky quality. Long, balanced finish. Very good indeed. £215.40.

Domaine de Lambrays Morey-St Denis 1er Cru 2002
More reserved, deep and creamy on the nose, with hints of floral character again. Full, sweet, very chewy palate with gamy overtones to really sweet, ripe fruit. Gorgeous weight here, with deep concentration and fine length. Excellent. £312.

Domaine de Lambrays Grand Cru Clos des Lambrays 2002
Powerful, but poised and rounded on the nose with delightful, deep, cherry and vanilla-tinged, plummy fruit. Lovely polish: the palate is savoury and dense, very supple with layers of fruit, soft, chewy tannins and a balanced, cedary tannic component. It is delightful, but I possibly prefer the 1er Cru at a couple of hundred pounds less. Very good indeed/excellent. £474.

Ghislaine Barthod Bourgogne Rouge 2002
Really stinky, dank, vegetal aromas at first amongst a sweetness of fruit. Much nicer on the palate, with broad, juicy cherry fruit that is quite densely textured. Good acidity, this is fruity with a bit of stuffing. Very good. £81.

Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 2002
Still that mushroomy, slightly dank character, but again comes around on the palate with fine, deep, chocolaty, fleshy texture and good cherry fruit. Length is quite good and it has some structure, but it doesn't really grab me. £210.

Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Baudes 2002
Sweet, pure, and much more aromatic nose with a schisty minerality, hints of violet and lots of cherry fruit. The palate is sweet and fine, with more complexity. There is a big, strapping backbone of tannins that suggests this needs time, though the sweet, ripe fruit is all there. Very good indeed, potentially moving towards excellent. £354.

Jean Chauvenet Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Aux Bousselots 2002
Fine, restrained, black fruit quality with a pastille note, and hints of plummy depth, There is some cedary character too. The palate is lithe and savoury, with plenty of chewy tannins and a solid core of black fruit. These seems dense and layered, as well as being harmonious and complete. Very good indeed/excellent. £258.

Jean Chauvenet Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains 2002
Sweeter, riper, with a cassis quality fro very ripe, forward, plush fruit. Lovely poise and elegance, but also plenty of power, with a creamy concentration of fruit. Pure, balanced and long, this is lovely and very stylish. Excellent. £297.

Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Gevrey-Chambertin 2002
Slightly dank, but also quite perfumed with some coffee-bean underpinning and plenty of ripe black fruit. The palate is a touch lean, but it is savoury, with well-defined, taut black fruit and a touch of gaminess. Tannins are quite firm, and acidity is good, so this may come good in time. Very good indeed. £180.

Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru 2002
Much darker, more earthy character here with deep-set, smoky aromas and some brackeny notes. There is also good, earthy berry fruit. The palate has good fruit sweetness, and fine concentration with succulent cherry fruit and a nice balance of chocolaty tannins and fine acids. Very good indeed. £228.

Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Grand Cru Latricières-Chambertin 2002
Nice creamy, dense, attractively perfumed nose of red liquorice, raspberry and a darker background of coffeeish oak. Lots of toasty oak dominates the palate at present, with a sweet layer over soft, medium-density fruit. There's a silkiness about this, with gentle tannins and good balance, that suggests it should develop nicely. Very good indeed, potentially excellent. £378.

Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Grand Cru Bonnes-Mares 2002
Lovely perfume here; very elegant and subtle with espresso coffee mingling with ripe berry fruit and fine, violet and blueberry notes. This has lots of juicy, savoury, very vibrant fruit on the palate, with layers of depth and concentration. Impressive stuff, and very good indeed/excellent. £498.

René Engel Vosne-Romanée 2002
This wine is all about elegant perfume and not power; floral notes, fine red fruits and hints of game on the nose. The palate has summery, raspberry fruit with a slightly jammy quality. It is juicy and fine, and is a feminine, elegant style for drinking well already. Very good indeed.

René Engel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Brûlées 2002
This has a layer of stinky, Burgundian mushroom and truffle over cherry fruit. There is a subtle background of oak. The palate is savoury, dry and quite chewy with a rasping quality of black cherry fruit. Nice oaky underpinning, and polished tannins. Very good indeed. £276.

René Engel Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot 2002
Big, obvious layers of espresso coffee, high-toast oak laid over deep-set, blackberry and mulberry fruit. Lovely sweetness on the palate; a really smooth, fine texture of creamy blackberry smothered in chocolate and a smoky quality. Crisp acids shine through in the lengthy finish. Very good indeed/excellent. £410.40.

