A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Featured Wine Commentary

Similar Articles:

  1. GAMBAL-WORK WINERY
  2. 2018 HILLSIDE HOUSE SUNSET SOIRÉE WITH JIM CLENDENEN OF AU BON CLIMAT
  3. IS IT ROSÉ TIME?
  4. DOMAINE BALLOT-MILLOT – HISTORY, OLDER WINES & THE 2015 VINTAGE, AND TASTING NOTES ON THE 2015S
  5. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  6. A VISIT TO TYLER WINERY
  7. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2014
  8. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD AND QUINTA CRUZ
  9. RIDGE VINEYARDS & THE DROUGHT YEARS 2012-2015
  10. BONNY DOON VINEYARD: A PIONEER PRODUCER WHERE OLD IS NEW
  11. VISIT TO CALERA & NEW AND OLD WINES
  12. DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS
  13. TYLER WINERY
  14. MARIETTA CELLARS
  15. CHANIN WINE COMPANY & LUTUM WINES
  16. MASSICAN WINERY
  17. DOMAINE BALLOT MILLOT
  18. DOMAINE SAUMAIZE-MICHELIN
  19. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2013
  20. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  21. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  22. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  23. RIDGE VINEYARDS AND TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  24. TYLER WINERY AND CHANIN WINE COMPANY
  25. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2012
  26. WORLD CLASS CENTRAL COAST WINERIES: New Releases From Calera, Domaine Eden, Mount Eden Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, and Tablas Creek Vineyard
  27. BERNARD PORTET’S NEW WINEMAKING PROJECT, HERITANCE
  28. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  29. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  30. TYLER WINERY
  31. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2011
  32. DOMAINE DONATSCH
  33. THE COMPLETE(R) STORY
  34. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD & QUINTA CRUZ: TWO IN ONE
  35. THE BIG KAHUNA LINE UP
  36. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  37. AU BON CLIMAT & QUPÉ
  38. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN
  39. MOSEL VERSUS MONTRACHET
  40. JOSEPH SWAN: A CALIFORNIA WINE LEGEND
  41. SUMMERTIME IS ROSÉ TIME!
  42. IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE: A TRADE TASTING AND MORE
  43. SPRING HAS SPRUNG
  44. THE MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS OF NAPA VALLEY & THREE PIONEER PRODUCERS
  45. STILL DON'T KNOW JURA? YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!
  46. THREE CRU CLASSÉ LADIES OF THE COTES DE PROVENCE
  47. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2010
  48. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  49. KUDOS FOR CALERA
  50. THE HOLY TRINITY OF WINERIES
  51. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN -- SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW
  52. RIDGE VINEYARDS - UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY
  53. The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine Line-Ups -- Which Ones Went To The Drinking Round And Which Ones Went Down The Drain?
  54. A Pair To Draw From – Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz
  55. T FOR TWO – TABLAS CREEK AND TYLER TOO!
  56. Que Syrah, Syrah…Wherefore Art Thou?
  57. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2009
  58. Is “Sanity” Returning To The Market?
  59. Under The Radar California Wines
  60. More 2009 Wines
  61. A Tale of Two California Wineries – One New, One Old
  62. There Was A Legacy
  63. Surprising New Wines from Old-World Spain
  64. 2009 Beaujolais
  65. Lemmings to the Sea?
  66. 2009 Rosé
  67. Dom Pérignon in the Napa Valley
  68. A Burgundy Story
  69. A Vineyard 29 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective Tasting
  70. Champagne or No?
  71. A Visit With Robert Lawrence Balzer -- Grand Ambassador of American Wine Culture
  72. Champagne -- The Wine of Kings

ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2010

John Tilson • 12/27/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

Burgundy 2010 RSV abbey

Ruins of the Abbey of Saint Vivant under restoration

INTRODUCTION

I previously published a brief note on the 2010 vintage as compared with the 2009 vintage. As I said then, the two vintages are completely different. (To read that article click here.)

Below is the table of contents (click on each item to read) for my Along The Burgundy Trail Report from last year. (To read the entire article click here)

Like all vintages in Burgundy, 2010 was different. But, for me, this time it was very different. And, in the sense of the outstanding quality, it was quite a surprise. By the time of my visit this year it was almost exactly 1 year from the date of the DRC 2010 Harvest Report. (To read the 2010 DRC Harvest Report fromOctober 13, 2010 just after the harvest was completed click here.) In this period of time there had been a very positive evolution of the wines. Like all vintages in Burgundy, 2010 was different. But, for me, this time it was very different. And, in the sense of the outstanding quality, it was a big surprise. After tasting the wines, this led me to call the 2010 vintage the vintage of Yin and Yang. The reason is simple. The best wines have a great purity, freshness, and concentration with silky tannins and bright crisp fruit. It is this combination of fruit, flavor, and bright crispness that kicks in on the finish that gives them a decided Yin and Yang quality. For me this is an extraordinary quality. In a 30 year period of tasting wines from barrel in Burgundy it is something unique and very special. And, to have 2 such remarkable vintages back to back that are so completely different is really special. The 2009s are rich, full, and lush, but with the structure to age a very long time. The 2010s are very pure, brimming with fresh fruit and with a bright crispness and should also age a very long time. For 2009 and 2010, it looks like a WIN/WIN to me! In this report I will concentrate on 2010 Red Burgundies tasted from barrel.There are also notes on 2009s from bottle and a few older wines. Also, notes on some whites. Once again, the visits are mostly with with the producers that I believe are making some of the best wines in Burgundy. Most of these are ones with which I have a history of visiting and tasting from barrel for some 30 years.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

NOTE: There are 2 items reprinted from last year. If you are new to Burgundy or just need a refresher, I recommend you read A Simple Explanation of Burgundy. If you would like to know how all Burgundy is tasted and evaluated from barrel, I recommend you read How Burgundy Is Tasted And Evaluated From Barrel.

2010 RED AND WHITE BURGUNDIES FROM BARREL AND 2009 AND 2008 RED AND WHITE BURGUNDIES FROM BOTTLE

COTE DE NUITS

clos vougeot

Chateau du Clos de Vougeot


 

 

 

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY

Chambolle sign 2 2011 189

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue

This domaine was established in 1450 by Jean Moisson. In 1766, a descendant of Moisson married a Vogue and it has been in the same family every since. Georges died in 1986 and the current winemaker, Francois Millet, arrived the same year. Jean-Luc Pepin is the estate manager and Eric Bourgogne is in charge of the vineyards. After a lapse in the 70s and 80s, the estate has been consistently producing gorgeous wines. The domaine owns about 80% (16 acres) of the great Musigny vineyard. The average age of the vines is 40 years and the old vine sections are labeled Vieilles Vignes. The harvest from younger vines goes into the Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru.

Burgundy 2011 102

Francois Millet is very pleased with the 2010s here. The vintage started very late and the winemaking process was slow. The resulting wines he finds very pure and refined. Yields here in 2010 were very low and down 30-50% from the average yields of 2009. There is no vintage to which Francois can compare the 2010s. They are very different and a vintage he likes very much.

For me, these are simply gorgeous wines.

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny.
This is a lovely Chambolle. The color is deep and there is pronounced floral perfume. The fruit is bright and very pure and the wine is flavorful and balanced – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru.
This wine is made from declassified young vines Musigny. But the young vines Musigny used in this blend are 10-25 years of age! It is a gorgeous wine of great purity, depth and flavor. The balance of the lush texture with the crisp raspberry tinged fruit is stunning – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er Cru.
This is a gorgeous wine of great purity and complexity. It has loads of floral tinged fruit that is very pure and refined. There is depth and great balance – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonne Mares.
This 2010 Bonne Mares is very refined with depth and intensity. The fruit is very bright and pure with a firm underlying structure. Elegance and power makes this Bonne Mares an irresistible candidate for extended aging – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Comte Georges Vogue Musigny Vielles Vignes.
This wine is made from vines that are in a range of 26-55 years old. Compte Georges Vogue is the largest owner of Musigny. Production in 2010 will likely approximate 750 cases. This 2010 is a wine of great harmony and complexity. It has a myriad of fruit flavors that emphasis red fruits with floral notes and a great structure. It has depth and lots of flavor – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier

mugnier chateau

Chateau Chambolle-Musigny – Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier

Theorigins of this domaine begin with Francois Mugnier who was also known as Frederic. In 1856 he established a liqueur business in Dijon. Later he bought several vineyard parcels from the Marey-Monge family and in 1899 purchased the Chateau de Chambolle Musigny from them. The succession passed to Frederic’s son and grandson and then to a nephew, Jacques-Frederic, in 1944. The liqueur business was sold (if you like art deco advertising posters, and I do, there are several great ones from Mugnier) and the vineyard holdings were divided among several members of the family. Those were rented to a negociant under long term contracts. The vineyards were under varying arrangements for many years. Then in 1985, Frederic Mugnier, the son of Jacques-Frederic, changed professions and took over winemaking and management of the domaine. At that time, there were some nine acres of vines all situated in Chambolle-Musigny, including over two acres in Musigny which represent the second largest holding after Comte Georges de Vogue.

After tasting the 1985s, we began our visits which have continued each year since. Over the years we have tasted many fabulous wines here. Because the grapes had mostly gone to negociants, there were virtually no old wines at the estate when Frederic arrived. I had a few bottles of 1949 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Clos Vougeot. One year I took a bottle to Frederic as a gift. He generously said he would keep the wine until Geoffrey Troy and I could join him for dinner. The next year Geoffrey and I had dinner with Frederic and his wife, Josceline, at the Chateau. It was a fabulous evening. The 1949 Clos Vougeot was magical. Like many great old Burgundies, the color was very pale. But that simply does not matter. The perfume was stunning and the wine was like silk with incredible flavors. Frederic and Josceline were thrilled and a bit emotional. They had never tasted the wine. The Clos Vougeot parcel had been sold shortly after this wine was made. Frederic commented that the parcel was poorly located at the bottom of the slope and that perhaps some Musigny had been added! No matter. The wine was ethereal. Frederic then left for a few minutes and returned with two old bottles. They were 1945 Musigny Blanc from the domaine, two of the very few bottles that remained. One had a very low fill, but the wine was great. The low fill bottle even being a bit better than the other. Interestingly, they both had a little petillance which undoubtedly contributed to the freshness of the wines. They were simply amazing and among the greatest White Burgundies I have ever tasted.

The origins of this domaine begin with Francois Mugnier who was also known as Frederic. In 1856 he established a liqueur business in Dijon. Later he bought several vineyard parcels from the Marey-Monge family and in 1899 purchased the Chateau de Chambolle Musigny from them. The succession passed to Frederic’s son and grandson and then to a nephew, Jacques-Frederic, in 1944. The liqueur business was sold (if you like art deco advertising posters, and I do, there are several great ones from Mugnier) and the vineyard holdings were divided among several members of the family. Those were rented to a negociant under long term contracts. The vineyards were under varying arrangements for many years. Then in 1985, Frederic Mugnier, the son of Jacques-Frederic, changed professions and took over winemaking and management of the domaine. At that time, there were some nine acres of vines all situated in Chambolle-Musigny, including nearly 3 acres in Musigny which represent the second largest holding after Comte Georges de Vogue.

After tasting the 1985s, we began our visits which have continued each year since. Over the years we have tasted many fabulous wines here. Because the grapes had mostly gone to negociants, there were virtually no old wines at the estate when Frederic arrived. I had a few bottles of 1949 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Clos Vougeot. One year I took a bottle to Frederic as a gift. He generously said he would keep the wine until Geoffrey Troy and I could join him for dinner. The next year Geoffrey and I had dinner with Frederic and his wife, Josceline, at the Chateau. It was a fabulous evening. The 1949 Clos Vougeot was magical. Like many great old Burgundies, the color was very pale. But that simply does not matter. The perfume was stunning and the wine was like silk with incredible flavors. Frederic and Josceline were thrilled and a bit emotional. They had never tasted the wine. The Clos Vougeot parcel had been sold shortly after this wine was made. Frederic commented that the parcel was poorly located at the bottom of the slope and that perhaps some Musigny had been added! No matter. The wine was ethereal. Frederic then left for a few minutes and returned with two old bottles. They were 1945 Musigny Blanc from the domaine, two of the very few bottles that remained. One had a very low fill, but the wine was great. The low fill bottle even being a bit better than the other. Interestingly, they both had a little petillance which undoubtedly contributed to the freshness of the wines. They were simply amazing and among the greatest White Burgundies I have ever tasted.

Frederic Mugnier believes that the 2009 and 2010 vintages are typical for Burgundy in that they are completely different. His goal is to always make wine that reflects the vintage. The 2009 vintage was warm and the grapes were very ripe. He believes the 2009s need a lot of bottle age and will be very long lived. The 2010 vintage was a cool vintage with ripe fruit. Yields were about 20% less in 2009. The grape clusters were small to medium in size with thick skins and very few seeds. The result of all these factors is a wine that is very pure with freshness. He doesn’t make a comparison, but likes both vintages for what they are. And, Frederic is always quick to point out that he is less interested in making great wine every year than he is in making good wine every year. This speaks to the wide diversity in Burgundy vintages.

I love this approach. Vintage comparisons are difficult to make at a very early stage and the evolvement of the wines over time often yields surprises both good and not so good. Frederic’s approach in to not to try to chose a favorite vintage or to try to make wine that is the same. His goal is simply to farm the vineyards in a natural way and let nature take its course. Once the grapes are harvested, then the job is to make the wine with minimal intervention. BRAVO! The wines made here are, for me, consistently some of the best in Burgundy.

MUGNIER 2010

Frederic Mugnier

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny.
This village wine includes grapes from the Musigny young vines. It is a lovely wine with a gorgeous perfume and lovely fruit. It is balanced and finesseful with a great purity of floral tinged fruit and a crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er Cru.
Les Fuees is a very well situated vineyard next to Bonnes Mares. The Mugnier parcel is 1.75 acres and consists of vines over 50 years old. This 2010 is gorgeous. It has lovely floral tinged fruit with a crisp underlying minerality. Balanced and lush with great purity this will make a terrific wine of finesse and complexity – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er Cru.
This Domaine owns 1.3 acres of vines in this vineyard that average 50 years of age. Wow! This is a really stunning wine! The perfume is very floral intermingled with red fruits and the wine has finesse and flavor, yet with depth and very pure fruit that has great appeal. The balance here is extraordinary and the wine exhibits loads of cherry fruit with a floral nuance and a nice underlying mineral tinged crispness. Long on the palate, this is an absolutely gorgeous wine – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Bonnes Mares.
The holdings in Bonne Mares are 0.89 acres at the top of the slope consisting vines that are over 30 years of age. This is a very well structured wine with depth and concentration, yet it retains a certain degree of finesse. It has a gorgeous perfume and lots of fruit that has great purity. This should be a wine that will drink well early and yet keep for a very long time beyond – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny.
The holdings in Musigny total 2.8 acres, with 85% consisting of vines that are over 60 years old. Only grapes from the old vines go into this bottling. This is an extraordinary wine of great richness and depth, but also harmonious and very pure. It is deep in color with a stunning perfume and loads of fruit that exhibit intensity and balance. The finish is long and lingering. This is a wine that has a long life ahead and what a wine it promises to be – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Jacques Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Maréchale 1er Cru.
Under the ownership of the Mugnier family since 1902, this vineyard had been rented out under a long term lease that expired in 2003 after 53 years. With a surface of some 21 acres, it is the largest single owner vineyard (monopole) in Burgundy. The average age of the vines here is nearly 50 years. Frederic has done a terrific job with this wine since taking the vineyard back 8 years ago. This wine exhibits a balance and finesse that has great appeal. It has lovely berry fruit with a floral tinge and is well structured with great purity and a nice underlying crispness on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2009 Bottle

Except for the Musigny which was exactly the same, all of these wines have developed and blossomed since bottling and exceed my high expectations last year from barrel. (To see those notes click here) The 2009 and 2010 vintages are both great at this domaine.

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny.
This is a lovely wine with a deep color and a floral tinged perfume. It is rounded, supple and lush with nice fruit and balance and has early appeal – Highly Recommended Plus. 2-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine is complex, lush, and quite rich. It has a lovely perfume with hints of black fruit and a hint of roasted almond. It has intensity and structure with balanced fruit. This should be really nice in 5-10 years – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Maréchale 1er Cru.
This is a terrific wine with lots of richness and flavor, yet it is balanced and rounded with a good backbone underneath. The color is dark and there is a gorgeous perfume with hints of cassis and a great intensity of black fruits. This is a really fine Nuits St. Georges with a long life ahead – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses.
This is a show stopper. Dark in color there is an intense perfume of plums and cassis with an underlying floral nuance. Flavorful with layers of fruit, the wine has intensity with a rounded structure that is covering the soft tannins underneath. This wine promises to be absolutely stunning as the years go by and evolve over a very long period – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Bonnes Mares.
This is a very rich Bonnes Mares. It has a dark color and an intense perfume of black fruits with a faint tinge of spice. There is lots of rich fruit that has intensity and depth with a firm underlying structure. Give this time. It should be marvelous – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny.
After bottling, this wine is even more impressive. This is a full throttle Musigny that manages to maintain a great sense of balance. The perfume is intense with a myriad of black fruits and a faint floral tinge. Likewise, on the palate the wine has intense fruit, but with a lushness and flavor that is very harmonious and yet very deep with a finish that goes on and on. This looks to be a wine for the ages – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

White Wines

After the vineyards in Clos de la Maréchal reverted back to the Domaine in 2003 some old bottles of white wine from the vineyard were discovered. And based on the quality of these old bottles, the decision was made to graft some Chardonnay to the Pinot Noir. This was done in a small part of the vineyard with sandy soil next to the north wall. And, after some 50 years, the first vintage was made in 2005. I have had a fondness for Nuits St.Georges Blanc for a very long time, particularly the bottling from Robert Chevillon. And, now there is Clos de la Maréchal which is consistently outstanding.

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-George Clos de la Maréchal Blanc 1er Cru.
Production of this wine totals about 250 cases. It is light yellow in color and has a gorgeous perfume of almond and citrus with a touch of pineapple. The wine is elegant, but with a nice underlying crispness and has lovely complexity with subtle nuances of spice, peach, and citrus – Outstanding Plus Potential.2n-half-barrels

2009 Bottle

2009 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Clos de la Maréchal Blanc 1er Cru.
Light yellow in color this wine has a gorgeous floral perfume with a faint hint of citrus and spice. It is rich yet maintains a nice balance of crispness. The citrus tinged flavors show a faint floral honied nuance and there is impressive length on the finish – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

Domaine Georges Roumier

Roumier

George Roumier founded this domaine and began producing wine in 1924. The first domaine wine was bottled here in 1945. On George’s retirement in 1961, the estate was divided among George’s children. After George’s death in 1965, Jean-Marie ran the domaine and made the wine. In 1981 Christophe Roumier started working with his father and took charge of technical matters in 1982. In 1990 Christophe took full control of the domaine and in 1992 bought out his uncles. Christophe’s reign has established this domaine as one of the best, and most consistent, in all of Burgundy. Christophe prefers old vines and low yields and very traditional vinification methods .I began tasting from barrel here in the early 1980s and in the years since have consistently found this domaine’s wines to be among the best of each respective vintage.

Christophe Roumier prefers his 2010s to his 2009s for their purity of fruit and expression of terroir. He thinks there is a similarity between the 2010s and the 2008s. And, he believes that the 2010s could be a richer version of 2004. The 2009s are completely different. He compares them to the 1990s. The alcohols in 2010 were 11 ½ -12 % which a range that Christophe prefers. In 2009 the alcohols were 13–13.8%. The yields in 2010 were 30-35% less than 2009. And, as great as the most recent vintages are, 1999 is Christophe’s favorite vintage, but he thinks they still require more bottle age. Insofar as the 2011s are concerned, Christophe thinks they resemble the 2001s.

For me, this Domaine is one of the best and most consistent in Burgundy. I love the 2010s here as well as the 09s. To me they are both great, just different. Notes on the 2010s from barrel and 2009s and a 2008 from bottle follow. Unfortunately, for the second year, we were unable to taste the Musigny which is made in a very small quantity consisting of only about 25-40 cases annually.

ROUMIER 2010

Christophe Roumier

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny.
With a deep color and a lovely floral tinged perfume this wine has elegance and finesse. It has very pure floral tinged fruit and is supple and rounded with a nice underlying crispness – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Morey Saint Denis Clos de Bussiere 1er Cru.
This vineyard is solely owned by the Domaine and is, therefore, designated Monopole. The oldest vines here are nearly 60 years old and the average age is around 30 years. This wine is consistently balanced with structure and depth and ages beautifully. The 2010 has a particular element of finesse. It is dark in color with a deep perfume and has gorgeous fruit with purity and crispness and a lovely finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Combottes 1er Cru.
The first vintage for this wine was 2005. There were 75 cases produced in 2010. The wine is dark in color and has great elegance. The perfume is very fruity with floral undertones and the wine has very pure fruit and lovely balance with a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru.
This is a really lovely wine with a deep floral berry perfume. It is very pure and fruity with floral undertones and has gorgeous balance with depth and a lingering finish –Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Christophe Roumier Charmes Chambertin.
Like the Ruchottes Chambertin below, Christophe farms this vineyard and makes the wine for the owner, Michel Bonnefond. He bottles a portion under his label and the balance is bottled for the owner under the Bonnefond label. The wines are identical except for the label. The vines here are in the Mazoyères section of Charmes. The production is only 50 cases. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume of berry fruit with a underlying floral note. It is rounded, supple, and fruity and has depth with a nice crispness on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Christophe Roumier Ruchottes Chambertin.
Here the production is about 115 cases and is made under the same arrangement as the Charmes Chambertin. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume with floral note and hints of cassis. It has structure and depth and lots of fruit and flavor. Balanced and very pure with a long crisp finish this a terrific wine that should age beautifully – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er Cru.
This is a sensational wine. The production is around 125 cases. It has a dark color and a knock out perfume of cherries and raspberries with a floral accent. The wine is brimming with very pure fruit and has great intensity with an underlying floral nuance. Supple and lush yet elegant and flavorful, the harmony and balance in this wine is incredible – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Roumier Bonnes Mares.
Dark in color this wine has a gorgeous perfume of complex berry fruit and a faint floral tinge. It is rich and concentrated, but has a degree of finesse and maintains a great purity and sense of balance. The wine is structured with great depth and flavor yet it is laser like in focus. This is a great Bonne Mares – Exceptional Potential. 

2009 Bottle

These wines have evolved beautifully since I tasted them from barrel last year. The Chambolle-Musigny, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, and Bonnes Mares are exactly in line with my high expectations while the Morey Saint Dennis Clos de Bussiere and the Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras exceeded them. Clearly this is a very great vintage for this domaine.

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny.
Dark in color this wine has a deep plummy perfume with a touch of spice and a floral undertone. It is rich and rounded with lots of supple plummy fruit showing a faint floral tinged spice. This is a delicious wine – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Morey Saint Denis Clos de Bussiere 1er Cru.
Dark in color this wine has a deep perfume of plums and cassis with a faint floral nuance. It is loaded with layers of plum and cassis fruit and richness and depth with a great underlying structure and a long finish. This should age beautifully – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru.
Dark in color with a great perfume of plums and berries with a faint floral tinge this wine is rounded yet with structure. There are loads of rich fruit flavors accented with a kiss of spice and faint mineral nuance on the finish. This is terrific – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er Cru.
This is simply a fabulous wine. It is dark in color and has a deep floral perfume with hints of plum, cassis, and spice. It has great fruit and concentration with richness, structure, and balance. The floral note are there along with a kiss of spice which adds complexity and the promise of even greater things to come with time – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Bonnes Mares.
What a stunning wine. Dark in color with an intense perfume of plums with floral cassis tinged accents this Bonne Mares is a powerhouse yet retains a great sense of balance. It is rich, deep and concentrated with loads of fruit, great balance, and a long finish – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2008 Bottle

2008 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with a deep color and a lovely perfume of plums with a floral accent. It has a myriad of fruit flavors and great structure with backbone and a long finish. This should age beautifully – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

White Wine

Domaine Roumier has a small parcel of Corton Charlemagne on the west facing side of the slope. And, although this is not considered the best part of the vineyard, the wine is consistently outstanding.

2009 Bottle

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Corton Charlemagne.
Light yellow in color this wine has a lovely perfume with hints of citrus and pineapple and faint honeyed nuance accented by touch of minerality. It is elegant, supple and rounded with a nice lushness balanced by a nice underlying crispness. There is lots of mineral tinged fruit and the wine finishes with a touch of citrus – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN

Gevrey sign 2011 159

Domaine Armand Rousseau

rousseau charles and son

Armand Rousseau – Clos Saint Jacques – Eric Rousseau

This domaine had its origin at the beginning of the 20th century when Armand Rousseau inherited some vineyard land in Gevery-Chambertin. In 1909 his marriage resulted in the expansion of the vineyard holdings and the acquisition of the present domaine premises. Over the years Armand continued to increase his vineyard holdings and sell the wine to negociants to do the marketing. This was the common practice at that time. In the 1930s he decided to bottle and sell the wine from the domaine. Thus Domaine Armand Rousseau was one of the first in Burgundy to begin the practice of domaine bottling. Charles joined his father in 1945. After his father’s tragic death in 1959, Charles took over and continued the tradition. His son, Eric, joined in 1982 and is now head of the domaine and in charge of the vineyards and winemaking. Brigitte, Charle’s youngest daughter, and Frederic Robert are in charge of the commercial aspects of the domaine.

For as long as I have been involved in wine, this has been one of the most consistent producers of outstanding Burgundy. And, for me, Domaine Armand Rousseau produces the best wines from Gevrey-Chambertin. Unlike some wines from Gevrey-Chambertin that can be rustic and a bit harsh, and more recently some that are over-extracted and dense, the wines of Domaine Rousseau have the elegance and power that is the essence of Burgundy.

Frederic thinks that the 2010s here are a bit like the 2001s, but with lower yields and more concentration. The crop was some 30% less than in 2009. Charles was reluctant to make a comparison citing the variably in the vintages and something different again in 2010.

For me, there were no surprises here. The wines have wonderful purity, balance, and definition. The Chambertin, in particular, is off the charts.

Burgundy 2010 040

Frederic Robert

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin.
This wine has a nice color and a lovely berry tinged perfume. It has very pure fruit and a nice underlying crispness – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St. Jacques 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a berry tinged perfume with a touch of spice. It has a lot of very pure, bright and crisp fruit with good structure and a nice finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru.
This is a really nice wine. It has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume. On the palate, the wine has richness and depth with very bright, pure fruit. It is well structured with a nice finish and should evolve beautifully – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes Chambertin.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely floral tinged perfume and gorgeous flavors with very bright fruit. There is depth and structure yet there is also a transparency and a degree of elegance and finesse. This is a lovely wine that should age effortlessly – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Mazis Chambertin.
This wine a deep color and a very nice perfume. It is quite rich and has lots of fruit with a firm underlying structure. The purity of the wine is quite striking and the wine should soften and make a lovely bottle with time – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche.
With a deep color this wine has a gorgeous perfume and heaps of very pure, bright crisp fruit. There is a nice freshness and it has structure and and depth of flavor with a long finish. This should make a very fine bottle – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Ruchottes Chambertin.
This wine is showing beautifully. It has a deep color and a lovely berry perfume with a kiss of spice. It is rich with loads of fruit, but also has elegance and a great underlying structure. There is also impressive length on the finish with the fruit accented by a faint exotic nuance – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with richness and flavor with a great underlying elegance. It is deep in color with a gorgeous perfume of floral tinged fruit with a hint of spice. The flavors show great purity of fruit with a faint tinge of spice and the finish is long with a nice underlying crispness. This wine is structured for aging and should soften and gain complexity over the next 10 or more years – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Roussseau Chambertin Clos de Beze.
With a deep color this wine has a great perfume with just a hint of spice. It has lots of very pure fruit and is concentrated and balanced with gorgeous flavors accented by a touch of spice. Maybe just a bit reserved here, but sure to be a great bottle with time – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin.
Wow! This is a fabulous wine. The color is deep and the perfume is gorgeous with a myriad of fruits and floral spice notes. The wine has great richness and depth with intense and very harmonious flavors. It is beautifully structured with layers of very pure fruit and the finish is really impressive – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

MOREY ST. DENIS

Burgundy 2011 177

Domaine Clos De Tart

Burgundy 2007 021

This historic domaine was founded in 1141 by Cistercian nuns, the Bernardines de Tart. Since that time there have been only two other owners. And since 1932 it has been owned by the Mommessin family. The vineyard is nearly 19 acres in size and is the largest grand cru monopole in Burgundy.

Director Sylvain Pitiot is very pleased with his 2010s. Yields were down sharply and were at the same level as the severely reduced 2003 crop. But the difference in the grapes could not have been more different. Whereas, the 2003s were ultra ripe and concentrated due the very hot weather, 2010 was a cool year that produced ripe grapes with good acidities. The harvest here was late having occurred the first week of October.

As usual we tasted from several different cuvees from different parts of the vineyard, including older vines and younger vines, as well as lots that were vinified differently. These were presented blind with each of us trying to guess the individual lots and giving our preferences. Afterwards, we were presented a blend of the different parts of the vineyard that was expected to approximate the final blend.

Burgundy 2011 066

Sylvain Pitiot

2010 Barrel

2010 Clos de Tart.
Dark in color this wine has a stunning perfume of berries and cherries with a floral accent. There is an abundance of very pure fruit and the wine is rich and flavorful yet has a gorgeous elegance. It is well structured and balanced with a long lingering finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

Domaine Dujac

dujac sign 2

I first became acquainted with these wines in the early 1970s when I acquired some bottles of a “new” Burgundy by the name of Domaine Dujac. They were from the 1969 vintage, and I was tremendously impressed by the style of the wines which I felt most closely resembled the wines of Domaine Romanee Conti more than any others that I had tasted at that time. I still have 1969 Bonnes-Mares and, although I have not opened a bottle for many years, the last one was superb and I am sure the wine is great today. Eventually, this experience and subsequent vintages such as 1976 and 1978 led me to taste at the Domaine starting in the early 1980s. Since then there have been many wonderful wines produced here.

Jacques Seysses, a former investment banker, acquired the 10 acre Domaine Graillet in 1967 ( a very good year indeed as it was the year Laurie and I were married). The first vintage was 1968 which was one of the worst Burgundy vintages of that era. Thankfully, it was followed by the very good 1969 vintage. In the last few years, the domaine has transitioned to the new generation. Jacques’ son, Jeremy, and his wife, Diana, are in charge vineyard management and winemaking. Another of Jacques’ sons, Alec, takes an active part in all aspects of the domaine and oversees the administrative side. Rosalind, Jacques’ wife, is in charge of public relations. Jacques is “retired,” but is still very much involved with the domaine and is an invaluable counselor and adviser. Recent vintages have been variable –- 2005 was great and 2006 was very successful. In 2007 there was a lapse, with 2008 showing improvement. And now comes 2009 and 2010 which look to be on a par with other great vintages such as 1969, 1978, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2002 and 2005.

Jacques compares the 2009s here with the 1999s. The 2010s are more difficult to match. The 2010 crop at Domaine Dujac was down 30% as compared with 2009 and the wines have intensity with very pure fruit. The wines in 2009 and 2010 are quite different, but each vintage has its merits and there are many great wines here in both vintages.

Burgundy 2010 dujac

Jacques Seysses

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Dujac Morey St. Denis.
Dark in color this wine has a subdued perfume and lots of rich fruit on the palate. It is flavorful and roundedwith good balance and a nice finish – Very Good Potential Plus. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruechers 1er Cru.
With a dark color this wine has a deep perfume with floral notes and gorgeous fruit. It is supple and rich with balance and finesse and a bright crisp lingering finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Charmes Chambertin.
This is a really lovely Charmes Chambertin. It is dark in color and has a deep floral tinged perfume. Loaded with fruit the wine is beautifully balanced and has depth and lots of flavor. Very harmonious and pure this will have early appeal and keep for an extended period – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Gevrey Chambertin Les Combettes 1er Cru.
This wine has a deep color and a nice perfume. It has lovely pure fruit and is flavorful with a nice elegance – Very Good Plus Potential . 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Morey St. Denis Premier Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely floral perfume with berry and spice undertones. It has great charm and delicious fruit that is pure, vibrant and flavorful. Well balanced with a very nice finish, this is a really lovely wine – Outstanding. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Vosne-Romanée Les Beaumonts 1er Cru.
There are 225 cases of this wine in 2010. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume of berries with a faint floral spice nuance. The fruit is very pure and flavorful and the wine is balanced and quite seductive – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Vosne Romanée Les Malconsorts 1er Cru.
With a recent aquistion, Domaine Dujac is now a large owner of this vineyard. The production in 2010 totaled 550 cases. This is a gorgeous wine. The color is deep and there is an intense perfume of berries with floral spice nuances. The wine has a wonderful elegance, structure and balance with loads of floral tinged fruit and a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Echezeaux.
The production here totaled 200 cases in 2010. The wine has a deep color and a nice perfume. It has lots of fruit with a faint exotic nuance and is well structured with a nice crispness and a lovely finish – Outstanding Potential 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis.
This year 375 cases were produced. And, wow. This wine is stunning. The color is dark and there is a deep perfume of complex floral tinge fruits. On the palate there is an intensity of pure, floral tinged fruit that is refined, flavorful and balanced. Harmonious with depth and great finesse, this is a wine that combines multiple elements and a myriad of flavors in an irresistible manner – Exceptional Potential.3-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche.
The production in 2010 was 575 cases. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume with floral tinged cherry fruit and a touch of spice. It is very pure with lots of fruit and flavor yet is elegant and refined. This is a lovely balance of components which should allow the wine to be drunk relatively young or kept for a very long time – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Bonnes Mares.
This is a terrific Bonnes Mares. It has a deep color and a really gorgeous perfume. There is a stunning array of very pure fruit on the palate with a floral spice undertone. The wine is structured and rich yet has great harmony and finesse. The length is also most impressive – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

Domaine Dujac also makes a very small amounts of Chambertin and Romanee Saint Vivant (under an arrangement with the owners whereby the production is divided in return for Domaine Dujac taking care of the vineyards and making and bottling the wine).

