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Roundup of Wines Tasted

wine testing

No slurping or spitting!
empty bottles
This is a compendium of wines that were (in the main) really drunk with food, friends and family.

These wines were mainly drunk at home or at organised dinners between July 2006 – which averaged well over 30°C so plenty of whites were consumed – and the beginning of November 2006. August was much cooler, so I got back into the red groove!

Some wines drunk with their producers are included in this list, but only bottled, consumer-ready wines – no barrel samples…

Corkwatch: 5 from 106 = 4.7% for ‘corked’

REGIONAL WINES

2003 Bouchard P & F, La Vignée Bourgogne Pinot Noir  try to find this wine...
Nice deep colour – already quite ruby-red at the core – looks good the glass. The aromatics are relatively muted, a little earth and faint underbrush, only occasional glimpses of nice red fruit.
The palate is soft with good apparent concentration, enough acidity and tannins that only show themselves with a little grain as you move into the finish. At its price-point this is a very successful wine, I was only missing a little ‘character’.
2004 Bernard Dugat-Py, Bourgogne Rouge  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is rather excellent – concentrated red fruit that is edged with a green note – but this green is more about malo than than a lack of ripeness. The palate is racy and interesting with good but not great concentration – perhaps not even at a villages level (with price comes a level of expectation) – the acidity is just a little sharp in the finish. A wonderful nose and an okay wine; I think you can buy better at the price, hence the criticism, but as a ‘simple’ bourgogne this is wonderful!
2004 Bernard Dugat-Py, Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Halinard  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose shows lots of oaky funk – this needs at least 2 hours to fade; afterwards there is a strong resemblance to the basic bourgogne – lovely red, slightly dried fruit set against a greenish malo background. The palate is more serious and concentrated vs the basic with a considerable increase to the length. Now we have a wine that definitely competes with decent village wines, but factoring in the price I’m a little unsure of the ‘value’, but anyway, this (in isolation) is a very good wine.
1998 Domaine Lejeune (Pommard), Bourgogne  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby red with a slightly amber rim. Very nice, if relatively advanced aromatics, a core of
sweet baked red fruit, hints of camphor and cedar. The palate is sweet, shows forward acidity and
grainy but not astringent tannins. The finish lasts but somehow seems a little ‘thin’. It’s a
reasonable burst of interest on the mid-palate too. Pretty-much mature and very drinkable, if not the most elegant glass.
2004 Leroy, Bourgogne Rouge  try to find this wine...
Medium-pale colour – surprisingly pale considering it contains (lots of) Grand Cru juice. The nose is fantasticly penetrating and floral, eventually turning very smoky from a high percentage of stems. The palate is lithe and athletic, perhaps a little thin for the forward acidity. I really expected more intensity given the provenance of this wine. A fantastic nose, in the end it really reminded me of Dujac’s 95 Clos de la Roche, but for this bottle the palate has a lot of catching up to do. The nose compelled me to buy a couple of bottles but I’m still not convinced of the value.
2001 Ambroise, Bourgogne Blanc  try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. The nose is quite reticent; sweet and creamy with well-absorbed wood and an almost sherbet top note. The palate is reminiscent of a 2004 with tight acidity that’s hardly covered by the extract. The finish is a little rough, but given that I don’t have an idea of the price I would say (overall) not bad, maybe even almost good if it’s cheap enough!
2001 Coche-Durey, Bourgogne Aligoté  try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. The nose is deep with a little width. The fruit impression is of a rather rubbery banana effect – actually better than it sounds. The palate has some density, very good acidity and (once more) the banana/rubber theme – this time with the rubber in the ascendancy. Interesting to drink on it’s own but a little wearing, however, this wine really complimented a wide range of dishes – truly a food-loving wine. Interesting and very good value at €20 in a restaurant (Ma Cuisine).
1997 Leroy SA, Bourgogne Blanc  try to find this wine...
Pale golden. The nose shows hints of grapefruit and a faint oxidative note – though certainly not oxidised – together with high-toned alcoholic notes. Some sweetness in the mouth, racy and lithe, quite linear. Good persistence and surprisingly little obvious ‘97 character. Despite showing very little overt fruit character this is a young wine. Interesting and no rush to drink.

VILLAGE WINES

2001 Denis Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby red, but still hinting at cherry-red at the rim. A really impressive nose that starts a little reduced – but only for a minute or two – then red fruit, edged with mint, becoming ever-more intense and deep – wow! Fresh presentation, very understated tannin, equally understated in the finish despite being long-lasting. This is not a fat wine, rather a wonderfully detailed one. Superb quality for a villages, and with respect to its appellation impressed me far more than the Bachelet 1er of last week – possibly even better than Rousseau’s 2001.
2004 Bichot Albert, Savigny-lès-Beaune  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose starts with a herby, minty element before high-toned raspberry fruit starts to make itself known – really a very nice blend – eventually it settles into a more mineral and herb expression. The palate is 2004 fresh coupled to sweet red fruit, though not quite enough to avoid the mid-palate showing a little hard. The finish, whilst not very long, is very tasty with a real creamy lift.
2001 Albert Bichot, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red. On opening the wine has super red fruit in a Vosne vernacular, then in minutes tightens leaving just a few high tones. Wait about one hour and there is a softening; sweet fruit and a note that hovers between coffee and pipe tobacco. Good texture – fine tannins – real intensity in the mid-palate and excellent balance with the acidity. There is a good finish and a good feeling to match. I’ve liked this wine for a while and given that it seems to be tightening a little, the last few bottles will have to rest for a few years now. Still very good.
2004 Albert Bichot, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Drunk as a counterpoint to the Leroy 2004 Vosne-Romanée – but 24 hours later. Medium-plus cherry-red. The nose is dense with tightly bound red fruit, only faintly spicy, just a trace of cedar, quite wide; totally different and more fruit driven than the complex, forward, smoky stems of the Leroy. The palate has lots of forward acidity, the fruit extract is only-just enough to cover this, but there is still an element of tartness in the finish. The Leroy had better balance, but this seems to have more fruit, plus a little grainy tannin. Open for several hours this crosses the border from almost good to good and seems to have improved in balance, perhaps not a wine to fill your cellar with, but worthy of a few bottles for future reference.
2002 Marc Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-minus colour. The nose is sweetly interesting, backed by a faint cedar note – gives the impression of a denser wine than reality, eventually a high toned alcoholic note develops. The palate has lovely fruit and slightly astringent tannin, but the acidity is rather tart. These negative aspects rather obscure a nice level of fat. I found this improving with aeration before slipping back as before.

2002 Marc Colin, Santenay Vieilles Vignes  try to find this wine...
Medium red, just about holding onto a cherry colour. The nose is of powdery round red fruit – a little soft but with some depth and just the last traces of toasty oak. In the mouth this shows a little fat and a nice creamily long finish. The tannins are very subdued and the acidity is nicely balancing for the ripe fruit. Nice wine.

2001 Confuron-Coteditot, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour looks wonderful in the glass. The nose is wide and deep, lots of red fruit action that tends towards confiture. This is a lovely, ever evolving, involving nose – at times there is even a smoky, stem element. The palate starts a little racy and linear with forward but reasonably well-textured tannins, but the tannins also seem to have more than a hint of bitterness about them. There is a core of slightly bitter, tart fruit that is actually very long in the finish. Time in the glass slowly brings out a sweeter side to this wine – I started to warm to it. Lovely aromatics, but this is a wine that needs to improve to gain table space – hopefully it will come with age.

2001 Duband David, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is deep and reflects some oak toast and dark fruit. The palate is very smooth, also dark fruit and barrel influences – licorice and black olive – but what’s that on the finish – taint? – confirmed. 10 minutes in the glass and the nose is overwhelmed with TCA – shame. The wine certainly had potential.

