Degustation

all the v’s – Verzé, Vivant & Vougeot – weekeend 36 2019

By billn on September 09, 2019 #degustation

2014 Nicolas Maillet, Mâcon Verzé – the last of my 6-pack (I think!) all have been top but this was a little deeper coloured with a cork that removed just a little too easily. The last (large) glass went into making the risotto, but the rest of the bottle was still very drinkable – the first 5 bottles were excellent!

1999 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée St.Vivant
This is a wine that has never endeared – a shame then that I bought a dozen on release – but this is the best of that case so far, only 20 years have been needed for this!
Lots of colour – colour with a certain age, but not brown. Hmm, that’s actually a modestly attractive nose, with a bloody, earthy, leafy-spiced depth – there is interest here. In the mouth, we have concentration, layers of flavour and no-longer the practically overwhelming sense of tannin that this wine showed in its rustically cabernet-style youth. It’s long too – but it’s not inviting, nor satisfying – maybe another 10 years for the remaining 6 or 7 bottles?
Rebuy – No

2001 Dr Georges Mugneret, Clos de Vougeot
In almost every direction, this wine is smaller versus the Thomas-Moillard; less impact – both aroma and flavour – less concentration, a smaller finish too – but in one rather important area, this has something extra – deliciousness. I don’t find many down-right poor wines in 2001, but the gaps between the modest and great are large in 2001 – here is quite a modest wine versus label/domaine expectations, but it’s an elegant and delicious middle-weight wine, rather than a grand cru wine. All the same, here is plenty of leafy maturity, some sweetness and a nice drive to the acidity. Very tasty.
Rebuy – Maybe

a couple of weekend wines from weekend 35 2019

By billn on September 04, 2019 #degustation

Nicolas Potel and Robert Perroud

2017 Robert Perroud, Beaujolais Villages Blanc ‘Terres Blanches’
A big nose – one of impact and a little exoticism – passion-fruit! Full, viscous but flavour-packed too. A wine that comes to me over time in the glass as the ripe, exotic fruit starts to fade and you have a more mineral development. Very drinkable – and for Beaujolais Blanc, that’s high praise from me!
Rebuy – Maybe

1999 Nicolas Potel, Nuits St.Georges
The last of my 6-pack, bought on release. Every previous bottle of this was outstanding – great Nuits villages – this left me wanting – I think that the cork was to blame.
The cork came out rather easily with hardly a ‘pop’ – it was wet and smelled a little oxidative – but not the wine, in fact aromatically, it showed nothing! There was some slow improvement over time – it became a wine of direction, concentration and good texture – but lacked both aromatic and flavour intensity. I’m sure some sub-detectable taint here – never the best way to remember a case…

2014 berthaut-gerbet/des chézeaux, gevrey cazetiers…

By billn on August 28, 2019 #degustation

chezeaux cazetiers

2014 Berthaut-Gerbet/des Chézeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
It’s been a little while since I drank the 2014 Lavaux – this is a very different wine!
Airy, fresh, lovely and pure, though distant, fruit and flowers for this nose. The palate is fresh, direct and structural but with a lovely purity of flavour that reflects the nose. A very young, slightly driving wine, very raspberry fruit style. Delicious, structural, today coy – I think this could keep for a long time – and so different to the luxuriously textured ramba-zamba of the 2014 Lavaux St.Jacques…
Rebuy – Yes

a little switzerland & wines for weekend 34 2019

By billn on August 26, 2019 #degustation

A week at home; typing, gardening and doing my annual bookkeeping – oh and a little enforced work on a Subaru! – but that still allowed a little trip out to the mountains during the weekend – Adelboden.

As for the wines – this was bottle #26 (I think) of the Chablis – only a couple more remain – plus a couple of bottles of their 2017 Preuses – one of the wines of the vintage! It was excellent, as every bottle that preceded it! The 2017 Chasselay, Beaujolais Platière, opened with a nod to the recent hail, was just so jammy yet fresh – hyper-delicious. A completely different kettle of fish was the 2007 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Clos St Denis Très Vieilles Vignes – full, layered, magnificently aromatic – the only other wine that reminds of the texture shown by this (in 2007) is that of La Romanée. I didn’t think there was a lot of acidity in 2007 but compared to the most recent vintages of 2015 onwards, there’s plenty here. Great 2007 and a treat!

a little beaune & wines for weekend 33 2019

By billn on August 21, 2019 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2019

August is the long pause between domaine visits and the harvest to come. Although it’s been patchy, the rain has brought more balance to the vines and even the grapes are starting to grow a little – the vineyards are currently mainly free from maladies – oïdium remains a constant worry, but largely just that – and, for the moment, only the southern part of Beaujolais has seen significant hail this year.