2010 Domaine Dujac Chambertin.
The production here in 2010 was only 3 barrels. A bit more than half will go to Domaine Dujac – a little over 40 cases. The wine is dark in color with a deep perfume. The wine is rich and full with very pure fruit and is balanced and intense with lots of flavor. This is most impressive – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Dujac Romanee St. Vivant.
In 2010 the production here was just 2 barrels. Domaine Dujac will retain about 30 cases. Dark in color this wine has a stunning perfume showing a myriad of fruits and a floral undertone. It is very pure with heaps of fruit and layers of flavor. Structured and intense there is also an element of finesse and brightness that really makes this wine sing – Exceptional Potential.3-barrels

 

 

Domaine Ponsot

Ponsot domaine

The origin of this domaine began in 1872 when William Ponsot purchased vineyards in Morey Saint Denis, including a parcel of Clos de la Roche. In 1920, his nephew, Hippolyte Ponsot, succeeded him and was joined by his brother Henri. During this period additions were made in Clos de la Roche and in 1934 the decision was made to bottle the entire harvest at the estate. This was a very uncommon practice at this time since most growers sold their grapes or wine to negociants who would do the bottling and marketing. A few years later, Hippolyte Ponsot was one of the leaders of the AOC certification for wines in Burgundy. In 1942, Jean-Marie joined his father Hippolyte who retired in 1957. Jean-Marie pioneered the clonal selection of vines in Burgundy in the early 1960s. During this period more vineyards were also added.

Laurent Ponsot joined the family domaine in 1981 and under his direction more vineyards have been added. Since 1982, Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Griottes-Chambertin, Clos Saint Denis, and Chambertin are made under an agreement with Domaine Chezeaux. Domaine Chezeaux owns the vines and Ponsot farms the vineyards and makes and bottles the wine. The production is then split between Domaine Ponsot and Domaine Chezeaux on the basis of 2/3 for Ponsot and 1/3 for Chezeaux. When the wine is bottled the casks are blended for each wine. Then Ponsot corks go in 2/3 of the bottles and Chezeaux corks go in the other 1/3. So, except for the labels, the wines are exactly the same. More recently, he has added Clos Vougeot Vielles Vignes, Corton Charlemagne, Corton Bressandes, Corton Cuvee de Bourdon, and Chambertin Clos de Beze.

Laurent is an iconic personality! After learning that fraudulent bottles of old Ponsot wines were going to be offered at a U.S. auction, Laurent personally came to the auction and demanded that the wines be withdrawn. Since then he has been a leader in taking precautions to prevent fraud. These include labels with watermarks like bank notes, embossed bottles, seals between the glass and capsule, and a unique code on each bottle that can be matched against a list on the internet to verify the authenticity of the wine.

In terms of winemaking, he is the exact opposite if those who use all new oak and, in the extreme, double new oak. Laurent believes in using no new oak. In fact, entering the barrel room here is like going into a senior citizens home for barrels. He jokes that his youngest barrel is 50 years old. And this is not too far off from reality. He is emphatic that Burgundy does not need new wood to achieve complexity. This is based on the theory that the nutrients in the grapes come through the roots and the wood structure of the vines and that this imparts some of the unique complexity of Burgundy. He also believes in old vines which produce less quantity and more concentrated wines. (The average age of vines here is 50 years!) And the wines speak for themselves. Year after year, the wines of Domaine Ponsot are among the best in Burgundy.!

The average yield here in 2010 was only about 5% less than the average for the past 10 years. The wines again are very impressive. For many years now this domaine has been amazingly consistent. The 2010s are yet another jewel in the crown.

Ponsot - 2011

Laurent Ponsot

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Ponsot Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee de L’Abeille.
Abeille means bee in French. With a deep color this wine has a lovely perfume and lots of fruit. It is bright and crisp with good structure and a nice finish – Very Good Potential Plus. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvee des Alouettes 1er Cru.
Alouettes means lark in French. This wine is dark in color with a deep perfume of plums and berries with a faint floral tinge. It is rich, rounded and flavorful with very good structure and backbone and a very nice finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Corton Cuvee de Bourdon.
Bourdon means bumblebee in French. Dark in color this is a lovely wine with a deep plummy floral perfume. It is quite rich with plummy fruit accented by a faint floral tinge. Flavorful and rounded with a good underlying structure this should age beautifully – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Corton Bressandes.
Dark in color this too is a lovely Corton with a deep perfume of cassis with a floral undertone. It is rounded and quite elegant with floral tinged cassis fruit and a very nice finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Griottes Chambertin.
Production of this wine in 2010 was 350 cases. The wine is dark in color and has a deep perfume of cherries and berries with a floral tinge. It is very fruity and very pure with floral nuances and has elegance and flavor with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin.
This is another really lovely wine with great purity and elegance. It is dark in color and has a lovely floral perfume with a tinge of cassis. Flavorful with lots of berry fruit the wine is well structured and long on the palate – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Chambertin Clos de Beze.
There were 200 cases of this wine made in 2010 from vines averaging 45 years of age. It is dark in color with a deep perfume of berries and a faintly floral nuance. Balanced with lovely pure fruit, there is a firm underlying structure and the wine is flavorful with a certain degree of elegance – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Clos de Vougeot Cuvée Vielles Vignes.
Production of this wine in 2010 was 175 cases. It is dark in color with a lovely floral berry perfume and layers of supple fruit. Rounded and lush this wine is balanced and very flavorful. As appealing as it will be young, there is even more to come as the wine ages – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Clos St. Denis Cuvée Tres Vieilles Vignes.
The 2010 production of this wine was 100 cases. The vines here are over 100 years old. What a stunning wine! Dark in color it has a deep perfume with a myriad of fruits and a floral very faintly spice tinged nuance. It is rich and intensely fruity yet with elegance and great depth. The balance is impeccable and the finish goes on and on – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes.
Domaine Ponsot is the largest owner of vines in Clos de la Roche. The first parcel was purchased in 1872 and the first estate bottling was 1934. The holdings total about 7½ acres of old vines. About 6½ acres are from the original Grand Cru plot of some 9 acres. Later the vineyard was expanded by adding portions of adjacent vineyards. But, the great thing about the Clos de la Roche is that unlike the other Grand Crus which are produced in relatively small quantities, production here is relatively large. In fact, last year Laurent joked that he is considering making an allocation whereby you need to buy one pallet of Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes in order to purchase one case of the Bourgogne (the Bourgogne has a much smaller production and costs a tiny fraction of the price for the Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes)! Who knows? Maybe he was serious. This year we did not taste the Bourgogne!

The 2010 is yet another home run! It is dark in color with a great blackberry and cherry perfume with a faint underlying floral tine. The wine is loaded with fruit that is very pure and intensely flavored. It is lush and supple yet with a great underlying structure and is beautifully balanced. With a long finish this is a wine that will evolve for decades – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

White Wine

With Corton Charlemagne now in the line up there are two white wines, the other being the Morey St. Denis Monts Luisants which is made from 99 year old Aligote vines. And, yes, like the re wines, neither of these wines receives any new wood. That in all probability probably makes them unique in the world of White Burgundy!

2010 Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Monts Luisants 1er Cru Vielle Vignes.
The Morey Saint Denis Clos Monts Luisants is a rare wine made from 100% Aligote vines planted in 1911. Before the vine disease phylloxera ravaged Burgundy, the predominant white grape in Burgundy was Aligote. Very little remains today as the law now states that new plantings must be Chardonnay to be called White Burgundy. Therefore a plot like Morey Saint Denis Clos Mont Luisants is unique. It is consistently a wine of amazing complexity with the ability to age for decades. In fact, Laurent thinks this wine always requires a minimum of 10 years of bottle age to show its full potential. This 2010 is again a really lovely wine with great structure and complexity. It has a gorgeous perfume of citrus and a touch of honey with an underlying minerality. There is lots of supple fruit tinged with mineral and citrus and the finish is long and crisp – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Ponsot Corton Charlemagne.
Corton Charlemagne is a new wine for Domaine Ponsot beginning in 2009. The production in 2010 was 50 cases. Laurent says this Corton-Charlemagne has 35% old vines Aligote mixed with the Chardonnay. This is a result of the fact that Corton Charlemagne still has some plots of old vines Aligote mixed with the newer plantings of Chardonnay. This 2010 has a gorgeous perfume of citrus and peach with a floral citrus tinge. The flavors hint of citrus with floral apricot undertones and the wine is supple and lush with a good backbone and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

VOSNE ROMANEE

View of Vosne Romanee


Domaine Anne Gros

anne gros sign

We began tasting here in the 1980s when the domaine was known as Francois Gros. From 1988 it was Domaine Anne & Francois Gros. And since 1995 it has been Domaine Anne Gros. The domaine has old vines in most of their vineyards. The wines produced here consistently show great purity and elegance.

