I almost think the risk of premox with older white Burgundies is less a threat than hitting a disappointing bottle red Burgundy.  There I said it… Boom!  With great risk comes great reward.  And perhaps that is what Burgundy is all about, and no where is this more true than with white Burgundy.  Is it that we expect red wines to age more favorably that a white Burgundy of some age gives even more pleasure due to that surprise?  Perhaps so, but I don’t really care if there even is an answer, white Burgundy can age as well as any of the best white wines of the world, that much is fact.  And premox be damned, it’s worth a chance.

But the truth of the matter is that no one has been able to successfully address what causes premox or what can be done about it.  There has been research and efforts to discover the cause and prevent it but we really don’t have a clear answer.  Corks were looked at very seriously as a source of the problem and the overall level of cork quality has risen since the mid 1990′s across the board for all wines, but it is still not clear if there is even a link.  Some have tried higher dosages of sulphur to preserve the wine longer, though again, this is unclear and is not adopted by all.  And the list of theories goes on, but most experts warn that 1996, 1999 and 2002 are vintages which have proven more prone to the problem.  And it is also apparently certain that the issue of premox is less a threat today than it was ten years ago.

At any rate, my personal advice when looking at purchasing aged white Burgundy today, is to look at the color.  If the color is looking too golden, more than the burnished patina a white wine will take on, then you may want to take caution.  Still, when you hit a good one, it can be a sublime experience but to get to that great bottle of white Burgundy you may have to also rely on a little luch.  Having had two bottles of the 1992 Ramonet Chassagne Montrachet Boudriotte recently, both bottles proved to be very special, and were well worth the risk.

Ramonet 1992 Chassagne Montrachet – Premier Cru “Boudriotte”

This sublime bottle of 1992 Ramonet Chassagne Montrachet “Boudriotte” is fine example of how well white Burgundy can age.  There is salted pear, creme brulee, caramel popcorn; it is buttered yet with still sharp acidity.  Classic amazing stuff.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED