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Tim York

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Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by Tim York » Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:33 am

This matter has been aired recently on the Jancis Robinson and, I believe, on the Parker boards but I recall having seen nothing here. From my own limited experience I can confirm the existence of browning sherry-like bottles from Ramonet, Sauzet and last night a Chablis Fourchaume from Boudin. 3 out of the last three bottles of 96 white opened.

This particularly sad as the vintage was originally hailed by most critics at release as "great" and is still classified in the 2006 edition of Le Classement as "année exceptionelle à garder 10 ans".

It now seems that I have a gaping hole in my cellar where I thought I had a dozen or two fine white Burgundies nearly ready for consumption. Should I unload them on Ebay (ethics?) or keep them in the hope that at least some will be good?
Tim York
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:11 am

I think some of us followed the debate over on eBob. Went on forever with resulting fisticuffs, I`m leaving this board, general upheavel etc Do you have an hour for some light reading?!!
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:31 am

Light reading: random oxidation - some bottles oxidized, others not. Each bottle one way or the other swayed the argument. Typical eBob argument until the weight of the oxidation problem became clear. Now even clear headed reviewers like Claude Kolm are warning against assuming white burgs will last if cellared. The fear is no longer confined to the '96s because the true cause is not known.

I have consumed a number of bottles of 2002 Chablis (the '95 and '96 Chablis were in the same boat) with some evidence of premature oxidation. I will be consuming most of mine ASAP. This is unfortunate to me because the 2002 Fevre Bougros Chablis is a special wine to me (wine I drank while my beloved Red Sox won the World Series). I hate to see it go young, but I would rather drink it while it's whole.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by Ian Sutton » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:38 am

Also plenty of (unheated) discussion on wine-pages.com in UK. The most important part is that although it started around 95/96, it has continued on since. No-one has nailed the cause, though there is educated speculation.

Also see finewinediary.com for additional comment from Toby Bailey

regards

Ian
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wrcstl

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by wrcstl » Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:43 am

Tim,
I have heard this debate and found examples of both oxidized wines which were undrinkable and also fantastic wines. Over the last 2 months I opened a '96 DROUHIN LES CLOS and a '96 DROUHIN CHASS-MONT MARQUIS DE LAGUICHE, both were fabulous. I also had a friend open a '96 Chablis that was totally oxidized. Don't know what to tell you but if I had much of this stuff I would maybe try a bottle from each lot and then most likely age them a few more years as the good ones are fantastic.
Walt
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Mark Lipton

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by Mark Lipton » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 am

This topic is well enough dicussed on the Internet to have its own wiki:

http://oxidised-burgs.wikispaces.com/

Happy reading!
Mark Lipton
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Tim York

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Re: Oxidisation warning: 1996 white Burgundies

by Tim York » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:36 am

Thanks for that.

I feel encouraged by the fact that experience shows that oxidization in the 96s is far from universal and that even bottles from the same case can differ sharply. It is clearly premature to dump my modest stock and I will go forward in the hope that some of the bottles will bring great pleasure.

So far none of my 95s nor 97s have been similarly affected.
Tim York

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