Anne Gros is now in her 23rd year of being in charge of this domaine which she took over from her father, Francois during this time she has continued to add vineyards. She is the first woman in the Gros family to be in charge of a domaine. The history of the Gros family is one of the more complicated stories in Burgundy since the domaine has been divided numerous times. Below is a graphic representation of the Gros family and its genealogy.

gros family

The 2010 crop was reduced here by 20-30% as compared with 2009. Anne says that the grapes were the best she has ever seen – perfect small grapes that required no selection.. The wines produced here consistently show great purity and elegance. They also age remarkably well and become very silky and more complex with time. This is a combination of Anne’s skill and the marvelous old vine vineyards that produce remarkable fruit. The 2009s were lovely and these 2010s are simply stunning.

anne gros

Anne Gros

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Rouge.
This is a really lovely Bourgogne. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume with a floral tinge. There is lots of blackberry fruit and the wine is rounded supple and very tasty. This should be a really good value – Very Good Plus Potential . 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Haut Cote de Nuits Rouge.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely floral berry perfume. It is very fruity andpure with a nice crispness on the finish – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Chambolle-Musigny Les Combes Orveaux.
This wine has a deep color and a lovely berry tinged perfume. The fruit is very pure and the wine has elegance and a lovely crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential . 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Vosne-Romanée Les Barreaux.
This wine is made from 80-90 year old vines located at the top of Richebourg near Cros Parantoux. This vintage produced 125 cases, The color is deep and the perfume is lovely with floral tinged plum fruit and a faint touch of spice. There is depth and richness with very pure plum and blackberry fruit with a very faint hint of spice. Balanced and flavorful this is a really lovely wine of harmony and balance – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Echezeaux.
The first vintage for this wine was 2007. The vines here are 30 years old and the 2010 vintage produced 375 cases. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume with a faint floral tinge. There are layers of very pure plum and blackberry fruit and the flavors are accented by very faint floral and spice nuances. Rounded and supple with a long finish, this is a delicious wine – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Les Grand Maupertuis.
The oldest vines here are over 100 years of age and the average age is 60-65 years. Ths vineyard is situated within the Clos Vougeot vineyard at a prime section at the top just below Grands Echezeaux which is known as Les Grand Maupertuis. This year produced 225 barrels. Always a gorgeous wine, this 2010 may be the best yet. It is really stunning.
With a deep color the perfume is gorgeous with blackberry fruit accented by a floral undertone and a kiss of spice. The wine is brimming with very pure fruit showing a lovely floral nuance. There is lots of depth and flavor wrapped in a lush suppleness that is balanced by an underlying crispness. The finish goes on and on – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg.
This vintage produced 175 cases from vines over 80 years of age. It is absolutely gorgeous. With a deep color the perfume stunning with intense berry fruit and a floral nuance. There is a great depth of very pure fruit with loads of flavor. This is a wine that is impeccably balanced and has elegance and finesse with an amazing finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

White Wine

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Blanc.
This is a lovely Bourgogne Blanc. It is light yellow in color and has a very nice floral tinge perfume. The wine is rounded and balanced with a nice fruit showing an attractive citrus nuance on the finish – Very Good Potential.1-barrel

2010 Domaine Anne Gros Haut Cotes de Nuits Blanc Cuvée Marine.
This wine is gorgeous and may be the best Cotes de Nuits Blanc I have ever tasted. It is light yellow in color and has a very exotic perfume with hints of pineapple and mango. The wine is very crisp, even racy, but the citrus is balanced by hints of pineapple. The wine is very distinct and has wonderful balance and an intriguing flavor profile with a lovely finish. This should be an excellent value – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

Domaine d’Eugénie

Domaine d'Eugenie

Formerly Domain René Engel, I visited that domaine for many years. During this period the domaine was under the direction of René’s son, Philippe. After Philippe’s tragic death, the domaine was sought after by many in Burgundy. But, at the end of the day, it was Francois Pinault, the owner of Chateau Latour and now Chateau Grillet, who topped all bidders and acquired the property in the summer of 2006 for what many thought to be a very high price. The domaine was named in honor of Mr. Pinault’s grandmother.

I purchased and drank a lot of the René Engel wines over the years. I remember many excellent bottles of Clos Vougeot and Grands Echezeaux in particular. However, this was my first visit here since the transition. It was surprising to find no one home at the Engel home and winery. We soon learned that this property was not part of the deal and that Domaine d’Eugenie was at another location. That was another surprise since the last time we visited this location it was the home of Clos Frantin which which is owned by the Beaune negociant, Bichot. However, the new facility looks nothing like the old one. Everything is new and state of the art. The domaine is managed by Frederic Engerer who is also the president of Chateau Latour and the winemaker/oenologist is Michel Mallard who is the third generation owner/winemaker at his domaine in Ladoix-Serrigny.

The vines at Domaine d’Eugénie are mostly very old in a range of 35–80 years. However, Michael told us that the vineyards were in very bad shape when the purchase was made. Some 20% of the vines were either dead, missing, or diseased. Since then they have had 2 people working in charge of the vineyards and extensive replanting has been done. Also parts of some vineyard are declassified to make sure only the best grapes go into the Premier Crus and Grand Crus. This, of course, results in less of those wines. Also, the crop was reduced in 2010 as compared with 2009 because of the weather conditions. The result is that the production in 2010 compared with 2009 is down by nearly 50% – 1200 cases vs. 2200 cases. The 2010s here are really fine and it certainly would appear that there is a real dedication to make the finest wine possible utilizing sustainable farming and non invasive winemaking. This is a domaine to watch.

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine d’Eugénie Vosne-Romanée.
The domaine’s vineyard holdings in Vosne Romanee total about 7 acres. This wine was blended with 1/3 of the production of Les Brulees from the lower part of the vineyard. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume with a faint floral undertone. It is flavorful with a t touch of berries and spice with a floral nuance. Rounded and supple the wine has depth and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Potential Plus. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine d’Eugénie Vosne-Romanée Les Brulees 1er Cru.
The domaine owns about 2.5 acres in Les Brulees. The vines here are 50 years old. And the grapes from the lower portion of the vineyard are declassified into the Vosne Romanee. In 2010 the production was a meager 100 cases. The wine has a dark color and a deep perfume of blackberry fruit with an exotic tinge. It has lots of fruit and is rich and round with great balance and flavor. The finish is long with a nice underlying crispness. This is a gorgeous wine – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine d’Eugénie Echezeaux.
The holdings here are about 1.4 acres and there were only just a little over 100 cases of this wine produced in 2010. It has a dark color and a deep perfume of plums and blackberries. Loaded with fruit the wine is lush, supple and round with wonderful balance and flavor. With a long finish this is also really gorgeous – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine d’Eugénie Grands Echezeaux.
The domaine’s parcel of Grands Echezeaux is about 1.2 acres and this vintage produced only 100 cases of wine. It is stunning. The color is dark and the wine has a deep perfume of plums and blackberries with a faint exotic note. The fruit is very pure and there is intensity and balance. Supple and round yet with great structure underneath this wine has great flavors and a very long finish – Exceptional Potential.3-barrels

2010 Domaine d’Eugénie Clos Vougeot.
Here the domaine owns 3.5 acres of very well situated vines at the top of the Clos. The production in 2010 was 300 cases. With a deep color the wine has a gorgeous floral tinged berry perfume with a touch of spice. It has lovely fruit and is supple and elegant with depth and structure. This is yet another gorgeous wine – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

Domaine Liger Belair

Liger belair sign

The reappearance of this domaine began in 2000 when Louis Michel Liger-Belair took back family-owned vineyards in Vosne-Romanee. But the beginning of the Domaine dates back to 1815. In the next 116 years the members of the Liger-Belair family expanded the vineyard holdings to include some of the most prestigious in Burgundy –- La Romanee, La Tache, and La Grand Rue, as well as portions of Malconsorts, Chaumes, Reignots, and Suchots in Vosne-Romanee, Les St. Georges and and Vaucrains in Nuits Saint Georges, Clos Vougeot in Vougeot, and Chambertin in Gevrey-Chambertin as well as others.

In 1933 a death in the family forced a sale of the properties to comply with French inheritance laws. This resulted in the loss of La Tache and La Grand Rue as well as other vineyards. However, two members of the family were able to purchase La Romanee, Reignots and Les Chaumes and a few other parcels. Since there were no family members to manage the estate, the vineyards were turned over to local vignerons and sales to negociants. The primary ownership of La Romanee and Vosne-Romanee Les Reignots were marketed at various times by Leroy, Bichot, and Bouchard Pere & Fils. The last of these arrangements (with Bouchard Pere & Fils) ended in 2005 when Louis-Michel took back all of La Romanee and a parcel of Vosne-Romanee Les Reignots. In 2006 he added more holdings through rental of several more parcels.

In this period since 2000, the wines of Liger-Belair have been very consistent and the recent vintages here have been very successful. Located in the shadow of Domaine de la Romanee Conti across the street, it is now stands tall in the land of giants.

Louis Michel believes the 2010s are like a cross between the 2000s and the 2001s. They have great purity and vibrant acidities. For me, I think the wines are a great success here in 2010 and it will be interesting to watch their evolution.

