A selection of wines tasted in Burgundy last week. Starting with a pair of perfect 1961’s, two iconic whites from 2006 and then a face-off off between two recently delivered 1999 en-primeur purchases:
1961 Morin Père et Fils, Pommard 1er Rugiens
Medium-pale colour but still with plenty of red. The nose is soft and more than a little earthy with a hint of sweetness. In the mouth it retains a masculine lick of tannin and there’s a good length. Clean and alive
1961 Max Quenot Fils et Meuneveaux, Corton-Bressandes
If any thing the colour is yet younger. The nose is sweeter, still with plenty of fruit – a little roasted. In the mouth it’s clearly more sweetly red fruited than the Pommard, minimal tannin and has a lovely balance. The finish is a good one. I would say this is just about ready – and it’s also very tasty!
2006 Roulot, Meursault 1er Perrières
Pale to medium yellow. The nose is just a little tight, ripe but tight. In the mouth there’s width, density and a very sneaky extra dimension in the mid-palate – it’s very impressive. What’s less impressive is an apparent lack of energy – I think it really needs a bit more acidity. Very nice, but no wow.
Rebuy – Maybe
2006 Louis Carillon, Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet
A whiff of SO2 defines the first interaction – it’s even still there after about 20 minutes in the glass but on a much lower level. The fading of the sulfur reveals a width of aromas and some very pretty higher tones and eventually a little caramel. For the vintage there’s very decent acidity and a really beautiful width of creamy, dreamy ripe fruit – it seems to go on and on. No fireworks – if anything it’s a little tight – but it’s a very, very competent demonstration of a grand cru.
Rebuy – Yes
1999 Leroy, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Narbantons
The cork is soaked through with wine and splits in half while trying to extract. A medium, medium-plus young colour. The nose starts quite oaky, though slowly it fades to leave heavier and heavier young fruit notes. In the mouth it starts with grainy tannin and a little spritz but it’s followed by a lovely impression of damson/plum fruit and a super length. The fruit continues to blossom, becoming cleaner and fresher though this is clearly a Leroy wine rather than a wine of Savigny. Over time there’s a little mushroom and mineral on the nose, though a quick swirl reveals perfect berry notes.
Rebuy – Yes
1999 Engel, Grands-Echézeaux
Medium-plus colour. The nose is about deep, macerated fruit – and even goes deeper with time in the glass. It’s very pretty indeed and all the while adds faint if not wild complexity. In the mouth the clear first impression is width, aided by faintly grainy tannin across the whole panorama. There is an understated presence and interesting complexity, though the finishing flavours are a tad simple despite their length. A good wine here, but today I shy away from ‘great’ as I didn’t find any real focus or ‘spine’ to the wine making it come across as ill-defined/loose in the mid-palate. Give it time, but today I’d rather drink the Leroy.
Rebuy – Yes