Sunday, March 23, 2008

Meursault 1er Cru "Les Charmes" 1985, Potinet-Ampeau

Potinet-Ampeau is a remarkable Meursault producer based in Monthélie. They pick early to preserve acidity, practice long low temperature fermentation and minimize bâtonnage (stirring the lees in the barrel with a stick) so the fermenting juice picks up more oak tannins from the barrel. The resulting wines age gracefully for decades and this 1985 Meursault-Charmes is a great example. The golden colour announced a bracken, vanilla and cinnamon nose which evolved over 20 minutes to white truffle and dried trompette mushroom. Just a hint of citrus left. Very smooth and integrated on the palate although dominated by dry savoury sensations rather than citrus fruit flavours. Rather like the 1971 Meursault-Charmes this wine required a long decanting period to open up. To my own amazement I wondered if the wine was a little too young! According to the Burgoblog scientific quality scale this qualifies as Not Bad At All. Tasted at the annual dinner of the Cambridge University Blind Wine Tasting Society in the calm before the storm.

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