Sylvain Cathiard Nuits-St Georges 2002
Big, bold, strikingly masculine wine with immediate power, depth and concentration. Sweet, dark oaky notes do not overpower ripe cassis fruit. The palate shows a real depth of fruit flavour that is lip-smacking with impressive tannins and good acidity. Very fine and harmonious whilst displaying excellent concentration. Superb stuff at a modest price, and worthy of an excellent rating. £215.40.

Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée 2002
Elegant, with a slightly finer perfume, adding floral nuances to plenty of cherry and berryish fruit, but still creamy and dense. Fine on the palate, with more of that creamy, coffee oak adding a roundness and sweetness, and underpinning a lush quality of fruit. Fine concentration and balance again, and very good indeed/excellent. £237.

Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru En Orveaux 2002
Oak is a little more evident on the nose, with a marzipan note over a fine quality of concentrated black fruit that is very pure and poised. Supple on the palate, with plenty of fruit sweetness and power, and complex layers of fruit, spice and plummy depth. A big-scaled, but very polished wine with excellent structure and balance. Excellent. £366.

Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots 2002
The nose has a real suggestion of fruit ripeness and sweetness, with a fine, brooding concentration of black fruit. Very dark and velvety on the palate with a fantastic fruit compote sweetness suffused with spices and chocolaty note. Lovely use of new oak here to add a gorgeous depth, whilst retaining plenty of fruit and bright tannins and acids. Excellent, almost Outstanding. £426.

Robert Arnoux Vosne-Romanée Les hautes Mazières 2002
This has fine richness on the nose, with a great multi-layered density of fruit, smokiness and creamy oak. That picture unfolds on the palate, with a velvety texture and seamless layering of components. Lovely wine, with good balance and length. Very good indeed. £276.

Robert Arnoux Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Les Procès 2002
A little brighter and more perfumed, elegant and lively. A layer of sweet oak dominates, but there is fine raspberry fruit and a mineral streak. Lovely palate, with a really good quality of full, rich, yet quite crisp fruit. Impressive tannin and acid balance too and a very good wine indeed. £348.

Robert Arnoux Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Corvées-Pagets 2002
Distinctive spice and pepper element on the nose, with solid black fruit and elegant, firm tannins on the palate. Ripe and sweet fruit, with plenty of silky blackberry, but some structure too. Good length and very good indeed, almost excellent. £399.

Jean Tardy Chambolle-Musigny Las Athets 2002
Elegant, fresh, very much fruit-forward wine with a lighter, elegant raspberry character and slightly nutty quality. The palate is broad and has good concentration, with approachable, chewy, deep-set fruit and rounded tannins. Filled out with oak into the finish, this is well-balanced and is very good indeed. £210.

Jean Tardy Nuits-St Georges Las Bas de Combe 2002
Marzipanny sweetness, chocolate and smoke are layered over a really ripe summer fruit quality. This seems elegant and fine with good concentration. On the palate the fruit is dark and sweet, with a bit of real muscle and sinew. Balanced and long, this is fairly foursquare at this stage, but is very good indeed. £204.

Jean Tardy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2002
Some vanillary sweet oak here, with a very silky, rounded quality to the fruit, with a raspberry coulis quality. Creamy on the palate, this is silky and fine with good fruit sweetness and elegance too. I like this wine, which has polished tannins and lovely balance into a long finish. Very good indeed/excellent. £276.

Jean Tardy Grand Cru Echézeaux 2002
Sweet, smoky, chocolaty and rich with hints of earthy, dark, autumnal berries adding layers on the nose. Sweet, silky and concentrated on the palate, there is a lot of power and depth here, with a weight of chocolaty texture pushing through and filling out the finish with flesh and an expansive quality. Very nice and very good indeed/excellent, with lovely potential. £594.

Jean Grivot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d'Orveau 2002
Warm, earthy, slightly cooked fruit quality with a hint of nuttiness and a suggestion of a more lush, ripe, plummy core. On the palate it has elegance and charm, with subdued, cool fruit and good balance, though only moderate length. Very good indeed. £258.

Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 2002
Fine, ripe, raspberry and light cherry fruit aromas, with a little hint of something richer and more earthy and truffly. Elegant in the mouth, with good fruit that is sweet and ripe, and balanced by subtle oak and ripe tannins. Rounded and generous on the finish, though acidity is ample. Very good indeed. £198.

Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2002
More creaminess on the nose, with more obvious oak and a touch of herbal quality with rich, tarragon and buttery notes. Cool, classy fruit on the palate that has a dense core with plenty of polished tannin and firm acidity. Refined and well-balanced, this is Very good indeed/excellent. £426.

Jean Grivot Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Aux Boudots 2002
A little more toast and warming, smoky depth here. There is coffee and tobacco, and the palate has a silky sweetness of really ripe fruit wrapped in a polish of fine tannins and sweet oak. Poised, with acidity adding an edge into a long finish. Excellent. £426.

Jean Grivot Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot 2002
Lots of obvious concentration here, with a fine, structured, serious nose. Quite closed, with plum and schisty aromas, a hint of blackcurrant. On the palate it is quite grippy, with a savoury weight of fruit and a fleshy texture in the mid-palate. The tannins are svelte and sweet, and it has lots of style and good balance. Should age very nicely. Excellent. £498.

Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Isle de Vergelesses 2002
Ripe, rounded, sweet raspberry fruit though rather light compared to previous wines. Lots of sweet, ripe fruit on the palate and really quite a good depth and weight, with rounded tannins and good acidity. Very good/very good indeed. £150.

Domaine Chandon de Briailles Grand Cru Corton-Bressandes 2002
This has a precise, well-defined cherry nose that is very ripe and elegant. Some gravelly, mineral notes emerge, and there's a hint of a perfumed violet character. The palate is very harmonious with a medium-bodied finesse and a layer of crisp, cherry fruit. Good balance here and stylish, but not a lot of fireworks. Very good indeed. £297.

Nicolas Potel Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2002
Lots of depth, with a savoury, inviting quality of red fruit and undergrowth. Soft, sweet fruit on the palate of very good ripeness and quality, with earthy nuances and a then a firm tannin/acid axis to extend the finish. Very classy village wine, and very good indeed. £144.

Nicolas Potel Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru Aux Boudots 2002
Richer, more fleshy with fine black fruit and touches of liquorice and a more animal, gamy edge. Sweetly elegant palate, and a lovely expression of pinot, with crisp, well-delineated acids and polished tannins, and a delicious sweetness of fruit. Good length too, to complete an impressive picture. Very good indeed/excellent. £222.

Nicolas Potel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2002
Nice vinous nose, with an engaging quality of cedary black fruit that is rounded and open. Chewy concentration on the palate, with a gorgeous silky texture and mouthfilling sweet fruit. Balanced and very good indeed/excellent. £264.

Nicolas Potel Grand Cru Clos de la Roche 2002
More obvious new oak, with coffee and cocoa beans, but also a schisty quality and hints of damp undergrowth and truffle. Warm berry fruit is sweet and expansive on the palate, with a cedary component and good richness. Very good indeed/excellent. £420.

Nicolas Potel Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin 2002
Big, rounded, very sweet fruit on the nose and only background oak adding depth to obviously concentrated fruit. Real depth on the palate, with immense concentration of red fruits, that are deep and sinewy but hinting at elegant, lighter cherry components. Lovely power and length here. Excellent. £432.

Hubert de Montille Bourgogne Rouge 2002
Lovely freshness about this wine; ripe, perfumed and silky Pinot fruit with hints of coffee and earthiness. Lovely on the palate too, with a silky texture suffused with earthy fruit that is fine and elegant, with robust tannins adding some weight and good balance. Very good indeed, almost worthy of excellent. £126.

Hubert de Montille Volnay 1er Cru En Champans 2002
Classy nose here again, with lots of fruity richness and ripeness, with supporting oak and lots of animal nuances, hinting at briar wood and truffle. The palate is terrific too, with svelte, stylish fruit but a gutsy tannic framework and good balance. Lovely stuff, and excellent. £396.

Hubert de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans 2002
Sweet, spicy, lithe and rounded with a fine quality of fruit and impressive concentration. On the palate this is suffused with chocolate and spice, with integrated oak and lots of polish to the tannins. Structured and long, this is another excellent effort from de Montille. £420.

Hubert de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Pézerolles 2002
There's a more vibrant spectrum of fruit here, with raspberry and mineral notes dominating over a core of plummy, deeper fruit. Fine, sweet and rich on the palate, with an enveloping sense of creamy richness. This is pure and long, with personality and balance to spare. Excellent. £426.

Visit BB&R web site to buy any of these red wines.

click here for wine-pages report on the 2001 vintage

click here for wine-pages report on the 2000 vintage