A very interesting tasting followed by dinner in the Château du Vougeot, arranged by the ‘Union des Maisons de Vins de Bourgogne’ which is a trade body of the Burgundy négoce that celebrated it’s 150th anniversary in 2006.
Thirty-seven grand crus were presented ‘half-blind’ – you knew it was Chablis Les Clos, though not whose – but you had a small booklet in which you write your tasting notes, and if you had studied origami at the Sorbonne you could also find which was which from the booklet. I thought it an excellent system, though the Moutonne was perhaps a bit of a giveaway! I chose not to cheat and only checked my two guesses when finished – one was right, one was wrong.
An excellently organised tasting where most of the senior management of the various négoce were present and open to questions. Dinner for 200 in Château du Vougeot was like a military operation – evryone served at the same time and everything was hot – Bravo!
Notes are as written at the time, the appellation and vintage were known, but the producer’s name was added only at the end:
There’s a little hidden depth to the nose overlayed by faint citrus notes. The entry is rather soft – no attack – but it fills out nicely in the middle and brings a good length of finish – though it seems mainly of savoury, oaky elements.
2006 Joseph Drouhin, Chablis Les Clos
The first note is surprisingly of slightly toasty oak and quite a lot of swirlying is not enough to dislodge it. Just a little more mineral than I was expecting after the nose, and it’s certainly loinger and more interesting than the previous wine. It’s actually very good – but why than oak?
The nose here is only about ripe fruit – almost too much. Fuller in the mouth with good acidity. Actually it’s just a little plump and it’s not quite as long as the last wine. Good but not great.
2006 Simmonet-Febvre, Chablis Les Clos
Understated fruit that is just a little diffuse. Mineral and with good acidity – a faint spritz too – An excellent burst of interest on the mid-palate and a good finish. The most ‘Chablis’ wine so far for me.
Maybe a trace of toast on the nose – overall quite savoury. Super acidity and good minerality. There’s an extra dimension of flavour, but some oak on the finish too?
Reticent aromatics; flowers and soap though eventually a few deeper tones. Very nice acidity and minerality despite a quite soft entry – really gets going in the mid-palate though. Very good length.
2006 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Moutonne
Soft and waxy smooth fruit aromas – nothing of the barrel. Excellent texture and good minerality and intensity. The slightly savoury finish lingers well. The only slight criticism is that the fruit seems a little soft-focus, but otherwise it’s excellent.
Intense, faintly creamy aromatics. Very soft and silky with a creamy concentration. Wide and long – excellent – from the style and poise I’d guess Bouchard Père.
A reticent nose – tight fruits in the mix. Wide, silky, high-toned fruit in the mouth. There’s a hint of spritz and a long savoury finish but this doesn’t have the extra zing of the previous wines.
2006 Corton-André, Corton-Charlemagne
Deeper yellow – and it shows on the nose with plenty of toasty oak – just about avoids being excessive. Sweet with decent concentration but despite good acidity it lacks focus.
The nose is rather dumb – I can’t coax anything out. In the mouth this is actually rather good – super length and (I think) lots of potential.
2006 Camille Giroud, Corton-Charlemagne
Another wine with very reticent aromatics – I can’t say anything here. In the mouth it’s concentrated and focused and has a nice intensity to it. Very long and just slightly savoury in the finish. Good Charlemagne!
Plenty of oak on the nose – closer to toast than brioche – it’s wide but not showing much depth. Very fruit-driven flavours and quite concentrated. Well balanced and shows a good finish. It misses that extra dimension for ‘special’ but it’s very, very good.
2006 Louis Latour, Bâtard-Montrachet
The nose is faintly savoury and eventually a little creamy over equally faint fruit. Full-pack in the mouth with slightly less sweet fruit and a little oak and spritz. Oakily long.
A reticent nose but it’s a nice blend of fruit and subtle oak. Flavour-packed with good acidity and intensity. This is very good.
2006 Michel Picard, Montrachet
Dense fruit with a subtle oak undertow. Concentrated yet mineral with a good spine of acidity. Savoury length and more mineral than any of the Bâtards, but not necessarily better.
Wide aromatics with good red and black fruit – though limited depth. Sweet, lithe and concentrated. It’s tannic but quite well balanced. Dark oak lingers on a good length.
2005 Corton-André, Corton
Some oak with a little reticent fruit on the nose. Sweet fruit of some width and dimension versus the last. Plenty of tannin/acid structure – probably enough fruit to balance…
Super colour. High-toned, slightly soapy aromas. The palate is wide and structured, with high-toned fruit. Very tannic and with good length. This will need plenty of time resting!
A dumb nose. The palate is far from dumb – power-packed with tons of structure but very fine fruit bubbles way below. Good length and certainly austere but in the best sense of the word.
A very nice nose – wide with complex fruit. Full in the mouth – lots of very fine tannin and super fruit. A lingering diminuendo of a finish. Nice.
2005 Bouchard Aine, Clos de La Roche
Wide, mineral and earthy aromas. Jam-packed with ripe fruit. There’s quite some structure, but it’s very well covered.. A good length too. No wow, but very competent.
Nice, precise black-shaded fruits on the nose. Lovely concentration on the palate and plenty of perfectly covered structure. This is long too – a super wine.
2005 Antonin Rodet, Echézeaux
Deep colour. Very high-toned and concentrated floral/fruit notes, Also concentrated in the mouth with plenty of well-covered structure. It’s a very particular style to the fruit – not to everyone’s taste.
A wide and complex nose – very nice. Well-packaged and quite understated in the mouth, but this is a very competent wine indeed – very fine.
2005 Bourée et Fils, Charmes-Chambertin
Lots of herby, green shades over the fruit. Concentrated, with plenty of tannin. Some complexity to the very nice fruit. The tannin is borderline ripe, but the wine is very long. A classic and interesting candidate for the cellar.
A ripe but quite tight nose. Round in the mouth with decent mid-palate intensity. Some nice fruit though the tannin has a harsh edge – good length though.
Deep aromas edged with a little dark oak. Some spritz, linear and perhaps not as fat as some but linear and muscular and shows excellent length.
2005 Camille Giroud, Chapelle-Chambertin
A wide and interesting red and black fruit mix on the nose. Lithe and athletic with plenty of structure but matched to very nice fruit. Tannic for sure, but excellent.
Lots of dark oak on the nose – obscures much of the fruit. Dark oak and fruit on the palate too. There’s decent length, but I miss focus. The black oak of Bouchard P&F?