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1998 White Burgundy Tasting

La Vigneronne, Monday 12 June 2000

An interesting line up of mainly premier cru white Burgundies from the 1998 vintage. It is quite difficult to really be able to assess these wines fairly so early in their evolution. In particular, I noticed that people's heads were more turned by the oakier wines, which are more showy in their youth, than the tighter examples that perhaps may age better. Overall the standard was high, although it may now be too late to purchase some of these wines at reasonable prices (i.e. en primeur). The Ramonet was the outstanding wine, but in the full flavoured style the two Moreys both shone, and in the leaner style the Amiot and Sauzet wines should have a bright future.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet, Duperrier-Adam
Pale gold with a smoky nose. Lean and tasty on the palate with savoury fruit. A bit tight and simple at the moment. Good.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Caillerets, Duperrier-Adam
Slightly deeper colour with a bit of spice and smoke on the nose. Lean, tight and attractive with some nutty complexity. Good, with some future ahead of it.

1998 Puligny Montrachet, Noyers Brets, Jean Pillot
Lovely open nose: full, spicy, smoky and mineral laced. On the palate it is rich, nutty and open, with prominent but well integrated oak. Very good.

1998 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champs Canet, Etienne Sauzet
Restrained but attractive nose. Lean and mineralic, with quite high acid. Very tight at the moment, but this seems to be a top rate wine with a long life ahead of it. The least approachable wine of the night. Very good +

1998 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru La Truffieres, Bernard Morey
A lovely wine. Rich, ripe nose with smoky, toasty complexity. Good concentration. Full bodied, with mineral notes and balancing acidity. Complex and full. Very good/excellent

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Virondot, Marc Morey
Appealing, forward nose: rich, spicy and fruity (melon and tropical fruits). On palate, rounded and full flavoured -- almost like a new world Chardonnay! Plenty of complexity and quite oaky. Big wine. Very good.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot, Vincent Girardin
Restrained nose. On the palate this is light and structured. It lacks a bit of complexity now, but may develop this in the bottle. Perhaps the most disappointing wine of the night from this upcoming young negociant.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers, Michel Colin-Deleger
Lovely, exotic nose with a cabbagey edge, and some melon and smoky notes. On the palate it is a tiny bit thin-textured, but is still attractive and savoury with ripe fruit. Very good in a full-flavoured style.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champaigns, Guy Amiot
Subtle, appealing nose of minerals. Lean, taut but complex on the palate: mineralic, with good balancing acidity. Superb, but needs a lot of time to really shine. Very good/excellent.

1998 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Boudriotte, Ramonet
The outstanding wine of the evening. Sensational nose: rich and profoundly complex, with exotic notes of spice, toasty oak, cabbage and minerals. On the palate, this is a huge savoury mouthful, with minerals, spiciness, wood tannins and high acidity. Should improve for decades, but approachable now. Excellent/outstanding.