My apologies for the delay in bringing these to the boards. A combination of busy-ness and absence meant that I have had to wait a full week to get these posted.
First, let me start by thanking Bibendum fine wines of north London for another excellent tasting of Burgundy En Primeur. This was a much awaited tasting given the hype surrounding the vintage replete with makers from all over. It was worth the wait.
There is no other way to describe this tasting other than stunning. The overall quality of both whites and reds was fantastic. But what really got me was how complete, balanced and characteristic the wines tasted at this stage in their development – most are in barrel, bottled at most a week before for the purpose of this (and other) tastings.
The highlight regions for me were:
- All Montrachet wines: Puligny, Chassagne, and Criots Batard – at all levels
- Vosne Romanee: Exquisite wines so characteristic of their terroir, from basic villages to 1er cru
- Vougeot – wow!
- Chambolle Musigny including Bonne Mares - fabulous
- Gevrey Chambertin especially Clos de Beze
As you can guess, for me this is a Cote de Nuits vintage. I am not saying that there are not many fine fine wines from the Beaune but I was just so impressed by these wines that they stick in my mind. Onto the tasting.
Unfortunately, I arrived slightly later than I thought so I have only posted notes on 28 wines today. I skipped Chablis at this tasting (apologies). Notes are by domaine.
Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot
Poured by a Boillot family member
Bourgogne Blanc: Basic Bourgogne at an excellent price. Soft and drinkable with some complexity and characteristics of Montrachet vineyards. Honey and white fruit, full and delicious.
Puligny Montrachet (village): Decent nose, slight closed, hinting of mineral. Mineral on the tongue, acidic, medium full. Nice wine.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne: Great nose, full of tropical and white fruit. Huge fruit on the palate, some peach, some pineapple. Fat. Great length. Mouth filling. Fantastic.
Volnay 1er Cru Les Roncerets: Exotic nose of soft red fruit mixed with spice. Powerful nose followed by great mouth fill. A powerful yet balanced Volnay.
Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens: Can’t help thinking this wine was off. Oxidised stinky nose. Not to my liking.
Meursault (village): Excellent mineral nose, quite Puligny in character. Medium weight wine, lovely length. A really great villages Meursault.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Chalameaux: Hard to gauge nose, tight. Tough on the palate, prickly tannins from the oak. Slightly green aftertaste. One of the few wines that didn’t open.
Domaine Vincent Girardin
Puligny Montrachet Villages Les Enseigneres Blanc : tight nose, subdued fruit. Tight mineral structure in the mouth. Some depth in fruit but hidden. Will develop nicely.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Les Folatieres : Great nose, hint of oak and lovely balanced fruit – white and tropical with mineral. Citrus and pineapple fruit, really fat. Huge length. Very full and front. What a wine!
Puligny Montrachet 1er Les Combettes: More typical for an en primeur – tighter nose but more subtle. More pineapple than the Folatieres. More subtle overall though and softer even. Length very good but not quite the Folatieres.
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets : Obvious new oak, confirmed medium char on the barrels betrayed by the smoke and toast – great nose. Full wine, with good length. Needs time to integrate the oak but will develop beautifully.
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanee: more subtle nose, oak better integrated at this stage. Very soft in the mouth, subtle balance of fruit and acid. Very very long. Will be a stunner.
The next three wines were next to each other, all poured by their makers (Etienne Grivot, Pascal Lachaux and Nic Potel). The table of heaven.
Domaine Jean Grivot
I was really looking forward to these wines. To me, Grivot is quintessential Burgundy, producing fantastic long lived and complex wines. Wines poured by Etienne Grivot.
Vosne Romanee (villages): Tight nose, but essence of Vosne discernible. Some animal and spice. Lovely red fruited wine with depth. Still taut. Good length.
Clos de Vougeot: My WOTN. Deep dark wine. Animal, rose, tea, fruit, you name it, it was on the nose. Full powered fruit depth covered in smooth but evident tannin. This wine was a powerhouse. The length was incredible. I didn’t swallow this wine but the richness of it pushed its way down my throat, saturated my chest and left me with the sensation and taste for minutes afterwards. A must-have, no-brainer.
Domaine Pascal Lachaux
Wines poured by Pascal who is also the winemaker at his late father in law’s domaine, Robert Arnoux.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru: Waft of strawberry fruit and spice, some flowers. Soft and delicate wine. Good length. Hidden power.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: Slight animal with strawberry fruit. The fruit, acid, tannin balance on this wine was incredible! Could have been a 10 year old wine for what it tasted of. Awesome!
