112 wines from the 2006 vintage tasted over 8 days, plus one interloping 2005 – 80% were poured by their makers. Clearly for the vast majority of these I did not drink the whole bottle, otherwise the powers that be would have already rejected the need for a pointless post-mortem. That said, I think they are useful as all the wines have been in bottle for 6-12 months and are exactly as you would take delivery now – rather than the inexactitude that comes with barrel-tasting notes sometime during the elevage.
Ignoring particular wines, I take from this the relative consistencies of the vintage: Reds are medium coloured, predominatly with high-toned, sometimes floral aromatics. Reasonable structure and good acidity. Typically not the depth of their counterparts from 2005, though taking that vintage as an aberation, a very successful vintage in the scheme of things. The whites are somewhat under-represented in this list – only 25 wines – and I think the result here is slightly better than you might get with more producers. The worst of 2006 is not really represented here, however, need for a little more acidity is clear for some of these wines, and if Domaine Leflaive didn’t really get it right…
Six mixed wines to start
Medium yellow colour. Deep fruit with an edge of creamy brioche. Fills the mouth with rich, but not too rich flavours. Lovely creamy fruit in the mid-palate. Below sixty francs this is almost good value.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose offers slightly diffuse width and a little toffee. Plenty of tannin and acidity. The bouncy fruit is almost good actually but I’d wait 1-2 years before revisiting for maybe a more balanced performance.
Medium ruby-red. Ripe and sweet, almost baked red fruit aromas. Soft with plenty of tannin, just a little astringent, but the fruit below has nice complexity and length. at a ‘mere’ 45 francs this is really super value.
Medium-plus colour. A very fine nose of focused fruit and super width. Lots of structure here, the tannin is ripe enough. A good dark fruit dimension. This certainly needs time, but it’s a good bottle.
Medium-plus cherry-red. High-tones underpinned with medium-toast oak. Lots of dark fruit against plenty of structure. A wine with lots of interest and needing some cellar time – seems just a little shorter than some.
Medium colour. Width, density and poise, really super fruit on the nose. Fine tannin coats good fruit. Fades just a little faster than expected in the finish, but this is a very polished package.
Lovely wines – I’d quite simply buy any of them – despite the price of the Ducs (118 francs) there is still value there.
Made from 2 parcels of vines. Medium colour. Wide with a nice depth of creamy red fruit. Medium bodied with a very good extension of flavour in the mid-palate. Nice acidity / tannin balance. I like this very much.
A little darker colour. The nose is deeper but less wide. Likewise on the palate there’s just a little more structure and depth, but less width. Good length though.
Medium, medium-plus colour – like the Fremiet. The nose is like a blend of the previous two wines with a little extra high-toned dimension. Deep and forceful. The tannin remains a background element. Dark fruit and very long.
Like all these wines, just 20% new oak is used during elevage. A wider and finer nose that is edged with some caramel depth. In the mouth this is a little more austere and mouth-filling. Fine acidity and concentration. A super dark length penetrates the tongue. Eventually a haunting red note on the nose – class, expensive, but class!
Only two wines, but (wie immer) good ones.
From 1952 vines. Medium, medium-plus colour. Pure and focused red fruit – it’s a fine nose. Soft and silky, perhaps less ripe than some – the tannin has some astringency, but the overall package is very good.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a little more diffuse than the Fourrier Goulots that precedes it, but has a little extra coffee dimension. Good concentration, plush but plenty of tannin clings to your gums, a little astringent too. Nigh high-toned fruit. Will need longer in the cellar than the Goulots but has plenty of potential.
Julie Belland was pouring the wines – and very nice wines they were too from this large 24 hectare domaine. I bought some of these to add to the ones I also bought from 2005. Merely conjecture, but I wonder if they supplied Nicolas Potel with his 06 Criots, because this is just as outrageous as his that I tasted in January.
Medium colour. High-toned and faintly estery, but not in a bad way. In the mouth there’s good concentration for a regional wine, delivering a slightly structured wine that I can easily recommend. I bought some.
Medium ruby-red. The red fruit on the nose shows more depth than for the bourgogne. This is certainly a mouth-filler, it’s not elegant but it provides an exciting ride into a decent finish. Rustic, but great fun.
Medium colour. Higher-toned aromatics, again with a red fruit dimension. In the mouth this is a little more controlled, but there’s still plenty of action, including a burst of interest in the mid-palate before fading into the finish.
