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Notes from the 2011 Burgundy Tasting

One of the most fulfilling things about operating a retail wine shop is the passion our customers share with us. We received this lovely communication from our friend, Robert Lauer, the day after our 2011 Burgundy tasting. We hope you’ll find it as much a pleasure to read as we did.

My goodness, what incredible exposure to the varied communes and lieu-dit’s. I’ve spent the entire evening following the tasting and this morning pouring over maps in a feeble attempt to trace out the insane complexity that is Burgundy. The hardest part to crafting expressionistic Pinot is getting the tannic structure to balance the aromas. Certainly makes me jealous to experience the gritty, mineral laden tannins; the likes of which, sadly, California may never produce. These are the sources of inspiration, however, and the fledgling CA industry may still surprise.

I must remember to bring apples along to these events to reset. Although, I’ve been extremely impressed with how Champagne has the capacity to refresh a worn palette.  I used the St. Aubin at the tasting for this same purpose. Minty, herbal aromas followed by a subdued, acid laced, white nectarine wash of delicate flavor seemed to slick things back to zero. Extremely helpful since I started along Table 3 where the gravely tannins were a hallmark to the Clos des Mouches, Clos Rousseau, Comte Armand Volnay, and Clos des Langres. Perhaps it’s my preference too, as I didn’t find myself as attracted to the density and richness to the Macon or Meursault. That being said, the Le Poruzot Dessus showed a textured mid palette with a nice burst of acidity to keep the finish lingering.

It was impressive to see the range of Domaine des Tilleuls approachability. The Cote de Nuits with its bacon wrapped dates followed by the lovely Fixin; aromas of coffee with great acidity, just begging to be alongside a summer meal. These two wines showed how important it is for a producer to lure in the clientele with approachability and then dazzle them with something that should clearly be a show stopper 10 years down the road. The Chapelle-Chambertin showed incredible density of fruit with such graceful subtlety to the tannic structure. That will be a pleasure to see unwind.

Other stand outs were from Domaine Jean-Marc Millot. The dirty, earthy ruggedness of the Savigny Les Beaune was beautifully juxtaposed by the charmingly elegant Echezeaux; lovely floral aromas with a seamlessness from front to finish.

The Clos Napoleon from Domaine Pierre Gelin showed immense charm. Feminine in every sense of the word and I wish I could get aromas like those into the wines I’ve made.

As for favorites I found my self torn in three. Between Domaine Jean Grivot’s obnoxiously pretty Les Charmois and Domaine Dominique Mugneret’s stunning Nuit-St. Georges and hauntingly complex Echezeaux, I found myself wondering how much better wine could get. Hilarious because of the 36 wines I exhausted myself scrutinizing over, I barely tipped the iceberg.

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Posted on 2014.04.03 in France, Burgundy, News & Events


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