This 2012 wine from Sylvie Esmonin presented somewhat atypically for a Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques, an appellation that I have taken a liking to, unfortunately. Its expression is very youthful and ripe, with overt cedar and sulphur characters. On the palate, it has intense fruit and good length. Overall, I think this wine will benefit from medium term cellaring for at least 5 to 8 years, rather than drinking now. Rating: Good. Abv: N/A. Price: N/A. Website: N/A. Reviewed: August 2019.
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.
So many notes, so little time. This was an outstanding tasting of a bracket of premier cru wines from Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges from the 2012 and 2013 vintages. The distinction between the 2012 and 2013 vintages seemed finer at this tasting (see my earlier vintage comparison here), with the better wines appearing to be from 2012, when frequently they were in fact from the more austere 2013 vintage and just an example of a very good producer or wine.
In terms of style, this was not a tasting where it was easy to point to particular characters that define the appellations. In theory, Gevrey is classically full and masculine, but a little fleshy. And in theory, Nuits-Saint-Georges can have richness, structure and minerally, gamey notes. On this tasting, these characters could be found across many of the wines, regardless of the appellation. If generalisations might be made, the Nuits-Saint-Georges were a little harder in terms of fruit profile and the highest peaks surpassable by the Gevreys.
Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Clos de la Maréchale 2014
First up, a white Nuits-Saint-Georges. Who knew? Well, there are only 7.3 hectares of chardonnay planted in the appellation (299 hectares are planted to pinot noir), and so it’s a slight surprise to see one in Australia. Clos de la Maréchale is a monopole of JF Mugnier. In the glass, there are cumquat and lemon aromatics. Fresh acidity, cashew and good length complete the palate. Good to Very Good
Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Vignes-Rondes 2013
Les Vignes-Rondes appears to be the Aux Vignerondes climat, which is at the northern end of Nuits-Saint-Georges nearer to Vosne-Romanée. In the glass, there are aromas of florals, rose, potpourri and a slight rawness of youth. The palate has firmish acid, mid range tannins and some licorice characters. Good to Very Good
Domaine de Bellene Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Aux Chaignots 2013
Aux Chaignots is literally next to Aux Vignerondes in the northern part of Nuits-Saint-Georges. And re-reading my notes, it is plain that these wines provide a similar impression. Aromas of rose, florals and cherries. There is towards high acidity on the palate with good length and a mineral streak. Very Good
Domaine Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint-Georges 2013
Les Saint-Georges is the greatest climate in Nuits-Saint-Georges and sits next to Premeax in the south of the appellation. This is a delicious Les Saint-Georges from Domaine Chevillon. It has complex aromas of rose, potpourri and cherries. The tannins are very firm and the length on the finish very long. Too young to drink now, this is nonetheless worth your interest. Very Good to Outstanding
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Pruliers 2013
Les Pruliers is closer to town, but still on the southern side of Nuits-Saint-Georges and is very well regarded. In the glass here, there are aromas of licorice, blackcurrant and soy. The palate has good length with licorice, mid range tannins and a bitter note. Good to Very Good
Domaine Arlaud Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Aux Combottes 2013
Aux Combottes sits on the border of Morey-St-Denis next to grand cru Latricières in Gevrey-Chambertin and Clos de la Roche in Morey-St-Denis. An almost grand cru, it is highly regarded. In the glass, there is a leafy impression, overlaid with some smoke characters. Whole bunch? The palate reminds of licorice, wood, cloves and is savoury with mid range tannins and good length. Good to Very Good
Domaine Jean Michel Guillon & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Champonnets 2013
Les Champonnets is a 3.32 hectare appellation next to the town. This wine has richer aromas of cherry. The palate has long length and expressions of cherries, minerals, bacon, licorice, firm tannins and very long length. An outstanding wine. Very Good to Outstanding
Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos Saint-Jacques 2012
Clos Saint-Jacques is a grand cru in all but name. This wine presented very well, aided by both appellation and vintage (the first of the 2012s). In the glass, aromas of butter and blackcurrant. The palate is soft with long length, licorice, cedar, fresh acidity and a mineral streak. Very Good to Outstanding
Albert Bichot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Lavaux-Saint-Jacques 2012
Lavaux-Saint-Jacques is next to Clos Saint-Jacques. It’s a very good wine. Aromas of rose, potpourri, cherry and mulberry. There’s a ripeness through the mid-palate of this wine (another 2012), long length and cherries, tannins and good structure and balance. Very Good
I attended this amazing tasting back in April. It was almost a case study in outstanding premier cru and grand cru red Burgundy with 15 or more years of age on the wines. Only two wines missed the mark – one due to cork taint, the other presenting as simplistic (for a grand cru) due to suspected heat damage. Whether new to the Burgundy maze or a veteran palate, I would actively recommend all of these wines. Here are my notes.
Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Ruchottes 2008
There are 51 Chassagne-Montrachet premier crus, and Les Ruchottes is among the better of them. The 2008 has aromas of lemon, minerals, nectarine and stone. The palate is full bodied, with good freshness and a long finish. Very Good to Outstanding
Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Perrières 2002
Les Perrières is a rocky and stony vineyard and one of Nuits-Saint-George’s 37 premier crus. 2002 was a good vintage and it shows in this wine. Aromas of sweet leather, truffles, mature earth and cherry. The palate has fresh racy acidity, long length and a cherry core. Delicious. Very Good to Outstanding
Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune Les Grèves Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus 2002
Les Grèves is a 31.33 hectare premier cru vineyard in Beaune and is well regarded. The 2002 “L’Enfant Jésus” has aromas of florals, potpourri and roses. The palate is slippery with fresh acidity and a certain softness through the palate. A tannic grip emerges with air, as do some cedar characters. Very Good
Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru 2001
Words do inadequate justice to this exquisite wine. Its siren call is strong. Dark cherry, blackcurrant and leather aromatics promise much. It is the palate though which truly astounds. Long length, delicate, light and shade with a lick of tannin. Burgundy at its finest. Outstanding with a plus
Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 1990
Clos Vougeot is 50.59 hectares in size and the largest grand cru in the Côte de Nuits with a somewhat varied reputation befitting its size. 1990 was a good vintage. In the glass, this wine has aromatics of blackcurrant, cherry and an austere iron like character. There’s long length on the palate with a hint of dryness at the finish. Very Good
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Chaignots 1998
Les Chaignots is a 5.86 hectare premier cru vineyard in Nuits-Saint-Georges. The 1998 is an elegant wine, with aromas of blackcurrant, and even hints of pepper. The palate has firm tannins and mid range length. Good
Domaine de Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2001
Clos des Lambrays is a grand cru vineyard in Morey-Saint-Denis. This is an impressive Clos de Lambrays, with aromas of cherry and spice, which continue on the palate supplemented by very long length. The tannins suggest this wine has some time to go yet. Happily, I have a second bottle. Very Good to Outstanding
Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
Mazis-Chambertin is a grand cru in Gevrey Chambertin and is 9.1 hectares in size. This is a delicious wine from the 2002 vintage, with aromas of blackcurrant, spice and strawberry. The palate gives a fuller bodied and ripe impression with long length on the finish. Very Good to Outstanding
Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 1988
Jancis describes this vintage as “tough and unusually backward” with the best requiring a 20 year wait. Well, here we are. It has aromas of cherry and a touch of animal (brett suspected). The palate has a metallic note, with mid range length, stoney characters and tannins that are resolved, but still there. Points for making it nearly three decades. Very Good
Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux Pommard 2006
A comparative baby in this set. Still youthful, it has aromatics of cherry, and a palate that is full bodied in impression, with big wood driven tannins. Needs time. Good to Very Good
The tasting finished with a delicious Alsace pinot gris from Domaine Zind Humbrecht with aromas of honey, currants and sultanas, and the palate medium sweet in impression. Unfortunately my photo proved particularly poor and does not yield the details of the vintage and label. If you are an expert label spotter (or better still were at the tasting!), please chime in and I’ll post it.
The next instalment of my wine trip is Beaune proper, which preceded a trip down the A6 to Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise. Beaune is a town where it appears difficult to eat and drink poorly. Starting with food, for lunch, I can recommend Le Comptoir des Tontons. The owners are colourful, and the food good. The accompanying Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru Les Vergelesses 2011 had sappy, cherry and anise aromatics, and an earthy, mid length and balanced palate.