Medium colour. A ripe strawberry nose. Just another extra edge of refinement but without loss of intensity. This really clings to the side of your mouth and lingers impressively. I bought some.
Medium colour. The nose is rather understated, but very well-knit. Again we step up in elegance despite some grain to the tannin. Very respectable finishing . a very nice wine.
Opens with sweet, candied fruit aromas and almost a little baked apple. Generously fills your mouth with sweet, slightly baked fruit – nice but not really classic.
This shows a dense and concentrated nose, part of that concentration is a mineral aspect. Intense in the mouth with good acidity. This displays a super mid-palate and length, you’d never guess Santenay, it’s quite ‘big’ but lovely.
The nose instantly shows that you get what you pay for; a superb extra dimension of fruit, broad but not clumsy, it’s fantastic. In the mouth it’s concentrated, even slightly heavy but never cloying. A super-intense mid-palate and achingly long. Wow. Outrageously boisterous and full-packed, even at 198 francs a bottle you could be forgiven for popping one of these already…
Bonneau du Martray
Unfortunately I missed out on the Charlemagne, but the red was a very nice bottle if you ignore the price.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Understated, fine, relatively high-toned aromatics with powdery red fruits. Executively textured – it’s very silky – very good concentration. Topped by an understated but very lingering finish. Very good but the tariff is a little high.
Plenty of dark oak in these wines, but they are very characterful, interesting and enjoyable.
Medium colour. Understated yet broad notes on the nose, some estery hints though quite interesting. Your mouth fills with soft and ripe but well-covered tannin. There’s plenty of interest here, even a twist of licorice – this is really tasty wine.
Medium-plus colour. High-toned and faintly medicinal aromas. In the mouth it’s soft and concentrated with an excellent undertow of structure. Super dimension in the mid-palate – it will need plenty of cellar time for the dark oak to fade with the tannin, but it’s very good.
I remember the 2005’s at the same stage seemed very tannic, but these wines had a great balance. Bruno has certainly pushed up his prices in the last vintages, but they are very good.
Medium colour. High-toned, pretty aromatics. Manages to fill your mouth with good concentration and slow to arrive, slightly astringent tannin. Super length, a very pretty wine.
Medium colour. Wide aromatics that are fine and backed with a little caramel and good depth. Fresh, fine and beautifully put together. Lovely length and the tannin shows itself here too with a little grab. Super but clearly young.
From 70 year-old vines in the south of Vosne. A bright medium, medium-plus colour. High-toned though aromatically rather tight. Good concentration of beautiful fruit – this is lovely. Slowly fading length – super.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Also rather tight but there’s a more caramel depth surrounding the tight core of glossy fruit. The structure initially seems completely separate to the fruit – then both come together perfectly. This super wine is clearly vin de garde material, so keep it in the cellar for a few years.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Tight again – hard to get at the aromas. In the mouth I think it lacks a little focus, but the dimension and complexity are easy to see. Less obviously forward and ‘brusque’ as the Clos St.Jacques, but the finish goes on and on…
Only two wines from opposite ends of the hierarchy but both are very ‘worthy’.
Quite deep colour. The nose shows floral tones and a nice depth. In the mouth there’s width and good acidity to go with the faint, furry tannins and a suggestion of dark oak. An excellent Bourgogne.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Wide with lovely, slightly floral high tones and super-focused fruit. It fills your mouth with super-fine tannin and a number of dimensions of lovely fruit. Lingers beautifully. This is a ‘hit’!
Gros Frère et Seour
I find GF&S can be a little soupy – mainly from the oak treatment, but as you go up the hierarchy in 2006 they really do deliver some quality.
Medium colour. Forward, slightly savoury fruit aromas and a tough estery. Medium concentration with some obvious barrel notes. Reasonable length. Okay, but the oak treatment leaves this slightly ‘soupy’.
A forward nose of some depth – coffee notes and red fruit with a savoury edge. Good texture and concentration. Smooth with good length. A good villages Vosne.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Less forward aromatics, but more complex, mixing earth, coffee and red fruits. Mouth-filling structure though the tannin doesn’t overwhelm. There is a sneaky extra dimension of power and fruit in the mid-palate. Some barrel influence on the finish. This is actually very good!
Two wines, and I have very high expectations for Jean-Marie’s bottles so there was a trace of disappointment that they didn’t show even more, but both are worthy of cellar space.
