Twenty Years On: The 2000 Vintage

Having just published a little report taking a look at the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux and how some of the wines are faring today I thought I might as well keep the theme going with this rag-tag selection of wines from other regions in the same vintage. There are wines here from Champagne, the Loire Valley (we can’t have an old vintage report without at least one senile Savennières and a venerable Vouvray or two), the Rhône Valley, Spain, Portugal and the Lebanon.

Some of these bottles turned out to be delightful, real joys that any drinker would be happy to find lurking in a long-forgotten corner of the cellar. Others, however, were disappointing duds, including a handful of wine famous names also seemed determined to underperform. To my dismay I rejected several wines for cork taint or levels of Brettanomyces contamination sufficiently high to render the wine undrinkable. Oxidation may have also played a part in the downfall in one or two of the wines, in particular those famous names, something else we can perhaps blame on the cork. The excluded wines were a Chablis (oxidation), a Côte-Rôtie (rampant Brettanomyces) and a Bourgueil (cork taint), among others. Some tasting notes on other wines with less dominant afflictions are still included below, from tiring and oxidised Châteauneuf du Pape to another Bretty Côte-Rôtie which was at least recognisable as wine.

Twenty Years On: The 2000 Vintage

In short, I could have used a subset of the wines to run a faults masterclass; it has been a long time since I have seen such a high percentage of dodgy bottles. Nevertheless, after these wines were dismissed, there were still some real successes here, wines which demonstrated the capability wine has to entrance as it ages, including a particularly strong Rioja Gran Reserva and a surprisingly vigorous Champagne.

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