Time to Mature

2002 Red Burgundy

Many Burgundian vignerons would like to see their wines enjoyed with the complexity of age and are frustrated at the speed at which their top wines are consumed at home and in restaurants. They are keen to promote the idea through wine writers, sommeliers and key member of the trade of maturing red Burgundy, particularly grand cru and top premier cru. To this end, I gathered a fine selection of red 2002 on my visit  to Burgundy earlier in November and an experienced circle of people to taste them. We met for the fourth ‘Time to Mature’ Tasting on 29th November 2018 in Bermondsey at Goedhuis & Co.

2002 Vintage

2002 was heralded as a very good red vintage from the start. Not at the level of the 1999s or the 2005s to come, but very good none-the-less.  

They came out of the blocks with plenty of energy, refreshing acidity, plumpish body and a good quality of ripe and silky tannin. From the beginning it was very fresh with splashing red fruit. Maybe in the early days it was more a pinot noir, than a terroir wine. Sunny wine but with a cool face; decent concentration and nicely balanced.

I asked my fellow tasters to consider the following; How has this style evolved and has it fulfilled its potential?


The Season

It was a fair, but not wonderful season.

After a cold winter, which was beneficial in killing off any nasties lurking in the vineyard, the weather was decent for the budding and a fine June resulted in an easy flowering, which promised a decent, but not large crop. The dry weather continued throughout June and July. Burgundy escaped the stormy weather which hit Bordeaux and the south of France. There was even a slight drought in the first half of August. However the second half of August and first half of September were overcast and damp. The wettish & overcast weather encouraged some rot in vineyards which had not been green harvested and leaf plucked for aeration. 

By mid September things looked up with north wind and clear skies which kept things fresh. The season ended in September with wind and cool nights.

Ban des Vendanges for the Côte de Beaune was on 16th September. The conditions were good for the harvest in the second half of September. The fruit was generally healthy. The sugar was greater than expected as the wind had dehydrated the berries, increasing potential alcohol towards 13% while preserving the freshness and red fruit which are the hallmark of the vintage.  


Overview after the tasting 

(Individual tasting notes follow)

With age the 2002 is no less lovely and is certainly more complex. They have retained their freshness, purity and precision. The colder aspect of the wine is more to the fore as the fruit has receded; so there is a chillier feel. The acidity is more apparent and the style can be both mellow and brisk. This is accentuated on more limestone soils so Ile des Vergelesses & Ruchottes have a touch of austerity now in a good way… cool minerality and edge. 

Tannin: I found the texture of the tannin fine and smooth – at one end the gossamer of Frederic Mugnier’s Chambolle Musigny, Les Fuèes to the satin of Michel Gros, Vosne-Romanée, Brulée and the velvet of Pierre Damoy’s Clos de Bèze. Even where the tannins were chunkier, they were smooth. On the whole I really enjoyed the texture.

However five or six wines were a touch dry on the finish… perhaps some oak protruding as the fruit has fallen away, maybe accentuated by the acidity. It is certainly time to drink these.  

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An observation: Winemaking techniques evolve. Sometimes they move back to incorporate the good things of the past, but they are in a slow but constant state of change. In general the 2002 vintage would have received more extraction and new oak than recent vintages and perhaps in a few examples this has led to slightly dry tannins at the end of the palate in some examples. Others show the more generous use new oak, which is still quite showy, so many years later – for example the creaminess of Meo-Camuzet, Corton Rognot. Faiveley has radically changed their style, not least in oak management. In Dujac’s Clos de la Roche the domaine’s use of whole bunch is more obvious than it is today. Etienne Grivot has been on a mission to ‘civilise’ his Vougeots, which comes from a rather inauspicious parcel at the bottom of the Clos and is certainly more refined these days with very gentle extraction. While in Perrot Minot’s refined Mazoyères-Chambertin you see the move toward the style Christophe has perfected today.