Liger-Belair Burgundy 2011  057

Louis Michel Liger-Belair

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée.
This wine is made from a blend of grapes that come from 10 different vineyards. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged perfume. There is an abundance of fruit and the
wine is quite rich with lots of flavor and the wine is supple with a lovely crisp finish –
Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Clos Du Chateau.
This wine made from a vineyard adjacent to the Chateau is consistently outstanding. In 2010 200 cases were produced which is down by nearly half from production that is normally closer to 400 cases. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged perfume with an exotic nuance. It is supple and quite rich with lots of floral berry fruit and is well structured with a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Les Charmes 1er Cru.
Only 50 cases of this wine were produced in 2010. It has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume of cherries with a floral undertone. There are layers of fruit and the wine has lots of flavor with impressive depth. Rounded and lush the wine is beautifully balanced with a bright underlying crispness and a long finish. This is a delicious wine – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts 1er Cru.
This vintage produced only 50 cases of this wine. It has a deep color and a lovely floral tinged perfume. It is flavorful with lots of floral tinged fruit and is well structured with long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru.
About 60 cases of this wine were produced in 2010. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged berry perfume with a faint exotic nuance. The wine has lots of very pure fruit and is bright and crisp. With tremendous appeal it has depth and structure and a long finish. This is simply a delicious wine – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Cras 1er Cru.
Just over 100 cases of this wine were produced in 2010. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume with lots of richness and depth on the palate. It is very pure and bright with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Les Brulees 1er Cru.
Domaine Liger-Belair has a very small piece of this vineyard. The production is always very small and it is never sold, but donated to charity with some reserved for family consumption. In 2010 about 25 cases were produced. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged perfume. It has gorgeous fruit with a faint exotic tinge and has lots of depth and richness and a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots 1er Cru.
Just over 200 cases of this wine were produced in 2010. As usual, it is a stunning wine. It has a deep color and an intense floral tinged perfume. There are layers of very pure exotic tinged fruit on the palate with depth and richness. Well structured and flavorful with a long finish, this wine has a long future ahead – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Liger-Belair Echezeaux.
In 2010 just under 200 cases of this wine were produced. It has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume and is supple and lush with depth and richness. The fruit is very pure and the wine is balanced and flavorful with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Ligier-Belair La Romanée.
Wow. What a wine! I am tempted to make comparisons with the great 2009, but I am not going to go there at this very early stage. For me, both wines are potentially very great as both blend elegance and power with balance and depth in a slightly different way. The 2010 vintage produced about 325 cases nearly the same as the 350 cases produced in 2009. It has a deep color and a stunning floral tinged perfume with faint hints of spice. It has layers of very pure exotic tinged fruit and has great depth and flavor with and underlying elegance. A seamless wine with impeccable balance this is one of the great wines of the vintage – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

Domaine Méo-Camuzet

Meo Camuzet Burgundy 2011

Domaine Méo Camuzet was founded in the early 1900s by Etienne Camuzet who was a member of the French Parliament from 1902 to 1932. He acquired plots of many great vineyards including Richebourg and Clos de Vougeot. He owned the Chateau itself as well as vines around the Chateau. He donated to Chateau to its present owners the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. The vineyards were passed on to his daughter, Maria Noirot. After her death in 1959, she left her holdings to a distant relative, Jean Méo, who was then a member of General de Gaulle’s staff. Jean Méo retained his career and the vineyards continued to be rented to various people who cared for them and made the wine. One of those people was the late great Henri Jayer who from 1949 to 1988 cared for some of the vineyards and crafted superb wines. He began bottling his share during this time and the balance was mostly sold to negociants. In 1985 the domaine began selling some wine under its own label, directly from the cellars. And after 1988, it progressively took charge of the vineyards as the contacts with the vintners expired. At the end of the 1980s, Jean Méo’s son, Jean-Nicolas, assumed control and for about 10 years Henri acted as advisor. Since then it has been solely Jean-Nicolas and he has increased production by starting a negociant business.

There are many great vineyards in this domaine and the wines can be stunning, including those back to the late 1980s and early 1990s. More recently, the vintages of 2007 and 2008 were difficult here, but the 2009s were gorgeous and in 2010 there are also many lovely wines. The production at this domaine in 2010 was down 30% from 2009 and 10% from the average production. Jean-Nicolas compares the vintage to 2006 and says had there been a few more days of sunshine before harvest it would be like 2005. He also says that it may be close to a combination of 2008 and 2005.

2010 Barrel

Jean nicolas MeoBurgundy 2011

Jean-Nicolas Méo

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral berry perfume. With lots of fruit showing floral raspberry nuances the wine is lush and rounded with lovely balance – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Clos Vougeot.
Domaine Meo-Camuzet has a very well situated plot adjacent to the Chateau. This is a consistently outstanding wine and this 2010 follows the trend. It has a lovely perfume of floral berry fruit and lots of flavor with luscious exotic tinged fruit. Well structured with depth and richness, this is a gorgeous wine— Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Corton Clos Rognets.
With a deep color this wine has a gorgeous perfume of berry fruit with a floral spice tinge. It is supple with lovely fruit showing a faint spice nuance and has firm backbone underneath – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Echezeaux.
This is a lovely wine. It has a deep color and a lovely floral tinged perfume. On the palate the wine has lots of fruit and is elegant and finessful yet has depth and a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Vosne-Romanée Aux Brulees 1er Cru.
This wine has a deep color and a stunning perfume with hints of exotic fruit. It is rich and flavorful yet with elegance. The fruit is very pure and complex and the wine is balanced and very harmonious with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Richebourg.
This is a gorgeous wine that is brimming with fruit. It has a deep color and a great perfume with a myriad of fruits and a faint floral undertone. The wine is vibrant and very pure with lovely fruit and beautiful balance. It should evolve beautifully over a long period of time – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

Domaine Georges Mugneret Gibourg

Mugneret gibourg sisters

Marie-Andrée and Marie-Christine

This Domaine was created in 1933 with the marriage of Jean Gibourg and André Mugneret. Their son, George, became an opthamologist. But, he joined the domaine at a young age and began purchasing vineyards in his own name. Over time this created Domaine Georges Mugneret.

On our early visits to Burgundy we visited Dr. George several times. He was a wonderful man. And, even though we spoke no French and he spoke very little English, we had a famous time. After all, these two languages can be blended into the language of wine. And, I’ll never forget setting in his office with my very good friends and Contributing Editors, Ed Lazarus and Geoffrey Troy, and chatting after our tasting. Dr. George left and after a short time reappeared with a bottle in hand. It was a 1949. Dr. George had brought a 1949 because we were talking about how much we liked that vintage. But, after all these years, I unfortunately don’t remember the vineyard. Maybe Clos Vougeot? However, I do remember that it was a great wine.

Sadly, after a long illness, Dr. George passed away just before the harvest in 1988. His only children, Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée, were not involved with the domaine at that time. Marie-Christine was married and working as a chemist along with her husband. Marie-Andrée, 9 years younger, had just entered school to study enology. The 1988 harvest was a challenging one and the vinification was also difficult. It was quite a year to join the family business, but Marie-Christine did just that and along with her mother, Jacqueline, and a little help from their friends, they pulled it off. In 1992, after she finish her schooling, Marie-Andrée joined her sister as the domaine entered a third phase. And, I think Dr. George would be very proud. The ladies are doing a great job of making superb top quality Burgundies of class and breed. The wines are simply delicious and they age beautifully. If you love Burgundy, and if you don’t already know these wines, what are you waiting for?

Mugneret gibourg

Marie-Christine

At Domaine Georges Mugnier-Gibourg the average annual production is around 2700 cases. In 2010 production was down some 35% from the 2009 levels. The 2010 wines here are wonderful throughout the range.

