Some producers are clearly more affected than others


The oxidation which has been observed in the 1995 to 2009 vintages seems to vary widely among producers. Some producers have a very high incidence of oxidized bottles while others have very little. Because the producers’ performance with respect to the incidence of premature oxidation has varied over time, and because some producers have made considerable progress in combating premox, in this latest update (May 2017) I have primarily weighted the list based upon the producers’ performance in the vintages from 2001 through 2009.

In my opinion [Ed. Don Cornwell], there appear to be five broad categories among producers.

Category I – Highest Premox Incidence Producers: The first category is a group of producers whose rates of oxidation appear to be greater than one out of three bottles and, in a few cases, the incidence of oxidation approaches 100% by the time the wine is seven to eight years old. In my opinion, the producers who fall in this category of the highest incidence producers are (in alphabetical order): Blain-Gagnard, Droin, Fontaine-Gagnard, Gagnard-Delegrange, Jadot [starting with 2000 vintage], Domaine Leflaive [starting with 2006 vintage-previously a Category V producer], Matrot and Mikulski. The following additional producers were previously listed in this category based on their performance in the vintages from 1995 through 2002, but which I have not tasted many of these wines in recent years, so it is uncertain where they belong today: Guy Amiot, Colin-Deleger, Coutoux, Jouard, Juillot, Tessier and Verget. I list them here for the purpose of providing a cautionary warning.

Category II – Above-average Premox Incidence: The second category is a group of producers who have unexplainable seemingly "random" oxidation but at what appears to be a clearly higher than normal or "above average" incidence. The producers who in my opinion presently fall in this category are: Henri Boillot, Bonneau du Martray, R&V Dauvissat, Drouhin, Fevre, Antoine Jobard, JN Gagnard, Lafon, Hubert Lamy, Latour, Maltroye, Le Moine, and Niellon.

Category III – Average Premox Incidence: The third category is the largest group of producers for whom the oxidation incidence is "today's normal" or roughly 10-12%. There are far too many producers to name here individually, but you can figure it out by process of deduction given the other listed producers in Categories I, II, IV and V.

Category IV – Below Average Premox Incidence: The fourth category is a group of producers who have lower than average incidence of premature oxidation (i.e. below 10% incidence). In some cases, the producer in question has had oxidation problems in only one or two particular vintages: Jacques Carillon [since 2002 - formerly a Category II producer], Colin-Morey, Leroy SA, Bernard Moreau, Marc Morey, Pierre Morey, Jean-Marc Pillot [since 2002 – formerly a Category II producer], Pernot and Roulot.

Category V: Lowest Premox Incidence The fifth and final group of producers are those who have very little premature oxidation as a percentage of bottles opened and indeed seem to have no higher incidence of premature oxidation after 1994 than they did before, i.e., Coche-Dury, DRC, Leroy/D'Auvenay and Raveneau.