No slurping or spitting!
This is a compendium of wines that were mainly drunk with food, friends and family, between October 2012 and mid-December 2012 – so as you can imgine, not a massive list as it’s only a few weeks since the last report. I would have liked to include notes on lovely bottles of white and red 1962, plus (of-course!) my magnum of 2008 Montrachet – but it was my birthday party and I was too busy… 🙂
2010 Buisson-Charles, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is quite dark red cherry with perhaps a raspberry acompanyment too. A ripe entry with more succulent sweet fruit than you have right to expect in all but the warmest vintages. Succulent is the perfect word, I think. Like the nose, the fruit is a deep red cherry with a furry, slightly grainy hook of tannin. Outstanding Bourgogne.
2010 Jean-Marc Bouley, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Medium-plus colour. Not super-concentrated aromas but the delicate dark red berries are rather precise. The obvious first impression is the tightening of your cheeks due to the forward acidity, only afterwards do you get your reward of an intense, rather concentrated fruit, it’s like a summer-pudding – to which you might normally add a little cream or sugar! I’m certainly enjoying it, and returning to it (often!). It’s lovely, but I’d say drink it in it’s first three years to avoid it becoming harsh as the fruit fades, but it has a lovely fine and transparent fruit finish. Day 2 the last 1/3rd of the bottle seemed more balanced – certainly a super Bourgogne.
2010 David Clark, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains
A little reduction hangs around for no more than 2-3 minutes – good! Round, with reasonable depth, the aromas give little of their mixed parentage away, though eventually I try to convince myself that the red fruit might have some gamay about it but you’d only spot it with 20:20 hindsight! The high-toned fruit in the mid-palate seems pure pinot to me – and lovely it is too. The tannin and acidity form good supporting roles; just a hint of bitter chocolate effect in the finish – most-likely barrel-derived – but the succulent flavours over-ride it. Lovely wine, brilliant PTG.
2007 Mugneret-Gibourg, Bourgogne
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts a little disappointing with a note that has me recalling paint – it takes a while to fade, leaving quite an understated and slightly nonedescript red cherry – a long wait brings a little more focus. The flavour has the focus with decent acid cherry flavour, limited depth but the balance and overall impression is quite positive.
2010 Herve Murat, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Les Herbues
Deep, perfumed nose, probably a few stems here – but very modestly so. In the mouth this is wide and filled with high-toned red fruit – probably a little CO2 to lose given the edge to the texture. There is just a faint astringency to the tannin but it drags across your tongue rather than offering a grain. The fruit in the finish is an unusually direct morello-style cherry edged with a little herb. Very interesting and a wine that I’d definitely buy again. Day two and it has become withdrawn and a little sullen – most of its interest has diminished. Drink-up on day 1!
2010 Pierre Amiot, Morey St.Denis
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has a powdery dark fruit, not quite musty, but it anyway gets cleaner and glossier in the glass. Hmmm – this is lovely! – Smooth entry, beautiful acidity and showing an intensity of fresh, darkly-fruited flavour. The tannin’s not particularly grainy though shows a little stickiness. Just a little creamier flavour in the finish. ‘Yum’ certainly covers it…
2010 Bart, Marsannay Les Champs Salomon
Medium, medium-plus colour. The aromas deliver a big punch of sweet, toasty oak – the dark elements behind seem a little more cola-like than fruit. After 1 hour the toast has faded a little but not the sweetness or the cola, even the last drops in the glass are broad and indistinct. Nice balance, decent acidity and understated tannins. It is the flavours that are largely unsatisfying – reflecting the nose they are sweet and broad with almost something tasty and interestingly focused in the mouth-watering mid-palate – almost. No obvious faults here but it’s not really to my taste – I think you guessed that! This is not an expensive bottle – but no excuses – I expect it will improve over the next 2-3 years but the style will surely still shout louder that the place.
2010 Jean-Marc Bouley, Volnay Vieilles Vignes
Deeper colour than the Poulleau. The nose is a little spritzy/cola – CO2. I give the bottle a few shakes to release the gas and leave it to rest for an hour. The fragrance improves to a deep, dark cherry-skin but never the cliché of floral delicacy that the Poulleau offers. Here is depth, density and concentration wrapped up in a super-smooth, beautifully mouth-watering package – just very lovely – though shaded to the dark-red/black spectrum versus the pure red of the Poulleau. Just very fine wine.
