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               Why Big Red Diary?

Just so many wines…

Here’s a compendium of wines tasted with producers between the 1st December 2010 and the end of March 2011. They are mainly 2009s and 2008s – I tasted lots of 2010s in this period, but far too early to make notes – there’s not much value telling you that Romanée-Conti 2010 was a bit fizzy, is there(?)!

Armand (Pommard) Barthod (Chambolle) Belland (Santenay) Bichot Albert (Beaune)
Bize Simon (Savigny) Boisset JC (Nuits) Bonneau du Martray Chauvenet Jean (Nuits)
Clair Bruno (Marsannay) de Courcel (Pommard) Damoy Pierre (Gevrey) Esmonin Sylvie (Gevrey)
Gallois (Gevrey) Gambal Alex (Beaune) Giroud Camille (Beaune) Guyot (Marsannay)
Heresztyn (Gevrey) Jolliet (Perrière – Fixin) Lafarge (Volnay) Lamy Hubert (St.Aubin)
Latour Henri (Auxey) Leflaive (Puligny) Mischief & Mayhem Moreau (Chassagne)
Mugneret Gérard (Vosne) Muzard (Santenay) Pernot Paul (Puligny) Ravaut G&P (Ladoix)
Roulot (Meursault) Rousseau (Gevrey) Cécile Tremblay (Vosne) Thenard Baron (Givry)
de Vogüé (Chambolle) Vougeraie (Premeaux)

Interestingly many producers are 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.

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 I think we’re safe with this vintage; I might retain a personal preference for 2008 in about 80% of cases – from the good addresses – but long-term I will enjoy both vintages for what they are.

Domaine Comte Armand, Clos des Epeneaux (Pommard)

Tasted in Pommard, 22nd March 2011. rather than vine-age, Benjamin has started to ferment the four individual cuvées of the Clos des Epeneaux mainly by geology. They are of-course all blended together at the end – but it makes a difference all the same. Actually he’s beginning to question why he bottles all those jeroboams of CdE made for the estate from the oldest vines; he wonders who is actually going to live long enough to get the benefit – probably not him!

2009 Comte Armand, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru
A blend of two premier crus. Nervous, quite wide then a darker depth with some mineral/coal – a very interesting nose. Goog balance and a lovely, lovely length – actually the length is the defining feature of this wine – really super!

2009 Comte Armand, Volnay
The nose has quite a heavy central fruit. In the mouth this seems much more elegant than the nose; supple and very, very wide. I see the Volnay in the flavours if not (yet) on the nose.

2009 Comte Armand, Volnay 1er Fremiets
A deeper nose with hints of reduction – certainly more open-knit than the villages. The tannins have a little more ‘grab’ – but not in a negative sense. Just a little more complexity here.

2009 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
This is always an approximation of the final blend; the cuvée from the young vines compact bedrock brings an impressive volume of dark fruit, the older vines (55 years) in the same section have more intensity, transparency – and certainly length. The fragmented rock also has an older and younger vines cuvée; the 32 year-old vines bring an easy impression plus a volume of floral notes in the mouth. The older (55) vines of the fragmented rock deliver width and a silkier texture – also length. The blend of the parts has deep slightly meaty nose that’s allied to red berries. The flavour in the mouth just grows and grows, a little floral dimension appears before a very long finish – super!

2007 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
The nose delivers a blast of red fruit, a little confiture and perhaps a sprig of mint too. Narrow and very mineral – just a very long line of flavour that runs right through the wine. This was picked late but there is no obvious dimension of ‘sweet’ to the wine – very fine for the vintage!

2005 Comte Armand, Pommard 1er Clos des Epeneaux
A much deeper colour. The nose offers density without ‘heft’. Wide, concentrated yet somehow balanced – post-swallowing there is a really intense finish. Quite open – I’m surprised – but a wine for the ages…

Domaine Ghislaine Barthod (Chambolle)

Tasted in Chambolle, 27th January 2011 – cellar temperature was almost 12°, almost! One of my favourite two domaines for 2009 reds – fabulous!

2009 Barthod, Bourgogne
Straight from the cold glass this is gorgeously pretty and aromatic. The palate can’t quite live up to the stunning nose, but it’s direct, tasty and slightly mineral too. A good additional dimension of fruit in the mid-palate too.

2009 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny
Here the aromas are equally pretty, but have a deeper register to them before slowly evolving a floral dimension. Quite full, fine texture of velvet tannin. Excellent depth.

2009 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Baudes
A hint of musk to the nose, otherwise this reminds me a little of a Fuées. Round, again with a velvet texture to the tannin which has a little grab in the mid-palate. The flavour has quite some perfume that turns to violets in the finish.

2009 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
The vines are about seventy years old. The nose seems almost plush – super. Lovely perfume in the mouth too, understated velvet and a fine balance – another dimension of minerality shows in the finish – really super!

2009 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Fuées
Here is a benchmark Fuées base of dense but clear fruit, soon it is overtaken by floral notes. Immensely impressive in the mid-palate, just beautiful, concentrated flavour. A wine that would make many grand crus turn green with envy. Fab!

2008 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Aromatically round, but less wide than the 2009. Lovely tongue-enveloping flavour, the tannins is all-but covered, but it’s there all the same. Will be a beauty.

Domaine Roger Belland (Santenay)

Tasted in Santenay, 1st December 2010.

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay Comme-Dessus (Blanc)
A wealth of ‚low hanging fruit’, just about avoiding becoming ponderous. There is width and a fullness to the palate that is fortunately held together with nice acidity. Slightly stony flavours, actually this is not bad despite being redolent of a Beaune Blanc.

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Beauregard (Blanc)
There’s a hint of savoury to the nose, baked bread perhaps. This is also rather full but combined with the acidity there is a little more intensity. A nice fresh, again stony finish – long too!

2008 Roger Belland, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos Pitois
There’s a nicely, Chassagne nose with that slightly herbal backdrop. There is richness and some lovely acidity to match – the 2008 formula – I like the length, this is very nice indeed.

2008 Roger Belland, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs-Gains
The nose is quite fresh, slowly widening to a pretty effect and with a little cream to support the fruit below. Width of flavour, rather mineral with a good ‘clinging’ concentration – this really helps the length. Very, very nice.

2008 Roger Belland, Meursault 1er Santenots
The nose is fresh and wide, if not so deep – slowly develops a sweeter core of fruit. There is good minerality and the intensity almost bursts across the mid-palate before slowly decaying. This is lovely.

2008 Roger Belland, Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
Understated. The nose has some density but remains rather tight. Silky, ever-widening in the mouth – the intensity grows in tandem. Actually it still grows for a while after you swallow. Super, super length.

2007 Roger Belland, Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
There is a gorgeous floral backdrop to deep and stony fruit notes. The plate like wise has a depth of stony fruit – an almost rock-like constitution. Return in 20 years (with luck!)

2008 Roger Belland, Maranges 1er Fussière
The nose is floral and shows plenty of red fruit – quite engaging. Across the tongue this has sweetness dovetailed to good, slightly velvet structure.

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay Charmes
Round aromas of lovely pinot fruit. There is more structure and a good freshness. The falvours even seem quite mineral. Good wine.

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Comme
Lots of aromatic depth. Fine tannin and very good acidity – though not the flavour impact that the nose suggests. Long finishing. A structured wine to wait a couple of years (or much longer) for.

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Gravières
Higher-toned redder fruits, perhaps riper too. The same structure as the ‘Comme’ but more flavour to buffer it – even an extra dimension of flavour in the finish – very nice!

2008 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Beauregard
Depth, width and seemingly almost a texture to the nose. Fuller, everything is ‘extra’ versus the previous wines; flavour, balance, structure. This decays with less obvious flavour than the Gravières, but no less length.

2008 Roger Belland, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos Pitois
Wide, very nice aromas with a little herb (like Chassagne whites). The flavour is slightly more mineral than the Santenay with a similar intensity though a darker and fuller mid-palate of fruit.

2008 Roger Belland, Pommard Les Cras
A mix of flowers and stones on the nose. Warmer fruit at the core, surrounded by velvet – but plenty. A long straight line of flavour into the finish. Good wine.

2008 Roger Belland, Volnay 1er Santenots
Made with the stems. Very pretty aromas – mainly fine red fruits – understated but lovely. Very soft fruits at the wine’s core, perfect acidity, fine tannin and flavours that decay very slowly – super-pretty!

Maison Albert Bichot (Beaune)

Visited 23rd March.

2009 Albert Bichot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
An earlier sample of this just seemed a bit dead, this is anything but. High-toned aromas of flowers – plenty of perfume. Full flavoured – very impressive despite a hint of coconut oak in the finish. The perfume pervades the flavours too – not just pretty, this is a wine of authority.

2008 Albert Bichot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
There is some jellied dark fruit, more complexity than the 09 too. Understated tannin mixes through lovely fresh flavours of dark fruit. Mouth-watering – just lovely.

2009 Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Malconsorts
Medium-plus colour. The nose shows herbs mixing through plenty of high-tones. Full, more structure than the 08 Amoureuses, slightly sticky tannin and absolutely flavour-packed. The overall profile is very ripe but this is clearly a wine that rewards a little wallowing…

2008 Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Malconsorts
Beautiful top to bottom aromas though less width than the 09, eventually with coffee and a little baked, spiced bread. There is plenty of tannin here – well structured. Fine flavours show themselves as your mouth waters for more.

2009 Clos Frantin, Echézeaux
Aromas of ripe fruit-conserve – dark fruit too. Fine tannin with lots of cream-edged fruit. This wine makes an impression this lingers well in the finish.

2008 Clos Frantin, Echézeaux
Tighter aromas. This seems rounder than the 09 and has managed to almost completely bury its structure. The acidity draws out more and more flavour in the finish.

2009 Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
High-toned dark red fruit with violet flowers too. After Echézeaux this is clearly less sweet but there’s plenty of structure that slowly leaches mouthwatering flavours. Good.

2008 Pavillon, Pommard Clos des Ursulines
More spice and herbs on the nose. Higher-toned flavours, dark fruit brings lots of interest – a lovely burst of flavour in the mid-palate that follows the acidity into the finish.

2009 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
A wide and fine, almost soft nose. Sweet ripe fruit with ripe, slightly grained tannin which seems partly buried. Understated length with a faint astringency.

2008 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Higher toned and more perfumed than the 09. Plenty of acidity, good tannin has a little astringent ‘grab’. Lingering, impressively precise flavours. The 09 is more sumptuous, this has more detail.

2007 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Actually harvested on the same date as the 03.There’s a little more aromatic density if not a more obvious ripeness than the 08, eventually some precise dark berries. This is concentrated and fresh, not obviously of the vintage. A real success.

2006 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
The nose has lovely high-toned perfume. Mouth-filling with plenty of tannin that still shows an edge of astringency. The finish is very understated, perhaps not the longest either. I’m surprised that I much prefer the 07.

2005 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Aromas offer some authority while remaining rather understated. Fine, ripe tannin. The fresh-face of youth may have gone, but this is flavour-packed and not a bit tight. Super balance and a similar style diminuendo of finish to the 2006, but longer…

2003 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
More evolved aromas that even hint at maturity with a few forest leaves, though for now they are clearly subordinate to the fruit. This is very full, full of tannin too but quite finely grained. There remains a little dryness, but like sand it’s not astringent.

2002 Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Delicate hints of perfume light up the nose, eventually adds herbs too – rather complex. The flavour likewise delivers that same perfumed note together with dried dark fruits well matched to plenty of structure. Super.

Domaine Simon Bize (Savigny-lèes-Beaune)

Visited 27th Januray.

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots
Already in bottle. Deep colour. This is a jolly mouthful of wine; sweetness of fruit against good, chewy structure. A little dark-shaded with an interesting, fading note. A lovely introduction to the range.

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Grands Liards
Dark red colour, A very with a nice width of aroma. Brighter, very pretty red fruits – a crunchy fruit expression. More subdued structure, this a very nice wine indeed!

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Serpentières
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deeper fruit aromas with hints of flowers. More forward structure than the ‘Liards’. Very pretty and complex fruit, also with more depth. Lovely.

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Guettes
Higher-toned aromas – lots of red berries. Rounder with a silky tannin – a wine that retains a lovely freshness.

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Marconnets
Again, good colour. Darker fruit that hints to (but provides no evidence of) reduction. The flavour has a mineral dimension, to start with, a linearity too. Slowly widens in the mouth. Impressive!

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Forneaux
Medium, medium-plus colour. There are lovely floral aromatics in the glass. A soft and supple texture with a super intensity of fresh fruit that really lingers. Lovely.

2009 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Vergelesses
Darker, mineral-driven aromas. In the mouth, likewise the fruit flavours are more in the background of a wine that is packed with freshness and minerality – a nice little burst of interest in the mid-palate too!

2009 Simon Bize, Latricières-Chambertin
0.25 ha – the former parcel of Domaine Louis Remy. Deep aromas – hmm! The glass is very cold and I don’t have enough time with it, but this is full, round, and shows lots of complexity too – the structure seems a little separate today, but the mineral flavours and intensity are very fine. Very, very good.

2008 Simon Bize, Aloxe-Corton Le Suchot
Medium colour. Lots of width that hints of fruit conserve. This is a light-bodied wine but I have to say, one which really holds your interest.

2007 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Vergelesses
Pretty red aromas. Like the 2009 the flavours are very mineral, tannin starts as merely a background impression, though comes to the fore in the mid-palate, it seems only as part of a general crescendo of flavour leaching from every nook and cranny of your mouth. Excellent!

2006 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Grands Liards
The grand Deep and interesting fruit aromas – it’s lovely dark-red shaded fruit. In the mouth there is velvet tannin that you can almost chew and a very good balance.

2006 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Marconnets
Medium, medium-plus colour. Dark and slightly roasted fruit fruit impression. Very silky wine, perhaps tightening a little.

2005 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots
Slight confiture, but very appealing and forward red fruit aromas. Full, ripe fruit dovetails with plenty of balanced, ripe tannin. Bravo – very nice indeed and not obviously tight.

2005 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Fourneaux
Deeper and darker, just a little tighter too. More mineral, more direct and more linear – also more intense. This is a wine of considerable power. Very, very good, but drink the Bourgeots in preference today.

2006 Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
Fresh aromas of agrumes. The palate is quite full but there’s the requisite acidity behind. Nicely round mid-palate and with good flavour too.

2005 Simon Bize, Corton-Charlemagne
Deep, dense aromas – lack a big bag of children’s sweets. Full, round, very silky. A lovely mid-palate ‘growth’ of flavour. Just at the moment I’d look for the impression of a bit more freshness (I’m the same with most 05s), but maybe that will come as the density delineates. Clearly a wine to wait for.

Maison Jean-Claude Boisset (Nuits-St.Georges)

Tasted in Nuits on 26th January. Gregory has put together a super selection of 2009s. None of the whites were picked above 12.8% potential alcohol so they have a real vivacity about them. Likewise the reds seem to have avoided an element of ponderous fruit that sometimes come from a glass of 2009s. Grégory Patriat was on top form – he sells every wine, but only through his enthusiasm for each of the cuvées…

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Côte de Nuits Villages Blanc
Fresh aromas of citrus. Plenty of acidity ; lovely punch and expansion in the mid-palate. I just love the energy here.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
Only 50% of the malolactic completed here. The aromas are fuller and show sone hints of vanilla. This has a lovely insinuating concentration – lovely balance. Yum.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chorey-lès-Beaune Clos Margot Blanc
After the Savigny this seems really mineral and has a lovely mid-palate intensity. I’m really much more impressed by this wine than I expected given the label…

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Auxey-Duresses Les Crais
From a mix of 228 and 450L barrels. A little oak on the nose. Not really fat, plenty of minerality, savoury flavour and some muscle. Intense and linear. Will be super.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Monthelie Blanc
Hints of grapefruit on the nose. Lovely freshness on the palate with agrowing intensity. Very nice wine!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Fixin Blanc
Quite a big wine this one. The flavours to start and finish are quite savoury – seems to be the way for Fixin – but good length.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, St.Aubin
Harvested at ‘only’ 12%. The nose is ripe and fresh. Just a little fat to the texture, but this retains the freshness of the nose – good!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
The nose is finer than that of the villages. Silkier texture too, ripe and more concentrated flavours.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chassagne-Montrachet Vienots Dessus
The nose is rather understated after what’s gone before. In the mouth this has lovely width. The flavour also starts rather understatedly but grows and grows. This is quite impressive.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champsgains
The nose shows lots of width with some subtle complexity. This is another wine starts relatively narrow in the mouth but gets wider and wider. Lovely balance and very nice indeed.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Bourgogne Aligoté
Bottled after 12 months and shows just a hint of oak on the nose to go with a whiff of clean fruit. Wide with quite nice energy and a lovely core of lingering flavour. Rather good considering it followed a 1er Cru Puligny!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne
The nose is fine and understated. A narrow entry that is reminiscent of the aligoté until it widens across the palate. Beautiful length – very, very pretty.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Marsannay Blanc
The nose is fuller than the Puligny though still relatively understated. Another lithe wine that slowly widens in the mouth – energetic and flavoursome.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Beaune 1er Clos des Vignes Franches
The nose is both wide and concentrated – yet admirably fresh. Wow, very mineral and quite explosive in the mid-palate too. No-one would guess Beaune-blanc – Chapeau!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chorey-Lès-Beaune Beaumonts
There’s a hint of reduction, but there are big aromas here. Big flavours too.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Ladoix 1er Hautes Murottes
Deep and round – quite some energy to the aromas. Fuller and more concentrated than the Chorey, yet has the energy to be quite lithe. Lovely flavour of fruit in the mid-palate that fills out more as you enter the finish. Really this is very, very super.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Alox-Corton 1er Les Valozières
The nose is full and dense – dark fruit aromas. Also full and concentrated in the mouth, with lovely acidity. A big wine – but is sold out!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune
More tannic, good concentration – this is a wine that will compete with more than a few 1er crus in the village.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Gevery-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois
From one-hundred year-old vines There’s a cocolate width to the nose. Lithe in the mouth, perhaps a little CO2. Linear then a big burst of flavour – lovely.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Nuits St.Georges Les Charbonnières
Made with fifty percent whole clusters. The nose has good width and complexity. Full in the mouth, more depth, concentration and intensity than the Gevrey. Yet with all this extra structure there is also balance – well done!

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Pommard Vaumuriens
The nose has width and an engaging prettiness. Tannin and good acidity make an excellent foil for the very good mid-palate flavour.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny
Good colour. Full aromas. In the mouth, despite decent concentration, this seems very tight. Just a little tannin and pretty fruit before the finish.

2009 Jean-Claude Boisset, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Eighty percent new oak. The aromas need coaxing from the glass; no oak just silky dark fruit. Velvet textuire and very concentrated – this is one big hill of flavour that decays oh-so slowly. Superb!

2002 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
From Gregory’s first vintage… Heavily scented, this seems quite mature for the vintage – though not the colour. Full in the mouth, plenty of tannin and good long flavours. Still a baby!

2002 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny
Hard for this to follow the Charmes. Good and interesting aromatic width – seems younger, but also less involving than the Charmes. Less concentrated but has super poise. Young and pretty villages.

Domaine Bonneau du Martray (Pernand)

Tasted in Pernand on 5th December 2010.

2008 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne
Hint of sulfur. Deep fruit aromas, riper than 2009, Wide with lots of energy in the mouth – the acidity seems perfectly dissolved in the whole. Flavour leaches from your gums, plenty of it mineral – the finish is long and narrowing. Very fine.

2003 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne
A ripe but still quite mineral nose. Full on the palate – clearly there’s no raging torrent of acidity but this is nicely mouth-watering – and not just as an afterthought. There is density and real authority to the mid-palate flavours, would make a great match to many dishhes at table. This has no sharp edges at all – this balance indicates no rush to drink.

2002 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne
Wide and fresh aromatics with just a hint of herbs. There is lovely width, intensity and energy too – quite a silky texture. There is super mid-palate flavour. Yum.

2001 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne
The nose is wide and populated with seemingly ‘soft aromas’. Again, in the mouth there is width and certainly a softer packaging than the 2002 vintage. The acidity is the undercurrent that brings this together as a whole.

2009 Bonneau du Martray, Corton
Beautiful, medium-plus colour. There’s a nice floral top-note – delicatesse with a hint of mineral. There’s plenty of slightly grainy tannin, excellent acidity – a beautifully fresh and very, very pretty wine.

2008 Bonneau du Martray, Corton
There is a lovely, vibrant colour here. More depth and density than the ‘in progress’ 2009 – lovely precise red fruits. Wider and less plush than the 09 – good acidity and energy – I find this long and very understated. A good wine.

Domaine Jean Chauvenet (Nuits St.Georges)

Tasted 5th December 2010

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Bourgogne
A nice medium-plus colour. The nose has an almost textured depth of dark red fruit. A little CO2 spoils the presentation of the tannin, but this is fresh in a good way and slowly lingering. Another six months in bottle plus a decanter will provide all the roundness needed.

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges
Assembled from three separate parcels. Medium-plus colour. The nose has lovely dark fruit with a floral hint. Fuller, rounder and with lots of velvety tannin that attaches flavour to your gums. A nice fresh face with dark flavours in the finish.

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Damodes
Medium, medium-plus colour. A beautiful nose of warm, sweet dark fruit. Full and round with more sweet dark fruit, hints of licorice – lovely flavours that leach across the palate and into the finish. Despite the power there is some delicacy of delivery.

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Argillas
The nose is wide and mineral, showing a herby element. Full and round with a slight padding to the texture. The tannin is fine with hint of grab in the mid-palate but this helps cement the flavours to your gums. A good finish!

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Bouselottes
The nose delivers dark aromas, accented with coffee. Lots and lots of fine tannin but balanced by sweet, fresh, dark fruit in the mid-palate, though the fruit decays faster than the tannin so it’s the predominant finishing experience – I expect they will slowly fade to bring better finishing balance though.

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Rue de Chaux
Deep colour. Mainly dark fruit aromas – some is even blackcurrant. Full and powerful yet the tannin remains in the background. With its dark, sweet fruits this is a very convincing wine!

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Vaucrins
Deep colour. Again an expression of dark fruit, though I have slight preference for the precision offered by the Perrières. Wide, perhaps a little too full, good tannin. The one area where I feel this ‘betters’ the Perrières is the slightly more interesting complexity of the finish.

2007 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
This is still quite a dark colour. The nose has a chocolate accent. In the mouth this is about dark fruit and a very similar tannin to the 2008 – a very nice extra dimension of fruit in the mid palate too. A really good 2007!

Domaine Bruno Clair (Marsannay)

Tasted in Marsannay, 26th January 2011. Together with the wines of Barthod, this was one of the top two cellars visited in the Côte de Nuits – fabulous if not inexpensive wines.

2009 Bruno Clair, Marsannay
The nose wide, round and red. In the mouth this is supple and tasty with an understated structure. Just an edge of minerality too. Good.

2009 Bruno Clair, Marsannay Vaudenelles
The nose is deeper and darker than the straight Marsannay. The palate is silkier, nice detail here too – very pretty indeed, and with a good punch of flavour. Yum!

2009 Bruno Clair, Marsannay Longerois
Some whole clusters are used here. Tigher aromas but with pretty detailed red fruit. This is nicely expressive and prettier than the Vaudenelles. A lovely lingering finish.

2009 Bruno Clair, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Varoilles
Elegant and floral – pretty wine. Round with a satin tannin – strong mid-palate flavour and an equally strong finishing flavour – lovely.

2009 Bruno Clair, Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergey
The fruit on the nose is a little darker and has a warm, creamy impression. In the mouth this is much wider than the Chambolle but less round; concentrated red, red-black fruit sits with well-presented tannin before a nice mineral finishing note.

2009 Bruno Clair, Vosne-Romanée
The nose is very round and shows pretty fruit and gingerbread. Mineral, clean, detailed and fresh. A classic presentation – another very pretty wine indeed.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin
Creamy red fruit on the nose. Satin texture and super balance. A Gevrey of poise!

2009 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Dominode
The nose shows darker fruit and almost a wild Côte de Nuits impression – super detail. Starts very silky then there’s a little grab from the tannin in the mid-palate. Mineral notes and intense flavours wash over the palate. Very impressive wine indeed.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos du Fontenys
The nose only opens as it warms ; an elegant dark-red undercurrent. Likewise the palate also shows darker fruit that widens across the palate. Elegant and understatedly competent.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Petite Chapelle
Not super-wide, but here is a depth of fruit and herbs – clean and fresh. Fuller, apparently more power and just a little plush element to the texture. Lovely balance and the flavours open up again in the finsh.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
Fuller, slightly creamy and round – aromas to fall into. Here is the classic soft glove but there is also the intrinsic muscle. Grows fuller before fading on a mineral note.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
Elegant and very wide on the nose – superbly expressive and detailed re berries. More minerality and a little more mid-palate complexity. Doesn’t need to plush upholstery of the Cazetiers. Very long with (finally) a hint of tannin and minerality.

2009 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Very understated pure fruit – pretty but tight. In the mouth this is fuller than the CSJ and apparently more intense – you can really feel and taste the complexity in the mid-palate.

2009 Bruno Clair, Bonnes-Mares
This wine only reluctantly gives up its aromas of creamy fruit, but in a totally different register to the that of the Bèze. Full but round, lots of tannin yet still balanced. No shrinking violet this, but there is just enough balance.

2009 Bruno Clair, Marsannay Rosé
More savoury nose than the colour suggests. Full and silky, a depth of flavour grows in the mid-palate. Okay.

2009 Bruno Clair, Marsannay Blanc
Plenty of ripe yellow fruit aromas – perhaps a little melon too. Has a nice shape, growing in the mid-palate before slowly decaying – I’d prefer a little more zip.

2009 Bruno Clair, Pernand-Vergelesses
Pretty and fresh aromas. This seems very fine after the Marsannay – lovely mid-palate dimension and super energy – excellent villages!

2009 Bruno Clair, Mores St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy Blanc
Tight, faintly floral aromas. Good concentration and nice depth of flavour but a little too much CO2 to say more today.

2009 Bruno Clair, Corton-Charlemagne
Another wine that need its aromas to be coaxed from the glass – but seems quite complex. Not showing its best today as the entry and mid-palate seem a bit diffuse, but from the mid-palate onwards it’s a lovely show of flavour and length of finish – some potential.

Domaine de Courcel (Pommard)

Tasted 25th Jan 2011 – the tasting area was a supportive 5°C – plenty of glass warming in the hands – until the hands also reached 5°C! This day at least there were plenty of stems on the aromas – not in a gothic sense but stylistically prevalent – usually dovetailed with a lovely floral dimension. Very hard not to like!

Yves Confuron notes that they probably won’t bottle their 2009s until sometime in the middle of the summer “the few winter months at 7°C don’t really count towards the elevages” he says. Note their 2008s weren’t bottled until September 2010, whilst very long malos are partly to blame, the 2009s won’t have much less elevage.

2009 de Courcel, Bourgogne Rouge
Like all the domaine’s wines, all the stems are used. Deep, round and approachable aromas, eventually with a blend of violets and stems. Good depth of flavour too. A classy Bourgogne.

2009 de Courcel, Pommard Vaumuriens
The nose is softer and a little more floral, more stems too. There is more dimension and complexity to the flavours, particularly in the mid-palate – something to chew too.

2009 de Courcel, Pommard Croix Noires
Less aromatic impact but nice complexity, perhaps even a floral-driven elegance. Again the flora seem present in the flavours too – very pretty wine.

2009 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Fremiers
A nicely elegant mix of the floral and the stems on the nose. Just a few hints of oak flavour, lots of flavour dimension and a little silkier too. This is super!

2009 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Harvested quite late in September – around the 22nd… Even more floral, less obvious stems. Very impressive depth of concentrated flavour that slowly fades… Lovely.

2009 De Courcel, Pommard 1er Rugiens
Won’t be bottled until the summer – Yves says that the months at 7°C don’t count ? Again, nicely elegant. This is velvety with more tannin but more flavour too – a long, dark, mineral flavour. Super.

2006 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Lighter colour. Heavier perfume, perhaps a hint of esters. Starts with a narrow entry – this wine is initially more about texture than flavour, but the flavour slowly builds – really mouth-watering in the finish. A wine to wait for I think, but I find a lot to like here.

2007 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
I love the slightly wild aromas, hints of stems and flowers – lovely. The mid-palate seems less concentrated than that of the 2006, but in this case it is the structure, rather than the flavour which seems to grow in the mouth.

2008 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Due to painfully late malos, this wasn’t bottled until September 2010 ! Delicate, precise, very pretty aromas, the stems are very-much a subtle element. The acid is well-balanced and there is plenty tannin – velvet in texture – plus a floral flavour. The flavour currently has to cede to the structure right now – but that’s classic de Courcel – so no worries!

2001 de Courcel, Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots
Medium colour with a hint of salmon red at the rim. Rose petals, faint stems and an undertow of meat on the nose. Still a little tannin, which, if you look closely enough, has an element of astringency. Really interesting fruit that’s powdery and red with just enough sweetness – this really perks up with food.

Domaine Pierre Damoy (Gevery-Chambertin)

Tasted 26th January in Gevrey.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Bourgogne Rouge
Powdery dark fruit. Lots of flavour here, not the finest of tannin supports it – but hey. Good balance and mid-plate density. Very good bourgogne.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin
The nose is deep and a little musky. Fuller than the Bourgogne, round and with good balance.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice
The nose is finer, showing dark fruit and a hint of mineral. Certainly more structure than the basic Gevrey. Similar balance.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Marsannay Longerois
The fruit aromas are higher-toned, but still dark and very pretty fruit. The flavour also seems higher-toned and more perfumed and coupled with bright, fresh fruit – lovely.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot
This is a little tight, but aromas of gorgeously fine, quality fruit are evident – nicer than many 1ers. The palate is wide and not quite to the same level as the aromas – very good fruit but the structure dominates today – worth waiting for I think.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin La Cabanne
A cuvée made for the fun of drinking says Pierre; from vines planted in 2000, right next to the oldest vines of the domaine in Clos de Bèze. Lovely aromas that mix pure fruit with mineral notes. Plenty of structure that’s just ahead of the fruit, but fruit with a lovely flavour. Not the longest, but a lovely wine for half the price of the ‘regular’ Bèze.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Chapelle-Chambertin
Stunning aromas of fruit – just lovely. Round and full; fine tannin and excellent balance – this is a very friendly Chapelle.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Clos de Bèze
Silky-smooth aromas of dark fruit. In the mouth is quite some width, lovely flavours underpin plenty of structure. Very impressive.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Chambertin
More forward and more concentrated aromas – just as beautiful as the Bèze but with a more floral dimension. Wide and full, again with plenty of structure. Lovely finishing flavour.

2009 Pierre Damoy, Clos de Bèze (Reserve Pierre Damoy)
There’s a mélange of fine dark fruits. The tannin is just a little finer than the ‘regular’ Bèze. Beautiful balance; flavour grows and grows in the finish and seemingly for some time after before gently fading.

2008 Pierre Damoy, Clos de Bèze
Starts tight before slowly delivering a little musk – the last drops smell gorgeous though. Lovely in the mouth; round yet beautifully balanced. A beautifully contemplative wine.

2007 Pierre Damoy, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot
Medium-plus colour. A depth of dark fruit on the nose. This is quite a mouth-filler, showing soft tannin and a good balance. Not obviously of the vintage (and it’s following a great 08) – very nice indeed.

Domaine Sylvie Esmonin (Gevrey-Chambertin)

Tasted in gevrey, 26th January 2011.

2009 Sylvie Esmonin, Bourgogne
Good colour. There’s a depth of dark fruit. In the mouth this is quite full with ripe fruit. Good but understated structure and slowly lingering flavour – a success!

2009 Sylvie Esmonin, Côte de Nuits Villages
A depth of dark fruit aroma. Fuller than the Bourgogne, with velvet tannin that has a little grab, but just about stays in the background. Higher quality here than many Gevrey Villages. Nice enough finish – lovely wine.

2009 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin
The wine is cold in the glass but dark notes and some minerality – coal, rocks – show through. This starts silkier than the Côte de Nuits Villages, but the tannin slowly builds and is just a little blocky today – but that will fade. The fruit is dark but also has a higher-tone to it which holds really well in the finish. Very good villages.

2009 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
The nose has a hint of the stems and a truffle note too that augments the dark fruit – distinguished by precise berries. This has another level of complexity and more structure to go with it. Lovely balance and a super finish – excellent.

2009 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
The nose is slightly smoky; tight but still some dark fruit shows through – eventually very, very pretty. Very silky, mineral too. This starts quite narrow but the flavour clings to your mouth. Again the tannin has a bit of a grab in the background which will fade away. A super, mineral length – the Vieilles Vignes is certainly easier to understand today, but beautiful wine in the making.

2002 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
The nose is slightly smoky; tight but still some dark fruit shows through – eventually very, very pretty. Very silky, mineral too. This starts quite Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has hints of musk and warm, ripe berries. Soft and velvety – seems a little lush. Nice width and a growing note of flowers.

2002 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
Medium, medium-plus colour. Soft and very complex aromas. A lush impression and the lovely acidity is seemingly a perfect balance for the still young tannins. I’d say this is showing rather well for a ‘middle-years’ wine.

Domaine Dominique Gallois (Gevrey-Chambertin)

Tasted in Gevrey.Chambertin, 28th January 2011. Good wines ‘guarded’ by giant fluffy dog! The 2009s were still in barrel, here is another domaine that has captured lots of freshness in their 2009s.

2007 Dominique Gallois, Charmes-Chambertin
These vines are now over one-hundred years old. The nose starts just a little diffuse. In the mouth it’s full and round with a discrete edge of vanilla-infused flavour. The structure is fine with good acidity – a nice length of flavour too, also with a hint of vanilla. This is a wine to unwind with in a comfortable chair. Actually very long flavours…

2008 Dominique Gallois, Charmes-Chambertin
The nose is higher-toned with pretty red fruits – a lovely complexity too, slowly the aromas open and soften in the glass. There is some flexing of muscle in the mid-palate – very good intensity. This wine seems to expand in all kinds of directions. Long, with a hint of strawberry.

2009 Dominique Gallois, Bourgogne Rouge.
A deep, aromatically inviting nose. Round, not super-concentrated but seems an excellent and flavourful bourgogne.

2009 Dominique Gallois, Gevrey-Chambertin
High-toned very pretty aromas. This is nicely lively – a really good energy – well balanced.

2009 Dominique Gallois, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Petite Cazetiers
Lovely, lovely, aromas. Plenty of structure but there’s a fine bubble of fruit below, whose flavour grows and grows in the mid-palate and finish – lovely length.

2009 Dominique Gallois, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Combe aux Moines
A tiny amount of reduction slowly blows away to reveal a base of pretty red fruits. The tannin is nice and silky, relatively understated structure – a very nice length.

2009 Dominique Gallois, Charmes-Chambertin
There is gorgeous, mainly red fruit here – and of such aromatic depth too – wow! Cold in the glass the flavour is quite narrow, but it slowly opens to give more width in the mid-palate. Plenty of structure for an 09. Super!

Maison Alex Gambal (Beaune)

Tasted in Beaune, 22nd March 2011 – I think I may soon have to change the title to ‘Domaine Alex Gambal’ but these are the the usual selection of mainly négoce wines.

2009 Alex Gambal, Savigny-lèes-Beaune Vieilles Vignes
From the assembly tank. Very round with a dark, depth of fruit – lovely. Likewise in the mouth, round and begging to be drunk – like an eager to please puppy. Yum!

2009 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny
The nose is clearly less effusive than the Savigny but interesting, detailed and even a few hints of orange fruit. Starts quite narrow and quite mineral but the flavour grows and grows – much longer than the Savigny.

2009 Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes
Higher-toned red, spiced fruit. Fills the mouth and grows still further. Another wine that’s eager to please.

2009 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Hints of licorice. Full and intense yet without extraneous padding. Wide yet there is more growth in the mid-palate. Lots of flavour here.

2009 Alex Gambal, Clos de Vougeot
The nose isn’t as deep as the Chambolle-Charmes but it’s very wide and very pretty with a slowly developing complexity. Full-flavoured but I very much like the balance – good CV.

2009 Alex Gambal, Echézeaux
Tighter nose than the Clos de Vougeot. More tannin but an intensity of dark fruit starts to take over, becomes quite intense. A punchy, prize-fighter of a wine.

2009 Alex Gambal, Chambertin
Much riper aromas than the Echézeaux. Lots of complexity and width – this is vvery interesting; after the Echézeaux this is not particularly a wine of power, but the complexity is on another level!

2009 Alex Gambal, Fixin Blanc
The nose is a little savoury. This is quite nice; there’s a punch to the flavour and nice, slightly sweet tropical fruit – yet with balance.

2009 Alex Gambal, Meursault 1er Genevrières
The aromas are a little loose-knit after the Fixin. Silky texture, very good balance this is a graceful and lingering wine – yum!

2009 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers Dents du Chien
There’s a little savoury bread. A comfortable texture, long with glints of pineapple – seems very good.

2009 Alex Gambal, Puligny-Montrachet
High-toned, with hints of pineapple. Padded but with good complexity – quite nice.

2009 Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Deux Papis
A few herba son the nose. This is a mouth-filling bourgogne with plenty of lingering flavour. There’s a little grainy tannin but overall very pretty.

2009 Alex Gambal, Chorey-lès-Beaune
A faint reduction on the nose. Supple with some fruit flavour leaching from the tannin. The fruit slowly, slowly begins to assert itself – far from facile – a good prospect in six months.

Maison Camille Giroud (Beaune)

Tasted in Beaune, 26th January 2011. Just a small selection – not yet bottled. We started with two wines where my notes were rather terse; Bourgogne Blanc was round and needing a bit more freshness – but had just been filtered so it’s better not to read too much into that. The Beaune Lulune (Blanc) had more energy and seemed very appealing.

2009 Camille Giroud, Meursault
A nice biscuity aroma. A super core of flavour here with an added dash of minerality. Direct, frank flavours – very good villages.

2009 Camille Giroud, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête de Clos
From old vines in Morgeot. An almost pungent, classically Chassagne nose of depth and herbs. Direct in approach with mouthwatering acidity and a tasty core of flavour. Not elegant, but great fun.

2009 Camille Giroud, Corton-Charlemagne
Having loved (and bought) the 2007 and 2008 my expectations were high! An absolutely CC nose – super. This has width and density yet seems also fleet of foot. Long and strong flavour. I like this a lot – it will cost me!

The red wines gained just short descriptions, so as written: Santenay has depth, not great concentration but lovely acidity. Beaune 1er Cent Vignes has fresh dark red aromas, concentration and a lovely plush texture. Beaune 1er Les Avaux is high-toned, a little CO2 showing – likewise on the palate – but good depth of flavour. Savigny 1er Les Peuillets shows lovely round aromas and flavours – loveliest yet. Finally the Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau shows some reduction giving a darker fruit complexion – nice depth of flavour though.

Domaine Olivier Guyot (Marsannay)

Wines tasted in Marsannay, 24th March 2011.

2008 Olivier Guyot, Marsannay Les Favières
Dark fruit aromas. For an 08 this is full and very round. Understated tannin with dark fruit and a long finish. Lots to like here.

2008 Olivier Guyot, Marsannay La Montagne
Again aromas of dark fruit. More concentrated but the tannin that comes with it is less fine – yet this is far from rustic and delivers very good intensity – very tasty.

2008 Olivier Guyot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Darker fruit but this time with a higher-toned floral dimension. This is very pretty indeed with a similar floral element in the flavours to that of the nose. The tannin is fine and the intensity slowly grows. Lovely!

2008 Olivier Guyot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champeaux
Dark fruit aromas. More obvious concentration after the ‘Charmes’. The tannin is relatively fine and has just a little grab to it. Long and very interesting.

2008 Olivier Guyot, Clos St.Denis
Lovely dark fruit – this is both pretty and complex. Plenty of slightly grainy tannin and lovely aspects to the fruit that combine with mineral elements too. Very interesting.

2009 Olivier Guyot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Fuées
Understated aromas, flowers and fruit – seems quite composed. This is very interesting indeed with impressively intense flavours that are long-lasting…

2009 Olivier Guyot, Clos St.Denis
Very forward aromas with a faint edge of reduction. This is a big mouthful of wine, rescued by a lovely, late-arriving wave of acidity – actually a very interesting wine.

2009 Olivier Guyot, Clos de la Roche
Dark ripe fruits that are rather distinguished. Very fine tannin, this is mineral and very intense. In a vintage like 09 I think I’d take this ahead of the Clos St.Denis.

2009 Olivier Guyot, Marsannay Blanc
Ripe and aromatic. This is round in the mouth with nicely understated but balancing acidity. As Marsannay blanc goes, this has much to commend it.

Domaine Heresztyn (Gevrey-Chambertin)

Tasted in Gevrey.Chambertin, 28th January 2011. Such a shame that these 2008s are all sold out, I can’t believe this is my first visit – the wines are that good! No facile 2009s here; they show both freshness and structure as a foil to the fruit.

2008 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
A blend from three parcels. The nose has beautifully clean lines; dark red fruit. Full, silky and grows in the mid-palate. There’s a little chocolate on the finishing note. Lovely balance – bravo!

2008 Heresztyn, Chambolle-Musigny
The nose is wider and only a little more delicate. Satin tannin and again the flavour grows in the mid-palate. Once-more with a little chocolate in the finish.

2008 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Perrières
Swirling and warming with the hands brings out dark red fruit with a hint of musk. This is quite silky, mineral too. There’s a lovely line of flavour that goes right through the core and out the other side in the finish – no chocolate here.

2008 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Goulots
This is very slow to open, eventually very precise and pretty berry notes lift from the glass. Again there is quite some minerality here, allied to elegance and quite some intensity though. After swallowing there’s a good evolution of the flavour – and only now a hint of tannin!

2008 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Corbeaux
Here is a more open depth of achingly pretty fruit – super. There is more width and still some minerality, gorgeous fruit. I’d love to compare this the Bachelet and Ilan!

2008 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champonnets
Lithe black berries, hints of herbs, reticent yet at the same time involving. Here’s another rather mineral wine but with more structure – fine grained tannin with a hint of astringency. A good line of flavour into the finish – Yum!

2008 Heresztyn, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Millandes
The nose has a core of dark, slightly musky fruit. Very mineral with plenty of fine-grained structure. The fruit flavour only emerges in the mid-palate as the intensity grows. Lovely in the finish, and long too!

2008 Heresztyn, Clos St.Denis
This is very tight to start with. Here the structure comes first, dominating the flavours – it’s a sullen performance; there’s lots of well-balanced material here but today there are only glimpses of fruit and flavour. The smell of last drops in the glass bode well for the future – lovely

2009 Heresztyn, Chambolle-Musigny
The nose is direct but precise. Round, absolutely mouth-filling with plenty of understated structure – only in the mid-palate does the flavour of Chambolle come through. Quite approachable now.

2009 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
The nose is tight. In the mouth there is higher-toned, fresher fruit – more structure too. There is a mineral edge to a flavour that holds and holds. Structured and fresh – not your typical 09.

2009 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Perrières
Also rather tight – slowly some high tones and coal come through. Wider, fuller and sweeter. There is quite come complexity here – a hint of licorice too.

2009 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Goulots
Wide and complex with hints of herbs and minerals. A little like the 08 Clos St.Denis, here is a mouthful of structure that to an extent obscures the fruit, but finally the fruit comes to the fore as you head into a very good finish.

2009 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Corbeaux
The nose is very tight, but in the mouth the flavours are very round, complex and fine. Admittedly there’s plenty of oak-derived flavour too but it doesn’t make it any less engaging. Whilst a little tannin sticks to your gums, it is more of an afterthought.

2009 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champonnets
Again the nose is a little tight but it is both darker and deeper than the Corbeaux – slowly a warm core of fruit develops. Mouth-filling structure again forms something of veil between you and the flavours – which is released the moment you swallow – serious wine!

2009 Heresztyn, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Millandes
Tight but with a smoky, mineral centre – but that centre seems quite distant. More mineral and mouth-filling again but also more linear than the previous wines. The veil is once-more lifted when you swallow. Again this is a very serious wine which will beg some aging.

2009 Heresztyn, Clos St.Denis
The nose is as tight as a drum. Again there is plenty of structure – a lovely core of acidity and flavour that grow in tandem – becoming rather intense. The flavour really clings to your gums. Long-term wine that is very serious – the last drops in the glass offer up a gorgeous note of violets.

Domaine Clos de Perrière (Fixin)

Since 2009 Benigne Jolliet is working alone – “Over the previous four years I basically learned what I needed from Philippe Charlopin who deserves big thanks for helping me to come this far.” And the product? These remain wines apart in Fixin and are certainly better than ‘no-name’ bottles of Clos de Bèze. Only time will unlock the potential of these bottles.

All tasted 25th March 2011.

2009 Clos de la Perrière
This is a notional mix taken from different barrels – , some earlier, some later harvested depending on the parcel in the Clos – it will be quite some time before it’s all bottled. The impressive aromatics are almost textured, containing fresh red and blue fruit with only a faint accent of wood. Understated, slightly sticky tannin. Very impressive depth of flavour.

2008 Clos de la Perrière
Still not bottled, this will have received a full 30 months of elevage by the time that happens! Again a notional blend of barrels make up this sample: Round aromas of dark fruit and a hint of flowers. Understated fine tannin, ingraining excellent complexity of flavour – very long too – will be super!

2007 Clos de la Perrière
Understated, hints of warm spice dovetail fresh red fruit. Very silky in the mouth, intense flavour plus a late arriving acidity that leaves your mouth watering. Little here suggests the vintage.

2006 Clos de la Perrière
A hint of reduction on the nose. Full interesting and mouth-filling. Lovely texture and flavours borne on the acidity. A super burst of mid-palate flavour with hints of licorice. Very good wine.

Domaine Lafarge (Volnay)

Whites to be bottled in February and the reds in April. These were fabulous wines yet I remain circumspect – I’ve never had a bottle that’s reached the heights of barrel-pours. Tasted in Volnay 1st December 2010

2009 Michel Lafarge, Bourgogne Aligoté Raisin de la Grappe d’Or
From 75 year-old vines.The nose has a lovely width – more fruit than savoury. Round in the mouth, the flavour and concentration slowly creep up on you becoming quite wide in the mid-palate.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Meursault
From vines close to the Volnay-Meursault border. The fresh nose has a decent width with a few herbs. This is quite interesting as it leaches flavour from your gums – and lovely flavours too. Perhaps a little diffuse in the mid-palate, but it’s a good wine.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Meursault Vendanges Sélectionées
The nose seems finer than the ‘basic’ Meursault though with less depth of aroma. More focus, with decent balance there is certainly more minerality. Long finishing with a certain stoniness to the flavours – very nice.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Les Aigrots Blanc
About 15% new wood. Aromas of herbs and greenery – fine, with no fat or sweetness. There is width and depth, flavours that pack a punch and again quite some minerality. I wouldn’t have guessed a Beaune – very good wine.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains l’Exception
From a parcel of 85 year-old vines. The nose brims with gorgeous aromas of ‘clear as a bell’ fruits – lovely. Very good acidity, depth, good development of flavour in the mid-palate, finally a good finish. All those ‘goods’ add up to ‘excellent’ wine, despite the Passetoutgrains label!

2009 Michel Lafarge, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Again the aromas are a knockout, brimming with red and hints of blue fruit. More mid-palate packing – lovely flavour with just the right amount of freshness. I could drink this all day.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay
From four parcels around the village. Tighter, slightly subdued aromas of red berries. A little more structure, but minerality too – the texture is fine. Very direct and linear – it only opens out a little in the finish.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay Vendanges Selectionées
The nose is very fine; complex and floral though not particularly deep. Maybe a hint more structure and a hint less fruit flavour though plenty of minerality. Extra flavour appearing in the finish.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Les Aigrots
From the same parcel as the Aigrots Blanc, one quarter planted to chardonnay and three-quarters to pinot. More depth of aroma, and slightly darker aromas too, though not the flowers and width of the ‘Selectionées’. Round but with plenty of structure, soft tannins. I like the mid-palate depth and eventually the length. This is a very lovely wine.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
There is a deep but rather tight core of fruit – it teases you but doesn’t give that much away. Fills the mouth, more grain to the tannin but also more impact to the flavours. Lingers very well – super.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Mitans
The nose is rather understated, yet pretty. Delicate and detailed with a nice balance – after the Beaunes this is very elegant. There is an undercurrent of minerality though – so don’t get too comfortable! Super.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Clos du Château des Ducs
In the family since about 1900, almost the garden of the domaine, adjoining ‘the Château’. Starts quietly before unfolding a width of detailed red fruits – gorgeous. There is a little more force and sweetness after the Mitans. Growing in the mid-palate there is a very late hit of tannin. Super, again!

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
The aromas are understated – interesting if not captivating. Width and minerality. The flavours (despite the width) seem long and linear before opening wide again. This wine seems to have everything and nothing at the same time – absorbing, captivating.

2009 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Les Caillerets
The nose seems a little stony, but otherwise quite tight. The intensity of flavour, abetted by the acidity is quite something. This will take much more time than I have today to unwind in the glass I think.

2007 Michel Lafarge, Volnay Vendanges Selectionées
The aromas leap from the glass – perhaps without the fineness and class of the 2009s. They flavours are fuller, fatter and less well defined, yet with and engaging freshness and sweetness. There is good acidity and quite some intensity of flavour – this is rather good.

2002 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Clos du Chateau des Ducs
Darker colour. The nose shows a real depth of darker fruits – very impressive if slightly less pretty than the 09s. There is still some tannin but again lots of depth to the flavours – a profound depth actually. Long, primary fruit flavours in the finish – I’m very impressed.

Domaine Hubert Lamy (Pommard)

Tasted in St.Aubin, 2nd December 2010. Seriously great 2009s – relatively upon a par with the quality of Lafon and Roulot in 2009.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Santenay Clos Hattes
Understated but pretty and fresh aromas – just slightly perfumed. Some tannin and good freshness on the palate too – then comes the flavour; dark red fruit that widens over the palate.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Chassagne-Montrachet La Gujonne Vieilles-Vignes
Nice dark fruit aromas. More impact and width, though with plenty of structure and flavour to match. Very, very good.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Frionnes
Again, nice deep aromas. The flavours match those of the Chassagne save for a more obvious minerality in the mid-palate. Nice!

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Derrière Chez Eduard
Dark aromas with hints of reduction. Some CO2 but lovely bright fruit flavour – though still dark. Very well balanced.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Bourgogne Les Châtenières
Depth of slightly candied ripe fruit. Good flavour and balance. The flavour develops in the mid-palate – this is quite nice.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin La Princée
Fresher, quite pretty aromas – nice and clean. Given the extra padding there’s not the same freshness as the bourgogne, but a nice burst of flavour hits the mid-palate before slowly decaying into the finish.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Chassagne-Montrachet
Young vines. A classic, herby Chassagne nose. There is good freshness with a flavour that opens out and fills the mid-palate. Good wine.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Puligny-Montrachet Les Tremblots
A little more floral and sherbet aromas. Roundness and freshness with a lovely burst of mid-palate flavour that only slowly melts away. Very good.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Clos des Meix
There’s a hint of baked bread against the ripe and warm fruit but below remains fresh. Really good mid-palate intensity and a lovely finish – super wine.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Derrière Chez Eduard
Fresher, agrumes – very pretty. There’s CO2 so maybe the wine’s not as fresh and intense as it first appears, but there’s very good length – nice wine.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Les Frionnes
Floral, faintly perfumed, fresh and very, very pretty. There’s a little more weight of fruit flavour and lovely freshness and length. Not as fresh as the Clos des Meix but long and mineral-edged.

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Murgers Dents du Chien
A hint less floral, more depth of ripe fruit – still fresh. Minerals, stony flavour and lovely acidity that seems to flow over rocks in the finish. Yum!

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Clos de la Châtenières
The ripe fruit aromas are redolent of the Dents du Chien, perhaps with more width. Great freshness that are coupled to mineral flavours which expand across the mid-palate – Yum again!

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
Here the nose shows both width and density, there is a core of ripe fruit surrounded fresh and higher-toned aromas. Fuller but with fine intensity and an equally fine expansion of fresh, mouth-watering flavours – lovely!

2008 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er La Princée
The nose has a depth of ripe fruit. Fuller than the 09 Remilly but with plenty of acidity at the core. A lovely, slow, mouth-watering finish.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Macherelles
A wide and fresh nose with hints of green herbs. Full, tasty, nicely fresh and with very good impact.

2009 Hubert Lamy, Criots-Bâtard Montrachet
The nose has both depth and density – it is floral and quite distinguished. Full, concentrated and with an undercurrent of acidity; everything expanding further in the mid-palate bringing and extra depth. The length seems to have a stickiness – super-long – bravo!

2009 Hubert Lamy, St.Aubin 1er Derrière Chez Eduard (High-Density)
The nose offers depth, but less than the Criots. But there is width and a higher toned less perfumed floral note – super. I would say that this has the perfume of a young woman – the Criots of her aunt! There is a full impression, but coupled to a very mineral width. Really intense without any interference from the acidity. Finishing on a long mineral note this is very, very different to the Criots. Blind, I think you could easily be persuaded that this is a very good Chevalier!

Domaine Henri Latour (Auxey)

Tasted in Auxey, 2nd December 2010.

2009 Henri Latour, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
A good core of fairly deep red fruit aromas – eventually a clear raspberry note. There is a mirrored core of red fruit on the palate too that is coupled to excellent acidity and just a hint of tannic background. Fresh and tasty.

2009 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses Vieilles Vignes
In bottle for 2 months. Beautiful red fruits jump from the glass before a deeper, darker core starts to exert itself. There’s a little fat and good structure. The flavour ahs a slight spice to it, and grows nicely in the mid-palate.

2009 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses 1er La Chapelle
25 yo vines. Concentrated aromas of deep red fruit. Full and wide with plenty of structure and very good acidity. Nice ripe flavours that decay only slowly.

2007 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses 1er Grands Champs
Average 40 yo vines. Herbs and a more diffuse red fruit – perhaps because there’s a little minerality too. Nicely fresh – the acidity helping to push the intensity. Long finishing on a good mineral note.

2008 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses 1er Grands Champs
Initially tigher at the core – slightly darker red fruit aromas – it took a while, but the last drops smell lovely; that 2008 precision engineering. Fine width and very good acidity yet with sufficient padding. The flavour grows well in the mid-palate.

2003 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses 1er Grands Champs
The nose shows hints of leaves against a core of fruit. Lots of sweetness here, decent width too. There is plenty of tannin too that needs the sweetness of the fruit to buffer a little astringency. Clearly a child of the vintage, but there is balance enough to drink and even enjoy today.

2009 Henri Latour, St.Romain
Plenty of punch to the sherbet-like nose. Clean, pretty and lots of flavour too. Very good value.

2009 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses
This is very expressive, with yellow fruit and flowers. Fuller in the mouth with more flavour and a good extra extension of that flavour in the mid-palate. Sweetness, nice length – a very nice wine.

2008 Henri Latour, St.Romain
A core of yellow fruit with some overall freshness. There’s a good impression of nicely round and flavours that sit well with the acidity. The core is driven by ripe fruit that enjoys a sweet/sour balance with the acidity. Maybe it’s best in its youth(?) but it is a very lovely glass today.

2008 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses
Again, ripe yellow-fruit notes. The sweet/sour of the St.Romain is on a higher level here – yet with balance. This really does show a lovely mouth-watering mid-palate and finish.

2009 Henri Latour, Meursault Vireuils
The nose is less exub erant than the Auxey; but shows detailed fruit aromas. Silky texture with understated acidity. Good mid-palate concentration and eventually length. The fruit is sweet but not too sweet – nice finish and very good value from the domaine.

Domaine Leflaive (Puligny-Montrachet)

Tasted in Puligny, 2nd December 2010.

2009 Leflaive, Bourgogne
Hints of yellow & green fruit. Nicely full, good acidity and ripe pear flavour in the mid-palate followed by stony flavour that lasts very well. Nice wine.

2009 Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet
Finer aromas and tighter, better defined flavours. Very good acidity, more linearity but very easy to drink. – sweet ripe fruit flavours come as afterthoughts.

2009 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Clavoillons
Denser, riper fruit notes. Fuller, sweet fruit – a very nice mid-palate with lots of energy. Long finishing – one of the best Clavs I ever tasted!

2009 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Folatières
A hint of toast (bread) an annual signature of the land, not oak – apparently. Super width, good underlying acidity. Stony tasting. Very good.

2009 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Combettes
A little more aromatic depth and suggestion of minerality. Slightly soft text but I like the mineral aspect. Lovely acidity helps a lovely finish.

2009 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Pucelles
Density yet delicacy on the nose. Full, open, balanced, intense, loevely. Beautiful.

2009 Leflaive, Bienvenus Bâtard-Montrachet
Floral with pretty yellow/green fruits. Full and round with a lovely balance yet impressive intensity – it’s hard to keep in the mouth. Quickly narrows but holds onto the core flavour long into the finish – a flavour that’s half fruit/half floral. Harmonious wine!

2009 Leflaive, Bâtard-Montrachet
A little less floral, more depth. Full again in the mouth – there is power and energy here – but beautiful balance. A lovely river of mouth-watering flavours.

2008 Leflaive, Macon-Verize
A little less floral, more depth. Full again in the mouth – there is power and energy here – but beautiful balance. A lovely river of mouth-watering flavours.

2008 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Combettes
A depth of ripe fruit that is framed with higher tones and a tiny amount of baked bread. Density with acidity around the core rather than through the middle.

2008 Leflaive, Puligny 1er Folatières
Riper fruit that is a little yellow. Here the acidity is perfectly integrated into a whole which further expands in the mid-palate. Rather impressive.

Mischief & Mayhem (Aloxe-Corton)

A few assorted wines tasted in Aloxe, 26th March 2011.

2009 Mischief and Mayhem, Bourgogne Chardonnay
Medium yellow colour. High-toned ripe fruit with a hint of flowers. Clean and fresh, with a hint of savoury flavour plus a little soft texture. Starts a bit neutral but slowly leaches a little character. Nice finish.

2007 Mischief and Mayhem, Meursault
A while since I tasted this and it now has a little toasted bread which evolves in the glass to gingerbread. Nice texture and lovely, lovely acidity plus a little minerality. A narrow wine in the finish, but a very tasty one!

2009 Mischief and Mayhem, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Forward, bright pinot fruit edged with floral aromatics. Faint, fine tannin. Quite supple with good flavour. You can certainly enjoy this today for what it offers. Very good for the label.

2007 Mischief and Mayhem, Chambolle-Musigny
Aromatically deeper if narrower than the 09. Lovely freshness – far from a typical 07. Good structure and insinuating flavours. There is lots to like here, particularly as the fruit takes a slightly creamy reflection after a time.

Domaine Bernard Moreau (Chassagne-Montrachet)

Tasted in Chassagne, 5th December 2010. 2009 whites: They didn’t harvest late and they did very few operation on their wines – Alex is happy with the balance finds them ‘tranquil’.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Bourgogne Chardonnay
In bottle. In the commune of Chassagne. Looking for something accessible – not too complicated. No new oak This is smooth and forward, very nice aromas. Quite full and fruity with a well-judged balance – it makes a good start to your Saturday morning!

2009 Bernard Moreau, St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
In bottle. Just a little softer, hides its first fruit notes before slowly growing in the glass. This has a lovely texture and acidity balance. The concentration seems to grow and grow. Lovely wine.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet
In bottle one day! An assemblage of a number of parcels including a little 1er cru Champsgains. Aromatically wide if not deep, a little green herb aroma too. Less supple and soft than the St.Aubin, but rounder. The intensity grows and grows with the mid-palate flavour growing in tandem.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Vergers
Assembled in tank for about three months – nothing more done. Probably to be bottled February/March. Fuller aromas, herbs and bread with just a hint of reduction. Full, round and concentrated with a hint of CO2. Lots and lots of mid-palate activity and interest.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
Also in tank. Here are rounder, riper fruit aromas. In the mouth there’s a hint of CO2 but it’s also more direct and linear. Good intensity and a slowly decaying finishing flavour.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champgains
The nose has less width than the Maltroie but compensates by being deeper. The flavours are more mineral and there’s a lovely base of acidity too. This really opens out with plenty of complexity – lovely.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chevenottes
Forward, complex, plenty of herbs. There’s a hint of CO2 spoiling the texture but the flavour is again mineral, very wide and the intensity all the while builds a lovely extension into and of the finish. A wine of authority!

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
The nose is less forward than the Chevenottes, but seems rounder and more detailed. In the mouth this is full but quite round but the finish contrasts by being a long linear thread.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Grands Ruchottes
Oldest vines of the domaine, planted in 1939. The nose has much of the components of the other wines but with the addition of a savoury note. Wide, mineral and intense. There is lovely mouth-watering acidity that helps attach long mineral flavours to your palate.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Bâtard-Montrachet
From the Chassagne side of the appellation. ‘Only’ one barrel, and 14 months in that barrel without racking. The nose is higher-toned, but with quite some underlying density. The palate is wide indeed, if touched by a hint of CO2. All the action is from the mid-palate onwards – very complex, very long – Really. Don’t you hate it when it’s always the most expensive one that pushes all the buttons(?)!

2009 Bernard Moreau, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
All the aging in barrels, but none new. No fining or filtration. This has plenty of colour. Very nice aromas, perhaps with a hint of smoke. Round and velvety with quite dark-shaded fruit. With slowly expanding mid-palate flavours this is an excellent Bourgogne.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes
Average age of this mix of vines is about 45 years. Also the largest red cuvée of the domaine.Even darker colour with darker fruit aromas to match – floral hints above too – super. This is less obviously sweet than the bourgogne and your tongue is bathed in velvet tannin – added fruit sweetness comes in the mid-palate. This will be a really super wine, but will require time to control the volume of tannin. I’m a buyer.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Volnay 1er Santenots
Wide, with a depth of dark fruit that is surmounted with floral notes. Round, supple and with understated velvet tannin. The flavour holds a wide path as it exits into the finish – it holds very well too.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
This nose is very pretty indeed; there is a base of dark, sweet fruit with an added complexity of floral notes. More impact and tannin than the Santenots yet still round and with very good acidity. More intensity and a lovely central red fruit note. In the long finish it is mainly cherry. Lovely.

2009 Bernard Moreau, Volnay 1er Les Caillerets
The nose becomes rounder as the wine warms in the glass – again wide with a nice floral aspect against a more macerating cherry background. This has a really executive blend of tannin, texture and concentration. Slowly lingering…

2009 Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Cardeuse
A monopole of the domaine from within Morgeot. Deeply coloured. The nose is not so deep as the Volnays but develops more and more detail as it opens. Full, round and showing a slightly sticky but ripe tannin. This is full of flavour, indeed joyfully treading the line between talkative and elegance – how did that happen – bravo!

Domaine Gérard Mugneret (Vosne-Romanée)

Tasted in Vosne-Romanée, 28th January 2011.

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Bourgogne
Wow, this jumps from the glass with a glorious fruit – quite Vosne too! Very easy to drink with a good finish – standout Bourgogne!

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Savigny 1er Les Gravains
The aromas are a little more sullen – hardly surprising – slowly widening to deliver dark red fruit. There is a little more structure and nice mid-palate burst of flavour. Very pretty wine.

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Vosne-Romanée
Dark fruit aromas mix with a little spiced bread. Not totally sweet (good!) there is a depth of texture, tannin too. Nicely structured not an entirely simple 2009.

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Brûlées
Deep yet quite understated on the nose. Again, off-sweet – here is a quite super balance. Slowly lingering flavours. Yes!

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
The nose mixes the dark notes of the last with with an additional layer of high-tones. Width and very, very fine tannin. More linear and narrow but it’s a long line into the finish.

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Medium-plus colour. The nose is deep though initially a little diffuse. A beautiful round and textured shape in the mouth. Long mouthwatering flavours. Yum!

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Boudots
Medium-plus colour. More Vosne than Nuits on the nose – pretty but with depth too. More structure than the Chambolle, but more width of flavour too. A good wine.

2009 Gérard Mugneret, Echézeaux
Medium-plus colour. The nose has more concentration and complexity. Fuller, broader too. The tannin is there for effect but more important is the long finish and the complexity this wine delivers – without sacrificing any depth. Super!

2008 Gérard Mugneret, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Brûlées
A lovely Vosne nose, quite classic with a core that hints of strawberry. Round and very silky, the flavour builds slowly in the mid-plate. Not surprisingly a little ‘subdued’ after the 09 Echézeaux, but a very fine wine.

2008 Gérard Mugneret, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Boudots.
The nose is part floral and part fruit – then a deep violet flower note –this is rather profound! A hint more sweetness and roundness; long mouthwatering flavours. Very nice indeed.

Domaine Lucien Muzard (Santenay)

Tasted in Santenay, 1st December 2010.

2009 Lucien Muzard, Santenay Champs-Claudes
Blanc. Lots of mid-palate density plus a hint of something spicy. Long finish – but I don’t get along with something in the flavour.

2009 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Clos Faubard
Blanc. Deep aromas – almost winey! Full, much more interesting flavours than the Champs-Claudes and delivered with quite some authority. Good wine.

2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Maladières
Deep aromas of fruit that hint to a little reduction – slowly widening and opening to a red fruit. Tannin is quite supple and there is good flavour intensity. Nice length too.

2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Clos Faubard
Again, nice dark aromas that are framed with some subtle reduction. Again this is relatively silky but is more direct and mineral – intensity is similar though. Very nice flavour – good wine.

2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Clos des Mouches
Forming the south-west edge of Beauregards. The nose has dark and rather detailed fruit without any hint of reduction. Good freshness, this is well-packed with flavour. Some tannin clings to your gums but with it there is more flavour too.

2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Beauregard
From just below Santenay’s windmill. The nose shows pretty red fruits, much redder than the ‘Mouches’, this one does show a little reduction too. Fuller, round and flavour-packed. There’s plenty of tannin and just a little astringency as you near the finish – but no problem – good wine.

2008 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Gravières
The nose seems wider but less focused. The flavours show less impact than the Beauregard’s, however, are quite mineral and finely detailed. Fresh but not too fresh, finishing on a very pretty fruit note.

2009 Lucien Muzard, Santenay 1er Clos de Tavannes
In bottle for 1 day! A lovely, easy, pretty 2009 nose. Full, round and with plenty of of supple structure –perhaps there’s even a hint of coffee (or maybe I just need a coffee!). No doubt, very nice wine.

Domaine Paul Pernot (Puligny-Montrachet)

Tasted in Puligny, 26th January 2011, all the wines already bottled. Monsieur Pernot senior introduced me to his sons then sent them off to work to deal with me personally!

2009 Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet
The soft-fruit aromas are understated but wide, slowly gaining in depth. The texture is a little soft, just enough acidity and there’s a very nice depth of mid-palate flavour which becomes stronger in the finish. Understated but then finishes with gusto.

2009 Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
Like the previous wine, understated but wide – just a little more higher-toned. Fuller in the mouth, silkier too. The acidity is understated but sufficient. I really like the mid-palate flavour and complexity that comes with it – this is lovely to roll around your mouth. Fine.

2009 Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Garenne
Here there is more depth to the aroma, a hint of SO2 distraction too. Again this is quite silky but in this case there is more power and width. Overall, just as long as the Folatières but more width.

2009 Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Pucelles
The nose is rounder, but to start with there is less focus than the Clos de Garenne. More minerality and good enough acidity. It doesn’t seem to have the width of the CdGarenne but the length is certainly there and with a more mineral dimension too.

2009 Paul Pernot, Bienveues Bâtard-Montrachet
This needs a little time to open in the glass, getting wider in the process – there’s clearly something a little ‘extra’ here. Here there is a higher mineral expression but the texture is plusher at the same time. Never super-wide, this wine manages to grow and grow in your mouth, finishing on an understated but long note.

2009 Paul Pernot, Bâtard-Montrachet
The nose is round with a clear floral note in the middle. Full and round with a dense mid-palate that’s carried by a (citric) acidity. This wine has plenty to say; more open than the Bienvenues and with a stronger if not longer finish.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut (Ladoix)

Tasted in Ladoix 5th December 2010. Just so much value here…

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
No new oak, 1-5 year-old barrels. Average thirty year old vines from around Ladoix, but some are very old. Nice colour. Lovely red pinot fruit aromas of good depth. Fresh, but not too fresh. The mouthwatering flavours have just enough sweetness. A steal at €7.50

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Côte de Nuits Villages
10-15% new oak, from hillside vines south of Corgloin on sandy soils. This vintage millerandes – tiny grapes. Good high tones over a depth of fresh, dark red berries. Wider and fuller with very good flavour – more-so in the mid-palate. A little more structured – excellent, even before you see the €10 price.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix Le Clos Royer
A Clos that are almost within the village itself, next to 1er cru vines – ‘an oven in the summer’. Lovely, direct and pretty fruits that also give the impression of sweetness. There is more structure, but there is also a very nice texture. I think this is very pretty.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix 1er Le Bois Rousseau
’The most tender of the range.’ From the middle of the slope. Again the aromas showcase very pretty red fruits, this time with plenty of cherry. The fruity flavours have an almost floral dimension. There is more concentration and structure, but everything is on an understated level.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix 1er Les Basses Murottes
Higher on the hill; 20-30 centimetres of soil before a solid limestone base. The roots find their way through cracks in the limestone, so no water problems for the vines in hot weather. On the nose there’s darker red fruit, more impact and density too. This is a little fuller and offers more structure balanced with a mid-palate flavour that lingers into the finish. Mouth-watering flavour – very good.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix 1er La Corvée
Facing south, one of the most well known vines of Ladoix – a synthesis between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits? The darker-red fruit aromas have a lovely depth and slowly a floral width develops too. Fuller with very good depth of flavour – you can almost taste the violets! Lovely.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Aloxe-Corton
Some very old vines. The nose holds a deep red note. The palate is reasonably wide and is coupled to supple tannin – actually this seems to get wider and wider! Subtly long a lovely wine that’s already sold-out at the domaine.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru
A blend of three premier crus; Fourniers, Paulands and a majority of Vercots. This wine usually delivers power but without aggression. The nose has some higher tones and seems quite powerful. Full, satin texture and very nice balance. There is an extra density to the flavour and again, here’s a wine with a floral element to the finish.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Corton Les Hautes Murottes
Here is climate where most have ripped out the pinot to make Corton-Charlemagne. I only know this one and Ardhuy’s. Wide and ripe with a nice floral dimension. Supple, narrow, then it widens across the palate. Powerful yet supple with a hint of bitter-chocolate in the lingering finish.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Corton Bressandes
Yet again there is a floral dimension to the aromas, perhaps a little licorice too – I love the aromatic complexity. Round, supple and full flavoured. Friendly but not facile Corton.

2003 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Corton Les Hautes Murottes
The nose delivers faint leaves and an almost textured effect. Sweet fruit underpins everything. It offers the unashamed ripe fruit flavours of the vintage which, in this case, I don’t find too wearing. Holding well…

2009 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Aligoté
No oak. Very pretty fruit-driven aromas. For this level the mid-palate depth is good and the flavours linger very well. Nice entry-level wine.

2009 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Bourgogne Chardonnay
Ten percent new barrels used here, in bottle since September. There is a little fruit under a waft of high-toned aromas. Sweet and quite supple, both the concentration and finish are pretty good. I’d like a little more energy but there’s certainly plenty of wine here.

2009 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix Blanc
Vines in a mix of Ladoix vineyards, some near the quarries so gain a little in minerality. The nose offers a width of herbs and an overall impression that recalls Charlemagne – super. Round, silky and soft, the concentration is very good. With slowly fading flavours this is excellent for its level.

2009 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Corton-Charlemagne
Higher toned with plenty of herbs – lovely clear definition. Lots and lots of mid-palate flavour; pear, hints of coconut. I’d like a hint more acidity yet there is no lack of mouth-watering flavour in the finish.

2008 Gaston et Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix Blanc
Deep, quite tight aromas (the bottle is v.cold) of fruit. Full in the mouth but with the requisite energy. A hint of minerality before the fruit hits, edged with subtle barrel flavour. Super value here and the last drops have a hint of caramel about them.

Domaine Guy Roulot (Meursault)

Tasted in Meursault 1st December 2010. The reds account for about 10% of the domaine’s production, they are all destemmed. The whites, along with those of Lafon, if maybe just behind Lafon are the best I tasted from this vintage!

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Bourgogne (rouge)
To be bottled in 2 weeks. Possibly the last vintage due to yields of 15hl/ha in 2009, practically a wine only one vintage in five. Nice red berry top-notes. A round wine of width, sweetness and a great taste – good intesity. Not very long but very satisfying.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Monthélie (rouge)
Just a hint of reduction. Nice fruit and some structure – this time with good length, though I prefer the texture and flavour of the Bourgogne!

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Auxey-Duresses 1er (rouge)
A blend of two premier cru vineyards; Les Duresses and Grands Champs. Also a little reduction. More richness and a lovely freshness. Good fine tannin. I find this lovely.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Bourgogne (blanc)
A blend of several plots from within Meursault if not the appellation – but each plot touches on ‘villages Meursault’ plots. There is nice depth, and a clean-cut impression. A width of very pretty flavours, good focus and nice acidity. This would be a really super buy.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault Vireuls
Just a hint of SO2 mingles with the green-skinned fruit which is linear and direct before opening out with good minerality.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault Meix Chavaux
Slowly developing green fruit and vegetation aromas. This has more minerality but cushioning too. Has almost a hint of 2008 character.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault Luchets
A little more aromatic density though very similar to the Meix Chavaux in character. A hint of CO2, minerality and a linear impression borne on lovely acidity. Direct and frank style – lovely.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault Tillets
East facing and higher on the slope than the last vines. The nose gives a fuller impression and more width too. There is a vibrant core of acidity, lovely length and understated minerality. Another direct wine with a slightly wider delivery than the Luchets.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir
The nose is not quite so full, but does register a hint of creaminess. Good richness allied to freshness, finishing with a very understated but fine length.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault 1er Bouchères
The first vineyard to be picked – every year – picked 1st September 09, then nothing else was picked for 4 days. Only 0.16 ha on a steep slope, so only 3 casks made each year. The nose is finer if offering less density than the Tessons. A wine of understatement but detail that becomes rather impressive once you reach the mid-palate.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault 1er Porusots
From 50 metres below the Bouchères. The nose is both full and fine with some acid-lime top-notes. Finesse but intensity. The finish is mineral with an intense, focused, stony core of flavour that holds into the finish – Bravo!

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault 1er Charmes
A good core of fresh green notes on the nose. A hint of CO2 that doesn’t manage to obscure the richness and rounder shape of this wine, yet there is super energy here – for a Charmes. Today it struggles under the bright spotlight of the Porusots.

2009 Domaine Guy Roulot, Meursault 1er Perrières
Again the aromas are of green vegetation, and this time with a faint smokiness too. A very silky liquid with an inner density and flavour starts slightly narrow and then opens-up over the palate. Very lovely wine.

Domaine Armand Rousseau (Gevrey)

Tasted in Gevrey, 23rd March 2011.

2009 Armand Rousseau, Gevery-Chambertin 1er Les Cazetiers
High-tined aromas of beautiful berries. Round and detailed in the mouth. Long though with plenty of oak-flavour today.

2009 Armand Rousseau, Clos de la Roche
Again there’s a lovely detail to the berry-fruit on the nose. In the mouth there is more minerality than the Cazetiers. The berry fruit slowly comes to the fore – again there is bitter oak in the finish, but this is just a phase.

2009 Armand Rousseau, Clos des Ruchottes
No new oak for this vintage. Lots of high-toned fruit. This wine seems more lithe and less padded than the last two – lots of intensity in the mouth I always love this wine!

2009 Armand Rousseau, Gevery-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
Only sixty percent new oak this year. Fuller aromas but still with a wealth of detail to the red fruit. The texture is more padded than the Ruchottes – I like the stance of this wine.

2009 Armand Rousseau, Clos de Bèze
Deep and dark nose – but no reduction. This is rather mineral, showing no obvious sweet fruit. Opens very wide before decaying again – complex very mineral wine – not the 09 standard.

2009 Armand Rousseau, Chambertin
After the Bèze this is rounder and more fruit-driven – yet rather zen-like in its tranquility! The flavours are also about rock and soil, the fruit starts as an afterthought and without impact. A very long finish that eventually betrays a little cherry fruit, but more about cherry-stones!

Domaine Cécile Tremblay (Vosne-Romanée)

Tasted in Gevrey, 23rd March 2011. A little more structured wines than is the average in 2009 – on the whole I think that’s a good thing – particularly as in this case the structure is very well balanced. Highly recommended wines!

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Bourgogne
The aromatics are very pretty. In the mouth there is a good round impression, plenty of flavour too. A lovely, lovely Bourgogne.

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Chambolle-Musigny
A slight reduction mixes with a sultry slightly smoky element from the stems – not obviously Chambolle, but obviously nice! More intensity, and a very good base of acidity coupled to fine tannin. A very lovely finish – a strong flavoured Chambolle.

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Vosne-Romanée
The nose is understated but it’s classic Vosne with spiced-bread and red fruits. There’s a little more sweetness and it’s a little fuller too. Lots of interest here, and lovely concentration in the finish.

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Feuselottes
Here there’s a lovely depth to the aroma – a little stem smoke too. Hmmm… lovely. Your tongue is wrapped with fine tannin and fine acidity too. The flavour starts a little narrow but there is a beautifully lingering finish. A wine to wallow in!

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaumonts
High toned aromas eventually of red fruit, with a little coffee in the base. A little more grain to the tannin but there’s a wide panorama of flavour. More structured than the Feuselottes but fine none-the-less.

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Rouges du Dessus
This has gingerbread and a deep and dark red fruit background. Again there’s plenty of fine tannin but coupled to super width of flavour.

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Chapelle-Chambertin
Here there is a floral dimension to add to the red fruit. The flowers are repeated in the mouth also with more red fruit; there is plenty of structure behind, but it’s mainly covered by the fruit. I think this will be super in fifteen years – really super!!

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Echézeaux du Dessus
The nose is narrow but very deep; smoke and dark fruit mingle. Again plenty of structure but this time allied to a more mineral flavour. Very fine Echézeaux

2008 Cécile Tremblay, Morey St.Denis
’Only’ forty percent whole clusters. The nose starts dark but quickly opens up higher tones too. Lovely soft texture, this wine rolls over your tongue like it was made to measure – fab!

Domaine Baron Thénard (Givry)

Tasted in Givry, 2nd December 2010.

2009 Baron Thénard, Givry 1er Bois Chevaux
Pretty fruits on the nose – this is lovely, despite just a hint of malo. There is a width in the mouth that is perhaps exacerbated by a hint of CO2, that said, the flavour expands nicely across the palate.

2009 Baron Thénard, Givry 1er Cellier des Moines
Here is a little more aromatic density with, again, pretty red and currant fruit. Similar structure to the last with more depth to the flavour. This is nicely long.

2009 Baron Thénard, Givry 1er Clos St.Pierre
Again, lovely red fruit aromas. There is a good mix of structure and flavour, slightly more mineral flavour – a Givry de garde! The last drops in the glass deliver beautifully pure fruit aromas.

2009 Baron Thénard, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses
More punch to the aromas. Deeper red fruit mixes with velvet tannin – there’s very good depth and very good fruit.

2009 Baron Thénard, Corton Clos du Roi
The nose only very slowly opens to reveal a little red fruit and some minerality. In the mouth there is impressive, wiry, muscularity, but linearity too. Only in the finish does this start to widen and hold onto that wider flavour for a long time.

2009 Baron Thénard, Grands-Echézeaux
There is a very different aromatic; forward, floral and edged with a little vanilla. Full, with plenty of tannin. The flavour is a core that runs through the centre of the wine, again accented with vanilla and perhaps a bitter-chocolate edge to the tannins too. Very long!

2009 Baron Thénard, Givry Blanc
The nose starts a little stodgy – aeration improves it to a degree. This has a nice texture though the flavour is a little like boiled sweets. It would have to improve for my cellar!

2009 Baron Thénard, Givry 1er Blanc
Finer aromas – much less lumpen. Width and a more interesting shape – this is rather better. I enquire of the eventual cellar-door price and am shocked – it is worth a special trip to buy!

2009 Baron Thénard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
The nose is very pretty indeed, mad more complex with hints of herbs and a suggestion of vanilla. Silky intensity. The flavour starts a little mineral before widening in the mid-palate. This needs a racking so despite my thinking it could do with a lick more acidity for energy, that could anyway improve.

2009 Baron Thénard, Montrachet
Complex, interesting, high-toned, detailed yet not really ‘fruity’ – though perhaps there is something of fruit lurking at the core. The flavours and texture together melt across the tongue. Perhaps also ready for a racking; again the acidity seems rather understated but the mid-palate is flavour-packed and the understated finish holds for a very long time.

2008 Baron Thénard, Givry 1er Cellier des Moines (Blanc)
Full and ripe flavours with nicely understated acidity. Eventually the aromas start to creep from the glass – rather nice.

2008 Baron Thénard, Montrachet
Full aromas; classic, slightly herby Chassagne over a concentrated, warmer and deep core of fruit. Full, round and complex flavours suddenly widen across the palate. The very, very long finishing flavour, at its core, is exactly the same as in the 2009.

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé (Chambolle-Musigny)

Tasted 25th March 2011 in Chambolle. The 09s were being bottled at the time of my visit, so I only got to taste the Bonnes-Mares and the Musigny VV but they didn’t really come out to play… François Millet was in reflective mood; likening one wine to the impression of being near a slowly flowing river, two metres deep, perfectly clear to the bottom – you can see the good and the bad. The next the river is flowing faster, the next it is not a river but a lake and you are on a pontoon and you can still see all the way to the bopttom. You get the picture?

2008 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny
The nose starts heavily fruited and perfumed. Beautiful detail, acidity and super intensity. There’s also a little floral dimension to the flavours. Great start!

2008 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
In this case there’s a little minerality and musk added to the perfume. Very, very fine tannin plus an extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. Broad in the finish with a little cherry-stone.

2008 de Vogüé, Bonnes-Mares
We really have the juice of the fruit here says François Millet. Here is a deep, concentrated core of darker-red fruit – the nose seems almost ‘smooth’. The smell of the last drops in the glass are super-gorgeous. A little more structure but it’s super-fine and concentrated. A beautiful core of fruit that goes long into the finish.

2008 de Vogüé, Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
The aromas have much more in common with the premier cru (unsurprisingly) with a mix of mineral and musk together with a subtle rose perfume, eventually a white pepper accent too. Once more there is a wealth of very fine tannin which is slowly overtaken by a beam of gorgeous pure fruit that then becomes rounder. A long fruit-dominated finish that even has a dash of orange. Clearly ‘special’.

2009 de Vogüé, Bonnes-Mares
Deep aromas are inflected with a little reduction, blueberry and musk. A sort of ‘so-so’ entry (it’s tough after laser-sharp 08s) but from the mid-palate onwards its class really comes to the fore, becoming wider and wider with a creamy border to the fruit flavours before tightening. Not showing at its best.

2009 de Vogüé, Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
Also a little reduced and like the Bonnes-Msares seems a little diffuse – better to return I think…

Domaine de la Vougeraie (Premeaux-Prissey)

Tasted in Premeaux, 25th March 2011.

2008 Vougeraie, Côte de Beaune La Pierre Blanche
Just a hint reduced. Lovely clarity and a nice balance. Very pretty indeed.

2008 Vougeraie, Pommard Les Petits Noizons
Higher toned with dark red fruit and hints of flowers. More complexity and more alive after the Côte de Beaune.

2008 Vougeraie, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Not much of this is made. I really like the authority of the nose. Dimension, tension and intensity – lovely. The flavour manages to grow even more in the mid-palate – super!

2008 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice
As a little reduction lifts this becomes a little musky to go with pretty dark berries. A narrow entry but very silky. Slowly widens across the tongue, but rather understated after the Grèves.

2008 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles ‘Classic’
From fourteen year-old vines. I have the impression that there’s some background reduction, but Pierre says this is the terroir and he describes it as sauvage. The flavour grows in the mouth, nicely mouth-watering. Good density of flavour.

2008 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles ‘En Foule’
Planted at 36,000 vines per hectare in 2002. This high-density planting returns about two bunches of fruit per vine. Also a little ‘sauvage’. Clearly we have more intensity and a mineral dimension to versus the ‘classic’. Nicely balanced – will surely become ever-more impressive as the vines age.

2008 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Belair
The fruit aromas start red and ripe – reminds of an 07. Fuller and rounder than (either) Evocelles. Concentrated yet less direct and pretty after the ‘en foule’.

2008 Vougeraie, Vougeot 1er Les Cras
There is a hint of stems, not particularly smoky but warm red fruit. I really, really like the width, this is faintly tannic but very fine tannin.

2008 Vougeraie, Nuits St.Georges 1er Damodes
More herbs and red fruit with a subtle spice and mint, eventually floral too. Narrower – seems less impressive than the Vougeot but there is plenty of complexity.

2008 Vougeraie, Corton Clos du Roi
The fruit on the nose is a little darker, it’s also very clean and complex. There’s a base of tannin, slightly astringent tannin but it’s finely textured too. Good flavour and very long.

2008 Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot
The nose is deep and faintly musky – plenty of width too – higher tones come next with some flowers. Very fine tannin, red fruit and an intensity that builds. Mouthwatering with a reprise of flavour just when you think it’s all done – this time with a hint of vanilla.

2008 Vougeraie, Charmes-Chambertin (Mazoyères)
From over one-hundred year-old vines. Concentrated yet never heavy aromas of fruit – beautiful top notes. Round and concentrated without too much fat. The flavour build and build in the mid-palate. Mouthwatering in the finsh – fab!

2008 Vougeraie, Bonnes-Mares
A very wide panorama of a nose, layers of aroma too with a creamy smoke. Full in the mouth, concentrated yet the intensity builds more, releasing another wave of fruit. Seems a slightly stony flavour and it’s very, very long!

2009 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles ‘Classic’
The sauvage note is there, but it seems to diminish in the glass. Wide and interesting, the sweet fruit peaks in the mid-palate – tasty.

2009 Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles ‘En Foule’
The nose seems to offer up chalk and minerals – no sauvage. Fuller and more tannic than the basic cuvée there definitely seems more material in the glass. Again there is a peak of flavour in the mid-palate but this time with much more complexity. A bigger difference in the two wines in 09 versus 08.

2009 Vougeraie, Vougeot 1er Les Cras
Like the ‘en foule’ this has a little musk on the nose too., and it’s a very wide and interesting nose – it just seems to get better and better – I find something of the quality of a Musigny here – honestly! Lots of flavour and some complexity; it has the sweetness of the vintage but remains poised. Lovely, lovely wine.

2009 Vougeraie, Corton Clos du Roi
Interesting fruit that keeps your nose to the glass, slowly growing higher tones too – captivating. More material but less focus versus the 08 is my instant impression. Very good concentration though perhaps like a twist more of acidity – yet the flavours seem mouth-watering enough and are certainly long.

2009 Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot
Deeper fruit, again a hint of musk that blend with flashed of red fruit. Fresher and apparently more (obviously) structured than the Clos du Roi. Grows in intensity – the flavour growing in tandem. Really hold its finish – excellent!

2009 Vougeraie, Bonnes-Mares
This is high-toned and very pretty adding red fruit and the faintest of vanilla. Round and interesting this wine just grows in flavour and already shows quite some complexity. A wine to contemplate…

2009 Vougeraie, Charmes-Chambertin (Mazoyères)
The first wine whose nose is a little tight. Round with plenty of structure – actually quite mineral. Faint hints of coconut on a very long finish. Far from ‘facile’ Charmes…

2009 Vougeraie, Musigny
Only 700 bottles of this, I’m lucky because a few samples are hand as it’s just being bottled – otherwise it’s not opened. For the first time there are a few stems retained in this. This is also a little tight but shows perfect red berry fruit. Despite what’s gone before, here is another level of concentration and hot on its heel, intensity too. Balanced and cushioned yet somehow everything registers a notch higher than the other wines – I wonder how they do that…(!)

2009 Vougeraie, Vougeot Clos du Prieuré Blanc
High tones of grapefruit above toasted bread. Good sweetness that’s balanced by well-judged acidity – this is quite lovely – simply, but lovely.

2009 Vougeraie, Vougeot 1er Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot
The aromas are not so deep but show an engaging width. Concentrated with good underlying acidity, this is rich – but not in any negative sense. Lovely length – super.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?