Vines from 1928. Medium, medium-plus colour. Wide and high-toned with quite floral, complex notes. Well-covered structure, remaining understated until it reaches the mid-palate and on into the finish where there is plenty of fine and complex fruit.
Medium, medium-plus colour. High-toned fruit that’s nicely intense. In the mouth there’s some fat and good ripe fruit intensity. Slightly grainy tannin. It widens to provide many dimensions and some tannin clinging to your mouth. Lingers very well. Very good.
Although occasional wines show some estery elements, I’ve never had a bad wine from this domaine – that said, they do have a premium price.
Bright, medium colour. The nose offers up, wide, high-toned glossy red fruit. Understated concentration yet it seems to grow in the mouth. The fruit is perhaps a hint estery, but it will be impressive to drink young.
The colour is a little more ruby-red. The nose shows more obvious estery notes. In the mouth this is clearly more refined but, somehow, less exciting than the Bourgogne. It slowly widens in the mouth and actually does show a little more verve. I’d probably still buy the Bourgogne ahead of this.
Medium colour. The nose is rather understated, I would even say tight, just faint red fruit with floral hints. Ripe, smooth fruit grows in intensity across your tongue and into the mid-palate. Almost good this.
Medium colour. Also rather tight yet floral – perhaps a hint of caramel. Good texture and concentration. Only slowly the tannin reveals itself. Good dimension and length. Nice Nuits.
Medium colour. Not very forward but there’s a slighly spicy gingerbread note overlaying red fruit. Concentrated and ripe. Good in the mid-palate and length. Few words but a very nice wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Still rather understated aromatics, but this smells lovely (I didn’t write why!). Ripe and mouth-filling with a sneaky extra dimension in the middle and very interesting length. Pricy, but super.
Medium colour. The most floral of these. In the mouth this is a more obviously structured but balanced wine of quite a red-fruit complexion. Good length. Frankly too expensive for Aloxe despite its quality. (78 francs)
Medium, medium-plus colour. High tones that are backed by faint caramel and a faintly spicy undertow. Certainly more concentration and dimension – lots of wine here – much complexity and very good length. This is super, only the price spoils the party. (110 francs)
Medium colour. More open and spicy than the Brùlées with more caramel over slightly blurred red fruits. More punch and mid-palate concentration. Super balance and length – what’s not to love? Maybe the same price as the Brûlées…
Medium, medium-pale colour. A lovely, wide nose of spice, caramel and fruit. The texture is not particularly sophisticated, but the concentration and dimension are super. Clearly overpriced, but super wine (158 francs)
A 2005 benchmark. Medium colour. Earthy and sweet with caramel and mineral aspects. Concentrated with plenty of structure, though not the mid-palate dimension and complexity of finish of the Echézeaux. Super villages though and relatively fairly priced at 59 francs.
A decent, slightly above average performance from these wines – certainly they are much better as you head up the appellations.
Medium cherry-red colour. A wide and fresh nose though limited depth. Faint tannin, overall quite well put together, but overall I find it a little anonymous.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose offers up mineral and earth notes with dark fruit – it’s very nice. Linear in the mouth before widening into a good finish. It’s complex and quite interesting.
Medium colour. A little dark oak and sweet cherry width. Ripe and well structured though it seems a little simple before the good finish.
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. Braod and high-toned aromas. It’s a mouth-filling wine – you know it’s there! Structured but balanced, with a dark personality. Quite impressive.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Slightly roast, dark fruit on the nose. Plush and maybe a little mineral, but the well-covered structure dove-tails to decent fruit. A very nice burst of interest before a medium finish. Quite fun.
Poured by Pierre Morey. The Pucelles is fantastic, the rest I find nearly ‘good’ – that’s not good enough from this domaine, and that’s before looking at the prices asked. Pucelles aside, not even close to being a ‘standout’ for the vintage – where is the energy here?
High-toned with plenty of action – it’s quite pretty. There’s a mineral aspect to the flavours, decent acidity and length. Not worth the tariff, but a decent wine.
Another high-toned nose. In your mouth there’s a little more width and interest if not concentration compared to the bourgogne. The length is certainly on a higher level. A very nice wine for sure, but needs more brio.
