Monday, 30 April 2012

Pilgrimage to the Cote d'Or (part 1)

Le Clos de Magny, courtesy of Google's Street View
The wines of Domaine Jean-Yves Guyard are unlikely to grace the pages of 'fine wine' literature. When tourists visit the Cote d'Or, they are unlikely to cross the threshold of this domaine for a degustation. However, the wines, especially the reds, are light, fruity, and reassuringly Burgundian.

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) 
9:30 am is a little early for degustation but, when in Rome..! The 2010 Hautes-Cotes was light, bright with fresh, crunchy Pinot fruit. The Cotes de Nuits-Villages (this time the 2009) had more weight with lusher, darker fruit. Price-wise the wines are reasonable value but not when compared to a top producer's Bourgogne, such as Bize's Bourgogne at €11. See below for cellar door prices...

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

Burgundy (slight return)

Savigny-les-Beaune, 1er Cru Les Peuillets in the flesh
Slight return: a move partially back in an artistic direction that was abandoned or forgotten. 

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!