In April 2001, The Wine Advocate published a vintage report that would rock the wine world. As Parker wrote, Bordeaux's spring of 2000 couldn't have been less auspicious. One of the worst outbreaks of mildew in memory caused château owners to double up efforts in the vines. We spent much of June 2000 in France, a 30-day period that Parker called "schizophrenic." Some days were cold and wet. Others were hot and dry. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines at Château Léoville Poyferré were no doubt confused, unsure of how they were to respond to the meteorological see-saw.
Most of July, with its heavy cloud cover and showers, provided little relief. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a high-pressure system settled over Bordeaux on July 29th, not budging before the call to harvest. While the early part of the growing season was wet, August and September were exceedingly dry. Those drought-like conditions made for grapes with thick skins and a touch of desiccation.
It's often said on the great wine trails of France that June makes for quantity, August for style, and September for quality. August was glorious. September featured day after day of turquoise skies, and a couple intense heat spikes. Typically, Septembers in Bordeaux bring 3 inches of rain. In September 2000, there was less than 2.
As Parker wrote, before others fully understood, "That was never more true than 2000, when August left its stylistic imprint on the wines' enormous tannic content and richness, and the nearly flawless month of September (the finest since 1990) produced many wines of exhilarating quality."
Sixteen years after the monumental harvest of 2000, the greatest wines of the vintage continue to put on weight, showing off the intense concentration and age-worthy structure of The Wine Advocate's 96-point vintage. While Pomerol's Château Petrus ($4,500/bottle) remains, in our view, the wine of the vintage, the astounding Léoville Poyferré — a bottle that has yet to hit full stride — remains the most surprising.
In Issue #189 of The Wine Advocate, Parker published his 4th review of this herculean 2000, writing, "The plushest, most ostentatious and dramatic of all the Léovilles in 2000, this wine is already sumptuous, displaying some nuances in its huge nose of vanilla bean, black chocolate, jammy black cherries, cassis, and graphite in a flamboyant style. … The Poyferré's low acidity, sweet tannin and an already gorgeous mouthfeel make it a wine to drink now as well as over the next 25 or more years. 97 points."
If you missed out on the 2000 futures' offering, this is a rare opportunity to revisit one of the greatest wines of the vintage after FOURTEEN years of rest in the château's faintly lit cellars in St.-Julien.
120 bottles in PRISTINE condition — direct from the château. $229 today on WineAccess. Shipping included on 2.
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