2004 Dugat-Py, Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes  try to find this wine...
Despite 75% whole bunch fermentation this is a deep cherry-red colour. The nose shouts aggressively of funk, reduction, sulfur and oak – nothing else – two hours are insufficient to make an iota of difference. If you leave the bottle (sans cork) upright in a ‘eurocave’ for 36 hours you will end up with something that actually smells of wine; dense but pure red fruit – I get the impression that you might need a week to see any oxidation! But why leave in a eurocave for 36 hours? Easy, what the funk might hide on the nose is there for all to see on the palate – cork taint. Now that’s a big shame (at least it wasn’t his Chambertin!) because there is concentration and a really exectutive texture – the tannins are so fine despite what I assume to be significant extraction. Ignoring the taint, this is mightily impressive wine though if you want to drink now I suggest early preparation – 8 hours in a decanter with lots of air would be my starting point or, better still, opening the night before and leaving the open bottle to overnight in the fridge.
1999 Francois Gay, Ladoix  try to find this wine...
Deep ruby red. The nose first shows toasty, spicy oak, straight high tones and occasional glimpses a lovely penetrating red raspberry/redcurrant fruit. In the mouth this is fresh, with black edged ripe fruit, quite linear all the way into the finish accompanied by a slightly astringent, grainy tannin. Excellent.
1999 Michel Gay, Aloxe-Corton  try to find this wine...
Medium red, still with a twist of cherry colour. The nose bounds from the glass, wide, quite high-toned and with a sweet cooked apple centre. Rather forward acidity that needs just a little helping density than is apparent. The flavour is found from the mid-palate onwards but mingles with slightly bitter tannin. Length is good, just a suggest of dried currants. Reading this note, I think I’ve made the wine sound less appealing than in reality it was, but overall it seems to need a little more density to balance the structure – perhaps it has already peaked(?)
2004 Camille Giroud, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red. The nose is interesting with a green herby/spicy element to start. The palate is very interesting and really quite intense. The tannin is there and a little dry for about one second before smoothing-out into a very satisfying red-fruit dominated finish. That you could return to this after either the d’Ardhuy 1er or the DRC 1er that followed it is a compliment.
1999 Germain, Chorey-lès-Beaune  try to find this wine...
(First bottle corked) Medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose is quite deep, dark coloured fruit with only a faint suggestion of jamminess. The palate is completely jam-free; still plenty of slightly astringent tannin, good acidity and a reasonable density of (still) one-dimensional fruit. A nice-enough wine that despite it’s lowly appellation is still very much a youngster.

2001 Domaine Guyon, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The nose starts with deep and spicy, even rubbery oaky elements, slowly there are high-toned red fruit and floral aspects and eventually more plummy fruit added to the mix, the last drops in the glass smell fantastic. There’s a real kick when you first taste this, a burst of concentration and mouthwatering acidity. Initially there’s lots of spicy and slightly guyon vosne romaneebitter oak in the finish too – this takes quite a while to improve – but only a little, taking on a more licorice style. For me there’s still far too much oak marking this wine and I’m sure it will never be fully absorbed – great for those that like this style, but I find it a shame that good underlying material is ‘coloured’ in this way.
2001 Philippe et Vincent Lecheneaut, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose has width and vanilla edged depth – smells very young. The palate is lithe – no fat – some sneaky vanilla edged length too, though perhaps just a little (oak influenced?) bitterness and texture too. The tannins are a little forward and astringent, matched to good acidity. There is a good burst of concentration in the mid-palate – the fruit mirrors the nose with its black profile. It would be harsh to judge this wine on so juvenille a performance, but a little more padding and better texture would have been preferred for current drinking. Almost good.
2004 Leroy, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium colour. A smokey and wide though less intense nose than the Bourgogne; it does deepen with time and shows real (if understated) complexity. Versus the Bourgogne there is a perceptible extra density and length, the acidity is more fully covered. There is just a hint of bitterness though no astringency to the tannin. Long, long, long. It is a seriously interesting and complex wine but I find it hard to reconcile that it should contain Richebourg and Romanée St.Vivant – at least Leroy’s! There is some value here I think, though like the Bourgogne, it is the aromatics that excel today.
2003 Leroy, Chambolle-Musigny Les Fermiers  try to find this wine...
Deep colour. The nose starts rather closed and meaty, only widening a little over its alloted time in the glass though the nose did eventually become a little more fruit-driven. Versus the Narbantons, this seems to have a better balance and seems less obviously extracted, though the first impression is of a shorter finish. The oak is a little less dominant and slowly the finish seems to open out and become a little creamy. This wine is quite a bit more expensive than de Vogüés young vines Musigny – (i.e. the Chambolle premier cru) and Mugnier and Drouhin’s Musignys – I know where my cash would be.
2003 Leroy, Nuits St.Georges  try to find this wine...
Deep cherry-red. The nose is dense, tight and toasty, only slowly opening but in doing so hints at the same intense floral note of the 04 Bourgogne. Lots of action on the palate, perhaps caused by the petillance. The tannins are much more noticeable though not astringent. This is a very nice wine but it’s hard to see the value.
2001 Méo-Camuzet, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red. The nose is wide but dominated by toasty oak – even after one hour this ‘mask’ hardly lifts, just a little mocha aroma develops. The palate has nice, soft texture and gives the impression of width – nicely detailed and quite complex, though doesn’t have the intensity of fruit of the Bichot that preceded it. Lovely acidity, slightly grainy tannin and excellent balance. I’m not the greatest fan of this style of aromatics, but this wine has a beguiling, if lightweight understatement. Stylisticly very different to the Bichot – which I slightly prefer – but equally worthy of cellar space; I’d be happy with a 3:2 Bichot:Méo mix.
2001 Thierry Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus red, still with a strong cherry-red hue. The nose starts quite masculine with a strong Gevrey-earth character supporting a melange of red and black berry fruit, slowly this becomes softer and a little higher toned if not better focused. The palate is full and concentrated and obviously started life with a real injection of oak, but the residual effect is more about soft, fat texture and a little bitterness in the finish. The bitterness doesn’t last long and is eventually replaced with a reasonable length and a more creamy aspect. The tannins have a little rasp right at the end, but this is a very accomplished wine, and quite concentrated for an 01. Really very good.
2001 Mugneret-Gibourg, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red. The nose is wide with a dense, central core of fruit. The palate has just a little more acidity than most – closer in impression to the 2004’s. From a textural perspective this is the winner of this group, it is wonderfully smooth, particularly the discreet tannin. There’s not the punch of fruit you get in the Bichot, nor the masculine density of the Perrot-Minot – in this respect it is closer to the (still lighter) Méo. Medium-plus length that occasionally shows a little extra creamy depth. This is a wine to wallow in, not to be ‘impressed’ by – that’s a compliment!
2001 Christophe Perrot-Minot, Vosne-Romanée Champs Perdrix  try to find this wine...
Champs-Perdrix sits at the very top of Vosne but despite being a ‘villages’ wine, touches on the 1er crus of Les Gaudichots, Aux Reignots and Petits-Monts plus the very top of La Tâche. Medium-plus bright and young cherry-red colour. The nose starts with an undertow of dark, sweet and slightly toasty oak – this fades in the glass – soft, black-shaded fruit comes more to the fore. Lithe, concentrated, good acidity and very good mid-palate concentration. Despite plenty of well-grained, slightly astringent, tannin there’s a little oak induced texture that today I’d class as a negative. The finish is faint but lingering. Overall, it’s an impressive bottle, but I’d say it needs 3-4 years.
2001 Domaine Ponsot, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée l’Abeille  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby red. The nose starts with a little undergrowth then soil, both fade to reveal a diffuse red-fruit curtain – improvement is required and the patient are rewarded; first with a deeper plum fruit before a lovely high-toned and focused red fruit effect – very nice. The palate is much less ripe than the 01 Bachelet Gevrey that precedes it, providing a sour-cherry fruit which is not unattractive and mirrored by the balanced, mouth-watering yet somewhat tart acidity. The overall texture is excellent with understated velvet tannins. In the end this is a wine that even with food, is just a little too tart – I can enjoy it, but I wouldn’t rebuy it.
2001 Laurent Ponsot, Morey St.Denis Cuvée des Grives  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The first impression from the nose is of soft, dark oak plus an equally soft red and black berry fruit. The palate is red fruity with a little tartness to the acidity, medium density and reasonable length. The texture is almost good, just a little grain to the medium-minus tannins. This is another (junior) Ponsot from 2001 that misses a little ripeness – or at least that’s the impression from the acidity – though it’s a lttle better than the village Gevrey. Rather like that Gevrey (who’s aromatics I prefered) it’s a wine that I can enjoy, but I wouldn’t buy it again.
2002 Gaston & Pierre Ravault, Ladoix Carrières  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red. The nose is deep and initially quite tight, powdery, high-toned red fruit soon starts to take-over. The very well balanced has lovely acidity – perfectly counterbalancing the ripe, sweet fruit – at least below 20°C, above that the acidity seems a little tart. Not the density of their 01 1er Cru (Bois Roussot) but somehow a little purer. A super value bottle.