These are young vines – 2002 – this is when the pinot was ripped from the vineyard to be replaced by chardonnay. There’s a little more brioche to the nose, also a little more depth. Whilst there is more complexity than the village Puligny, I’d still prefer a lick more of acidity. Perhaps longer finishing but I prefer the flavour of the Puligny finish. For something that, ion this vintage, is only a little better than many villages cuvées, the price is a bit of a joke at 108 francs – the stunning Pierre Morey Perrières only costs 110…
An understated and fine nose, again with a little more brioche. Complex and intense in the mid-palate, but again a so little acidity…
Wide and perhaps a little diffuse versus the Clavoillon. More concentration and perhaps it’s a little more vibrant than the Clavoillon, though the finish on this is much more understated. Nice, but I want much more for 145 francs…
The nose here is gorgeous – a little understated maybe – high-toned fruit wrapped in a soft coating, but lovely. In the mouth finally we have a wine with the correct balance of concentration and acidity – it’s really excellent. Head and shoulders above the previous wines though still a laughable 169 francs.
Still high-toned, but the nose is more fruit-driven with this wine, over a creamy base but integration could be a little better. Concentrated, flavourful and intense fruit. Very long too, but where’s the acidity to make it sing?
Lucie & Auguste Lignier
A pretty new label for 2006 for two pretty wines.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has dark fruits and a caramel dimension. Ripe, with nice velvet tannin and ‘just right’ acidity. A good finish – quite nice this.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose was rather tight. Ripe fruit seems to sit above the tannin and acidity. There’s a nice burst of interest in the mid-palate, but the wine remains very understated – apart from the excellent, very long finish.
I’m not sure what’s happening with this domaine/maison since the Béjot acquisition, but these wines date from the time of the cooperation with Bernard Zito and Pascal Marchand, though they are not domaine cuvées. There is anyway some improvement as, over the years, I’ve tended to dislike their whites, but these are okay.
Wide and high-toned, perhaps a little diffuse, but not bad. Plenty of punch and freshness. The fruit has a slightly baked aspect but it’s fresh enough – the finish is decently long too.
Medium yellow. A more intense core of fucused fruit on the nose. There is an extra layer of fat on the texture and it’s not lacking acidity. It needs a little more mid-palate dimension but it’s far from ponderous and there’s good length too.
I would say that these are a ‘steady’ bunch of wines. Nothing jumped out at me to make me think – wow – but all are well made and decently concentrated.
Medium colour. The nose is a little higher toned than the Roger Belland cuvée. In the mouth the tannin is on a higher level and to a certain extent dominates the pretty fruit. Good length, but certainly needs cellar time.
Mainly high tones from this pretty and fine nose. Seems well concentrated – there’s plenty of wine here – but it has a slightly ‘raw’ aspect to it. Decent length, but I think it’s some way behind Pierre Morey’s Bourgogne which is also slightly cheaper.
More depth and intensity to the nose – again very pretty. Across your tongue this is much more refined than the bourgogne, also high-toned fruit. This is very nice wine.
This is the first of the range that shows a rather tight nose. The palate is wide open though, it’s soft with very pretty and intense fruit. Another nice wine.
More open and just a little savoury edge to the dood, high-toned fruit. Concentrated and more intense than the Morgeot, but as a package I preferred the previous wine.
Slightly diffuse aromas. In the mouth it’s understated but shows good texture and a super burst of mid-palate interest. Very nice despite medium (for Pucelles) length. The quality needs to be higher for 98 francs per bottle though.
Not a very common appellation. High tones, not the finest, but interesting and fresh. Fresh but slightly diffuse flavours, that do become ‘more together’ in the glass. A super burst in the mid-palate before a good finish. Almost good this.
It’s the first time I met Pierre, and what a lovely, quietly spoken man, and super wines to boot. Both his Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc are first-class – I bought both – but the rest of his reds, despite super appellations miss a little excitement. His whites are top-class though, watch out for the superb Perrières, I also treated myself to a few of those…
Medium colour. High-toned, slightly mineral nose under-pinned with very nice fruit. Ripe, tasty and clean with good concentration and plenty of energy and dimension. Excellent regional.
Medium colour. The nose is pretty tight. In the mouth there’s plenty of structure but it’s balanced by good fruit and late appearing but quite fine tannin. Good length and quite interesting.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Very faint reduction plus higher tones, in the middle is a layer of tight fruit. Ripe flavours with understated tannin. The fruit is quite intense, but I expect a little more for the appellation. Good length though.
Medium, medium-plus colour. This nose is also rather tight but there seems more depth to the fruit. Structured and intense, the lingering fruit flavours are lovely. Needs cellar time for sure, but it’s a good bottle.