For dinner, the Restaurant L’Ardoise in Beaune also proved to be very good with more modern overtones. Dinner was accompanied by Domaine Chanzy Rully En Rosey 2012 with aromatics of lemon and cashew and an elegant, mid length palate.
But now to some rather serious tastings of the portfolios of La Cave des Hautes Côtes/Nuiton Beaunoy, Domaine Roger Belland and Domaine Maillard Père & Fils. There is technique to tasting so many wines, and I found that it improved my ability to compare and contrast, rather than detracted from it, which was, more or less, the opposite of what I had expected. Or alternatively a happily ex-poste rationalisation of something I would have enjoyed anyway. Probably the latter.
The first bracket is from La Cave des Hautes Côtes / Nuiton Beaunoy, which proved a tasting of some breadth exploring up and down the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. I have added an asterisk next to the best wines of the tasting.
Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne 2014
Very bright lemon, lemon rind and yellow grape fruit aromatics. Medium to high acid, short to medium length, pleasant and lemon flavours. A bit unexciting. A
Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Au Meix Genets 2013
Some cashew and lemon the nose. Balanced, quite lemony, a touch of cedar on the palate. This reminded of the new style of Australian chardonnay, and I liked it. My Australian reference was meant as compliment but I suspect was not taken as such. G
Nuiront Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Millottes 2013
Mineral, stone, grapefruit and lemon nose. Palate that is mineral, reminds of grapefruit and has medium to high acid. Some tension, if overly nervous. A-G
*Nuiton Beaunoy Meursault 2012
Blossom, floral, lemon and some mineral aromatics. A palate with medium length, fuller through the palate, balanced acidity and some cashew. It was noted in passing that there is increasing diversity in the styles of Meursault, which I see no reason to disagree with. G
Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve 2013
Aromatics that are quite sappy, stalky with earth and plenty of twigs and fresh rosemary. The palate seems a bit sweet and sour, leaving a slightly bitter residue, with some cherry and earth reminders. A
Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 2013
From the same vineyard as the white, the aromatics remind of sap, smoke and green rosemary (again!) The palate reveals a lighter style, with cherry and twigs. A
Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Dames Huguettes 2013
Aromatics of cherry and a bit of earth. A palate with cherry, medium tannins and some bitterness. Same rating, but a bit better than the Côtes de Beaune. A
Nuiton Beaunoy Beaune 2012
Aromatics of cherry, earth, some smoke and brighter fruit. The acid seems high, with flavours of cherry, and short to medium length. A
*Nuiton Beaunoy Volnay 2012
This is a classier wine. Cherry, earth, smoke. Seems more integrated. A palate that is fuller bodied, with more flavour. Cherries predominant. I always seem to like the Volnays. G
Nuiton Beaunoy Gevrey-Chambertin 2012
More nuance on the nose, with aromatics of spice, cherry and blackcurrant. Seems finer. The palate also has some flavour and depth through it. Reminders of earth. Complexity seems to grow in the glass. G
Nuiton Beaunoy Nuits-Saint-George 2012
Aromatics of earth and spice. Fruit is there, but secondary to the undergrowth characters. Earth and spice on the palate, short to medium length. The acid doesn’t seem fully integrated. A
*Nuiton Beaunoy Morey-Saint-Denis Les Sionnières 2009
What is it about 2009? It’s clearly a strong vintage in Burgundy too. Integrated, black cherry and earth aromatics. Very attractive fruit. Between medium and long length. Flavours of cherry and earth. Great integration. VG
*Nuiton Beaunoy Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos du Chapitre 2011
This is from a monopole of 9 hectares. It immediately has more integrated aromatics of black cherry, earth and blackcurrant leaf aromatics. Between medium and long length. More integrated and harmonious than the preceding wines. Black cherry evident. G-VG
Nuiton Beaunoy Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Les Chaffots 2008
Aromatics of sulphur. The palate showed stalky raw tannins, less sulphur and good fruit. I can’t ignore that terrible aroma though. A–G, G if you like sulphur aromatics (my experience is that it only worries some), A if you don’t.
