Not quite the blast that was part 1 – just over 90 wines – probably fatigue was starting to set in!
Here’s a compendium of wines tasted with producers between the 1st April 2011 and the end of June 2011. They are mainly 2009s – more and more 2010s were tasted, a majority still had too much CO2 to discuss individually, but the character of the reds is starting to come through – a little closer to 08 than 09 but with a better overall balance – few wines have an overt acidity that might frighten the unwary. They look very interesting indeed but you’ll have to wait for the Autumn issue for more – whites too.
Interestingly many producers were electing to let their wines lie unracked in cask for a long time – the grapes were anyway very clean – at least a dozen producers I am aware of were still in no rush to bottle their reds at the end of June 2011, though all were expecting to have bottled by the time time of the harvest.
And the 2009s?
From an initial ‘too friendly for their own good‘ appraisal of 2009 reds I find more and more domaines where the wines have structure and freshness rather than a facile mouthful of ripe fruit. There’s nothing against ripe fruit but in extremis it obscures the delicacy and complexity that a good red Burgundy delivers. In the medium term we are quite safe with this vintage; From the good addresses I might retain a personal preference for 2008 in about 80% of cases – and I certainly wouldn’t pay a premium for 2009 – but long-term I will enjoy both vintages for what they are.
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville (Volnay)
Tasted in Volnay, 17th May 2011 with Guillaume d’Angerville – a lovely summers day…
A relatively new wine for the range. There was already some ‘Angles’ but it was part of the Volnay 1er Cru blend – an extra half hectare was bought that released this cuvée. A limited release in some (mainly UK) markets for 2008, but generally for this 2009 vintage. Pretty powdery red fruits on the nose. Just a little textural padding but there’s good structure too to support the long, lingering finish. Very nice indeed.
The nose is of more compact proportions, but again with pretty red fruits. This time there is a more mineral base followed by an expansion of the flavours in the mid-palate. The most prominent aspect of the finish is its impressive minerality.
The nose is a little tighter here but shows a subtle floral aromatic. In the mouth this is fuller though also with a good mineral base – once-more with a lovely lift of flavour in the mid-palate. Lovely.
This has a more floral scent. Stony yet a little less mineral flavour – less padding too – but the flavours are more intense. Just the merest hint of oak texture in the finish just now – it will be gone in 3-6 months. Lovely.
The nose is broader and muskier – there are savoury hints too. Full and very silky in the mouth – as you chew the velvet tannin grows. The flavour is as broad as the nose – a wine that stands apart stylistically in this range – yet it’s made exactly the same. Very, very impressive.
Domaine Gilles Bouton (Gamay)
Tasted in Gamay, 11th April 2011. My first visit here; these are more than just ‘competent wines’ and ex-cellar they are rare bargains. Chez Nanson more than half of the first purchase (five cases) is gone!
On the nose there’s density of fruit and some herbs. Full and balanced with lovely intensity.
The nose has quite subtle oak – a little toasted bread. Lovely freshness in the mouth, again with good intensity and a long, quite stony flavour.
The nose is higher-toned, a ripe core of fruit with some surrounding herbs. Again, clean and fresh flavours of decent intensity – very tasty.
High-toned aromas lined with herbs. Seems less fresh than the St.Aubins – until you reach the intense mid-palate – super.
The nose shows complex if slightly dense aromas. Again there’s fine freshness for the vintage – length too. More mineral flavours slowly reveal themselves though to be honest it doesn’t seem such a big jump from the previous wines – it’s understatedly impressive length not-withstanding.
Medium-plus colour. A dark note of coal blends with the fruit. The tannins seem squashable making platelets instead of grains – very good acidity releases mouth-watering fruit flavours. The fruit is quite in the ascendant right now.
Dark, precise, lovely aromas – yum. Also in the mouth there’s lots of interest; grainy tannins, flavour of agrumes – long lasting and mouth-watering. Another wine on the shopping list!
Certainly a lesser-spotted wine – but with great merit – to the producer too for not ripping out the vines for more profit; chardonnay equals Puligny-Montrachet here! Very fine red fruit aromas. Full and round. A good concentration of flavour – which seems to keep growing. Super-fine and lovely!
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine (Pernand-Vergelesses)
Tasted in Pernand-Vergelesses, 9th April 2011. All bottled and apart from one, all 2008s – and I’m ashamed to admit I did need to buy a wide selection of representative samples for further ‘research’ at home, the reds in a number of cases offering stunningly pure and pretty fruit…
The nose is quite high-toned for the grape – some apple and pear rather than the more common savoury notes. Full and, actually, rather long finishing – if anything it might e a bit too full, but a good start to the day!
The nose is more herbal with green-skinned fruit – limes – narrower is aspect after the aligoté. In the mouth again some herbs and the sweet-sour of the vintage – perhaps a bit more of the sour – but on this nice sunny day, refreshing not jarring. I
Nice and ripe but understated fruit aromas. The palate is the same with lots of clean, steely acidity. Quite Cistercian! For drinking now on a hot sunny day – might get a bit mouth-puckering with time…
There is more aromatic density vs. the villages Pernand. Rounder with excellent texture, more complexity and super length. Looking at the price, what’s not to like(?)
The nose offers herbs and a slightly warm core of fruit. Full again but really open and right at the end there’s more length than the Sous Frétile.
The aromas are more generous than those of the 07 – enveloping – lovely. Rounder, with seemingly more acidity, no-wonder it also seems more intense. There’s good minerality too – today I’d rather drink this than the 07. Lovely wine.
Thirty percent new oak here. The nose offers-up understated complexity. Not surprisingly this is both fuller and more intense than the 1er Cru. I find it very well proportioned indeed.
Lovely, lovely aromas. Supple with fine tannin and flavours that grow in the mouth – good value too.
The aromas focus on delicate red fruits – nice definition. Likewise in the mouth this is a wine of subtlety, delicacy – overall very, very elegant.
Deeper, more profound fruit on the nose. Fine fruit covers good structure – a very obvious cherry flavour – precociously tasty.
The nose offers soft fruits and seems a little textured in its own right. Good intensity of flavour counterpoints a more obvious level of structure than the last wines. Tasty.
Fabulous pure red fruit stops you in your tracks for a second. In the mouth it is fresh but balanced and again there’s a lovely depth of fruit that reflects the nose. Slowly lingering clear flavour – a beauty – lots of this made it home!
A complex nose, a little floral, more depth than the Beaune and with a musky ring around the fruit – lots of character here. Full and round, the tannin has a little more volume but is quite fine leaving a faint astringency. A caramel note suffuses the finish. Just so much to enjoy here – more for my cellar.
There followed a 2008 Pommard Epenots and 2008 Corton Bressandes which (for some reason) I chose to make no notes on – strange as I bought the Epenots but passed on the Bressandes as I had a preference for the last wine, which I also bought…
The nose is a quite lovely blend of flowers and fruit. In the mouth this is round for Corton, intense and subtly complex – yum.
Domaine Jean-Nöel Gagnard (Chassagne-Montrachet)
Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet, 11th April 2011. Apart from a couple of lower appellation wines (which were bottled sooner) all these wines were bottled between February and March 2011.
Already bottled way back in August – only 123 months elevages with about one-third new oak. There’s a hint of oak wrapped up in a little reduction. Slowly opens but never fully showed its potential while I was shortly with the glass.
A mid-December bottling. Understated faint herbs on the nose. After the Bourgogne this has a good extra dimension of fruit in mouth – shows much more intensity in the mid-palate. Nice.
Lovely Chassagne character here. The flavours are a little linear but hold lovely freshness. There’s some minerality and a little herb in the flavour too. Good wine.
After the Chevenottes this fuller and rounder – it’s very silky. Good balance and has a wider and slightly richer finish.
Faint herbs on the nose.. In the mouth there’s a dense impression of flavour that only very slowly decays – yet there is fine if understated acidity. Just a little full today, perhaps because it’s only been in bottle for a few days.
A tiny amount of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth this both mineral and intense – and has a lovely, lingering acidity. Joyous!
The nose is a little more generous than the previous wines. In the mouth it’s more complex than the preceding wines with flavour that grows in the mid-palate and is very long lasting.
Denser aromas of pure Chassagne. Wide and full of flavour. The flavour grows more intense in the mid-palate – lovely!
The nose is more detailed with that background of Chassagne herbs. Lovely freshness – wide yet very mineral. Super-intense. I find this absolutely lovely!
Fuller on the nose – there’s quite some authority here. There is more gras but this is far from a heavy Bâtard. Flavour ingrains in your palate – the more you want, the more you get, it’s just a matter of how long you can keep it in your mouth. This wine is very impressive indeed.
There is a core of dense and dark red fruit on the nose – with flashes of pure cherry. The flavour builds and builds; the tannin has a slight ‘grab’ but almost no astringency – this will be a super-ebulient wine in it’s youth, but perhaps wait another six months.
This nose has a wider impression of fruit, tinged with a little herbs. More tannin, again with a little grab but finely grained. The flavour slowly lingers in the finish – more mineral than fruit. It would be silly to call Morgeots an elegant wine, but after the l’Estimé I think you will understand what I mean.
The nose has lighter-coloured red fruit – more red-currant/raspberry than cherry. Nicely full, with a little tannic grain. There is dark-red fruit flavour and a lovely balance. This is not just strikingly pretty, it has depth too.
There is still some strawberry on the nose – this remains clean and fresh with a little sous-bois – lovely. There is still plenty of grainy tannin but without astringency. Good mid-palate flavour with a little blood-orange and hints of chocolate. Really super and apparently with plenty of life ahead of it.
While on the subject of 76s – what about a white(?) There are a few hints of oxidation but it must have been the most volatile component as it soon departs from the glass; what’s left is a little lanolin and white chocolate. Full in the mouth yet with nice enough balance – there even appears to be some tannin. Long,with an impression of some licorice. Bravo!
Fast-forward ten years. The nose is deeper than than the ’76 – almost woody and a little spicy. In the mouth this is a little softer, but again shows some impression of tannin. Lovely acidity and intensity – it’s a nice acid-leaning, mouth-watering finish which emphasis a flavour of agrumes – captivating.
Domaine Michel Gros (Vosne-Romanée)
Tasted in Vosne-Romanée, 8th April 2011. An interesting set of wines and ones that seemed to beg closer inspection. Plenty of dark oak-derived flavours but nothing to offer too much of a problem.
The nose has lovely inviting fresh-red fruit. In the mouth it’s also fresh with mouth-watering red fruits. An acid-led wine – but if you don’t mind – lovely – but I’d drink mine over the next couple of years!
Round, the nose is quite ripe and spicy. In the mouth there’s good freshness for the vintage – strong flavour in the finish too. It’s a bit loose in the middle today but I admire some of the parts.
The aromas are more forward and fruity, a hint floral and fresher. Lovely raspberry fruit; cushioned long and fresh – lovely.
This is simply the villages Nuits with a little more elegance yet at the same time a little more intensity and minerality too – the villages was lovely, this is rather fine.
The nose has plenty of oak and dark cherry, a little farmyard too – eventually developing high-toned aromas too – I see no vintage character, but oak can obscure that – all the same nice. Good texture; mouthfilling with plenty of well-mannered tannin. Long and darkly flavoured – a good wine for drinking now.
A blend of Murgers and Vignes Rondes. There’s a layer of sous-bois to get through but below is good supporting fruit. In the mouth that fruit is ripe and sweet – nicely concentrated too. Tarry, staining flavours that are very long indeed. This needs a couple more years in the cellar but it’s frankly excellent.
Domaine Patrick Javillier (Meursault)
Tasted in Meursault with Patrick, 18th May 2011. Everything here is already bottled.
Forward aromas with hints of wood. Round, enough acidity though and quite some mid-palate concentration. Quite a distinguished length.
The nose is higher toned and more interesting, with blossom and herbs. Silky texture with a mid-palate expansion of flavour. Good acidity and overall freshness – very nice.
The nose offers hints of oak toast over a sweeter core. Lovely balance and very nice acidity. This is very tasty – not incredibly intense (it seems) but lovely all the same.
The aromas are higher toned; white fruit with a subtle sweetness below. Broad and mouth-watering with fine intensity – lovely, lovely stuff.
The nose offers more impact and density; a little gingerbread. Round in the mouth, with very good density. The intensity is still on the upward curve after you swallow – impressive and classic Meursault.
This has a nice violet-flower aroma with a few hints of reduction below. There is width, some intensity and certainly more than one dimension of flavour – it lingers very well too. A fine villages.
Tighter aromas – this has spent less time in bottle – that slowly grow. There is more obvious structure than from the Aloxe but there is lovely fruit that pads it out. This has excellent potential – probably after 15 years will be honey…
Domaine Françoise Lamarche (Vosne-Romanée)
Tasted in Vosne-Romanée, 8th April 2011. Just a lovely set of wines – unfortunately my favourite 1er, La Croix Rameau had only just been assembled for bottling so wasn’t up to tasting, everything else came from tank – assembled for a few days already. Quite a dark-fruited complexion to all the wines – no obvious reduction though after assembling. Some of the domaine’s parcels were converted to biodynamic in 2010…
Dusty cherry aromas. Good acidity, likewise the fruit is beyond expectation for the label. The tannin is a little harder but this is very young – super Bourgogne.
