The domaine Yves Boyer-Martenot has somehow eluded my visits to Burgundy over the last 20 years and indeed I may never before have tasted a wine from the domaine until I placed my hand on this cheeky little number in Crush Wines, Manhattan. This is actually a fairly significant domaine based in Meursault with 10 hectares of chardonnay spread across Meursault and one Puligny lieu dit. This Bourgogne chardonnay from the fresh 2011 vintage has a smutty nose of musk, almonds and dried orange peel. There is background fruit of orange and pear. Very good structure and concentration on the palate especially for a Bourgogne. This wine has oomph, kick and vroom! Excellent length, vibrant lime and orange flavour. Shows the liveliness and vim of the bright 2011 vintage. Will peak in 12-18 months. Already showing very well. Scores 25 / 30 for a Bourgogne blanc.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
This Oregon pinot noir producer based in Newberg is taking the whole Burgundy-style approach to wine-making seriously... they don't have a website that is easy to find. This Willamette Valley pinot has that typical deep red, rather sombre looking hue, reminds me of my great grandfather's dark purple velvet curtains infused with a couple of decades of pipe smoke. A prickly nose of blackberry, black currant and spiced orange. Redolent of red licorice laces and aniseed gobstoppers which I enjoyed as a child. A fine structure, savoury and earthy upfront with a tangy, raspberry and blood orange finish. Definitely a food wine. And wonderfully restrained at 12.5% alchohol. Nose culminates on a sweet turd/cacao note. Scores 24 / 30 for a Willamette Valley. A triumph of style over potency.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Do female wine makers produce wines with more feminine characteristics? Hard to know, but would be worth a blind tasting. In the case of Ghislaine Barthod producing Chambolle the question seems academic. A fragrant nose of raspberry, wild strawberry and vanilla. An overlay of ripe red currant and white chocolate. The whole nose is elevated by a splendid oranginess. Soft, berry texture, lovely flavours of orange, cherry and red currant. This Chambolle 2012 is incredibly fresh, with ripe berry fruit and good tannins. Maturity shows through with a sourness on the finish. Delightful for what it is: honest not sophisticated. Scores 25 / 30 for a Chambolle. Courtesy of King's College pantry.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I feel as if I have been brought up on En Remilly from Domaine Hubert Lamy. So there is a sense of mischief when I try another producer's En Rem. This 2008 En Remilly from Marc Colin is tight and controlled at the start. Still pale and bright hay yellow. A cylindrical nose dominated by lemon, lime and green apple. You can sniff the tart on this one! I am getting daffodils, pine kernels and vanilla. Very bright, tangy and mineral on the palate with concentrated lemon and lime flavours. Mid-palate has an agressive fruit acidity kick. This is really sharp compared to a lot of the other softer and beguiling 2008s. Scores 21 / 30 for a Saint-Aubin 1er Cru.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Bought at the domaine in 2006 during a tasting that revealed Domaine Bernard Moreau to be a high class outfit producing wines of purity and complexity. Amazingly I have not opened any of the Chenevottes 2004 prior to this bottle. What patience! This chardonnay from the village of Chassagne has a radiant white gold colour. After some aeration there are aromas of baked lemon, orange marmalade, vanilla, marzipan. There are appealing flavours of pear, cherry and orange, tarte citron and green banana. It is still fresh. Despite having lost its linearity and attach due to the 9 years of bottle age this Chassagne 1er Cru retains a fresh uplift from a tangy citrus sourness and finishes on a sumptuous limoncello-textured note. This tremendous wine now stands at the dividing line between hope (youth) and despair (age). Scores 26 / 30 for a Chassagne 1er Cru. A benchmark for quality, depth and complexity.
Friday, April 19, 2013
My expectations for this 2003 chardonnay from the Hautes-Côtes were low. A super-warm year like 2003 was unlikely to produce long-lived wines due to the absence of acidity. Bright, shiny brass colour showing its maturity. Dried mushrooms (trompette), dried lemon peel, vanilla, sweat-of-a-lady. Weighty, dried orange, sour marzipan, spreads out on the palate and then leaves a bizarre chewy tannin-like finish. Fascinating richness and bitterness. A sour and heavy finish with long-lingering flavours and a stinging feeling in the windpipe. This is a weird wine and is unscorable, imagine eating a Still Life painting (I confess this was opened to make osso bucco....).
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Plucked from the nether regions of the Burgoblog cellar in Puligny this Volnay was procured following an excellent tasting at the Bitouzet-Prieur domaine in Volnay with Francois Bitouzet. A fragant and ripe nose of cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry, sweet without being jammy. Pleasing rather than serious. Medium to light bodied, this Volnay has verve. Fresh, perfectly ripe small berries with good plummy tannins. Very tasty and refreshing. Unlikely to age well though. I sincerely believe that 2009 is much more of a vintage for the tannic appellations of Pommard, Nuits and Aloxe than the fragrant and feminine terroirs. Scores 22 / 30 for a Volnay.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Cherry colour, almost transparent. Raspberry, blueberry, ripe cherries, cooked strawberries, cassis, lovely sweet fruit aromas, reminiscent of 2010 Burgundy! This Willamette Valley 2010 is bursting with glorious, ripe berry and cherry fruit aromas. Indulgent, appealing, a late summer cherry orchard. Sweet spcies of cinnamon and vanilla. Beautifully framed. Rich cherry fruit laced with an enlivening edge of acidity. Great ripe tannins on the finish and tangerine. This is a fantastically structured wine and rams home the point that Willamette is superior to Napa and Sonoma pinots. Comes in at 13.5% alcohol which is the top end of acceptable before the alcohol dominates the fragrance of the pinot. Scores 24 / 30 for a Willamette Valley.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
By contrast with Burgundy, the pinots from Oregon represent a much broader range of wine-making style as the producers try out new approaches. This pinot is definitely in the "Burgundy imitator" category and succeeds fairly well. Notching up just 12.5% alcohol this Willamette Valley 2010 from the Ransom domaine, is a sombre cherry colour, opaque in the centre. Splendid aromas of plum, blackberry, roasted aubergine, sweet aniseed, bay leaf. Definitely on the black fruit palette. A full plum and cherry flavour, rounded, savoury initially and then sweetens up. There are evident tannins on the finish. More richness than elegance, very satisfying also good value. Scores 24/30 for a Willamette Valley. Much better than any equivalent you could hope to find in California.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Dr Burgundy go make cultural learnings of America... back in 2006 I travelled to Oregon and greatly enjoyed 3 days of tastings in the undulating hills of the region. Friendly people, good local food and some interesting pinots. I understand why young Burgundy producers spend 6 months there for their "stage". This pinot started on a medium to light ruby red colour. A charming, sweet raspberry nose, jammy, cherry conserve, super fruity, no tertiary aromas. Imbibed this is balanced, toasty, grilled cherry, soft, background tannins, a soupcon of blood orange. A hint of bitterness on the palate, fairly short, a raspberry liqueur after taste. A well made, fruit-driven wine that has controlled the tendency to over-ripen in Oregon. Scores 22 / 30 for a Willamette Valley pinot.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Procured from the venerable Larchmont Wine & Liquor store on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont, Westchester County, NY this turned out to be a solid and ripe Gevrey 2010 which contrasted with the problematic 2011 Côte de Nuits pinots. Deep purple colour with red tints, this 2010 Gevrey is not holding back on the extraction as it is opaque and sombre in a full glass. Nose of black currant, black berries and oak barrels. It is attractive, peppery and redolent of tobacco or even snuff. Tainted somewhat by a raw barrel edge. Rich cassis fruit on the palate, good structure, ripe tannins, enjoyable yet stern, there is fruit and then it is savoury. Solid and impressive. This is a Gevrey for the yeoman. And who can complain on a cold winter's night in New York?
Monday, February 04, 2013
The Domaine Drouhin Laroze has a stunning range of reds from the Côte de Nuits and its also possible to have a home-made lunch in their small dining room that faces onto the vines behind the property. Great idea as long as you have time to sleep off the multiple egg dishes in the afternoon. For years I have considered the domaine's Gevrey a benchmark for the village yet they do not appear in the Norman/Taylor book on the Great Domaines of Burgundy. This Bonnes Mares 2011 starts on a pert aroma of violets, there is black currant, there is cherry, the nose is moderately open. Very good fruit shines through on the palate, leans somewhat on the tannins due to the difficulty of getting a perfect balance in 2011. Clearly a very high quality wine yet with a broad envelope of potential evolution and so scores 20-24/30 for a Bonnes Mares. Photo shows Peter trying to walk off his 12 egg lunch before going to Domaine Trapet.
This is a small, relatively new domaine which is managed by a woman - Cécile Tremblay who established the domaine in 2003 and now produces wine from 4 hectares of the 7 hectares of vines owned by her family. Invited to present at the Justerini & Brooks annual Burgundy tasting (equivalent to a Miss Burgundy Pinot Noir 2011 pageant) this suggests one of London's most quality conscious wine merchants has made the call on the promise from the Domaine Cécile Tremblay. This turned out to be one of the stand out wines of the 2011 en primeur / cask sample tastings. Perfurmed, superb racy nose, conjures images of Grace Kelly. This is followed up by a glossy texture, it is consistent, sleek, has tail fins, and is very, very good with a delicious cherry flavour. Wow! Also offers excellent value. Scores 24-26/30 for a Chambolle.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
I openly admit that Clos de Vougeot is my least favoured grand cru. Why struggle through the structure and brutality if you could have a Charmes-Chambertin, Corton-Renardes, Clos des Lambrays or more to the point a lovely, reasonably-priced Echezeaux? This Clos de Vougeot 2011 from Méo-Camuzet starts with a big blob of cherry, it is heavy and closed on the nose. Smooth cherry fruit wanders over the palate, there is grip worthy of Hulk Hogan, tannins, huge granite boulders. Could be incredible in 2025... Scores 22-25/30 for a Clos de Vougeot.
Labels: Clos de Vougeot
My friends and I are a fussy lot when it comes to Chambolles, but we are nevertheless happy to try wines like this "Feusselottes" from the Domaine Méo-Camuzet tasted at the annual Justerini & Brooks Burgundy tasting. This Chambolle 1er Cru offers strawberries, rhubarb and blood orange but seems a little bit flat in terms of aromatic profile. Very fresh, zingy, high toned, the acidity is a tad too high. Dare I say it but the Fixin 1er Cru is at this stage a better balanced and more complete wine... and costs one-third the amount of the Chambolle. The wine will evolve but of course it can not become more ripe. Scores 18-21/30 for a Chambolle premier cru.
Among the many unimpressive pinots from the shaky 2011 vintage, this Vosne 2011 from Domaine Jean Grivot stands out as a big success. I got the feeling that Etienne Grivot had managed to squeeze every drop of ripe grape juice out of his pinots and has produced an excellent village wine. You start with all of the raspberry plant, flowers, leaves, berries and stalks. It really sweetens up in the glass, there is aniseed and the wine is perfectly balanced, fresh and crunchy with fine fruit. Scores 22-25/30 for a Vosne. You will not find a better Vosne from the 2011 vintage. Photo shows the village of Vosne in July 2011.
The Domaine Perrot-Minot has done a solid job of building up the brand and the quality over the last 20 years since Christophe Perrot-Minot took over. Tasted a few months ago, the Charmes-Chambertin 1999 was superb and clearly different from the Mazoyeres-Chambertin 1999. Tasted at the Justerini & Brooks annual Burgundy tasting this Charmes 2011 from Perrot-Minot offered a lot more on the nose than many other 2011s. Solid block of strawberry and cherry on the nose, it is pleasingly hefty. Clean fruit, fresh, possibly misses depth and concentration which were hard to achieve in 2011. Scores 19-24/30 for a Gevrey grand cru. Time will tell. Photo shows a Gevrey vineyard looking up the combe behind the village in July 2011.
Labels: Gevrey Grand Cru