Degustation

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!

luncheon wine…

By billn on July 23, 2019 #degustation

A little luncheon wine:

2011 Pascal Agrapart, Avizoise
I don’t review Champagne, but I like Champagne! That said, most of the new names/cuvées that sommeliers like to show or recommend seem to me to be oxidative in style or showing plenty of autolysis – those wines are a turn-off for me, I’d rather drink Crémant. But this was pure, complex and absolutely delicious – Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Vincent Girardin, Meursault Les Narvaux
Hmm – that’s a fine nose – wide, attractive, with some faintly leafy, maturing complexity – but with a fine fruit below. In the mouth, this is instantly bright, open and shows lovely energy. It’s vibrantly flavoured and at the same time faintly mineral. It’s just a very delicious wine today, and close to being ready. Excellent stuff!
Rebuy – Yes

2013 Denis & Bertrand Chevillon, Nuits St.Georges 1er Roncières
This nose is wide and sweet; there’s an almost smoky complexity here – probably some whole-cluster in there – it’s certainly very inviting. In the mouth, we have energy, delicious flavour of deep fruit, complexity too – a wine that’s starting to show the first semblance of age-related complexity in its flavours. This is still young, but it’s delicious right now, and possibly getting better and better for those with patience!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 camille giroud volnay taillepieds

By billn on July 18, 2019 #degustation

Camille Giroud Volnay Taillepieds

I remember an apology (many years ago) ‘we only had labels from 2006 left‘ – no problem – it’s the wine that counts – eh?

2005 Camille Giroud, Volnay 1er Taillepieds
The cork broke into two – but had, otherwise, done a good job.
Plenty of (only modestly aged) colour. The nose is big, frank, and inviting – there’s a super depth of concentrated red fruit, topped with floral notes and a subtle anecdote of barrel. Like the nose, the flavour is just so concentrated but with acid-led energy too – fine texture but no fat. Long, direct and highly impressive. Open, but still very youthful. Half of this made it through to day two, and here the concentration and impressive balance remained, but overall the performance was tighter, still direct, but no-longer floral. Potentially great wine – but only if I can keep my hands off my last 2 bottles!
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines and pics – week 28 2019

By billn on July 16, 2019 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2019

Hmm, not really ‘grand’ wines, but plenty of delicious wines!

The first two from ‘the list’ in Beaune’s The Publican pub:

Nicolas Maillet’s 2016 – was just a great wine, and cheaper on the wine-list than the Bourgogne Blanc of Mikulski. Concentrated, layered flavour but with perfect balance – bravo.

David Croix’s 2017 – was relatively deeply coloured for the vintage. Another wine of layers but also of easy, delicious drinking.
Nathalie & Gilles Fevre’s 2016 – doesn’t have the same energy as their 2017s, but you would, all the same, directly say ‘Chablis’ if you were given this blind. So much flavour, balanced without being over-energetic. Savoured, as opposed to ‘experienced’ as you might say about the 2017s right now.

Jadot’s 2000 – now that’s a wine, and a young wine too. Forward, engrossing aroma of freshness and a graphite-style minerality. Mouth-filling, fresh, complex – it will easily go another 10 years if you wish – super, super, delicious wine – bravo!
Roty’s 2010 – You might think a bit old for ‘Grand Ordinaire’ but that’s far from the case. A purer but easier red fruit vs the Jadot – easier to drink – deliciously so – but nothing like the complexity and engrossing interest of that Jadot. Brilliant for what it is though!

Finally, some weekend views around Beaune:

this week’s libations – so far…

By billn on July 11, 2019 #degustation

Friends from NZ in the house – we did 2 vintages together in Beaune, where we head later today. A bunch of the usual suspects, often drunk in these pages – for which I won’t offer any notes, but there were a couple of others that might be of interest:

2016 Burn Cottage, Burn Cottage Vineyard
Medium colour yet also quite a bright colour. Ooh, that’s such an interesting nose, fresh, full of whole cluster references but also lovely bright flower notes – that’s so inviting! Nice volume, fresh flavour, a little acid-led structure and fine finishing bitters. Ripe yet at the same time, less ripe – very floral – and attractively phenolic. I like it a lot, though the fine floral purity of aroma all-but disappears after an hour-or-so.
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Camille Giroud, Beaune 1er Aux Cras
One of the rare 2011s that I bought and this is showing beautifully.
Relatively pale colour, not totally bright/clear either. The nose – oh the nose, that’s so great – floral, complex fruit, some whole clusters, just gorgeous! The palate has good shape and volume, nice acidity too – not a wine of power or concentration, but jaw-droppingly delicious! A great 2011!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Carrick, Cairnmuir Terraces EBM Central Otago Chardonnay
(EBM – Extended barrel maturation) A low yielding vintage – 3-4 tonnes per hectare (25 hl/ha) then 18 months in barrel.
Ooh, that’s a deep colour, but yellow, not golden. The nose too – pow! Very ripe, waxy lemon with a hefty whiff of pepper too – subtle it’s not – but it’s still good! Plenty of mouth-filling volume, that ripe citrus, with almost a spiced pear and a touch of caramel in the finish. I almost find a grain of tannin in the finish and slight bitters too. More than impressive for its age, but a long way from elegant if that’s what you’re looking for. Yum! A powerful and impressive wine.
Rebuy – Yes

some cool bottles from the last days…

By billn on July 02, 2019 #degustation

Honestly, it’s taken me a few days to drink these – and with help too! The hot days of the last week-or-so have seen me reaching for bottles of water, direct from the refrigerator, rather than for wine. I’m predominantly in need refreshment right now, and if I were to cool the wine more then I would just drink it far too quickly than would seem appropriate for the cost of the bottles! Oh well – but you can at least see that I’m trying!

2014 Dampt Frères, Bourgogne Tonnerre Le Clos du Château
Open, attractive, very citrussy sweetness, even suggesting a little white flower blossom. I always like the mouth-filling volume and energy from this wine, and apart from one that had a bit of mustiness (probably) from the cork, all remain, bright and attentive. Long, incisive citrus fruit for a finish too. Excellent.
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Alice & Olivier De Moor, Bourgogne Chitry
Some of the first bottles seemed to have some aromatic padding, but this seems to be becoming more incisive with time – I like! Modestly mineral, melting flavour that has a becoming sweetness. Just a delicious wine!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Domaine Faiveley, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champ Gain
This starts with plenty of barrel – sweet, creamy, almost vanilla barrel – and a very unusual impression of banana – clearly not my ‘thing.’ I defer to my bottle of water. On day 2 (overnight in the fridge) this has improved massively – no oak, no banana and a fresh and direct, slightly citrus invitation now comes from the nose. I like the shape in the mouth – cut, definition, and fine energy. Growing in stature in the middle and already showing a great finish. I might not have loved the start, but the finish is more than promising. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

a little cooling fourchaume…

By billn on June 27, 2019 #degustation

2017 Julie, Nathalie & Gilles Fevre, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A nice, big, saline and citrus-mineral invitation. Thrilling, driving intensity – a juicily-mouthwatering waterfall of refreshment – just what I needed! Bravo – showing exceptionally – though maybe that’s the weather too!
Rebuy – Yes

faiveley’s 2010 nuits 1er chaignots

By billn on June 26, 2019 #degustation

Faiveley Nuits 1er Aux Chaignots2010 Domaine Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
A wine that’s starting to show some maturity of colour. Ooh! What a nose! Complex, inviting, incredibly attractive spiced fruit. In the mouth there is much that reflects the nose – this wine is showing in such a flamboyant way today! Great energy blends with delicious complexity – it’s got so much more interest than the grand cru that it sits next to. Downright great wine today – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

My, my – I’m so enjoying 2010s right now!

this points nonsense is exactly that, nonsense – but don’t blame the wine…

By billn on June 25, 2019 #degustation#warning - opinion!

Or should I simply say ridiculous?

Let me get two things out of the way to start with:

  1. 2017 is a great vintage for white burgundy
  2. I also loved and highly recommended this wine in my December 2018 report for subscribers:
    2017 Ladoix
    A relatively new contract since 2015. It needed some work to sell to regular clients but now is starting to go very well. 30% new oak again.
    A vibrant nose – fresh, mineral and cut with citrus – yes! More density, more depth – ooh this great! Mineral, concentrated and beautifully pure – I could drink this every day – bravo!

But 98 points for a village? On the positive side, whoever reviewed this wine can indeed spot a great wine in its segment, but on the other hand, they render any scoring system completely meaningless – or perhaps, as Clive Coates once said, “Scores are in context!“…

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