What can be more impressive at the table than opening a mature vintage and setting free, as you uncork the bottle, all the history that goes with it? To get from the vineyard to the glass, these wines have had a long journey, and they’d love to end up in your glass.
From 1982 to 2012
It might seem a bit strange at first glance but, since we’re well into the 21st century now, there are plenty of post-2000 vintages that already count as ‘mature’. Whether they need further ageing or not depends on the estate, the cuvée, and the vintage in question, but in any case, the best bottles don’t necessarily begin with a 19 anymore.
From the Bordeaux side of things, always a classic for mature wines, we’ve got 2009 Château Ausone, 2000 Château Pavie, and 1985 Château Léoville Las Cases all available at a fixed price. If you’ve got something to celebrate, or you’re just feeling generous, an Imperial of the 2000 Mouton Rothschild is bound to impress, a splendid cuvée given full marks by La Revue du vin de France. We’re not all ready spend the big bucks right now, though, so more pleasingly priced are the 2011 Château Tronquoy Lalande, a modest Saint-Estèphe on exceptional terroir, the 2011 Château Gloria, admired for its accessibility and balance, and the 2010 Château Poujeaux, a wine with gorgeous finesse.
As for Burgundy, who wouldn’t dream of tasting a bottle of Bizot, here in the form of a 2008 Echézeaux. Otherwise, perhaps a 2001 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru from Domaine Prieuré Roch could tempt you, a 1983 Saving-lès-Beaune from Leroy, or a collectors’ 2004 Clos de Tart? Nicolas Rossignol’s 2008 Beaune 1er cru and Antonin Guyon’s 1999 Gevrey-Chambertin are gentler on the wallet, too.
Our favourites from the Rhône are Jean-Louis Chave’s 2012 Hermitage, Jamet’s 1999 Côte-Rôtie, and Clos des Papes’ 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as every bottle from Château Rayas (we couldn’t possible choose one!)