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It’s rare to have a great red and white vintage in Burgundy in the same year. The whites are nearly always picked a week or so ahead of the reds — and, in the meantime, weather conditions can change rapidly. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for the worse. Consider the 2000 and 2001 reds. The 2000 whites were harvested at ripeness. The reds got caught in the rain. The resulting red wines are good, but nothing special. In 2001 the red grapes had the extra time to ripen. As a result, they, far more than the whites, bear the stamp of “terroir” — the character of the individual vineyards — but they lack the mark of greatness. Given that neither of these two vintages is great for the reds, I would begin by searching out those merchants who still have quantities of 1999 red burgundies and buy as much as you can while they last. This is a great vintage for red burgundy. Among the major producers, I’d cite the ’99 reds from Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin and Antonin Rodet (particularly their Cave Priv�e wines), not to mention those of young Nicholas Potel. The ’99 Domaine Louis Latour reds are also particularly succulent — and fleshier than usual. I’d also buy 2001 reds selectively. Among the early arrivals are those of the venerable merchant house Bouchard P�re et Fils. The wines being produced here have begun to astonish by their complexity and purity of fruit. At a tasting of the 2001s, I was mightily impressed with the whole range of Bouchard’s estate wines. I know I am not alone in thinking that its 2001 La Roman�e might be the single greatest wine of the vintage. (I say this because two of the best burgundy tasters I know — Clives Coates, M.W., the famous English wine writer, and Dr. Michael Apstein, wine columnist for The Boston Globe — have both made the same point.) Hats off then to the whole team: owner Joseph Henriot, general manager Bernard Herv�, vineyard manager Christophe Bouchard, and the quietly brilliant wine maker Philippe Prost. A Red Burgundy Sampler

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