2010 David Clark, Côte de Nuits Villages
Medium colour – one might say relatively pale for such a youngster. Quite shy but some pretty red high tones peek through – strawberry. Quite smooth, then the acidity is next in-line before a twist of understated tannin. Clean and tasty with fresh red-fruit flavours. Understated, modest and elegant. Drinks all too quickly…
2010 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny
Deep colour. The nose starts with a little cola from the CO2, but as it fades dark fruit comes to the fore with a delightful aroma of black cherries and violets too. Despite the nose cleaning-up, the palate needs longer for the rasp of gas to leave. Dark flavours that hint towards reduction – though it’s far from obvious – with an extra depth of fruit flavour in the mid-palate, just accented with a little cream – seemingly from fruit not barrel, plenty of extract in the finish too. That said there’s a espresso-like bitterness in the finish, perhaps a hint of salt too – it is very well-judged oak after-all! An hour after opening, this is really very fine! Day two it’s a stream-lined, silky beauty – yum!
2008 Prince Florent de Merode, Ladoix Les Chaillots
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is very shy, just faint red cherry and occasional slightly lactic notes. In the mouth there’s a smooth entry and a quite impressive, acid-led, intensity yet there is concentration to balance. High-toned fruit almost tends to esters, but remains tasty. The tannin is slidy/sticky rather than grainy. Even before you see the price this is very moreish. Exceptional quality for the price.
2007 Fourrier, Morey St.Denis Clos Solon VV
There’s plenty of CO2 to purge from the bottle, you can even ‘smell’ it, so the bottle is shaken 3 or 4 times to release some of it, then rested a couple of hours. The colour is just a little more than ‘medium’ in depth, the forward nose grabbing you with dark-skinned fruit notes over a more reticent powdery, redder fruit – eventually a liqueur-cherry starts to show itself – to be honest I can’t ‘see’ Morey, but it’s begging to be drunk! The entry seems a hint saline or with just a slight edge to the acidity, but behind is a palate to luxuriate in, with smooth, relatively concentrated dark-red fruit. There’s still a very slight ‘prickle’ at the back of the palate – so not all the gas is gone yet – but the finishing flavour has both depth and interest, coupled to a twist of old-vine creaminess. A finer wine than many that carry a 1er Cru label!
2004 Fourrier, Chambolle-Musigny VV
I really do think that there’s sometimes a little pyrazine here – auto-suggestion or real? I don’t know, it’s anyway not consistently there – but fortunately (if/when I spot it) it is on a subtle ‘additive’ level (say 1 from 10, maximum), and nothing to ‘sniff’ at! There’s mainly a darker aroma with just the faintest edge of savoury leaf aroma though eventually there is even a little acid-redcurrant, which is very nice. In the mouth this has concentration, width and a good level of acidity – the tannins are a little sticky and bitter. To ‘augment’ the bitter finishing flavours the acidity here is a little sharp. I think the loss of its lush and sweet young fruit has certainly compromised it for (enjoyable) current drinking.
1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has the merest hint of maturing leaf, but is more about faint spice and red berries. Decent acidity and nice flavour – it’s not yet ‘too thin’ – though the tannin suggest wait another 3 to 5…
2010 Michel Noëllat, Vosne-Romanée
Medium, medium-plus colour. The aromas are of barrel spice and (much fainter) vanilla – there’s just a suggestion of background reduction enhancing the depth of the nose too – whatever all that-lot sounds like, it’s quite appealing. Understated concentration – the acidity slowly wells bringing more fruit-flavour – again accented with vanilla. Very good texture with fine-grained tannin. The overall impression – regardless of all those barrel descriptors – is a wine of sweet succulence and deliciousness!
2010 Philippe Livera (Domaine Tilleuls), Gevrey Chambertin Clos Village
Quite deeply coloured. The nose instantly brings one word to mind – wow! Deep, cushioned a little spicy with an espresso top. Despite the significant contribution from the barrels, this is setting high expectations. In the mouth it’s clear that the wine can’t deliver those grand cru expectations, but here is good concentration, a little (okay, quite a lot) astringent tannin and nice, ripe fruit flavour. The acidity is understated and mouth-watering. This is rather barrel-influenced, as you will have gathered, it’s also reasonably structured but it’s also very good.