What about the quality? Their youthful charm has certainly evolved into something more complex. They have not exceeded expectations, but they have certainly fulfilled them. 

 There is a notable step up in quality from the premier cru to the grand cru on the Côte de Nuits. Many of the Côte de Nuits grand cru are ‘lighter’ & quieter but a good deal more intense than the 1er cru. They have a fine core. 

I am not sure one village stood out as there were not sufficient wines to make that assessment although the two Chambolle were delicious. 

As the layers have peeled back the terroir is now beautifully exposed. I think more so than the 2000s. There is a lovely translucency.

Version 3

Level of Maturity 

The 2017s have become complex and highly enjoyable. The colour is pale, brick coloured with a watery rim. Immediately on opening the bottle I found a surprisingly berry-ish charm, which swiftly morphs into an intriguing tertiary bouquet with mellow autumnal characters of forest floor, mushrooms, game, leather, liquorice, mocha and spice. The tannins are integrated, fluid and sophisticated and many examples finish on a sweet and lively note. There is plenty of energy. 

Most are 1er cru are fully mature wines now. Certainly fully mature in the Côte de Beaune. However the grand cru in the Côte de Nuits hover on the border between middle age and fully mature wine and are still evolving beneficially. The most reserved 1er and the grand cru will still be tight. 

Drinking: This is a lovely moment to drink some 2002s as the Pinot fruitiness and energy are woven with complex characters of many years maturity. The aromatics are gorgeous and to appreciate the grand cru would be worth decanting the wine for an hour to allow them to become more expressive. I would advise drinking the most 1er cru now, rather than risk keeping them further. However the grand cru will need a few more years, maybe as many as ten. 


My stand out wines

Domaine Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Tamisots

Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Chambolle Musigny, Les Fuèes

Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Ruchottes

Domaine Henri Perrot Minot, Mazoyères-Chambertin

*I have also put an asterisk against wine I particularly liked.


2002 Red Burgundy

Tasting Notes 


Côte de Beaune 





Domaine Tollot Beaut, Savigny-Les Beaune, 1er Cru, Champs Chevrey (monopole) 

Paling brick colour. Quite a bright nose and palate. Crunchy tannin. Plenty of energy here Decent intensity and a slightly bitter bite to the finish. Score 15


*Domaine Chandon de Brailles, Pernand-Vergelesses, 1er Cru, Ile des Vergelesses 

Brick with wide pale rim. Straw, mulch/autumn leaves on the nose. Light and soft tannins. Quite delicate, fragile even, but then it tightens and becomes very fresh and mineral at the end. Fine tight mineral edge. I love this pure straight finish. Actually no hurry here to drink this. Score 17




Maison Champy, Beaune, 1er Cru, Les Grèves 

Berryish, warmer aroma with a hint of sweet hay. Sweet on the attack. Juicy middle. It is rather robust. Slightly chunky tannins. Maybe the oak is showing through. Drink now, but those tannins may smooth further. Score 15.5  


*Domaine Chanson, Beaune, 1er cru, Clos des Fèves (monopole) 

Singing pure aroma. Quite lifted. Satin smooth tannins & plump middle. So juicy. Fresh on the finish. Just beautiful now, but no signs of fading. Actually a perfect example of a 2002. Such a silky texture. Drink now, but probably on a plateau. Score 18 




*Domaine Lafarge, Volnay, 1er Cru Clos de Chenes 

A most succulent nose. Expressive. Smells of a warmer summer than in 2002. Soft depth to the tannins. This has a firm core enrobed in its velvet cloak. There is tension and drive. I prefer the beginning and mid palate, but there are aromatics right at the end. Score 17.75-18


Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Corton Bressandes 

Unexpectedly ripe and succulent on the strike. It is full, rounded and expressive with moderate depth and density. Quite soft. Just a little fruit on the finish. Maybe a touch lean at the end. Just drying a bit at the end, but some nice fruit and generosity up front.  Score 17.15 