High-toned aromas, quite intense, a little estery note somewhere, but overall fine depth. Quite rich, the acidity is just enough to balance, but the depth is superb for the appellation. Really fine.
Wide with very faint brioche – lovely understated nose. Concentrated with good acidity, this is a very nice example indeed. The finish lingers very well. Super.
High-toned and perhaps a shade diffuse, but really lovely fruit underpins it – super. Rich but balanced and is full of mid-palate dimension. Nice length and lovely – again.
It’s an understated but very fine nose – really lovely focus to the fruit. Concentrated texture – though not oily – beautiful acid balance and flavours that hold on for an age. This is a zen-like wine, you could lose yourself in a busy room while sipping it – I did. Superb.
Like Guyon, an unheralded producer of super wines, not the cheapest, but reasonable value.
Medium colour. A lovely unforced and rather precocious pinot nose. Also the fruit on the palate is surprisingly vibrant and pure. This is very enjoyable.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a little mineral, but quite tight. Fresh, with pretty fruit and understated structure. The length is almost good. A fine 2006.
Medium ruby rather than cherry-red. The nose is very tight, a few high tones but little else. In the mouth this is nicely fresh with more intensity and dimension than the ‘basic’ villages. Plenty of structure – will need a few years ‘rest’ in the cellar – it’s very good.
Medium colour with an understated, indeed tight nose. This fills the mouth with both flavour and well anchored tannin. Slowly lingering. This is a balanced and high-quality villages.
Medium colour. This wine is also a little closed, but higher-tones mix with some minerality. Less tightly knit than the villages but with more concentration and dimension. Will be very nice, but I suggest some patience.
Domaine Henri Perrot-Minot
I’ve only really appraised for myself the 05 and 06 vintages from this domaine, so I’ve missed the experimentation that I’m sure went on in previous vintages, however, the ones I’ve tasted have been frankly superb. I understand the prices they can command, but I’ll play elsewhere…
Medium colour. Not so wide, but has an interesting linear depth – fine and clean. Good concentration with ripe fruit and an understated structure. Quite nice.
Medium colour. Lovely width on the nose, sensual and very pretty. High-toned fruit in the mouth, structured and very, very tasty. Really lingers – this is a rare villages wine that’s close to 2005 quality.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is higher-toned than the Chambolle and has many dimensions – very impressive. Ripe but fresh fruit and super balance. Lovely.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Once more, many dimensions open up on the nose – perhaps a little cola too, but I won’t hold that against it right now! Less obviously ripe than the villages cuvée but there’s super, mouth-filling concentration and a background of tannin that for a while comes more center-stage. Super, but 156 francs…
Medium-plus colour. A deep, more darkly-fruited nose that’s overlaid with some higher, faintly alcoholic notes. This is definitely a wine of structure, bathed in tannin but not so it’s overwhelmed. It’s a real mouthful, but it’s also rather good.
Medium colour. Open, with sweet oaky elements and rather fainter fruit. Concentrated, with decently textured structure – there’s lots of wine here, but despite a great finish I’d like a hint more acidity/freshness.
A little more ruby-coloured than previous wines. A sweet nose with mocha/caramel. Again there is undoubted concentration, but this time wrapped with a nicer freshness. Long and very impressive wine – super.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Again the same caramel as the last wines – which is disappointing – but this time on a lower level and overlaid by pretty higher tones. Here the structure and concentration show in a more obvious manner, but the wine is intense and essentially fresh. Very impressive if not yet ‘comely’.
No dark monster this – merely medium colour. The nose is different this time – good! – it’s mainly fruit that is focused yet still complex and very round – wow. Maybe there are some toasted barrel flavours, but this wine is wide, complex and concentrated. Frankly, everything that a Chambertin should be – super.
Two ripe an very tasty wines.
Medium colour. Rather tight aromas, but with baked red fruit that reminds me of my 1993 Audignacs. Whilst balanced and reasonably structured, you have to wait for the mid-palate and finish to get some excitement – but here there’s plenty of action and complexity. A nice wine.
Medium colour. Ripe red fruit is backed by a little darker oak. The fruit gives a slightly roast impression but the structure and the finish are very good. Very good.
Whilst the 2005’s didn’t really turn me on as much as some other people – buttery smooth just didn’t seem right – despite the relatively pale colours, these wines suited me much better. We all know that they have been working hard on the Clos de la Roche cuvée, but has it paid off now? It’s the first time I can think of where they showed it after the Ruchottes. The range was already close to sold-out before I tasted.