Wine Monopole

Two years ago, I walked into the usual wine store near my home and saw several 2000 Burgundy at very attractive price. While I was gonna go wild, the store manager reminded me and said, “well, 2000 could be full of ‘land mines’, so it’s hard for me to recommend to you, you need to decide yourself.” I got the hint. (Of course, I have paid enough “tuition” to this store, and thus received such nice warning.)

To help you avoid the so-call “land mines”, we capture below the vintage assessments of Red Burgundy provided by Clive Coates, MW. Specially done for you, the super busy folks, we have grouped his assessments into 3 categories for your easier reference and memory:

Category A: Score at 18-20 (Fine Plus, Very Fine Indeed, Outstanding)
- 2005, 2002, 1999, 1990

Category B: Score at 15-17 (Good, Very Good, Very Good Indeed)
- 2008, 2006, 2004, 2001, 1998, 1996, 1995

Category C: Score at 12-14 (Poor, Not Bad, Quite Good)
- 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997

A very key point to note: however “bad” a vintage is scored, the best growers will produce surprisingly good wines. This is especially true for Burgundy; Pinot Noir in particular. While the wine might not have as much richness and concentration in difficult years, it would express the elegance of the climat as well as its complexity and balance. So, place your bet on the producer and get access to the individual tasting note if possible. “Bad” vintage can be a great source for undervalued gems!

Below is the exact score of each vintage:

For those who want more details, I highly recommend you to buy Coates' book “The Wines of Burgundy” and visit his website ( You will learn a lot from him about this amazing wine region.

From our selection this week, we have chosen Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge 1999, a classic vintage withe superb quality. One can't help but be amazed by Madam Leroy's foresight to cellar this Bourgogne for 10+ years and release to market now. It's really our luck to get access to a parcel like this. 

Written by Wine Monopole — October 23, 2012


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