Sunday, June 16, 2013
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Tasted at the celebration of the birth of Dan's daughter Imogen this wonderful event happily coincided with the 1,000th tasting note on Burgoblog. We opened this bottle and decanted it 1 hour before tasting... not after a lot of debate about whether decanting was required. Citrus nose was there immediately but started fairly soft. Meyer lemon, lemon thyme, mint, basil, a hint of pineapple, multiple layers, marzipan. Fragrant as well as fruity with ionone style aromas such as hyacinth and rose. Definitely made in a feminine style in a vintage which could have had more power. Retains excellent fresh citrus and pear fruit on the palate, concentrated without being overpowering, complex, broad, fine with a long lingering finish. This is a fine and elegant Montrachet which contrasts with some of the 'power and glory' styles. Misses a little bit of 'luxe' but overall a splendid grand cru worthy of the great appellation. Scores 27 / 30 for a Montrachet. Photo shows the bottle with the generous and mysterious donor concealed behind the glass.
Labels: Montrachet et al
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Domaine Prieuré Roch is an 11 hectare domaine located in the middle of the Côte de Nuits. We raided Albert Lee's cellar in San Mateo and took this bottle to a dinner at two Michelin star restaurant Saison in San Francisco. Whilst the wine turned out to be a triumph it was not necessarily the smartest choice to accompany 10 fish courses... We asked for this pinot to be poured straight from the bottle and not decanted so we could enjoy the ethereal aromas of the fragrant 2000 vintage. The wine was unfiltered and clouded the glass with suspended organic matter. Immediately on opening this grand cru burst into life with a beautiful nose of raspberry, sweet anise, orange, flowers and rosemary. Good fruit concentration from low yields sustained this aroma for a good hour. A beguiling nose. Perfectly integrated on the palate, the lithesome 2000 structure combined with excellent balance to produce a wine with a velvety texture and wonderful freshness. A sonnet of a wine. Scores 26 / 30 for a Clos de Bèze grand cru.
Monday, May 13, 2013
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.
Labels: 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.