Saturday, 26 September 2009

Bourgogne Les Perrieres, Domaine Simon Bize, 2004

The domaine
The first time I tried this wine was in 2006 whilst visiting Savigny-les-Beaune. Unwittingly, we were eating at La Cuverie, a restaurant just over the road from the domaine itself, and not only was the wine a perfect match with the Charolais beef steak, but I was captivated by its bouquet. So, the next day we paid a visit to Domiane Simon Bize. Having been impressed with the range and quality of the wines, I bought a case of the Bourgogne "Les Perrieres" 2004 and a case of the Savigny-les-Beane "Les Bourgeots" 2002. What I didn't realise at the time, was that Patrick Bize is undoubtedly the best producer in Savigny-les-Beaune.

Here's what Berry Brothers have to say of the domaine and Patrick Bize (although I dispute the 'young' where described as 'one of the most talented young winemakers in Burgundy'!)...

Patrick Bize`s family have been in Savigny les Beaune since the 1880s - his great grandfather was the butcher and maintained some vines as well. Now they have 22 hectares of vines and their domaine is unquestionably the finest in the village. Patrick made his first wine at the domaine in 1974. "Old vines and low yields are what is important, otherwise there are no rules. We do what the vine demands", says Patrick who is one of the most talented young winemakers in Burgundy. Where he excels is in producing exceptional wines from vineyards traditionally not very highly regarded. His wines are firm, rich, and harmonious and unlike most wines from Savigny benefit substantially from ageing.

John Armit, of Armit, sums up the the man and his wines nicely...

Patrick Bize is one of the best winemakers in Burgundy. Were he working with a more well-known appellation he would have a reputation on a par with his friends Christophe Roumier, Jean-Marie Raveneau and Dominique Lafon. His wines have that rare quality that when you drink them you think they must cost twice as much.

Les Perrieres

Les Perrieres is located on the western hill overlooking the village of Savigny (just where the N and Y of Savigny are on the map). As the name suggests, Les Perrieres is a very stony vineyard, giving firm reds with lovely density, worthy of ageing. The whites are well-structured, dry and long with excellent minerality.The vineyard is split between Pinot Noir (half planted in 1971, the other half in 1974) and Chardonnay (planted in 1967 and 1968). Modestly, the label doesn't boast about such veilles vignes and yields are low at 30-40 hl/ ha each year.

The wine
As I have mentioned before, one of the joys of drinking wine is its capacity to evoke happy memories as well as titillate the senses. Each time I open a bottle of Les Perrieres, its captivating bouquet takes me back to that restaurant in Savigny. Moreover, if tasted blind, this wine could so easily be taken for a Premier Cru from a more lofty village. All of which is not bad for a wine that cost €8.75 a bottle! This is a wine I want to buy year in year out.
  • Appearance: Red brick, well developped with oeil de perdrix core
  • Nose: Instantly recognisable. Very expressive of terroir with spicy clove overtones & beetroot
  • Palette: Velvety & rich with gamey fruit.
  • Conclusion: Unbelievable! 2.5* 10/10!

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