Domaine Chandon de Briailles, Corton Bressandes 

Very pale. Hoof and game notes. Very mature aroma and palate. Tertiary mushroom flavours. I like the texture, fine and smooth…at the end there is minerality. It is pure and aromatic. Very evolved. Drink now though. A very pretty Bressandes, but I am not sure how long this fragile wine will last. Score 17.5 


Domaine Rapet, Corton 

Rather a good punchy gamey aroma immediately as I opened the bottle. It is generous and juicy up front. Succulent, smoothly firm tannins. It is quite meaty. This is a hearty Corton. Still plenty of life here and it may well repay further ageing. 17.25


Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Corton, Clos Rognet 

Full, powerful aroma with stable notes and undergrowth. Rich and sweet on the strike. Lots up front. Sweet tannins. Quite powerful and certainly some creamy oak still marking the palate. Full and generous on the finish. Still evolving. There is a lot of wine here. Maybe not high on subtlety, but plenty of energy. Time to evolve further. Score 17.75



Côte de Nuits



**Domaine Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Tamisot 

Quite an evolved coffee and chocolate nib aroma. It is fresh and a energetic on the strike. I like the dark fruit, five spice and freshness. I find it has a harmony and easy elegance. Silky tannins..lively sweet and fresh finish. Top notch village wine. On a plateau. Score 16.75.


Domaine Hubert Lignier, Morey-Saint-Denis, 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes

(Contributed by David Roberts From his cellar) This is evolved and sweet, foxy. Supple and fruity. Smooth tannins and the sweetness. The finish is quite nice, not especially fine…but the are some inviting woodland aromatics at the end. Drink now. Score 17.15 


Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru Aux Murgers 

This is sweet on the strike. Quite punchy. Quite extracted. Coffee note. Leathery. Tertiary flavours. It is fresh. The acidity is quite pronounced on the finish with some herbal notes.  Plenty of energy in this wine. Score 16.5




Domaine Jean Tardy, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru Les Boudots 

This is mature and just delicious now. There is plenty of dark fruit. It’s pump. Rounded. Dark. Touch of burnt coffee, liquorice  and cinnamon. Really rather aromatic. Interesting florals and aromas. An inviting NSG. Score 17.25


Domaine Henri Gouges, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru, Clos des Porrets  

Mocha aroma. There is a dusty note to the tannins. I find it rather austere and lacking in charm. Maybe leave this, but it is rather tertiary so I am not sure it will benefit. (contributed by Charles Lea but not from his cellar so I wonder about the storage). Score 15.25




**Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny, 1er Cru Les Fuèes 

Straight, pure and delicate. Sweetness and minerality. Very fine and light tannin. A delicate and precise palate. This is the perfect example of the vitality, freshness and precision of the 2002s.  Lovely translucency to the terroir. A delight. Score 18.65


*Domaine Georges Roumier, Chambolle-Musigny, 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 

This is smooth and rather seductive. There is plump succulence and come hither invitation. A rippling texture. It almost has a glossy sheen, but with elegance and finesse. Still evolving. Score 18.60


Maison Champy, Vosne-Romanée, 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 

This is  is certainly evolved. Tertiary characters. There is a cold character. It is quite lean, but has attractive freshness. It is nice enough, but lacks pizzaz. Score 16 




**Domaine Michel Gros, Vosne-Romanée, 1er Cru, Aux Brulées 

Plentiful sweet & truffle notes on the nose. Satin texture, lovely depth to the tannins and so smooth too. Slight hint of coffee with game on the palate. There is coolness and sweetness in juxtaposition. Well defined edges. Excellent terroir expression. Long and firm finish. Drinking now, but no hurry. This could develop further. Score 18.5 


Domaine Jean Grivot, Vosne-Romanée, 1er Cru, Les Suchots 

Not showing much on the nose when I opened it. It is quite compact and a bit reserved even austere on the palate. Just not showing much at all. I think it needs more time to reveal its aromatics and become more inviting. Maybe wait. Score 17+ 




*Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Echezeaux, les Rouges du Bas 

Very inviting aroma. Expressive strike. It is pure and elegant. Seamless… fluid. Spot on for terroir typicity. What texture. It is persistent, fresh, pure and a delight. Lovely now, but not going anywhere in a hurry. Score 18.75


**Domaine Henri Perrot Minot, Mazoyères-Chambertin 

When Christophe gave me this bottle he wanted me to now that this wine won the Wine Spectator Best Wine of 2002 together with Roumier’s Bonnes Mares. This set the bar high! Thankfully it does deliver. It has a light coffee, spicy aroma. It is delicate and refined. Precision. Light tight edges. A translucency. It has an aromatic intensity. Very refined. Delightful now and seems on a plateau. Score 19.15


Domaine Douhin-Laroze, Latricières-Chambertin 

(Contributed by Steven Spurrier from his cold cellar).

This has a cool and straight palate. Fine tannins. Pure straight. Elegant. Hint of truffle on the finish. Light and energetic and pure. 18.5


Domaine Pierre Damoy, Chapelle-Chambertin 

There is a sweetness and succulence here. It’s a big wine, full gamey. Quite square and powerful. It’s not subtle, but it is vigourous. The frame is draped in a depth of delicious and really ripe fruit. Powerful finish. Very ripe and yet mineral. This could do with more time. From 2024. Score 18.75.


Maison Champy, Mazis-Chambertin 

It is spicy with mushroom and woodland notes. Firmly in the tertiary stage & very appealing. The tannins are smooth and site easily in the frame. It has intension and a firm persistent finish with plenty of freshness. Score 18.45 




*Domaine Rousseau, Clos de La Roche

So elegant. Pared back & even discreet for Clos de la Roche. Spicy with good tension. It is tight and very persistent on the finish. There is precision here. It needs time. Leave for another five plus years From 2025. Score 19.


Domaine Dujac, Clos de La Roche 

Leaf and leather. It has a cool, lean, but deep palate. I like the energy and the tannins which have a bite, like finely ground glass. slightly ground glass tannins. It is moving into tertiary, but with somewhat herbaceous  edge. I like the energy. I would wait four or five years. From 2022/23 Score 18.5


**Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Ruchottes

This is pure and light and bright and precise and mineral. It is lively and still youthful. Spot on. I love the clean a a whistle lines and the cold austerity on the finish. It’s fabulous now, but it will come to no harm in the keeping. My highlight of this tasting.  Score 19.25


Maison Faiveley, Clos de Bèze 

Leaf mulch, tertiary aroma. Rather firm tannins. It is full, dense and a touch dry… this might be the oak showing on the finish. So power and substance over seductivity & elegance. This will benefit from another few years to mellow. From 2022. Score 18.5

Domaine Pierre Damoy, Clos de Bèze 

There is a ripe sweetness to the nose. Opulent even. Full-bodied. Richly velvet tannins, deep and smooth…just fresh enough on the finish. It has rich, heady aromatics and floral note at the end. It is quite ripe… maybe just pushing the boundaries. Score 18.5.


*Domaine Pierre Damoy, Chambertin 

Fine equilibrium here. Ripe, but discreet. Finely honed. There is sleek satin to the tannins. This is direct, it has a firm core and is very long. This is much more reined in and I prefer it to Pierre’s Clos de Bèze. Stylish. I do like this now. Score 19.20 


Domaine Grivot, Clos de Vougeot 

Full, quite dense and bullish. Not sophisticated, but plenty of muscle. A bullish wine which Etienne would make very differently now. It’s very Vougeots. Thrusting vigour. Wait. from 2023. Score 18.25 


Fellow tasters


Wine critics: Jancis Robinson MW (The Financial Times); Neal Martin (Senior Editor Vinous); Steven Spurrier MW (Decanter); Neil Beckett MW (Senior editor World of Fine Wine); Fiona Beckett (Telegraph Food and wine corespondent).

