No pretence about making life easy for you – these wines are listed in exactly the order tasted – but there are plenty of big names! They were not drunk at home, nor were many swallowed, but they were all tasted in a 2 hour period together with most of their makers:
Domaine Bruno Clair
Bruno has made real ‘Vin de Gardes’ and all can be recommended, but they are not cheap. The Morey is the most ‘difficult’.
2005 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A deeper and darker nose. Plenty of grainy tannin here coupled with mouthwatering acidity too. Fortunately the fruit is also very interesting and seems up to the job. Good as it is, it’s twice the price of Pavelot’s and not as good.
2005 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
A deep, round and oakily creamy nose – quite clean though. Ripe and clean with real concentration and dimension. There’s lots of tannin but it’s balanced and long – impressive.
2005 Bruno Clair, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
The nose starts wide, red and just a little diffuse – improving with time and even taking on a floral aspect. The nose is tight compared to the Clos St.Jacques – consequently rather understated. Width, complexity, dimension and concentration in the mouth. Excellent – the flavour really lingers
Domaine Thierry Mortet
After Bruno Clair these wines are more understated – read: less extracted – I found them both tasty and elegant and prices are ‘okay’.
2005 Thierry Mortet, Bourgogne Rouge
Medium-pale colour. A sweet and coffee-inflected nose. Ripe and sweet, medium concentration – only the tannin is a little forward, but leave it in the cellar for a year and this should be fine.
2005 Thierry Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vigne Belle
High tones and faint undergrowth on the nose. This is riper and more concentrated that the ‘basic’ Gevrey, grainy tannin but good intensity. Some character too!
2005 Thierry Mortet, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Aux Beaux-Bruns
The nose is tight – eventually showing clean and pretty red fruits. Less grippy than the last Gevrey, high-toned fruit in the mouth and very good length. This is a very nice bottle.
Domaine Armand Rousseau
In 2005 the style is for perfectly upholstered, slightly fat wines – except the Ruchottes which is a little more athletic – a style which I prefer, but the Charmes-Chambertin stole this show.
2005 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin
The nose is a little animale. In the mouth it’s soft and ripe with impressively fine tannin. Clearly an executive villages. Impressive, but could it have been a little fresher?
2005 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
A tight and clean nose – hinting at but never showing great depth. Ripe and soft with very fine tannin. The extra dimension over the villages cuvée seems quite small.
2005 Armand Rousseau, Charmes-Chambertin
Wide, high tones over a little reduction and dark creamy fruit. The reduction is more marked on the palate, but really excellent concentration, texture and complexity are immediately apparent. This is quite a wine.
Domaine Henri Perrot-Minot
I shy away from the hype this domaine generates, all I can say is that these wines were wonderful. A little more racy than those of Rousseau and so got my vote. Seriously impressive, and the Chambolle was great.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Gevrey-Chambertin
Despite being tight at the core there is some width and hints of cream on the nose. Much more concentration and structure, but the tannin is almost as fine as the Rousseau – though to a fresher effect. I have a slight preference for this.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Nuits St.Georges 1er La Richemone
Concentrated aromatics with dark and dense fruit – really impresses. Really concentrated yet balanced with super acidity. A wine that continues to impress despite its price.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Combe d’Orveaux
A dark and brooding, indeed menacing nose with a high-toned mineral edge – wow! A deep and concentrated but very fine package – this is an absolute beauty. Whatever it costs, it’s probably worth it – a top 10 wine for me this year.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Mazoyères-Chambertin
Also a menacing nose – but clearly not showing all its potential depth. Concentrated and fully-packed in the mouth. Another clearly impressive, indeed stunning wine – it just didn’t speak to me like the Chambolle did…
Domaine Clos des Lambrays
Relatively light and elegant wines though lacking neither concentration nor interest!
2005 2005 Clos des Lambrays, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Loups
A soft and yet tight nose – giving little away. Mouth-filling and perfectly ripe in a slightly confiture way. But its like a comfy armchair you can sink into.
2005 Clos des Lambrays
Understated aromatics that are fin and complex with a faint creamy undertow. Ripe, sweet and complex. The tannin carries a little grain, but it’s hardly very forward. Super length – a wine to spend an evening with!
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé
The top two wines really were show stealers but on the night I gave the nod to the Bonnes-Mares for its sheer energy – Jean-Luc Pepin was to be praised for spotting this and choosing to pour the Bonnes-Mares last. These are the most forward tasting wines from the domaine since the 2000’s.
2005 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny
Simple but pure red fruits on the nose. Nice concentration and quite ripe – reminds a little of the Rousseau villages, but this is just a little more lithe. Good length. Clearly overpriced I’m afraid.
2005 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny 1er
High-toned, complex and delicate aromatics – quite engaging. More concentration and tannin than the ‘villages’, but there’s really and extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. Excellent, but also overpriced.
2005 de Vogüé, Musigny Vieilles Vignes
What a surprise – not served last. Understated, tight aromatics, despite that there is wide panorama of notes – just limited depth. In the mouth it’s simply a tour-de-force. It’s just an amazing mouthful of complexity. At this level, price is effectively transcended.