We took the trip to Beaune this weekend in order to celebrate my Mum’s 75th birthday – she’d not visited before and loved her time there. The weather was quite warm so we didn’t venture far – the bars, the restaurants and of course a few bottles:

Most of these bottles have graced these diary pages a number of times this year, but the 2015 Domaine Monthelie Douhairet Porcheret, Monthelie did nothing to dissuade my view that this domaine should be much better known. Another from that vintage, the 2015 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses, was even better – as itr should be – with a beautiful layered depth of fine, balanced, flavour – it was a treat.

The pause continues…

weekend wines – week 32 2019…

By billn on August 13, 2019 #degustation

2014 Julien Duport, Côte de Brouilly Empreinte
Plenty of colour. Hmm, airy, wide, elegant, modest fruit, less modest, indeed forward, florals – that’s a nice nose! The palate has fine width and a juicy, mouth-watering, style to the flavour – much more wine of line, than the width and weight of 2015-2018. Elegant, deliciously high-toned fruit. More classic than the aforementioned vintages – but really enjoyable wine…
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents de Chiens
Medium golden colour. The nose is forward, pungent almost, some caramel, custard and plenty of mineral. In the mouth there’s much mouth-filling volume, a flavour that’s a little clinging but slowly fades in waves from the middle, onwards into the finish. The nose and first flavours are almost too much right now, but the mid and finishing flavours are excellent. As the volatile custard/caramel of the oak fades I find a more interesting balance to this wine – the first couple of hours I didn’t get a lot of enjoyment, thereafter I thought it lovely!
Rebuy – Maybe

1996 Hospices de Beaune Corton Charlotte Dumay

By billn on August 08, 2019 #degustation

Hospices Beaune Corton Charlotte DumayThis wine has always been a challenge, but one that I’ve often enjoyed – a challenge in a very 1996 vernacular, but turned up to ’10’ because it is also Corton. This is is easily the best experience of the lot – as it should be, given that wine is now closer to 25 years old!

1996 Hospices de Beaune Corton cuvée Charlotte Dumay* – Prosper Maufoux
Vibrant red fruit, but with a depth, almost a texture, of more mature dry leaves – that’s a big invitation! Of-course it’s fresh and narrow in the mouth, indeed driving. The 1996 acidity is clear but also balanced, and for the first time, I’m beginning to feel some generosity from the very fine texture. An obvious grand cru depth of middle and finishing flavour. This wine was, for the longest time, a test, but today I find it an energising, refreshing joy – I drank a little more than my usual! The best yet from this wine – though now only 2-3 bottles remain from the case…
Rebuy – Yes

*This cuvée a blend of Corton Les Renardes (1.69ha) & Corton Les Bressandes (0.97ha)
Named to remember Charlotte Dumay, who left 100 ouvrées of vines in Aloxe to the Hospices in 1584.

weekend wines – week 31 2019

By billn on August 05, 2019 #degustation

2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Clos de Rochebonne
A deep and quite mineral nose with a little citrus skin with a floral suggestion. Weight of flavour, slightly fat but with direction and freshness. Bubbling with modest energy and fine flavour – perfect balance. A little concentrated citrus skin in the finish too – very good!
Rebuy – Yes

2002 Nicolas Potel, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Gaudichots
Medium-plus colour and I have to say, not sowing much age. The nose starts with a waft of forest floor, followed by quite a pronounced tobacco note – this is pretty constant/consistent for at least 20 minutes before a vibrant, and pure, red fruit surfaces – the vibrancy of raspberry – it’s a fine width of aroma too. Plenty of volume, good energy too though to start the palate seems lite versus the complexity of aroma. But this is a wine that grows in the glass, growing, showing super energy too – a wine that just keeps developing – a marker of great class. This is easily the best showing from this 6-pack – unfortunately, there are not many left – great wine!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Collotte, Marsannay Blanc
The first nose has some weight and a ripe lime rigour – it needs 10 minutes (perhaps a little CO2 to blame) to become more open and more enticing. The palate is weighty but also has great balance. Concentrated and tasty – certainly not elegant – but very yum. Nice wine!
Rebuy – Yes

catching up with the empty bottles…

By billn on August 02, 2019 #degustation

Before I left for Piedmonte, I’d accumulated a lovely set of wines – I would/should say an exceptional group of wines. Where I can remember something, or indeed took a few crafty notes, a few words follow about them:

