HNY to all. May your 2011 Burgundy experiences all be positive one's (unlikely I guess but ....) !
Without wanting in any way to suggest "a mine were better than your's, look what I got" type thread, the forum, which as Bill recently & sagely pointed out to me is our's to use, seems to have been quiet of late ?
So hear's a belated contribution from me with apologies for 'rabbitting on'. A humble apology also, with some embarassment, I never got around to posting 2010 vendange ramblings. We worked so hard, harder than I ever remembered in other years, I honestly never had time for posting from MSD & once back in early October the demands of my UK banking day job just took over and almost continue to do so to the detriment of all else. Impressions of 2010 from Arlaud of, for me, remarkable similarities to 2008. Low yields though, some rot & poor grapes from the lower lying sites, much better/good from the higher & better drained terroirs. If you are used to buying Arlaud's Bourgogne Roncevie though you had better do so whilst you can from the 2009 vintage as frost in early 2010 has really devastated the Roncevie vines - resembled a vinous 'desert' when we quickly passed through with little to harvest. Romain Arlaud subsequently showed me one vat part filled, of five, with Roncevie fruit - the others empty.
Always the intention year on year to try certain 'better' wines over a Christmas / New Year holiday as a special time which invariably I don't adhere to but this year, in part with family, sampled the following :-
Darviot-Perrin, 1998, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru Blanchots-Dessus - with the Morey below from an auction purchase circa October 2010 case of each. My 3rd bottle I think - no premox on any of them. Drunk on its own without food over 2 days from Xmas Eve - fridge overnight & allowed to warm back up. All 3 a quite deep, initially worrying looking, gold but I put this down to what must have been very ripe fruit and a serious use of new oak. Quite exotic ripe dense fruit flavours akin to apricot & pineapple over a vanillin, mineral base. Quite long. Certainly not premox'd. Guess might hold in its present state a while yet albeit a bit more acidity would have enhanced. Similar to the '97 of which I've 6 left of 12 - no premox on those so far either.
Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 1995 - taken to, and opened at, my parents on Boxing Day as first of 2 GC's with lunch. Big lack of attention mistake here. Thought I'd taken a '97 from my 'cellar' of which I have 3/4 but picked up the sole 95 and opened, poured and sampled it at the dinner table only realising the year once it was gone. Colour was ok, light, thin ruby which is what I've seen from older Lambrays, no rust or browning. But it surprised & disappointed as unforgiving, tight on nose and palate, and really just anonymous - closed ? Didn't really get anything from it at all which was what made me look at the label to then see my selection mistake. Hey ho.
Domaine Arlaud, 2001, GC Charmes-Chambertin. Got 6 of these at a great price in November 2010 when looking for 3 bottles of an Arlaud Morey 1er cru for a Manchester (UK) Wine Society tasting & was offered these as a Bin End. The 3 disappeared at speed at MWS on the night !! Opened one after the Lambrays. The Charmes was much more 'like it' ! Arlaud's style for me isn't 'big' & power, but this was a beautiful, deeper, colour than the Lambrays. Quite a melange of tasty red and black fruits, violets, some mineral, lovely balance and grip, smooth, rounded, mouth filling and quite lovely. At GBP 35 v good ! Arlaud have 2 parcels for Charmes, one lower in Mazoyeres near the RN 74, the other high up across the road from Latricieres.
Domaine Louis Michel, 2000, Chablis 1er cru Montee de Tonnerre. Love Michel's Chablis and do they keep ? Can't recall a lot about this other than enjoying it but do remember thinking, whilst it had all the Chablis & Michel de Tonnerre typicity I recalled from earlier bottles, it didn't impress me as much as those - bottle variation or jaded palate maybe. Looking forward to the 2002 not touched yet.
Pierre Morey (not Morey-Blanc), 1997 Meursault-Perrieres 1er cru. From the same auction as the Darviot-Perrin wine - whilst was / could have been a major premox gamble, certainly haven't turned out to be so far, & at an average price of GBP 20 :-). Confess to a hint of pro bias where Pierre is concerned as he's such a nice guy, never mind an excellent vigneron, and I've never had a 'duff' bottle from him. Latest was my 3rd or 4th of these since November. No premox or suggestion of such. This bottle, my enjoyable seasonal white burg drinking, and reading some posts recently on wineberserkers.com I just flatly found bizarre, made me break the 'habits of a lifetime' and post my experiences on the wikipedia premox site. This latest Perrieres, whilst deeeply coloured again, was a lovely drink, all the usual fruit / minerality typicity of this cru & the domaine, with just adequate (on the wane ?) acidity for the vintage. The remainder might not last long !
Morey-S-D, 1997, Clos de la Bussiere, Domaine G Roumier. This, as usual, for me was brilliant, and shaded the Arlaud Charmes as my favourite season red. One of those Burgs which for me gives something different with every sip - and sip it I do - slowly. A stunning red/black limpid colour. Pronounced, complex nose, I'm poor at describing. Everytime I see a reference in books etc to Christophe's Bussiere then 'rustic' or similar seems to be mentioned. Clearly it won't be akin to a Chambolle but I love it and have bought it consistently in several vintages and hope to continue to do so, a least as a six pack rather than 12, despite the escalating price. It does have earthy and perhaps ferrous terroir elements under the viney fruit and a very pinot, lovely little sharp, cherry bite, also with complex hints of other things - am sure 'got' tobacco at one point. Super structure. So nice !
Etienne Sauzet, 1995, Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Les Referts. Wow ! Premox ? Forget it here. This is excellent & sooooo fresh I can't believe its 15 yrs old. I've had it since release. Started sipping it v late last night watching the start of The Ashes final test thinking Michael Clarke might regret deciding to bat first !!! Doesn't look, nor taste, 'older' at all. Pale gold. Super pronounced nose - floral, acacia, hawthorn blossm notes, fruit I can't get but maybe hints of banana, fruit cocktail, all over caramel vanillin & some wood. Initially quiet on the front palate but then, bang ! A really big mid/back palate 'hit' of fruit and just ace eye watering acidity, quite chewy almost before it disappears, with a lingering, almost steely, mineral Puligny finish. This wine took me by surprise, so good is it for my taste. Am half way down the bottle, to finish this evening, and just had a quick splash revisit from the fridge in an ISO glass to check wasn't hallucinating last night !! Could be one of my WOTY even at this stage as I don't generally 'do' / can't afford GC whites other than some Corton-Charlemagne's. Not sure how long this will keep - a good while yet on this evidence - sniff, only got one more. The empty glass has heady aromas one almost feels like drowning in.
Roll on the 2009 London en primeur tastings and a brief get away from the routine.
Happy 2011 drinking one and all.