Three blind man came together last Saturday to finish tasting eight orgasmic Burgundies sent from the UK warehouse.
Louis Jadot Beaune-Theurons 1er Cru 2009 gives an aromatic bouquet, full body, ample structure, generous fruit flavours and delicacy. Distinctively 'menthol' with warmer red fruit, this wine shows lot of characteristic from the 2009 vintage-lots of punch, structure balance and softness. Long finish. In Chinese, we say ‘bones and flesh in right proportion. That aptly describes this wine. Technicals are: vat fermentation, only 12-month ageing in used oak; from four parcels descending the slope above the city of Beaune, which divide the northern Premiers Crus from the southern ones. This Beane-Therons is generally considered to be a quintessential Premier Cru, one of the dozen or so finest in the commune. Allen Medows Wrote, ‘Here the wood treatment is a bit more discreet if not invisible as it better allows the aromas of spice, earth, black currant and menthol nuances to be perceived. There is really lovely detail and plenty of punch to the fleshy medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by a compact tannic spine on the well-balanced and attractively persistent backend. This is worth considering if you have moderate patience as it will need a few years to unwind and harmonize. Score - 90-92. (Allen Meadows, burghound.com, April 15, 2014)
Albert Bichot Clos Frantin Clos-de-Vougeot Grand Cru 2013 is a brooding wine with exceptionally earthy nose, which reluctantly displays the aromas of red pinot fruit and crushed plums though. Menthol, bite of tea leafs. Layered and robust. With lots of potential,this wine is certain to improve 20 years down the road. The rich, full-bodied and overtly muscular flavors possess outstanding size and weight before culminating in an extract-rich finish. Technicals are: 10000 vines per hectare; maceration of 3 to 4 weeks; thinning of the leaves always, trellising, disbudding; guyot trained, oak barrel-aged for two year in the estate's cellars (60% new oak). So this is a wine where the tannins are buried yet quite tactile. Albert Bichot owns four estates set at the heart of four great viticultural regions that make up Burgundy; Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune and Cote Chalonaise, but the jewel in the crown is this Domaine du Frantin in the Cote du Nuits. The Domaine du Frantin owns 13 hectares in some of the finest appellations including an unsurpassed selection of Grand Crus.
Drouhin Laroze Gevrey-Chambertin 2013.Charming nose with air filled with baskets of fresh red berry fruits and spice. The palate is seductive yet fresh, with silky tannins and a certain weight on the finish. Technicals are: Hand harvested; 100% de-stemmed; fermented in vat using yeasts at up to 31C!,; regular pumping over and pigeage; aged in 1 year old French oak for 18 months on the fine lees(hence!). It would seem that ‘taste’and ‘aftertaste’ is what this wine is about. Manning 12 hectares altogether, a half of which are Grand Crus, Drouhin Laroze is more interesting to me now as it is not another dull Gervey Chambertin since its wines are getting more interesting than before. Thirteen different wines are made here and the emphasis is towards rich, bright fruit and a certain prettiness. My favourite wine sometimes.
Taupenot Merme Chambolle-Musigny 2013.
Sturdy style. If you are after the silkier version of Chambolle Musigny, forget this. All grapes are de-stemmed, with 25% new oak used. Serious and thoughtful wine making, with 7 generations of experience under the belt. You are not drinking an AOC; you taste a Grand Cru worthy of each penny spent. This is made and treated a la style Grand Cru.
Duroche Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois 2014.
Even as an entry level wine, this Duroche Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois 2014 always a sense of energy and fine delineation of the much more mineral-inflected medium weight flavors that are even more concentrated, all wrapped in a saline, balanced and well-balanced finish, Umm, semblances elements of Armand Rousseau. Perfumed with lots of wild berry fruit but also nice animal nuances, this wine gives great concentration and tight structure as an entry level wine. Literally translatable as ‘the Young Kings’, Les Jeunes Rois(only 1/3 Hectare!!) is on the lower slope of the great St Jacques and Bronchon. Technicals are: Vines over 60-year old; all the grapes destemmed; natural yeasts used during the fermentation, which usually takes 10 to 12 days; 28C fermentation; Cadus cooperage plus some Cavin and Billon used; aging is done in barrels of which 15 to 20%. Wine Maker Pierre Duroch learns from Chateau La Gardine, wineries in Australia, California and Spain. This wine has only a tiny-tiny bit of sulphur. Remontage and pigeage are done. Cadus is the main cooperage plus some Cavin and Billon. ABV is kept well at 13.5%, given the making. As you may agree, this wine is made a la style of the Grand Cru wine maker has on hand, according to his extensive Gevrey-Chambertin experieirnce, including three Village wines, four Premiere Crus (Champeaux, Cazetieres, Estournelles st-Jacques and Lavaux st-Jacques) and four Grand Crus (Charmes Chambertin; latricieres Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Beze and a tiny holding in Griotte Chambertin.The domain’s holdings amount to a total of 8.25 ha.
Fontaine-Gagnard Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2010.
A tight and serious nose tinged with tropical fruit and a whiff of smoke, the palate shows its weight and structure without being overbearing, lovely and fresh with perfect poise. Can we really write about the taste of Batard Montrachet? We tried just now; we give up now. On 2010 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard B?tard-Montrachet Grand Cru (96RP, 95BH, 93ST), Robert Parker's Wine Advocate writes, "The 2010 Batard-Montrachet is stunningly beautiful. It covers every inch of the palate with layers of intensely perfumed fruit. Despite its considerable richness, the Batard remains surprisingly delicate and medium in body, although I suspect it will put on weight in the bottle. There is so much to admire here, but the wine shuts down quickly in the glass, and I fear the same may happen in bottle. Readers will have to be patient here. In my view, the Batard is the most complete of the domaine’s grand crus. It combines aromatics, fruit and structure in a marvelously harmonious expression of this great vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2015+. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at Fontaine-Gagnard. The 2010s are rich, deep and racy, but also show tremendous transparency with regards to site and have a little more polish than is customary." With holdings of a third of a hectare, Fontaine-Gagnard has a considerable proportion of this tiny-tiny Grand Cru.
Marc Colin & Fils Saint-Aubin La Fontenotte 2014.
Eventually on a less serious but as respected daily wine. This Saint-Aubin Village is very clean, bright and offers great texture, with purity and restrained intensity without an ounce of excess flesh. Almost Chablisienne in its linearity, this is set to be a true crowd pleaser and was a hit with everyone tasting. On good calcaire soil, vines are over 30-year old, vineyard is South-east exposed; lutte raisonée; vine- training is simple guyot, manuel harvesting, cool fermentation in vat, 10-month oak light filtrated before bottling.
William Fevre Chablis 2014.
No Chablis fans should leave this wine out, when talking about Chablis. Combining lovely fruitiness with an attractive freshness and characteristic minerality, Chablis is a wine region with global renown. Domaine William Fevre’s vineyards sit on Kimmeridgian subsoil and enjoy ideal exposures for the production of a very fine wine. Very elegant bouquet, developing citrus, white-fleshed fruit and floral notes. Fresh and supple, the wine is marked by mineral notes that are typical of the appellation. We cant possible writ e well for Chablis from William Ferve? One of the most respected maker and specialist on Chablis. This is almost self-explanatory with this kind of track record. William Fevre managers 6 Chablis grand cru; 7 Chablis premier Cru, 1 Chablis, 1 Petit Chablis, 1 very interesting San Bris.