update at d’ardhuy

By billn on November 05, 2006 #producer update

ardhuy vosneI visited Domaine d’Ardhuy on Thursday.

That meant that I had to visit again of Friday.

Why? – well to collect the wines I ordered after the tasting of-course. It’s just one of those occupational hazards that one has to be prepared for…!

Carel Voorhuis took me through a few barrels of pre-malolactic 2006’s, and then some of the remaining 2005’s in barrel. Finally we took a look at a few wines in bottle – quite a number of the 2005’s are already bottled at this estate. See some of my notes below from those already bottled wines:
2004 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Ladoix Blanctry to find this wine...
High-toned sweet nose. Nicely round palate with a good finish. Sound value. Rebuy – Yes
2004 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Sous les Puitstry to find this wine...
Aromatics are deep but quite linear (narrow) with subtle edge of oak. Well textured and well balanced, quite a bit more length than the Ladoix. Certainly a good wine. Rebuy – Maybe
2004 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Ladoix 1er Rognetstry to find this wine...
From a small enclave of vines high on the hill of Corton that border Corton-Charlemagne. High-toned nose with the implication of some density. Delivers on the palate; mouthwatering, full of flavour and good length. Perhaps a junior Charlemagne. Rebuy – Yes And I did.
2004 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Corton-Charlemagnetry to find this wine...
High-toned and very wide nose, just slightly estery. Density without too much weight yet the mid-palate is packed with dimension. Very expressive and super length with an edge of coconut(?) Rebuy – Yes
2003 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Corton Renardestry to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. Very nice nose of high-toned and wide (mainly black) fruit. A nicely soft entry, the flavour etches onto your tongue – plenty of dimension, though the finish seems to be not so long for a grand cru. Rebuy – Maybe
2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuilletstry to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. Fresh red fruit – maybe a hint of blue too. Medium density ripe fruit in the mid-palate. Good, furry tannin and a lingering finish. Very nice Savigny. Rebuy – Yes
2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Narbantonstry to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. Plenty of ripe red and black fruit on the nose. The tannin is on a slightly higher level than the Peuillets and the finish is nicely long with a mouthwatering edge. Even better than the Peuillets. Rebuy – Yes I did.
2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Volnay 1er Chanlinstry to find this wine...
From high-up on the hillside. A wide and very fine nose – I could sniff this for ages. The palate is a little more mineral than the nose, and also than the previous Savignys. Nice density and balance and a nice diminuendo to the finish. Very pretty. Rebuy – Yes
2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Gevrey-Chambertintry to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. Black and red fruit with a touch of earth. In the mouth the fruit ishas a nice high-toned aspect and it’s well matched to the tannin. This certainly a more ‘masculine’ wine than the previous bottles, but a good example all the same.
Rebuy – Maybe
2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Chaumestry to find this wine...
The second time tasted in the last month. Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. Fresh red fruits, some raisin on the nose – the drained glass continues to smell wonderfull. Many dimensions on the palate, very good balance too – the finish brings disappointment, not because it’s short, but rather that you don’t want it to end! Lovely. Rebuy – Yes

la bourgogne vue du ciel

By billn on November 04, 2006 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

aerial views of burgundy
First published in 1990, I found this book at a bargain-price in a second-hand book store – the condition is far from perfect, but it’s very serviceable.

This is really just a coffee-table book, but it’s chock-full of very pretty pictures taken from the air – one of a series by the authors. There are, of-course, photos of vineyards and grand houses in the Côte d’Or, but ‘Burgundy’ is a much wider area and landscape.

This book was a very nice acquisition – but be careful not to spill coffee on it!

pommard #3

By billn on November 04, 2006 #degustation

dugat-py pommard2004 Dugat-Py, Pommard Le Levrièretry to find this wine...
Deep cherry-red. The nose starts quite reduced with sulfur and hints of mushroom – hard to get at the fruit – slowly it warms to give a bright, high-toned beacon of pure red fruit. The palate has a perfectly (oak) upholstered texture, really impressive concentration, good acidity and surprisingly only a mild grain to the tannin. This is quite mineral and shows a long finish, akin to having (I’m assuming!) a piece of coal in your mouth. From the mid-palate onwards this is much more impressive than the Coche. Very impressive.
Rebuy – Yes

My ‘rebuy’ decision is based purely on the quality of this wine with respect to its appellation – note that I didn’t take the cost of the bottle into consideration! Given my previous experience with Dugat-Py’s 2004 Vosne-Romanée, I would suggest opening 8 hours before serving or very vigorous decating/aeration 1-2 hours before drinking.

update at mischief & mayhem

By billn on November 03, 2006 #aloxe-corton#producer update

mischief and mayhem cellar door
As discussed in my report back in July, the team at M&M have opened (only last weekend) their new ‘cellar-door’ facility – rather nice it is too – but if today was anything to go by, in January the refridgerator will be used to keep the wine warm!

mischief and mayhem cellar doorBest news from this follow-up visit is that I no-longer have taster’s angst – I liked the wines a lot in my first report, but Burghound was lukewarm – to be fair, Dr Meadows had the wines in the post only 5 days after they were bottled – anyway that bastion of good taste the wine spectator (actually Bruce Sanderson) weighed in with scores in the range 91-92/100 – shame then (for me) that M&M have already sold out in Aloxe-Corton – they had no license to sell direct when I last visited.

A few new wines have been added while they forge their bottle contracts (already 90% complete) for next year – see below:

2005 Mischief & Mayhem, Chablistry to find this wine...
Establishing yourself in this business is about over-delivering, and here is a prime example; this wine is really a 1er cru from Côte de Lechets, but is labelled and priced as ‘Chablis’. The colour is pale yellow. High-toned aromas of citrusy pear swoon from the cold glass. The palate is fresh, wide and clean, tailing into a medium length. As it should be, a very, very good ‘Chablis’.
Rebuy – Yes
2005 Mischief & Mayhem, Pinot Noirtry to find this wine...
A high-toned, narrow, ripe red and faintly blue coloured nose. In the mouth this is fresh and very pinot with clean, pure flavours and a finish that’s reasonably long for the regional appellation. Perfect sipping, chilled on a warm sunny day.
Rebuy – Yes
2003 Mischief & Mayhem, Charmes-Chambertintry to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. As seems to be the house style, here also are nicely high-toned aromatics, just a little minerality edging the fresh cherry – this temperature (let’s say a little under 18°) is ideal for most 2003’s, any higher and most 2003’s start to become a little flabby. In the mouth this wine is a little more obviously 2003 with a ripe density, though it’s admirably fresh and the tannins are in no-way unruly. No fireworks in the mid-palate, rather a linear expression going into the good finish
Rebuy – Yes

pommard #2

By billn on November 03, 2006 #degustation

coche-dury pommard 04
2004 Coche-Dury, Pommard Vaumurienstry to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry red. The nose is sweet ripe and only with time betrays the faintest trace of cedar. Wide and friendly, the aromatics are sweet oak with a creamy edge to the red fruit. One sip and you’re hit by fresh, crunchy red and black fruit and grainy tannin – quite the extrovert – given the nose I expected something much more plush. The finish is quite long for a villages, showcasing those grainy tannins. This improved in the glass and was quite a crowd-pleaser.
Rebuy – Yes

the first frost

By billn on November 02, 2006 #degustation#travel

november in savignyEverything was coated in a layer of frost this morning, and despite the perfect blue sky there’s more than a hint of chill to the breeze. In the Côtes, most of the vines have lost their leaves, but here and there, there are parcels that still reflect yellow and red in the sun – I’ll add a picture later…

This morning I visited Domaine Antonin Guyon in Savigny, for its size this is a seriously ‘under-the-radar’ domaine which produces good+ quality as its basic level and can hit wonderful heights – a full report in about 2 weeks in the November issue.

This afternoon (in an hour) I will taste with Carel Voorhuis at d’Ardhuy for appraising some 2005’s and to ask him about those pine-needles in the Pommard below…


pommard & côte d’or

By billn on November 01, 2006 #degustation#travel

ardhuy pommard lambotsOnly a tenuous link in the post title – despite what it might look like! Tomorrow I head for a few days in the Côte d’Or, possibly for the last time this year, but with some good visits (I hope!) arranged. The weather has finally turned colder and we could have freezing overnight in the next days, but hopefully my camera is to be greeted with plenty of blue sky.

Pommard; I’m slowly embarking on a profile of the village and the degustatory research starts this week with 2004 which had a trying time due to hail:
2004 d’Ardhuy, Pommard Les Lambotstry to find this wine...
A shiny medium cherry-red. The nose is pure pine-needles and cedar – slowly a more fruit-driven effect comes into the mix but over about 20 minutes it is never more than a secondary characteristic. The palate is acid forward, seemingly it needs just an edge more ripeness. The best part of this wine is its texture – very nice finely grained tannins – the finish is not too bad and seems riper than the rest of the wine. Works reasonably well with food, but the borderline ripeness means it would be challenge on its own. Rebuy – No
[EDIT: This was picked at a natural 11.9°, though the pH is not too low at around 3.5]

a new critic at large

By billn on November 01, 2006 #other sites

neal plus admirerIt is with great pleasure I hear today, that long time correspondent and occasional partner to lunches and bottle openings Neal Martin has finally sold-out. He is appointed (over Michel Bettane no less) to be the ‘critic at large’ for Robert Parker’s online empire.

I say sold-out, not because he is moving to eRP but because he will no-longer be providing ‘album (that’s CD for younger readers!!!) of the month’ for his readers – though in-truth it was becoming every second month of recent. It seems I will have to return to Baccarat and René & Renata without his youth perspective.

STOP PRESS – Neal Martin has officially not sold out – he confirms to me in writing that it’s not the end for this seminal work – my kipper ties can stay in the closet a little longer…

[EDIT1] – How it happenedPart 1
[EDIT2] – How it happenedPart 2

alex gambal chambolle

By billn on November 01, 2006 #degustation

gambal chambolleVersus tasting from barrel I’ve had occasional reds from Gambal that seemed rather subdued – I’ve come to believe that they need a good deal more aeration than I was allowing, but this was excellent right from the bottle and way more interesting than the recent bottle from Fourrier:
2001 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Gruencherstry to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The nose has some oaky depth overlayed by dense, though initially not so intense, creamy black cherry; with time the oak fades and the creamy fruit comes more to the fore. Understated entry – apparently only moderately concentrated to start with – but this very well textured wine builds intensity in the mouth. The overal picture is of black-shaded fruit just edged with a little oak texture, but this will fade (the oak!) – the finish is a reasonably long one. I enjoyed this a lot.
Rebuy – Yes

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