Twenty Years On: The 2002 Vintage

Following my recent dive into the cellar to pull out a selection of wines from the 1997 vintage, all celebrating their 25th birthday, it seemed only right to continue in the same vein with the new twenty-year-olds of the 2002 vintage.

In times gone by I have put both 2002 Bordeaux and 2002 in the Loire Valley under the spotlight. Indeed, this is a vintage I followed from the outset, in both regions. Now as the wines hit twenty years of age, however, their presence in my cellar is beginning to dwindle. Where Bordeaux is concerned this should not surprise you; while I rejected some early concerns that this was a vintage to drink quickly (that the wines are showing well at 20 years of age certainly proves this was wrong) neither is the vintage a long-keeper, in the manner of 1928, 1945 or 1961. Indeed; looking at the wines I included in my Bordeaux Twos: 1942 – 2012 report, a number of them are on the slide, and the time to drink is now.

Twenty Years On: The 2002 Vintage

In the Loire Valley, however, the picture is rather more complex. Some red wines here are still going strong, and I would drink some of them in preference to the grander names from Bordeaux which I allude to above. The majority of wine made in the Loire Valley is white, though, both dry and sweet. While I expect many dry whites from the 2002 vintage are now in their twilight years (there is some supposition here, as I include only a couple of examples below), the sweet wines in this vintage have always clearly been well set for the cellar, with more texture, more acidity, more extract and more residual sugar than many comparable vintages. That the sweet whites are drinking well at twenty years of age is expected, and this should continue to be the case for many years, if not decades, into the future.

While previous forays into the 2002 vintage in these two regions have been conducted separately, the ever-decreasing number of wines in my racks mean that I have combined these regions into other reports. Those wines from Bordeaux I included in the Bordeaux Twos: 1942 – 2012 report mentioned above, alongside 1942 Château Petit Village, 2012 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, and other delights. The wines of the Loire Valley I include here in this more generic report, alongside a handful of interlopers from Champagne, Bandol, Chablis and the Mosel.

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