Sunday, 6 May 2012
Nose: eucalyptus, cloves & creamy oak
Palette: needed two hours open up. Initially beet root & herbs, with fully integrated tannins and not much sign of age. The highlight is a bright acidity that perpetuates a long, taught finish of balsamic & strawberries with a little dry tannin at the end.
Conclusion: despite 11 years of age this is still in the full flush of youth. However, I expected more given the appellation and bottle age. 3* 6/10
Saturday, 5 May 2012
This is easily the best looking wine I have ever seen! Normally, it's the taste of a wine that is captivating. This Barbaresco was different. It had the most beguiling colour, with the brightness and clarity of a diamond and the depth and translucent crimson of a ruby. Initially, the palette was closed by the tannins, but after an hour it had blossomed into a truly remarkable wine. 4* 9/10
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Having visited the Cote d'Or many times, I have learnt the hard way that villages such as Gevery-Chambertin and Puligny-Montrachet can be an expensive lottery, where high expectations are often dashed at great expense! Like its geographical location, tucked away behind Beaune, Savigny's wines are a relative backwater that sit in the shade of other more illustrious names.
However, do not mistake modesty for poor quality. There are other villages in the Cote d'Or that are more famous and make more prestigious, more expensive wines; but to my mind there is no village other than Savigny-les-Beaune that provides such consistently good wines at prices that represent such value for money.
Savigny is also home of one of the best domaines in the whole Cote d'Or, Domaine Simon Bize, whose door and wines I return to time and time again (see earlier blog entries). So, before stopping for lunch at la Cuverie restaurant (where I first encountered Monsieur Bize's wines in 2006) there was just enough time to sneak in a quick degustation.
|The Domaine Simon Bize range|
I cannot recommend this wine highly enough. It is easily as good as, if not better than most producer's village or premier cru wine. Moreover, the wine is made from old vines planted in 1971 and 1974 and are over 40 years old! The vineyard itself is on a hill over looking the village of Savigny-les-Beaune.
|Les Perrieres, over looking Savigny-les-Beaune|
The 2009 Aux Vergelesses is likely to have a short initial drinking window as Mme Bize mentioned that in a hot vintage like 2009 and 2005 this wine tends to close down after two years, before reopening anything up to fifteen years later. I found it a well rounded wine with soft, black fruit and nervy mineral tension. Very good indeed! (4* 8/ 10).
Monday, 30 April 2012
|Le Clos de Magny, courtesy of Google's Street View|
Having tasted their 2010 Cotes de Nuits-Villages the night before at dinner, the next morning I made straight for Domaine Jean-Yves Guyard in Villers-la-Faye. The domaine has only 7 hectares in both the Hautes-Cotes de Nuits and the Cote de Nuits-Villages. The latter comes entirely from le Clos de Magny, a climat in the relatively unknown village of Corgolin at the very southern tip of the Cote de Nuits.
|Le Clos de Magny (on the road to the Hautes-Cotes)|
Bourgogne Aligote 2009 €5.50
Hautes-Cotes de Nuits 2010 €8.00
Cote de Nuits-villages 2009 €11.00
Back in the UK, the Cote de Nuits-Villages tasted even better. I never thought I'd say this but much of the improvement was down to glassware. A larger glass aerated the wine better, releasing more flavours on the nose and in the palette. My (brief) tasting note is below.
Cote de Nuits-Villages, Jean-Yves Guyard, 2009
Appearance: bright & clear
Nose: light vanilla
Palette: round & fruity, cherry & cloves with some toasty oak, sweet recurrants & strawberries on finish.
Conclusion: A decent & easily enjoyable wine that shows the fullness of the vintage 2* 7/ 10
Monday, 23 April 2012
|Savigny-les-Beaune, 1er Cru Les Peuillets in the flesh|
Despite taking up a large part of both my cellar and blog, Burgundy has been neglected recently. A recent rip to France and Bill Nanson's brilliant book, The Finest Wines of Burgundy, have conspired to reignite my passion for Burgundy and its wine.
Stopping off in the region on the way to and back from skiing, offered the chance to see the vineyards, meet the winemakers, and taste the wines. Burgundy is the very essence of terroir. Nowhere else, except possibly Barolo, is the link between vineyard and taste more acute. While the delineation of vineyards into hundreds of individual plots, each with their own terroir, can make Burgundy confusing, it is also what makes it the most fascinating wine region in the world. Where else can you find such a range of flavours from only two grapes, pinot noir and chardonnay?
Having spent years pouring over maps, trying to locate each wine's vineyard in maps, it is always inspiring to see them 'in the flesh'. So, having spent time in the Hautes Cotes de Nuits and Savigny-les-Beaune and tasted a variety of wines, Burgundy is back!