This is a resoundingly delicious wine from Claude Dugat. From Lavaux-Saint-Jacques, the biggest of the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru vineyards at 9.53 hectares and situated immediately south of Clos Saint-Jacques, the wine is quite deeply coloured (for pinot noir) and opens to aromatics of blackcurrants, fruit and violets. The palate has fantastic length, with fresh acidity, tannins and great fruit. This wine can be approached now, but should evolve and improve with a decade in the cellar. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $300+. Website: na. Tasted: October 2018.
I’m yet to taste a poor Robert Chevillon wine. This is another outstanding one, this time from Nuits-Saint-Georges and the premier cru appellation of Les Cailles. Les Cailles is a 7.11 hectare plot and is directly north of Les Saint-Georges, the greatest climat in Nuits-Saint-Georges. It is said to be subtle, feminine and have softer fruit flavours. In the glass, the 2006 vintage of Chevillon’s Les Cailles, has rich aromas of blackcurrant. The palate is full bodied with hints of licorice, the finish long and the acidity towards high. This is a delicious wine that can be approached now, or safely cellared for a further decade. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $200+. Website: www.domainerobertchevillon.fr
If you are looking for more information on every Burgundy appellation, the Bourgogne Wines website is excellent. The link is here. Clos du Roi is one of the more commonly declared lieux-dits of Corton Grand Cru in the Côte de Beaune. And here’s an example with 25 years of age on it. From Domaine Thomas-Moillard, the wine has a light to medium colour, with tawny edges towards the rim. It opens to aromas of sweet fruit, game, licorice, tertiary tea leaves and old cedar. The palate is earthy, with high acidity and mid range length and is in a light style. This is certainly ready to drink and a tertiary expression of pinot noir that is enjoyable, but ultimately past its best. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: na. Website: na
Saint-Aubin is probably not the best known of the Burgundian appellations. It is in the Côte de Beaune and neighbours Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet. I was very pleased with this particular wine from Pierre-Yves Colin Morey and the 2010 vintage. It has refined and racy acidity and overtones of lemon and cashew. In its drinking prime, the only issue is navigating the great looking, but ultimately annoying wax sealed capsule. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $90. Website: na.
This is a very moreish Bourgogne from Pascal Marchand. From the highly regarded 2015 vintage, it is a good example of a Bourgogne rouge, if expensive. In the glass, it is faintly meaty, with raspberry notes. The palate is fleshy, medium bodied and with enough flavour and acidity to both resolutely signal Burgundy and interest. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $50s.
Deeply coloured, this is a refreshing Chiroubles Beaujolais from Georges Dubœuf. Fruity in impression, it has primary dark cherry aromatics. The palate is medium bodied, with medium length and presents in a fresh and youthful manner with chirpy acidity. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $24.
Les Caillerets is a 14.36 hectare vineyard that is among the most highly regarded in Volnay. And, right off the bat, it was my wine of the night. It opens to aromas of dark cherry, rosemary, anise and potpourri. The palate has towards high acidity (but not quite), great length – wonderful in fact – and a beguiling expression of cherries with some firmer tannins tucked away. Outstanding
Les Mitans is a 3.98 hectare vineyard closer to the Pommard end of Volnay and is reputed for sturdier wines. The 2005 vintage tasted here, an outstanding vintage, proved to have brooding aromas of dark cherry and licorice notes with an almost porty richness giving away its vintage. The palate is full bodied and rich, with good length and acidity in balance. Delicious and another outstanding wine. Outstanding
Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Frémiets 2005
Les Frémiets is a 7.40 hectare vineyard that is next to Pommard, making it particularly hard to identify as other than a Pommard. It’s another wine from the 2005 vintage, but presents quite differently to the Mitans. It has firm aromatics of cherry, iron and florals. The palate has great length, with notes of cherry and firmer tannins with time in the glass. Very Good
A strong producer and one of Pommard’s great vineyards (the 5.23 hectare Clos des Epeneaux) cloaked any likelihood that the vintage of this wine would be identified. This proved an utterly delicious wine, and should age and improve effortlessly for a decade or more. It has aromas of dark cherry, blackcurrant and leaf. The palate has firm acidity, flavours of black fruits and spice, together with particularly long length. Too young, but someone has to try them. Outstanding
Les Rugiens is a 12.66 hectare vineyard (aggregating Hauts and Bas) and is both highly regarded and close to the Volnay border. This proved another outstanding wine, with aromas of dark cherries, earth, iron and rosemary. The palate has reminders of florals and great length. The tannins are just starting to evolve. Outstanding
This wine from Les Preuses (some considerably longer musings from the region are here) first had to escape its cool serving temperature. Initial aromas of qumquat and orange rind gave way with time to a more classic expression of lemon, stones and sea shells. The palate has good length, hints of cedar and fresh, if not overly firm, acidity. Very Good
This is the first time I’ve tried a Main Ridge Estate wine, and I was frankly surprised (and absolutely delighted) at its close resemblance to a Pommard. It has aromas of blackcurrant and earth. The palate has long length and a cherry and earth character. This wine is unlike any other Mornington Peninsula pinot noir I’ve tried, and I’ve tried more than a few. Outstanding
In subscribing to various of the wine industry journals, there are trickles of updates to appellation rules in various countries. New appellations and subregions, mostly. My opinion, and it is just that, is that these new additions mostly present as plausible and helpful, but in practice, add to a weighty tome of worldwide wine regions and subregions. The impossibility of remembering them all, and the disinclination I suspect by most to even try to, I think may not help consumer understanding.
The latest is that we learn that a new appellation of “Bourgogne Côte d’Or” AOP has been reported as approved by the French authorities. It covers just the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, and has some stricter production rules around vine density and yields compared to regular Bourgogne AOP. It is also distinguished from Bourgogne AOP and Côteaux Bourguignons AOP (yes, that exists too) in that these wider appellations permit the “other” Burgundy grapes and extend south as far as Beaujolais. While well meaning, this new appellation fits the paradigm: it appears helpful, yet adds to that tome.