Fruit for this wine was blended from five parcels. Darker fruit with an obvious spicy Vosne context plus a little oak. This is fuller, rounder and more supple than the Bourgogne, extra intensity too of darker fruit – some licorice and hints of cedar. Good wine!
The nose has core of pure dark-red fruit. There is more fine tannin; again this is intense but more linear and mineral than the Vosne. The last drops have taken on a floral and redcurrant aspect – very pretty.
The nose is quite lovely, if a little understated after the last wines – more high-toned and elegant. There is more tannin again and a flavour that is nicely Vosne; good freshness and long-lasting dark fruit and mineral flavour to finish.
After the Chaumes this nose has more impact of dark, up-front fruit. Silkier, intense and dark flavours cross the palate – staining. Large-scaled structure but not overwhelmingly so – no fat, just power.
Dark and brooding fruit on the nose – warming the glass brings a burst of dark spice. Full and wide in the mouth – plenty of structure too; the tannin has a hint of dryness, but that’s wood tannin and will fade the quickest.
Again the nose is deep and dark. The texture is more plush than the 1er crus but full of mouth-wrapping fine tannin too – this really is a step up in ‘volume’ for everything – surprising that I find it lacking a bit of character then(?)
The nose is more intense – a hint of chocolate in there too. Full in the mouth; the structure is softer than the Echézeaux – but there’s still plenty of it. Just so intense that you have to swallow or spit – you can’t dally. “Wonderful” murmurs somebody – and why not indeed!
The nose is much more understated than the last couple of wines but it really pulls you in with its extra floral dimension – very lovely. In the mouth this is full-on – don’t be deceived by the nose but the structure is quite soft. The flavour expands in the mid-palate bringing the high-toned floral notes of the nose into play – a long slow diminuendo of a finish – very lovely.
The nose has still-more flowers than the Grands-Echézeaux, blended with mixed spice and perhaps cloves too. It’s a lovely high-toned, almost perfumed, mid-palate. There’s just a gorgeous line of clear fruit right through the core of the wine into its finish – beautiful!
Domaine Leroy (Vosne)
Tasted in Vosne, 16th May 2011. My first visit here and it’s all a little surreal! The house in Vosne is merely an office though the attached cuverie is the where all the action happens. ‘Couture’ doesn’t come close to describing the approach – tiny, tiny yields (2008 – 13 hl/ha, 2010 – 10 hl/ha!) – you have the impression that every grape is individually (hand!) polished, and is never knowingly removed from its stem. Imagine owning half a hectare of Chambertin yet making only two barrels from it (2010); of-course the price (more-than!) reflects that…
2009s had just been assembled so weren’t for tasting; likewise most of the 2010s had just been racked, but I did manage to taste the 2010 Corton Renardes and the Chambertin. No notes, but the were almost good. For solace we opened three bottles…
The nose is frankly extra-ordinary; gorgeous fruit in the middle, a depth of soil supporting it and a majestic floral perfume above – I don’t care about the label, it can’t get better than this. Round and full, with exquisite balance. For it’s age, close to perfect wine…
A hint of reduction fades to offer a super display of flowers. Round, full and super-silky without every becoming heavy.
This nose seems a little diffuse after the majesty of the first two but also seems to be textured. Here is also plenty of floral aroma but from different flowers. Super-silky again; a wine that is absolutely distinguished by its haunting finish.
Domaine Comte Liger-Belair (Vosne-Romanée)
Tasted in Vosne-Romanée, 17th May 2011 with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair. We tasted the 2010s but it’s still of limited value to offer notes at such a tender age – the bottles on the other hand…
Medium colour. Precocious aromas of roses and red fruits – super. Velvet tannin with just an edge of ‘grab’. Beautiful acidity – a wine of beautiful balance.
Floral aromas. The palate has great poise but is really distinguished by its dense, flavourful finish – I’d finish it myself given half the chance.
Medium-plus colour. Floral – roses and violets. Textured, partly the tannin but interestingly so, yet this is quickly forgotten given the gorgeous flavour. Can you (ever) have enough of this wine…(?)