2010 Philippe Livera (Domaine Tilleuls), Fixin
Quite deeply coloured. The nose is deep with dark cherry fruit and subtle oak spice. Lithe, growing in intensity with a fine acidity which is tempered with a ripely grained tannin. So a wine with intensity, rather than concentration of flavour – yet at it’s level, this is well-made, clean and tasty but with no lack of character. A very good buy.
2010 Poulleau Père et Fils, Volnay Vieilles Vignes
Bright, medium, medium-plus colour. High tones, with a growing floral note – quite nice. This is quite fine; lovely acidity and tannin with a little drag but little grain – the fruit is red shaded and grows in intensity through the mid-palate – give it time, and there’s a clear strawberry note. Good finishing flavour with a well of acidity, and decent focus too – a good Volnay.
2010 Rossignol-Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with a faint whiff of toasty oak with some higher tones. Time blows away the toast, still with a little high-toned spirits but a slowly growing red fruit and mocha note too – the last drops in the glass are beguiling acid-red notes. In the mouth you need a little time for this to fill out, but even then I feel that it is ‘a bit thin’ yet, the balance is fine, and there’s a nice edge to the tannin. There’s good intensity and an unexpected extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate and a long, slightly coconut edged, mineral finish. I have enjoyment and disappointment in equal measure. This really needs to add weight to be a rebuy, but the glass is emptying quite easily. Day 2, and the wine has filled out more – acceptably so – the tannin seems more to fore too – but this should be hairy forearmed Gevrey! Okay – good!
2009 Joseph Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée La Brunelle
Medium, medium-plus colour. What can I say about the nose? Coffee/mocha, cola, a hint of spritz – I’m not sure that I dare put it in my mouth. I did – mistake! Round, a little fat, no definition, more mocha and cola flavours – where’s the acidity? – omg! Glass not finished. Day two (in the fridge overnight): less perverse in all dimensions – I actually managed a second glass – but no more…
2008 Joseph Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée La Brunelle
Medium, medium-plus colour. As anticipated there’s a dark undertow to the nose, an oaky undertow, but it is relatively subtle. The fruit smells sweet, a litle high-toned, and is coupled to an interesting peppery note, plus, if you wait long enough there’s a beautiful, almost haunting, redcurrant note too. In the mouth this has nice freshness – it’s also a universe away from the tart acidity of some 08s. There is a little tannin which feels predominantly oak tannin rather than grape-derived; that tannin brings a bitter-chocolate quality to the finish – which sits well with the subtle creamy dimension of the fruit. Overall, I think the oak is blurring some of the wine’s clarity / definition, bringing something of a soft-focus, but this oak will fade, and what lies below is very tasty and very interesting indeed.
2006 Joseph Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée La Brunelle
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is interesting; dark and hinting at the leafiness that may eventually come, slowly softening to show a fainter red fruit – acid cherry is the last note. The wine starts with a slightly brusque Gevrey impression before softening with air, there’s fine acidity that peaks in the mid-palate with (again) a nice creamy aspect to the fruit. I have the impression that it has lost its fat, but the concentration is quite enough to offset. Nice, the oak is but a memory at this age…
2010 Vaudoisey-Creusefond, Pommard Croix Blanche
This started way too unripe and acidic – or so it seemed. I ate something and there seemed better, indeed acceptable balance. The nose is high-toned with occasional flashes of perfect red fruit. Eventually there is some sucrosité to the flavours, despite plenty of acidity – but the acidity coupled to the (admittedly understated) astringency of the tannin is quite mouth-puckering. I can drink it, I can even appreciate it, but I can’t bring myself to recommend it…
2010 Buisson-Charles, Meursault Vieilles Vignes
Medium yellow. The nose has a lovely depth of sweet peaches and fruit-loaf that pull your nose in deeper. If anything the nose makes you think this might be a little fat and sweet – but no – the balance is lovely: beautiful acidity counterbalances a wine with depth and richness yet minerality too. Lovely mouth-watering flavours in the finish. Benchmark!