2004 Tollot-Beaut, Chorey-lès-Beaune  try to find this wine...
A wine which combines several parcels from around the village. Deep, comfortingly ripe nose. Lots of interesting high-toned fruit and though there’s a slight grain to the tannin, this is very accomplished for a ‘basic’ wine. Very tasty.

2004 Tollot-Beaut, Chorey-lès-Beaune Pièce du Chapitre  try to find this wine...
A deep, slightly tight nose of mainly black fruit that opens-out to provide a red dimension. A little extra concentration and finer tannin; quite elegant with a well-concentrated mid-palate. Nicely balanced and a tasty step-up from the basic Chorey-lès-Beaune.

2002 Jean Boillot et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet  try to find this wine...
Drunk directly following the 04 Bouzereau Puligny 1er Champs Gains. Paler lemon yellow colour. Wide, slightly creamy, high-toned nose of citrus-infused fruit. Similar depth if not the ultimate density to the 1er cru wine, but beautifully balanced with an extra dimension of ever widening fruit on the mid-palate. Similar length, but a more interesting and mouthwatering length. Not the cheapest village bottling, but real value, and still drinking very well.
2004 Louis Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet  try to find this wine...
Pale yellow. The nose launches forward with ripe, citrus edged fruit before settling into a more brioche dominated lime fruit. The palate retains the citrus edge to its sweet fruit, though the key attribute is the mouthwatering acidity. This wine exemplifies perfectly the vintage – lovely aromatics and fresh presentation – yet it also shows the achilles heel, just not quite enough density at the villages level for enjoying on its own – perfect with food though! One glass was left overnight in the open bottle in the refridgerator, it was as fresh as the night before.
2004 Philippe Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet Rue Rousseau  try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. Forward nose that has quite a blast of oak for 5 minutes before fading into a tight oak-free core. Nice texture, lovely acidity that flows into the mid-palate and finsh – providing lift and ebullience. No shrinking violet but also quite measured in delivery. This is a lovely village wine.
2004 Marc Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Encégnières  try to find this wine...
Medium-pale lemon yellow, perhaps a hint of green too. Open, a little sexy, brioche – quite savoury. The palate has good texture, obviously not the concentration of the 1er crus, but good mid-palate im pact and lingering acidity. This is a very tatsy package that was drunk much faster than intended!
1966 Leroy SA, Meursault Peruzots  try to find this wine...
Golden, with just a little brown. Plenty of oxidative notes on the nose, wide, lanolin, toffeed. There is phase where this is like an old Graves, eventually becoming creamier, then sweet apple-skins and treacle tart before stabilising as tarte-tartin, the oxidative notes remain. Super acidity with mouthwatering length, the toffeed oxidation runs like a spine through the wine, but it never becomes sherryish, this wine is very-much alive. It’s a style that I don’t love yet I’m terribly impressed by, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this wine improved for the whole of the 25 minutes it lasted in my glass.

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2 responses to “Roundup of Wines Tasted”

  1. Jon

    Your recommednation for 2005 value red burgundy that offers a classic gamey-animal nose at the village level or below? Thanks so much for yur thoughts here.

    Jon
    San Diego, CA

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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