These wines were tasted at a Burgundy dinner in Newcastle, hosted by the Ultimo Wine Centre. The idea was to compare a couple of '02s to '03s.
2002 Raveneau Chablis Montee du Tonerre
Silty pebble nose, apple blossom. Has a dank earthy aspect too.
Incredibly biscuity pebbly palate that crescendos with fresh apple and cashews, with a mealy white peach. The minerally acid draws it right down the middle. It finishes with a peanut silty structure. Very very good.
2002 Raveneau Butteaux
A much more intense golden peach, buttery and flinty mineral nose.
A tight palate, but fruit is round with peach, fresh apricot and a very attractive savoury fishoil character. Flinty warmth and great minerals. A broader toastier style. Very complex, endless. An excellent wine.
2003 Bernard Moreau St Aubin 1er cru ‘Sur Gamay’
Fine peach and very fine French oak on a clean nose. Beautiful balance, generous and quite new world in style.
Disjointed palate at this stage with warmth and spice. Broad and golden peach and cactus notes. Tight oak with broad fruit flavours. Obviously a hot year, very new world.
2002 Blain Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet
Lactic minerally nose. Talcy, buttery fishy new oak.
Beautiful acid structure and limey acid flavour. Great length of minerally complexity and flintiness. Great tight complex style.
2003 Bernard Moreau Chassagne Montrachet ‘Les Vergers’ 1er cru
Intense smokey vanilla bean and peachy nose.
Palate has some very ripe flavours. Ripe peach, strawberry and smoke. Broad mealy golden palate. Warm finish with mineral, anchovy and stylish oak. A broad rough structure (for this pedigree) on the finish, but I think these will integrate over 3-5 years.
Overall, I thought you could drive a truck between these two vintages (a rattly old French truck that is). The 2002’s were beautifuuly and finely structured. They were all about tightness and minerality. The 2003’s were almost not from the same region. Being a warmer year, the flavours were forward and ripe, and the strucutures were coarser. Instinct tells me that they won’t age as well as the 2002’s, but this is probably the case for lesser wines than these. These riper 2003 style wines are more new world, but will probably aged much like Leeuwin Estate (Margaret River) chardonnay in a good year. Rich flavours supported by great framing phenolics with a quality minerality.