Vintage notes for 2003 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Les Mazoyères, Domaine de la Vougeraie
2003 - Burgundy
2003 was a unique vintage, preventing comparison with any that have gone before. Indeed, the record books show that in over 100 years there has never been such an early harvest (Chandon de Briailles commenced picking in Corton on 15th August). This uniqueness continues into the wines themselves; the reds are rich and bold, containing a pure core of natural fruit, with strong intense grainy tannins and an appealing freshness. The intensely ripe whites are more flattering with a full, luscious and rounded open nature to their fruit, giving them tremendous appeal for early drinking.
As always, it is the climate that has shaped these wines: The winter of 2002 served the vines very well. It was cold, but also very wet, which established good water-table levels capable of providing much needed moisture in the dry months of the following summer. Spring was more of a problem, particularly for the white wine producers. In Puligny-Montrachet there was a noticeable frost on 15th April, which was followed by a hailstorm in June and again in July. In fact, in this vintage it was the combination of frost and hail that led to the low yields: According to Jacques Carillon, his domaine’s production comprised approximately one third of their normal crop.
Throughout the Côtes, July was warm and stable and certainly gave no indication as to what was around the corner. But then came exceptional temperatures in August reaching as high as 40 degrees at times. It was this that was to leave such a huge impact on the style of the vintage. As a result sugar levels rose in the berries which were naturally small and concentrated, thus the analyses were something that no vigneron nor oenologist could predict. Instead winemakers had to rely on their intuition: each had their own view and interpretation on how the wines should be made. As ever, it seems the quiet and patient approach has delivered the best results.
In summary, there have been some delicious wines made in 2003. As regards the whites, our advice is to enjoy them while they are relatively young. As for the reds, although it cannot be said of all, many will offer very good ageing potential (please refer to our recommended drinking dates for detail). The rich, tannic power in many of these wines renders them hugely exciting for the collector, and we are sure they will produce some stunning, mature wines in years to come – providing temptation can be resisted!