Domaine Robert Arnoux:
Vosne Romanee (villages): So Vosne on the nose! Incredible mix of spice, earth, fruit, animal. Great nose for a village wine. Beautiful balance, long. A fantastic villages wine.
Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes: Again, unbelievable nose, so Vosne. Animal and dark fruit. Sweet sweet fruit in the mouth, rich and full. Unbelievable wine. Fabulous length.
Domaine Nicolas Potel
Wines poured by Nic
Only his second year of making whites. I found these better than the 2004’s insofar as they were more balanced and the primary characteristics, while there, were more in balance with the rest of the wines. As he said, they inherited Chardonnay vines with the land they bought so thought ‘why not make some wine!’
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru: Full nose. Ripe. Mineral. Acid. Fat. Medium length. Really excellent.
Criots-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru: Smokey nose. Some butterscotch and toast. Great full mouthfeel with tight acidity balanced by fruit. Very very full. Fantastic length, lingering butterscotch. Excellence defined.
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Haut Doix: Exotic nose, animal, tea, spices. Lovely mouthfeel, great balance. Very elegant wine. Very very long. Superb.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru : Animal and deep cherry nose. Beautiful full bodied fruit. Fat wine. Mouthfilling, succulent, silky. Very very long. Fantastic wine.
Echezeaux Grand Cru: Powerful nose, tinged with blackcurrant. Very full wine, not Burgundy, more Cali cab! What did he put in there?
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod:
Wines poured by Ghislaine.
Chambolle Musigny: Tighter wine, more reminiscent of en primeur. Orange blossom and peel on the nose. Medium weight wine. Hard to gauge the depth but most likely to stun later.
Domaine Hudelot Noellat
Vosne Romanee (villages): Tight nose, oak evident, spice. More typical en primeur wine than others in that it was less giving at this stage. Very good.
Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Suchots: Again, very tight. More spice, more red fruit evident. Nice balance but needs much more time to come out.
Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Cinammon spice on the nose, deep cherry. Palate of ripe fruit, black cherry even. Very very ripe. Really yummy. Really very good. Long.
Domaine Drouhin-Laroze - wines poured by M Drouhin
Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru: Cool nose, very ungiving. Tight wine, with evident tannins and acidity. A question mark over ripeness on this wine. A long hauler?
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: Very beautiful nose, mix of fruit, spice, flowers. Full fruit but not overpowering. Amazing balance between acidity, fruit, tannin. Lingered forever. A profound wine.
Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru : exotic nose, spice, some animal, earth, flowers, fruit. Everything in. Dark colour. Dark ripe cherry flavour. Power and elegance combined together. Another truly profound wine. Excellent.
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Etelois: Very sweet nose, red cherry and strawberry and earth. Full flavour in the mouth but medium length. Very good.
Gevrey-Chambertin en Pallud: Very similar to the Les Etelois on the nose. Even sweeter in the mouth, very powerful wine with excellent length.
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Vielles Vignes (multiple 1er cru vineyards): Delicate nose, dark ripe red fruit. Softer and very deep red fruit in the mouth. Great mouthfeel. Medium weight. Good length. A very balanced wine. Excellent.
Wines I missed that I regret missing:
Domaine Francois Jobard: Meursault 1er Cru Les Tillets and Les Poruzots
Domaine Fontagne Gagnard : Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Maltroie
Mommessin Clos de Tart (damn)
Jean Grivot : Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Rouges and NSG Les Pruliers
Domaine Pascal Lachaux : Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuees and Les Amoureuses (idiotic to miss this !), Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru (what was I thinking !)
Maume : Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru
Nic Potel : Vosne Romanee 1er Cru les Suchots, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques.
Dinner proceeded afterwards, a basic steak au poivre (of sorts) in red wine reduction with mashed potatoes made with truffle oil followed by a nice selection of cheeses. I dragged Nic Potel over to sit on our table and tried not to bore him with adoration for his wines. He is a lovely guy with wine tastes well beyond Burgundy and a wine collection that would stun most people! He mentioned that he recently traded 300 bottles of Burgundy for an equivalent amount of Cote Rotie from one of the Rhone’s finest. His comparison of the 2005’s to the 1929 vintage was compelling. He travels a lot so try to get to a tasting where he is pouring.
Wines tasted with dinner included:
Matrot Meursault 2001
Robert Arnoux Nuits St Georges 2001
Robert Arnoux Bourgogne Rouges 2004
Jean Grivot Vosne Romanee 2003
Nic Potel Volnay 2003
I hope you enjoy these notes. If you are ever planning on being in London in the second week of January, let me know and I will secure a place for you at the 2006 tasting!
Links to '04 en primeur TN's: