Last week, as you will have gathered from the snowy images, was a little chilly in the Côtes, but it was a good time to get a better understanding of the whites – even though many will not be bottled until February-April 2011. I think I tasted almost 200 wines with their producers, a significant majority were white; occasionally tasting with John Gilman and Anthony Hanson along the way – it’s a busy time in the Côtes!
2009 whites. I really find (as my vintage viewpoint suggested) a wide range of data-points. Some wines are a little like 2005, full and missing a little energy, perhaps from a rather late picking(?). Vignerons in that class tell me the wines will gain energy after their ‘collage’ or fining – hmm, let’s see. Yet there are stupendous wines which can be put in a context entirely of their own; Leflaive, Lafon, Fichet and Roulot – such a shame it’s always the expensive ones!!! There are also many excellent wines that you will savour without quite reaching the nirvana of those others I just mentioned. I would say read the tasting notes – whoever you get them from.
One that I opened on my return:
2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er La Maladière
A really interesting wine. First of all, too much CO2; I had to re-stopper the wine and give it a good shake to liberate a few litres of gas – fortunately the wine managed to stay in the bottle despite sounding like champagne as I removed the cork (the second time)! ‘Cold’ from the cellar this is focused and just a little mineral, let it warm and it gets rounder and rounder and eventually a little flabby – I chose to keep it cool with the following result: Deep aromas of fruit, some hints of reduction that quickly fade, the nose opening in tandem to offer nice dark red fruits. This is nicely supple, has good concentration and plenty of fruit padding to balance the acidity. Nice length too. This is a large but well-focused wine – just don’t let it get too warm. Very good value too.
Rebuy – Yes