Nuiton Beaunoy Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2008
Some spicey aromatics. Silky palate, with medium length and earth and cherry flavours. G
*Nuiton Beaunoy Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2009
Aromatics of spice, blackcurrant and earth. Complex. Medium to long length, balanced acid, stone, spice, blackcurrant. Complex. This is self-evidently a good wine, and the wine of the set. VG-O
The second tasting is a series of new releases from Domaine Roger Belland. This is a very serious producer, and the average quality proved to be very high. As a general comment though I should note that I felt the acidity uniformly higher in all of this producer’s wines. Whether this is by design, or just an impression on the morning of this tasting, I am not sure. Either way, this is the sort of tasting that I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to undertake. I have not put an asterisk next to any particular wine, as almost all of them are recommended.
Domaine Roger Belland Santenay Comme-Dessus 2013
Aromatics of buttery cedar, yellow nectarine, spice and lemon. Palate with medium to high acid and lemon. The acid seemed a bit separate. A-G
Domaine Roger Belland Santenay-Beauregard Premier Cru 2013
A step up. More integrated aromatics, supplemented by lemon and butter. The palate has medium to high acid, reminder of lemon and is balanced. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot-Clos Pitois Premier Cru 2013
Aromatics of cedar, lemon butter, hints of cashew. Integrated. Medium to high acid, medium to long length. This is a delicate wine and quite long. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs-Gains Premier Cru 2013
Fine bones, with mineral and lemon aromatics. The palate has medium to high acid, butter, medium length and is elegant. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Meursault Santenots Premier Cru 2013
Aromatics of cashew, nuts and lemon. The palate has medium to high acid, medium to long length and similar flavours. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013
Aromatics that are fine boned. Cashew, cedar and alluring. The palate has medium to high acid, medium to long length and flavours reminding of lemon butter and minerals. An excellent release. VG
Domaine Roger Belland Santenay Charmes 2013
Aromatics of plum and ripe red juicy strawberries that are quite attractive. Some secondary rosemary. Palate with medium to high acid, cherry and slight bubblegum character. Still good though. G
Domaine Roger Belland Santenay-Gravières Premier Cru 2013
More integrated aromatics, with strawberry, raspberry and cherry. The usual medium to high acid for this estate, with medium length and similar characters as the nose. Balanced and fine boned wine. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot-Pitois Premier Cru 2013
A first (for me) Chassagne-Montrachet red. The correction not to pronounce the “t’ in Montrachet remains in my head. Aromatics of plum, strawberry and raspberry. Estate acid profile, medium length, a bit fuller through the palate, with more plum and red fruits. More please. G-VG
Domaine Roger Belland Pommard Les Cras 2013
Aromatics of plum and spice. Estate acid profile, medium to long length and quite noticeable tannins. G
Domaine Roger Belland Volnay Santenots Premier Cru 2013
80% of this is not destemmed, but you wouldn’t know it. There are no bitter twiggy notes here. Aromatics of strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Between medium and high acid and medium length. G-VG
The third bracket is from Domaine Maillard Père & Fils, which I shall carry over to another post, as this post is already rather long. To conclude, I can recommend the accommodation at the Hotel les Remparts in central Beaune. It is situated within a beautiful 16th century building, and has a rather stunning breakfast courtyard. Some echoes of Fawlty Towers perhaps, but I liked it all the more for the thought.
I thought this was a pretty good négociant village Gevrey-Chambertin from the 2009 vintage. The wine’s a medium intensity ruby in colour, bright in the glass, and with tears evident. Its aromatics are of medium intensity and developing aromas of tobacco, clove, plum, charred wood, a little bit of volatile acidity (varnish) and even some rubber. The palate is dry with balanced acid, soft tannins, medium body and flavours of tobacco, clove, plum and wood. It’s a good quality wine due to its balance and the complexity of flavours on offer of tobacco, clove, plum and charred wood, which together gave the wine a savoury note, and some typicity reminding of the Côte de Nuits. Overall, this is pretty good value for the price and ready to drink now. Good
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