Sommeliers: Stefan Kobald (Head sommelier Social Wine & Tapas): Xavier Rousset MS  Cabotte; Elvis Ziakos (Head Sommelier at the Greenhouse); Stefan Newnam (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal).

Trade: David Roberts MW (Goedhuis); Adam Bruntlett (Berry Bros); Sebastian Thomas (Howard Ripley); Amanda Skinner (Private Cellar); Giles Burke Gaffney (Justerini and Brooks); Charles Lea (Lea and Sandeman); Charles Taylor MW (Montrachet).



I have recorded some comments below. There is an excellent film on the Goedhuis website with interviews with the tasters and David Roberts writes a comprehensive report on his blog section of the Goedhuis site. Reviews by the wine critics may be found in their own publications (Jancis publishes in JancisRobinson.com) or in those they work for. 


David Roberts MW (Buying Director, Goedhuis)

Today’s tasting hasn’t really changed my opinion much. A number of wines were very correct but lacked a little bit of sweetness and there was a coolness of fruit that flowed through at the end. They were really correct but they didn’t excite excite. The really important thing when you go the top vineyards and appellations in the Côte de Nuits, you could see why they are classified at that level because there was a greater degree of ripeness, a greater degree of volume and you have some really lovely wines. 

On ageing red Burgundy: When you get the right vineyard from the right producer and it becomes 15-20 years old, you get another division of nuances, you get more complex flavours, you get these amazing secondary/tertiary characteristics, so I had a lot of savoury fruit/gamey fruit characteristics. I had very few notes about blackberries, cassis or cranberries. They were much more secondary. You had a little bit of a truffle characteristic. You get more nuances and the tannins soften, the wines become more harmonious, and they’re just more interesting. I find the aromatics and the flavour more interesting, and they’re wines absolutely designed to go with specific dishes.”




Neal Martin (Senior editor at Vinous)

I am surprised at how advanced they are. I thought there would be more fruit concentration. The low pressure we have today may have taken some of the fruit away. I love the vintage and expected more. It is a style of vintage I like. Some winemakers are making very different wine now…eg Drouhin Larose…so maybe it hasn’t aged as well as other vintages. 

Standout wines

Mugneret-Gibourg, Ruchottoes

The wine of Chandon de Briailles & Grivot


Charles Lea (Lea and Sandeman) 

I did think that there was the usual fascinating range of styles, some quite powerfully mocha-ish wines which were drying a little on the finish with the barrel-toast flavour over-dominant. I’d like to think we are past that stage now. Others raved, but I was left surprisingly cold by the Rousseau and Dujac. Whether it’s a question of not being ready – I’m not sure.

The Ruchottes from Mugneret was gorgeous – a few other highlights below, but it’s clear there’s personal choice here:

Domaine Chandon de Briailles, Corton Bressandes 

Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru Aux Murgers 

Domaine Georges Roumier, Chambolle-Musigny, 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 

Domaine Henri Perrot Minot, Mazoyères-Chambertin 

Domaine Douhin-Laroze, Latricières-Chambertin


Charles Taylor MW (Montrachet)

We have some super examples. It is a vintage ageing very gracefully. It was never a full-bodied, concentrated vintage, but it was always very nicely balanced and they have aged very well. I would probably drink them in the next 2 to 5 years. 

A few in the Côte de Beaune are fading. The winemaking of the late 90s was more extracted, too much tannins and new oak and this was the first vintage when domaines started making more elegant wines and the results show that this approach has paid off. It is a big jump up from the 2001.

 Charles’s Favourite Wine

Domaine Michel Gros, Vosne-Romanée, 1er Cru, Aux Brulées

Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru Aux Murgers 

The Grivot wines

Domaine Rousseau, Clos de La Roche

Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Ruchottes


Many thanks to David Roberts and Goedhuis for hosting this tasting with me.

The following film was produced by Mike Hopkins of Bottled Films for Goedhuis and Co.