The Bordeaux châteaux owners, and in fact anyone at all who sold Bordeaux wine, were vehement in their declaration that the 2000 vintage would be the best ever. They wanted us to believe that it was special, incomparable, in much the same way the Champenois rather wanted us to believe that the millennium celebrations would leave a dirty great hole where once there were champagne bottles. No one noticed a global champagne shortage (because there wasn’t one) but the Bordelais got it right. 2000 WAS a good vintage and, judging by a tasting the other day, many wines from various appellations are drinking scrumptiously now.
The Left Bank had it good, the Right Bank too. The Graves did well with it, the Côtes also. The Cru Classés of course are now, and going to be even more, wonderful but remember that the lesser (and therefore cheaper) châteaux benefitted from the same perfect weather conditions for their grapes, too. Which is great news. You don’t have to spend big to get something pretty amazing. Ok, you are going to have fork out two, three oh, ok, lots more times the average spend of a bottle of wine but you’ll be rewarded with way more in taste. And aromas. And pleasure. They are worth it – luscious fruit, serious tannins, rounded, spicy, friendly and classy. And red, by the way.
This is what we tasted:
Château Citran, Haut-Medoc*
Château Brown, Pessac-Leognan**
Château Chasse Spleen, Moulis***
Château Potensac, Medoc*
Château Barde Haut, St Emilion Grand Cru***
Château Clos l’Eglise, Côtes de Castillon*
Château Haut Larriveau, Fronsac*
Château La Pointe, Pomerol**
Château Gruaud Larose, St Julien***
Château Palmer, Margaux***
Château Montrose, Palmer***
Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac**
* Gorgeous and delicious
** Ditto, get some if you can.
*** Try extra-specially hard to get some.
The last few are expensive but you really do only live once. Remember that.
And think of it like this – tickets to a concert for two is around £80- £150. I rarely hear anyone complaining about that. You’ll pay more for Bruce Springsteen (substitute any superstar you love) than you will for Ed Sheeran (substitute any ginger singer you fancy) but both are good. Live music attacks or caresses your senses, gives you a buzz, makes you feel good. Wine does that. Good wine does it really well. You could open a great bottle (depending on your budget), put on a DVD, cook a meal and have all your senses stimulated by a Bordeaux 2000 instead of fighting through the hoards, queuing for the loo and eating a hot-dog washed down with a warm beer from a plastic bottle.
You’ll need to go to an independent merchant rather than a supermarket for older vintages. And if you end up buying a case, don’t feel you have to drink all 6 or 12 in the week, the 2000’s have years in them yet.