2001 Frederic Esmonin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Ooh, what a big invitation of a nose – old wood, leaves, sweetness – grand cru burgundy ready to go! In the mouth, it’s that same brilliant attack as shown by the nose – sweetness and age. The mid-palate and finish are slightly more compact – here I’d say more like a very good 1er cru – but these wines were cheaper than the more sought-after 1ers when released. A great experience – bravo for the price, but probably behind a great Bèze which would have cost you more than double, but only probably!
Rebuy – Yes

The following trio were drunk at Au Fils du Zinc in Chablis, a lunch that remains indelible in my memory:

2015 Vincent Dauvissat, Chablis Les Clos
Slowly opening; it’s compact but fine nose. Rippling waves of flavour lapping over the palate. Subtle, faintly complex, compact though delicious. Such a baby, yet surprisingly easy wine today – wait, wait – the more patience you have the more the wine begins to open – but today – I’ll be surprised if we are seeing more than a third of what this elegantly pure wine will one-day offer.
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Raveneau, Chablis Les Clos
Deep, some age mixed with freshness, something less interesting in the depth. Ooh, that has such driving, classic, 1996 shape. Similar to the 2015 with good, not outstanding flavour, but flavour that reflects the nose – then pow! Grand vin finish. This wine needs a little time in the glass – perhaps the cork was to blame – a small note on the nose that was present in the first flavour too – but after 15 minutes – it was gone! What remained would simply be ridiculous to ‘critique’ – greatness…
Rebuy – Yes

1986 Raveneau, Chablis 1er Butteaux
The (maybe!) urban myth goes; in 1986 the team here had plenty of wine – so chose to experiment with three barrels of this in new wood. After 5 years in bottle they thought ‘No, still too oaky, we can’t have people thinking that we make oaky wine!’ The same after 10 and 15 years. After 20 it was the sulfur that stood out – the team here were never shy with the sulfur at this time. Finally now they think they might let some bottles into the market:
Deeper colour. Wow, such a big, inviting, complex nose of greatness – bravo – the last can’t match this in either scale or complexity, only drive and elegance! Ooh great, super complex, delicious Chablis unlike any other Chablis I’ve tasted – fabulous! Certainly rounder than the sleek 1996, but great, great wine if clearly a different style of wine.
Rebuy – Yes

2013 Jean Chartron, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cailleret
Picked from the list at Castel Très Girard in Morey St.Denis. We were looking for freshness, drive and chalky minerality – we got exactly that – with a large twist of deliciousness too. This wine has beautiful line and sweetness – but the latter more from ripe citrus than (for instance) botrytis. The line from the middle into the finish was a delight of stony, mineral class. All we could have wished for!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Vincent Latour, Meursault Les Grands Charrons
Here’s a textbook case of why I like this producer so much. A wine of drive yet with just the right amound of flesh and sweetness to keep making you go back for more. Another excellent wine from Vincent.

These next two deserve to be compared:

2014 Henri Germain & Comtes Lafon, Meursault-Charmes
The Germain, aromatically and for the first flavours is my favourite – there is purity and a certain fresh-fruited sucrosity that is not matched by the Lafon’s more mineral and reductive first impressions. From the mid-palate onwards, it’s all Lafon for me; the Lafon has such drive, such vibrant dynamism that I’m rendered practically speechless – except for wow, wow, wow!
Both: Rebuy – Yes

2013 Fontaine-Gagnard, Le Montrachet
The first nose is big and impressive, likewise the first, obviously riper flavours versus the two Charmes – but not better. This wine slowly starts to take off from the mid-palate – more weight and assuredly great class included. Certainly not ‘better’ than a hypthetical combination of the two previous Meursault Charmes, but individually – almost a better, if fuller wine.
Rebuy – Yes

It was now late in a great evening – so only small, throwaway remarks on the last wines:

The 2010 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny was fresh, bright and had excellent clarity and drive – clearly showing a little of its premier cru roots. Excellent. 2012 Michel Rebourgeon, Pommard 1er Arvelets had less striking clarity but a nice width of drinkable flavour – pure wine all the same. The 2010 Violot-Guillemard, Pommard 1er Epenots was entirely classic – vintage and place – driving, fresh, fine textured wine, showing some early precocity – ooh, that was good! 2010 Lamarche, La Grande Rue Now we are talking – not a massive wine, yet one that easily bests all that have gone before – and after – complex but not massive aroma – wide and lingering, deliciously flavoured – and like the Epenots, another 2010 that’s showing fine, early, drinkability – Excellent. Lastly, the 1996 René Engel, Grands Echézeaux I bought a parcel of this in about 2002 – it has never been very good – I sometimes mused that it was fake and that there was only Bourgogne in the bottle – but here, for the first time, is something of interest – complexity on both the nose and the palate – this tasted really rather good, but it is a long way behind the 2010 Lamarche – even as it approaches 25 years old!

Burgundy Report

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