2010 Benjamin Leroux, Auxey-Duresses
Drank over two nights, this wine was lovely – a bit plumper if allowed to get too warm, but I only allowed that once! Medium-pale yellow. The nose has some depth of ripe lemon and even a few spice accents that might have me thinking of Meursault. Smooth and concentrated. The acidity wells up from the core of the wine and almost, but not quite, takes over. Fresh it is, but not mouth-puckeringly so. Good depth of ripe fruit in the mid-palate that has a sherbet edge to it the first hour it’s open. The texture gets smoother and smoother too, so there’s probably a bit of CO2 sitting below the surface. Tasty, good value wine.
2010 Morey-Coffinet, Chassagne-Montrachet
This has the aroma of a patisserie shop bursting out of the glass, musky creme anglaise and some depth – I can’t really pick anything fruit-related. Textured, cushioned and with perfectly understated acidity but very efficient acidity. The flavours are also largely of creme patissiere – only at the end of the mid-palate did I think I’d spotted some deep fruit extract – but it was fleeting as the creme is the main note in the finish too. With aeration I can almost convince myself there is some minerality in the finish – almost. I quite like a bit of this in my 1er crus where the extra concentration of fruit/minerality acts as a foil – that level of buffer isn’t found here, so it’s certainly a fun wine, but was a bit wearing.
1er CRU WINES
2009 Bouchard Père, Beaune 1er Beaune du Château
DIAM 5. Wow – this has a real slug of overt toastiness on the nose – even after one hour it is the boss of the show – only the last drops in the glass begin to offer a cleaner red fruit note. In the mouth this has great acidity, well-controlled tannin and an extra (besides oak) width of flavour in the mid-palate – but oops, that’s oak creaminess too. This has an effervescent balance for a 2009 and plenty of sweetness to the flavour – but I think I need to turn to something else tonight if I want to see something from the Côte d’Or. This wine has a great record age 3 with me – maybe the other half of this will have magically transformed when I return tomorrow…
2010 Louis Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Hautes Jarrons
Medium colour. The engaging nose has a pretty depth of red fruit aroma. I’ve had more concentrated villages but this would knock the spots of most of them, with its elegance but also an insinuating complexity of flavour borne on fine acidity – it’s a very lovely drink indeed. A honey of a wine that’s destined (chez nous) to have a short but fulfilling life!
1972 Gagnard-Delagrange, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
Barely medium colour. The nose starts with a sweet strawberry jam before building a little struck match – there is width and interest – in a word ‘satisfying’, in two ‘very satisfying!’ There is just the right amount of ‘fat’ to the texture given the fine, smooth acidity – should you wish to search, you can still discern a faint but fine-textured tannin. The sweet fruit has a high-toned impression – plum-skins plus a gentle lift from the phosphorous on the nose, becoming faintly less ripe into the finish – but to add interest.
2007 JF Mugnier, Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Marechale
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is of punchy red fruit and a hint of kirsch. Smooth, good concentration and with understated but balancing acidity. The tannins of Nuits are largely tamed, there’s just a little stickiness to them, but you really couldn’t say ‘rustic’. The finishing flavours have a hint of cherry-stone bitterness to them. This is a good wine but clearly a wine that needs more time than the Fourrier of the other night – so leave it in the cellar for a while!
2010 Michel Noëllat, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
Medium, medium-plus colour. The very shy nose has a hint of savoury to it, perhaps vaguely reductive – either that or oaky! In the mouth this is very well balanced, there’s a nice intensity and good acidity too. The fruit is a little dark shaded and perhaps shows a little Lavières earth. The tannin is quite polished and far from grainy, though seems to speak a little more of barrel than grape, likewise, the flavour in the finish is quite creamily barrel inflected (as opposed to old-vine cream). I like many aspects of this wine, and the bits I’m less fond of will probably fade as the oak influence subsides – perhaps 6-12 months should be enough. On day two there was little to dislike so 6-12 months sounds about right.
