Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" 2011, Jean Collet & Fils

Medium-light yellow, resplendent. A pleasing nose of white honey, ripe lemon, orange and a hint of apricot. I imagine this points to a lieu-dit with a more southerly exposition because 2011 overall was a fresh vintage. Medium body, medium+ acidity, rounded, main flavour is on orange, its flinty, there is gunpowder, off-sour tangy finish. Good wine with a solid fresh finish. Enjoyable Chablis premier cru. Scores 22/30 for a Chablis 1er Cru.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ladoix 2010, Domaine d'Ardhuy

I have often thought this domaine's name would work better as a whisky distiller... 14 year old Ardhuy Single Malt. In fact the Domaine d'Ardhuy has an impressive range of grands crus (6) and premiers crus (12) not to mention the villages appellations (14). On closer inspection these are lesser grands crus and lesser premiers crus, but it is an expansive domaine. Procured from Astor Wines, one of the larger wine merchants in the city of New York, this wine was a major disappointment. One does not expect a 5 year old white Burgundy to have the dark yellow nay orangey colour of a young Barsac. But so it is with this wine. Whilst the nose is interesting, starting on yeasty/leesy aromas then moving on to almonds, hay and finally cantaloupe (the dominant aroma) and dried mango; it is not in the pocket of typical white Burgundy. More like Hunter Valley semillon of the 1990s. The nose dies after 10 minutes on an unfortunate note of tinned sweetcorn. Vulgar stuff indeed. Imbibed, the immediate impression is of a cheap white port which combines dried pineapple and sherry. The texture is masculine, heavy and somehow combines surmaturite with a sour finish. Unlike Cinderella, this wine did not make it back home before midnight and is a monstrous mixture of pumpkin juice and sherry. This bottle is not off. It is simply a badly made wine. Scores 7/30 for a Ladoix. Why the poor showing? Likely harvested too late (acidity is sorely lacking). Terroir is probably not suited to chardonnay (vegetal flavours) and should be planted in pinot. Bad wine making. A village appellation from a good producer should not be dead at the age of five! Especially in a good vintage like 2010. Shocker.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Meursault "Les Tillets" 2013, Patrick Javillier

This lieu dit is relatively high up the slope on the Puligny side of Meursault and Patrick Javillier does a great job of capturing the terroir which is amply demonstrated if you compare this wine to the Clos du Cromin. Initial nose is fairly closed, but there is some apple and pear fruit. On the palate its a combination of citrus and apples. Good concentration. Medium+ body. A pleasant line of honey peppers the lips. Enjoyable greengage (reine-claude) flavour. It is long, rounded and good. Scores 23-25/30 for a Meursault. 

Meursault "Clos du Cromin" 2013, Patrick Javillier

This "Clos du Cromin" immediately had the Bourgoblog tasting team swooning in the cellar. The nose starts on white honey and marzipan. Yes! Then there is the trademark Javillier peach and apricot which retain their freshness on the palate. This is a rich and delicious Meursault with medium++ body and medium+ acidity. It is full and voluptuous as well as having tingling acidity and a lively finish. Stunning wine which reflects the deeper ferrous clay soil on the Volnay side of Meursault. Scores 26-27/30 for a Meursault. Here are tasting notes for the 2007 and 2009.

Meursault 2010, Patrick Javillier

What one looks for in a straight Meursault is typicity. Its fine for wine-makers to show their flair with the top three premiers crus but they need to err on the side of conservatism with their village wine. It should be benchmark. This 2010 Meursault is very good - but not a benchmark. Lovely ripe yellow fruit nose. Balanced, integrated on the palate combining white peach and minerality. Perhaps it misses a touch of hazelnut? Would a touch more new oak (dare I say it) add an extra dimension? Scores 22-24/30 for a Meursault. 

Bourgogne Blanc "Cuvée Oligocène" 2013, Patrick Javillier

Hopefully we all know the story by now, this patch of vines is right next to Meursault-Charmes but only merits the regional appellation. Result? Mindblowing value for money. Although I recently saw a bottle on the wine list at The Modern in New York and that was not such good value! Nevertheless, the sommelier should be congratulated on a phenomenal Burgundy selection replete with over a dozen wines from DRC. This 2013 Oligocène (it is wrong to refer to this wine by its appellation), is perfumed, floral, apricoty. Imbibed, it showers the drinker with the joys of pure pear fruit, white peach and a mineral finish. Here are tasting notes for the 2007, 2008 and 2010. This 2013 scores 27-29/30 for a Bourgogne blanc. 

Bourgogne Blanc "Les Forgets" 2013, Patrick Javillier

The Domaine Patrick Javillier always features in my annual pilgrimage to Puligny because the white wines are consistently excellent and I need them in my cellar. This entry-level Bourgogne blanc never fails to please. A full lemon flavour nose with a sniff of white pepper. There is citrus, a touch of pear and minerality on the palate. Very good. Scores 24/30 for a Bourgogne blanc. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Folatières" 2013, François Carillon

This is clearly a very fine wine indeed. Although it is only just showing its feathers as it unfurls after 12 months in 228 litre barrels and 6 months in cuves. A nose of lemon, orange and white flowers. There is finesse and beauty on the palate. Ballerina-like balance. Medium+ acidity and good ripe citrus fruit. Will be perfect with top notch fish like Dover sole or halibut from 2017 onwards. Scores 26/30 for a Puligny 1er Cru.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Champs Gain" 2013, François Carillon

High up on the golden slope, Champs Gain vines grow in a thin, stony soil with good drainage. Its a recipe for chisseled, fresh, mineral wines. There is lemon, grapefruit on the nose which is balanced out by ripe orange. Linear on the palate. Lovely ripe yellow fruits promise enjoyable drinking in 2 years time. Scores 23/30 for a Puligny 1er Cru.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Puligny-Montrachet 2013, François Carillon

This Puligny had been recently bottled and was still very closed on the nose. The wine is aged for 12 months in traditional oak barrels of which 10% are new. And then finished in larger cuves for a further 6 months. We tasted this wine and others at 9.30am in the recently renovated cellar of Domaine Francois Carillon in Puligny. On the palate its bright, linear, sharp, citrusy. Even grapefruit. There is limestone and ammonites in the glass. A bright and structured wine. Needs 3 years to fully express the underlying fruit. Could only be a Puligny. Scores 25-27/30 for a Puligny.

Chassagne-Montrachet 2013, François Carillon

Dare I say it, but François Carillon makes a Chassagne in the style of a Puligny. I have observed though that most top Puligny producers do not make any Meursault. Bizarre. So at least they are open minded enough to making Chassagne. This is a superbly fine wine. Lemony, fresh, cisselé. There is lemon and apple. Its mineral, linear, classy and bright. Tangy apricot finish... the only Chassagne trait in a Puligny-style wine. I am sure would be a nightmare in a blind-tasting. Scores 24-26/30 for a Chassagne.

Bourgogne Blanc 2013, François Carillon

Tasted under the humorous eyes of François Carillon at the domaine in Puligny. This Bourgogne blanc is a classic. Citrus nose, good fruit, lovely texture, excellent freshness. Needs another year to open up fully. Scores 26/30 for a Bourgogne blanc.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chablis 2012, Domaine William Fevre

Has Chablis had its day in the sun? It's no longer viewed as an aspirational wine. When was Chablis last mentioned in a novel? Did Sebastien Flyte enjoy it? That wastrel, blonde beauty and denizen of fine taste? Yes. Was Amory Blaine a Chablis afficionado? I imagine he was. But Christian Grey? This simple Chablis illustrates why it once flew high as an appellation. A nose of lemon, orange pith and green apple. Sea salt. A touch of Champagne wheat. Lovely medium-light body, citrus, characteristic chalk, limestone, minerality, freshness. Absolutely classic and wonderful complexity for a simple village appellation. A perfect Chablis and shows that well-known producers like William Fevre can be the absolute best. Scores 30/30 for a Chablis.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "La Dominode" 2013, Domaine Pavelot

The name of this lieu dit comes from the Latin "Dominus" meaning "master" and referring to the fact that the lord of the manor of Savigny owned the vineyard. It is an east-facing vineyard with a clay and sand soil. The initial nose is of black cherry, plum, nutmeg and cinnamon. Really good fruit from the mixture of old vines (45% are 80 years old), middle aged vines (32% are 40 years old) and young vines (23% are 10 years old). There is a lovely cylinder of pinot berry fruit. A touch of sweetness. The quality of the vineyard work and timing of the harvest really shows through. Good finesse. Scores 23-25/30 for a Savigny 1er Cru.

Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "Aux Gravains" 2013, Domaine Pavelot

This type of tasting is what gets people going about Burgundy, one domaine and seven premiers crus from one village, all of them distinct from each other but harvested from an area of no more than 80 hectares. Marvellous. This "Aux Gravains" is produced mostly from 80 year old vines and is from a lower slope terroir with a fairly thin soil marked by gravels. There is vanilla on the nose, its high toned, followed by loganberry, licorice root. Good depth, some plum, an odd lychen texture. Full, structured, perhaps a bit of tomato stalk. This wine is both good and confusing. Scores 19-23/30 for a Savigny 1er Cru. Photo shows M. Pavelot observing Jenson Buttonhurst.

Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "Aux Guettes" 2013, Domaine Pavelot

This appellation sits up on the hillside with a thin limestone soil and a full south exposition. The vines have an average of 35 years and the wine is typically aged 25% in new oak barrels. This Savigny 1er Cru has an immediately pleasing nose, there is oak, raspberry, strawberry and red currant. Likely to become spicy in a couple of years. Medium body, medium acidity, medium+ tannins. A structured finish. It needs 3 years to open up but it is very well designed and has everything needed to evolve very well. Scores 22-24/30 for a Savigny 1er Cru. 

Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "Les Peuillets" 2013, Domaine Pavelot

Plenty going on in this Savigny 1er Cru from "Les Peuillets" which sits at the southerly end of the appellation towards Beaune. Red cherry, red plum, laced with tannin. This Savigny 2013 has the structure one would expect from a wine in a deeper clay soil on the valley soil. There is a bit of green tea in there, some blood orange, shavings of star anise. A medium body, good balance, likely to evolve well. A fair amount of grip on the finish and aged in 15% new oak reflecting the overall structure of the wine. Good stuff. Scores 21-23/30 for a Savigny 1er Cru.

Savigny 2013, Domaine Pavelot

Another tasting at the domaine in Savigny, I confess this was an all round enjoyable tasting for the entire team, so much so that Arnaud "Blind Tasting Genius" Lerocks, double-paid for his wines due to his over-excitement about the quality. Domaine Pavelot is an esteemed producer of Savigny, a position which is reflected by the fact that they have seven different premiers crus. Our journey through the wines started with this village Savigny from 2013. A very good cherry nose, ripe berries continue, its fresh, there are good medium tannins, a balanced wine, good, well made, classique! Scores 22-24/30 for a Savigny.

Beaune 1er Cru "Clos du Roi" 2012, Domaine Rapet

Tasted at the domaine in late May, this Beaune kicks off with a carroty nose. Then there is good ripe berry fruit on the palate, hefty tannins bring into question the balance. Really not sure about the wine-making on this. Overall I would say that the tasting at Domaine Rapet was underwhelming. Despite the impressive roster of appellations -- both white and red -- the quality of the wines was variable and they all seemed to err on the side of austerity. This style may be popular with George Osborne but probably less so with people who like to live life to the full such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn who likes to get his gnashers into some fleshy Bâtard-Montrachet. Scores 13-16/30 for a Beaune 1er Cru.

Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru "Les Vergelesses" 2012, Domaine Rapet

As with other wines in this flight tasted at the domaine, it was tricky to discern what was on offer in the bottle. This red Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru had an initial celery nose which then woke up and switched colour code to red currants. A tad chewy on the palate, it is well-constructued but not really enjoyable... certainly no thrill factor. Perhaps 2012 was a tough vintage for wines from the lesser appellations? Scores 18-20/30 for a Pernand 1er Cru.