2005 de Vogüé, Bonnes-Mares
Higher-toned, more giving aromatics of depth and interest. Lithe and athletic – it’s like a coiled spring – I don’t know how the energy was contained in the glass. I normally shy away from Bonnes-Mares, but this one stole the show. Beg, borrow or steal to drink this – I will!
Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur
Dark and toasty oaky wines – if you like the style – enjoy!
2005 Gros Frère et Soeur, Vosne-Romanée
Also plenty of toasty aromas. Sweet and concentrated in the mouth, with impressive intensity. It’s a bit of a bruiser this one, but quite long and with a soft heart.
A strong signature from the 100% new oak – even the bourgogne has this – but the wines were quite impressive for all that.
2005 Guyon, Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Bons Ores
Wider and higher-toned than the bourgogne with extra dark oak depth. Serious rather than jammy and quite concentrated. Plenty of dark oak again, but this is really impressive.
2005 Guyon, Nuits St.Georges Les Herbues
A wide nose – this time with some complexity to add to the barrel aromas. In the mouth there’s plenty of furry tannin, and like the nose you find an extra dimension – better length too. Very nice.
2005 Guyon, Vosne-Romanée 1er En Orveaux
The nose is very tight – little spice-rack but little else. Very concentrated and lovely on the tongue, packed with buffered grainy tannin. Clearly not for the faint of heart.
2005 Guyon, Echézeaux
Tight – only a few higher tones escape the glass. Equally tight on the palate – there is concentration and balance on a higher level to the last wine but I can discern little else.
Nathalie Tollot was besieged by tasters but later relaxed with a box of chocolates! The wines are very nice as usual. The extra density of the vintage has removed some of the more forward oak flavours/textures you normally perceive on young wines from this domaine.
2005 Tollot-Beaut, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Champs Chevrey
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. Wide, sweet and interesting on the rather yummy nose. There’s plenty of grainy tannin, but it doesn’t overwhelm the lovely fruit background that slides slowly into a good, less obviously creamy and oak inflected finish than the 1er Lavières. I almost always like this cuvée and here’s another to add to the list!
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville
Automatic purchases – assuming you can find them!
2005 Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Cru
From 2 assembled 1ers. Just a little simple and clean confiture on the nose. Clean and flavour-packed with slightly prickly acidity but lovely fruit. I would certainly buy this.
2005 Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Frémiets
A tight and clean nose. This has more tannin, but it is soft and cuddly tannin. There is darker fruit here – very well presented – but I have slight preference for the ‘basic’ 1er cru over this.
2005 Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Clos des Ducs
Aromatically complete with width and depth to the red-shaded fruits. Fully packed in your mouth – plenty of tannin, but it’s the incredible intensity that eventually makes you swallow – very, very impressive.
Domaine Roger Belland
These Santenays are striking bargains – the same price as many bourgognes.
2005 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Gravières
An equally forward nose – this time less ‘jammy’. This is darker and more concentrated but just a little tighter. More serious. Drink the Commes today and this tomorrow.
Domaine Bonneau du Martray
The wines are always yardsticks – including the red in the last few years – no change this year then, but the red is certainly a harder value proposition.
2005 Bonneau du Martray, Corton
Aromatically high-toned, wide and fine – very nice. Understated concentration and nice fruit with lots of fine tannin that slowly creeps up on you. Very good but too expensive.
2005 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne
Very pale. Well-integrated oak notes and plenty of depth on the clean nose. Soft, concentrated and with lovely depth. There are no fireworks but tons of restrained interest. Worth the price of entry…
Domaine William Fèvre
I rather raced through these – notes as written – but you should still understand:
2005 Chablis – Slightly tropical though tasty enough. Getting expensive for the entry Chablis level.
2005 Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru – Nice aromas, more concentrated and wide. Very long – I like!
2005 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru – More waxy and tight. Mineral and very, very long – lovely!
Showing less toasty oak on the nose than I expected – perhaps the vintage has sucked up the excess. The premier crus are perhaps worthy of their price-tickets, but the bourgogne and in particular the Puligny are way overpriced – the fantastic Mischief and Mayhem Puligny 1er Caillerets costs less than Leflaive’s villages…
2005 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Clavoillon
Depth on the nose and little brioche. The palate has some fat and to be honest I’d prefer a touch more acidity but the finish is nice and leaves your mouth watering for the next sip. A good wine.
2005 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Les Pucelles
A wide and authoritative nose that’s both concentrated and dense. In the mouth its quite rich but the acidity is just the right foil to provide lift and balance. It’s expensive, but it is what it is – excellent.
Domaine Pierre Morey
Leflaive’s winemaker offers just a little more value…
2005 Morey-Blanc, Meursault 1er Gouttes d’Or
The nose is understated but shows a subtle width. In the mouth there is also a nice width and lovely complexity – this is very fine – and no fat! Very, very lovely.
Now I need a latté…