2010 Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
Medium-plus colour. High-toned dark fruit with herbs – seems quite Chassagne. If the nose hints at Chassagne, the flavours shout it – sweet dark fruit with a spicy depth and eventually a little barrel flavour as you hit the end of the mid-palate into the finish. Very good length too. Actually, it’s so Chassagne that I’d wait at least a year or two to tone it down – but very tasty it is…
2010 Maratray-Dubreuil, Ladoix 1er Les Nagets
Medium yellow colour. The nose offers faint patissière with ripe lemons and seems quite concentrated. In the mouth this has quite some richness – the acidity plays understudy to that ripe concentration, and as the primary fruit shrinks with age this may well enjoy better and better balance – but for now, keep it cold or it is ponderous. Just a little creamy padding to the fruit in the finish, maybe with a hint of salt too. More-ish, very, very tasty wine which I’d drink again, but maybe wouldn’t buy again.
GRAND CRU WINES
1961 Corton-André, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
An impressively deep colour – amber at the rim, but certainly no brown – looks rather glossy in the glass too. The aromas are almost overpoweringly of saddle leather, perhaps polished wood and a faint undertow of mushroom. Those notes largely influence the flavours too, yet this wine has silk and weight plus a beautiful acidity. I can only be sure about this wine with extended aeration – so more tomorrow. Day two: Of-course the angels had drunk too much – the smell of rancio and leather still shouts ‘do not put in mouth’ on day two. Such a shame that (most probably) the cork let this wine down as the depth and shade of colour plus the concentration, balance and texture were first class – shame!
1996 Pierre Damoy, Chapelle-Chambertin
Medium-plus colour. Deep, almost liqueur nose, a slowly developing leaf note stays very much in the background – eventually something more beefy presents itself, perhaps brett, but we’d finished most of it before then 😉 Padded, concentrated, with a lovely core of intense fruit – there is even a floral element in there that implies whole clusters. The acidity is uplifting, but not obviously of 1996. Very understated tannin. This is a full and frank wine that entertaining as it is today, still needs 4-5 years I think – hopefully that brett doesn’t get worse!
2008 Prince Florent de Merode, Corton Clos du Roi
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has a little rhubarb and a faint orange character – not exactly ‘comely’ though I suppose it reflects quite a few from the vintage. Eventually there is a dense red fruit aroma. Intense, very decent concentration – even for a GC – very good but far from over-done acidity. Understated tannin and the flavour is rather good, certainly considering the expectations set by the first aromas. Actually this is a wine I’d happily drink again – I’m not sure I’d buy a lot more at the price of many Grand Crus, but this wine was always something of a bargain…!
2007 Prince Florent de Merode, Corton Clos du Roi
Medium colour. The nose is a little estery though smooth and red too. In the mouth the fruit is not bad, but it’s quite high-toned to match the estery nose – nice ripeness though and understated tannin too for a Corton. The acidity is fine enough – understated but silky. A wine that is a bit of a curate’s egg; a little estery but it has a comfy texture and decent balance too. Perhaps not a bottle for the long-term(?) but it’s tasty enough today – that said, I’ve the impression that this is more of a good premier cru level wine.
1990 Michel Juillot, Corton-Perrières
Medium, medium-plus colour at the core, lightening towards the rim. The fruit on the nose has a baked impression that seems a bit unruly if you swirl but has a nice florality if you you’re less energetic! After an hour-or-so, the nose becomes a little brighter and spicier – it’s quite engaging! On the palate there’s a depth of flavour and good intensity too. I like the general balance but it’s best not to search out the tannins, because if you find them there’s a little astringency and bitterness to them – drink normally and you’ll hardly notice. The finish is reasonably long and quite subtle. Tasty enough wine but with the combination of ‘grand cru’ and 1990, you (I) would be forgiven for expecting a little more.
2010 François Raveneau, Chablis Valmur
Medium lemon yellow colour. The nose pulls you in with fine minerals, a little lemon fruit, green herb and the impression of a waxy silkiness. In the mouth this is super-smooth, with a very fine, though not amazing, intensity. The flavour is long, majoring on mineral elements rather than fruit – as you would hope – and holds beautifully. The acidity, despite the wine’s intensity, is just a hint understated – though far from lacking. Just a super-competent wine, rather than the epiphany that prices suggest/promise…