The Tippler: Berry Bros & Rudd, 2000 white burgundies,

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The Independent Online

The pukka St James's wine merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd, has become the latest independent specialist to preface their new-year burgundy offers with tastings of the new vintage. With the red wines still in cask, it's hardly looking like a rush-out-and-buy vintage for the 2000 reds. Still, for pinot noir purity and outstanding value it would be hard to beat Denis Mortet's Cuvée de Noble Souche, £108, Bibendum.

The 2000 white burgundies are a better bet for cellaring, especially as excellent whites for laying down are always so few and far between. A case of Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Marc Morey at £62.10 (Haynes, Hanson & Clark) will make an excellent house white. A notch up the quality ladder, try the powerfully flavoured Pouilly Vinzelles Le Quart from "the Bret Brothers" at La Soufandière (£120), (Morris & Verdin); Denis Boussey's Meursault Pré du Manche (£123.96), (Berry Bros & Rudd); Michel Colin Deleger's St-Aubin premier cru En Charmois (£139.56), (Berry Bros & Rudd), and his stylish Chassagne Montrachet, £180 (Berry Bros & Rudd).

Top white burgundy, which will improve for up to 10 years: Marc Morey's Chassagne Montrachet en Virandot, £194.40 (Haynes, Hanson & Clark); the sumptuous Chassagne Montrachet Les Chaumées Clos de la Truffière from Vincent and François Jouard, £228 (Howard Ripley); and Jean-Michel Gaunoux' Meursault Les Perrières Premier Cru, £225 (Berry Bros & Rudd). At the pricey end of the spectrum, Justerini & Brooks showed a number of outstanding white burgundies, outside my price range I'm afraid, but if you can dig deep, go for the Meursault Les Perrières, £308, from Vincent Dancer, and a luxurious Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets from Blain-Gagnard, £392. When buying burgundy en primeur, it's best to shop around, bearing in mind that duty, VAT and shipping costs will be added when the wines are delivered. Also, try to wheedle your way into an in-store tasting, like Morris & Verdin's on 6 March.

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