Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Burgundy Thoughts, Episode 42

I recently had the distinct pleasure of participating in the Wine & Spirits Burgundy tasting panel. There were several days, each with more than one session of tasting. I participated in two of them. In one session we tasted Meursault, 21 wines from the 2007 vintage. There were also some reds from the Côte de Beaune during that session, but really it was about 2007 Meursault. In another session we tasted 40 red wines from the 2006 and 2007 vintages, all from the Côte de Nuits.

I love the Wine & Spirits tasting format. Wines are served blind - you know it is a 2007 Meursault, or perhaps a 2007 Meursault 1er Cru, but that's it. You taste in flights of anywhere from 2 to 7 wines, make notes on your own, and then discuss with the panel. I learn so much from these things, I cannot even tell you.

Here are some of the things I learned about Meursault in 2007:

--Surprise, surprise...I like Pierre Morey's wines. I also like Thierry et Pascal Matrot's wines. Domaine Leflaive's too. And I learned that I like the old school, piercing and earthy Meursault of Domaine Faiveley, in 2007 at least.

--These wines are not easy to taste. 2007 was a classic (read - normal) vintage in Burgundy, and the acid levels are high. My teeth and gums, my whole mouth really, was a stripped down bloody mess after this tasting. Okay, no blood, but you get my point.

--I tasted all of the Pierre Morey 2007's out of barrels in December of 2008. They were utterly gorgeous. In the bottle they are not as lovely. Not yet, at least. I also found this to be true in early May when the Wilson Daniels tasting roadshow stopped in New York. Pierre Morey poured his wines and I was shocked at how difficult they were, unruly in their acidity, their gawkiness of fruit, their total lack of serenity. I have no doubt whatsoever that these wines will be completely beautiful given time and proper cellaring. But this was a valuable lesson for me in the difference between tasting from a barrel, and tasting the same young wine from a bottle.

Here are some of the things I learned about the Côte de Nuits in 2006 and 2007:

--The wines of Bouchard Pere et Fils, Drouin, Louis Jadot, Laboure-Roi, and Louis Latour are not the wines that make me love red Burgundy so deeply. I was worried because there honestly was only one wine in the entire tasting that I found to be remarkable, and only a few that I really liked. But when the wines were unveiled, there was no Fourrier, no Mugneret-Gibourg, nothing remotely like that. Basically all big négoce houses. Nothing wrong with that, but that part of Burgundy not what captivates me, and a blind tasting bore this out.

--We tasted 10 wines from Nuits St. Georges, 4 from Chambolle-Musigny, 4 from Vosne-Romanée, 16 from Gevrey-Chambertin, 3 from Clos de Vougeot, 2 Bonnes Mares, a Chapelle-Chambertin and a Chambertin Clos de Beze. It was enlightening and so gratifying to see the differences between these amazing terroirs. Even though we're talking about big négoce houses, there were distinct differences in the general character of the wines from Nuits St. Georges and Vosne-Romanée, for example. And the three Clos Vougeot wines all had a certain potent muskiness that united them. Even the big houses in Burgundy makes wines of terroir, I guess.

--The 2006 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares is a beautiful wine, with characteristic umami notes, great depth, and layers of deeply pitched and classy mineral-infused fruit. The palate is a bit backward, but the materials are all there, and there is great structure. At about $180, there are other wines I might buy instead of this one, but I would leap at the chance to drink this wine again.

1 comment:

Vinotas said...

I am really digging 2006 reds so far, there is a purity of fruit and a precision in the wines that is just beguiling. Of course, this depends on producer (I am talking Fourrier, Raphet and Bachelet, for example).

I really need to taste some 2007s!