I started writing transparent, but I think I really mean ethereal, flowers and fruit – exquisitely detailed. Density though no apparent weight, this has quite some understatement; just a subtly haunting length…
Much aromatic complexity – warming the glass brings more density of fruit. Full but balanced, supple concentration – another wine of understated but impressive length. Less ‘woody’ than a bottle last September – just lovely, covetable wine.
Mischief & ; Mayhem (Aloxe-Corton)
Tasted in Aloxe-Corton, 9th April 2011. Tagged onto the back of a group tasting, I managed to taste a couple of wines for the first time in a while…
A super width of caramel inflected, mineral aromas. The texture is lithe rather than fat, quite some minerality too. Excellent acidity and good intensity – long on a mineral note. Yum.
A beautiful aroma rises from the glass; there is a little spice but it bubbles below red berries and violets – lovely. The palate is becoming tight, but it retains just enough generosity that there is balance. It’s a little mineral in the long finish. Very good, but either just sniff or be prepared to wait a few years.
Domaine Ramonet (Chassagne-Montrachet)
Tasted in Chassagne, 19th May 2011. My first visit here and it’s almost as hard to get a first visit as it is Leroy – well, almost! Noel Ramonet was host but I wasn’t alone; Mr François (of François Frères) and a bit of a hero of mine, Jim Clenenden – they say it’s dangerous to meet your heroes but he was one cool guy…
The domaine exploits seventeen hectares and given their reputation it seems almost a surprise that forty percent of their volume is actually red wine. Roughly 30-35% of new wood (it’s not enough says Mr François!) is used in the elevage of almost everything – save the two barrels of Montrachet, one of which is new.
In the context of the vintage, once you get past a couple of wines that need a hint more zip, these are very classy wines indeed – I’m so pleased that I’d previously bought the red Chassagne Clos de la Boudriotte as an en-primeur wine, as it tasted great here. All the wines that follow were already in bottle.
Round, understated aromas slowly evolve some pretty high-toned notes. The palate is the same but has a nice density – quite rich – a little more acidity would be appreciated by me, though but it’s still tasty wine.
A good nose of classic Chassagne herbs over a ripe core of fruit. Also quite rich but this easily has more finesse than the bourgogne and a mid-palate density of flavour that grows and grows – lovely.
High-toned, lovely aromatics – I like this! Lovely balance and energy too. The flavours have a mineral quality – very lovely wine.
There’s a little toasted bread to augment good top to bottom but not too forceful aromas. I like the balance here and there’s very good intensity and some minerality too.
A good nose of depth, some herbs, in fact plenty of things to find. Full and quite rich in the mouth, initially with just enough acidity but the impression of acidity grows as your mouth waters – holding steady into the finish.
The nose is like that of the Morgeot but with an extra twist of herbs. This is also rich but with a mineral vein that offers counterpoint and balance. I think this is lovely – a good lingering flavour too…
Here the nose is both wider and higher-toned – lovely herbs. Full, very silky, growing with intensity and understated minerality. Very good wine!
It’s a high-toned if relatively tight nose. Lovely texture, minerality and a crescendo of intensity – this wine is an absolute honey!
There’s a smoky edge to the nose – apparently characteristic – which frames slowly evolving and growing clean aromas. Full in the mouth but with a still growing intensity. This is very impressive wine indeed – eventually showing a little savoury note amongst the minerality.
High-toned aromas with flashes of interesting ripe fruits. Very silky and intense – lovely balance too. The sweet fruit at its core grows in intensity – super!
High-tones and a hint of spearmint(!) Full and round again with that characteristic welling-up of intensity. Lithe and energetic – almost electric – wow!
Again high-toned, there’s a floral depth here and some lightly toasted bread. Rich and silky, indeed mouth-coating. There is impressive depth yet this wine remains light on its feet – some stony fruit in the finish. Love…
The domaine trade some Bâtard with Chartron for this. Very understated aromas. Super, super mouth-coating flavour. Minerality and a hint of astringency. I think this really excellent. It is a completely different, higher-toned personality to the other wines and I also think it is just behind the Bâtard in quality.
The nose is full and round, offering high tones and low tones. Less mouth-coating than the Bâtard but with super intensity but then surprises with yet another dimension of flavour. Special.
Medium colour. Lovely red fruit with cracked pepper corns on the nose. Lovely width and it offers-up another dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. I find this a very good wine.