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Bourgogne.
This is a lovely Bourgogne that should offer real value. It has a deep color and a lovely fruity perfume. It is rounded and supple with very good fruit and nice balance – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely floral tinged perfume. It has lots of fruit and is supple with nice depth and richness – Very Good Plus Potential . 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Nuits- Saint-Georges Les Chaignots 1er Cru.
This is a really nice Nuits St. Georges with great style and finesse. It has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume of berry fruit with a faint floral undertone. The wine has lots of fruit that hint of cherries with a very faint spice tinge and lovely balance. It is supple, round and flavorful with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes 1er Cru.
The first vintage for this wine was 1985. It is always a wine of finesse, balance and flavor. This 2010 has a deep color and a gorgeous floral tinged berry perfume. It is supple and rounded with lots of very pure fruit and has richness and depth. The wine has great charm and is really delicious – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Echezeaux.
There were 175 cases of this wine produced in 2010. It is made from two parcels within the Echezeaux vineyard. One has 70 year old vines. The other has 45 year old vines. This is really gorgeous. It has a deep color and a stunning perfume. The wine has very pure cherry tinged fruit and lots of flavor. It is balanced and harmonious withelegance and finesse – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru.
This wine is made from grapes grown on the young vines in Ruchottes Chambertin. Those vines were planted in 2000 and represent about ½ of the domaine’s holdings in Ruchottes Chambertin. It is a really lovely wine that is just a bit lighter than the old vines bottling and lacking just a bit of that wines richness. Nonetheless, it is really delicious. With a deep color the wine has a very intriguing perfume with floral undertones. It has very pure fruit and is vibrant and tasty with a nice underlying crispness. There is no denying the elegance and charm of this wine and it should represent really good value – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes Chambertin Vielles Vignes.
There were 125 cases of this wine made in 2010 from grapes grown on 65 year old vines. It is really gorgeous. With a deep color it has an enticing perfume of cherry fruit accented by a floral nuance. The wine has lots of fruit and depth and is rich with great purity and balance – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Clos Vougeot.
There were 125 cases of this wine made in 2010. The wine has a deep color and an intense berry perfume with floral accents. It has lots of very pure berry fruit showing a faint floral undertone. Balanced and harmonious with lovely flavors this is a wine of great charm and depth – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti

Romanee conti

The individual vineyards that comprise the Domaine de la Romanee Conti date back to Roman times. The present domaine has it origins dating to 1869 when Monsieur Duvault-Blochet acquired the vineyard of Romanee-Conti. He subsequently acquired holdings in Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux, and Richebourg. Edmond, the grandfather of the current domaine co-director, Aubert de Villaine, became the Director in 1911. And in 1933 the domaine acquired the vineyard of La Tache from the Liger-Belair family. The domaine already owned a large portion of the adjacent Les Gaudichots vineyard and in 1936 this was combined with La Tache to create the Grand Cru monopole of La Tache. In 1942, Henri Leroy became a co-owner of the Domaine and in 1950 Aubert’s father, Henri, succeeded Edmond. Aubert grew up at the domaine and became co-director in 1974. In 1966, Domaine de la Romanee Conti took over management of the holdings of the Marey-Monge family in Romanee St. Vivant and in 1988 purchased the parcel. In 1963, 1965, and 1980 portions of Montrachet were acquired. And late in 2008 some 4½ acres were acquired in Corton consisting of approximately one-half Bressandes and one-half nearly equally divided between Clos du Roi and Renardes. In each vineyard there are sections of 60 year old vines with the balance 15-25 years. The first vintage from Corton was 2009.

Aubert says the differences between individual wines in a single vintage are the differences attributable to terroir and the age of the vines. The wines made at the Domaine de la Romanee Conti are unquestionably the greatest and most consistent in Burgundy with an unparalleled track record. The wines are very long lived and do not show their full potential until many years after bottling. For nearly 30 years I have been tasting wines here from barrel. The two best years from the domaine that I have tasted from barrel are 1990 and 2009. But, what the wine tastes like from barrel is certainly not everything. In between these years there have been an incredible number of great wines. The 1990s are still evolving. The 1991s have turned out to be great as have so many other vintages. The 2009s should be more accessible young, and may drink very well in the early years, but they too seem destined for a very long life. One thing is for certain DRC wines are best when they are older. Wines dating back to the 1930s can still be memorable drinking experiences today.

Last year when we were finishing the tasting of the 2009s with the Romanee Conti, I asked Aubert which vintage he thought was most like the 2009. He replied 1959. And, almost immediately, one of the other wine writers who was tasting with us replied that it was more like a combination of the 1929 and 1934! We were all left wondering how it was possible to taste the 1929 and 1934 wines from barrel. You would now have to be over 100 years of age and this person did not look that old! And, further speaking of the 2009 vintage, Aubert said, “We would like to make wines like 2009 every year. But, if we did, we would not be in Burgundy.” And, that, my friends, says it all! As for the 2009s that are now in bottle, they are simply sensational across the board. Having now tasted them from barrel and from bottle I find the wines showing virtually the same. This showing is quite remarkable. Therefore, I remain convinced that 2009 is one of the all time great vintages for DRC. Every wine is a classic example of the best of the respective vineyards. If the assorted 12 pack cases were still being offered, this would be the perfect year for them.

romanee conti box

Keeping in mind Aubert’s comment on the 2009 vintage, it took only 1 year and 2010 was completely different! And, yes, this proves that we are indeed in Burgundy!! (To read the 2010 DRC Vintage Report click here) In 2010 the production was down about 15% as compared with 2009 and the wines have alcohols in a range of 12 ½ -13%. The wines are very pure and have great elegance and depth. It is a stunning vintage that produced beautifully balanced wines. There are no surprises here. The wines are great with a very long life ahead.


2010 Barrel

Burgundy 2010 aubert devillaine

Aubert de Villaine

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Corton.
This is a lovely wine with a deep color and a floral berry tinged perfume. It has very nice pure fruit with a suggestion of plums and faint underlying floral nuance. The wine has good backbone a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Echezeaux.
This is a wonderful Echezeaux with a deep color and a stunning floral perfume. It has lots of flavor and very pure fruit that is accented by a floral spice nuance. It is full, round, and concentrated with lovely balance and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Grands Echezeaux.
This is a Grands Echezeaux with great style and finesse. It has a dark color and a lovely perfume of exotic tinged fruit showing a floral cherry nuance. The wine is rounded and supple with very pure fruit accented by a faint hint of oriental spice and has a long crips finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant.
This Romanee Saint Vivant is a shining star in 2010. The wine has a dark color and a deep perfume of oriental spice tinged berry fruit with a faint floral undertone. It has layers of gorgeous very pure supple fruit with hints of oriental spice. Elegance, depth, and finesse are all in perfect harmony here and the finish goes on and on – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg.
Dark in color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with a faint tinge of oriental spice. It is rich and full with lots of fruit showing great purity and balance. This is a Richebourg with lots of flavor and the promise of great elegance – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tache.
This La Tache is a wine of great purity and complex flavors. It is dark in color and shows a deep perfume with a myriad of fruits and a kiss of spice. There are layers of oriental spice fruit on the palate as well as concentration and depth. The wine is well structured and has a very long finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée Conti.
As is characteristic of Romanee Conti, there is a seamless quality here with all of the elements in balance. The wine has a dark color and a deep perfume with floral oriental spice accents. It is elegant and finesseful with very pure fruit and is impressively concentrated with a very attractive underlying crispness. The finish here is also very long and persistent. This is absolutely stunning – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

UNDERGROUND AT drc-21

John Brincko, Aubert de Villaine, Bernard Noblet, Yours Truly, and Geoffrey Troy

2009 Bottle

AUBERT DE VILLAINE AND BERNARD NOBLET

Aubert de Villaine and Bernard Noblet

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Vosne-Romanee Cuvée Duvault-Blochet 1er Cru.
This wine was made from a blend of second harvest grapes from all the domaine’s vineyards and from the 5 year old vines in La Tache. The proportion was approximately 80-20%. This is the sixth vintage since 1999 that this wine has been made. It is named for Jacques-Marie Duvault-Blochet who purchased the Romanee Conti Vineyard in 1869 and went on to purchase holdings in Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux, and Richebourg that are the origins of the domaine that exists today. It is only made in years where it is felt that the wine will reflect the characteristics of the vintage.
This is a really lovely wine with elegance and wonderful balance. It has a deep color and a lovely cherry tinged perfume with a faint floral undertone. The flavors show lots of berry fruit with just a hint of spice and the wine shows richness and depth – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Corton.
The year 2009 is a great inaugural vintage for this wine. It is very refined and elegant. With a deep color the wine has a lovely floral tinged perfume and very silky fruit. It is rounded with a floral nuance and a touch of spice and is beautifully balanced with a long finish – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Echezeaux.
This is a gorgeous wine with a dark color and deep spice tinged berry perfume. It is loaded with fruit and has a lot of richness and depth. Balanced and long on the palate this is an impressive Echezeaux – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Grands Echezeaux.
This is a really great Grands Echezeaux. It has a dark color and a stunning perfume of berry fruit with floral notes and tinges of oriental spice. Great elegance is combined here with a tremendous amount of fruit and intensity. The wine is impeccably balanced and shows a wonderful nuance of oriental spice with a long lingering finish –
Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg.
This is a superb Richebourg. It has a dark color and a great oriental spice perfume. There is an abundance of exotic tinged plum and blackberry fruit with hints of oriental spice and the wine has depth and lots of flavor. There is lots of material here with and exceptional balance of richness and texture followed by a long finish – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant. What a stunning wine. This Romanee St. Vivant surely is one of the best ever. It is dark in color with an intense perfume of violets, blackberries, and oriental spice. The wine has tremendous supple fruit and great structure and balance. The wine is rich with gorgeous flavors of floral tinged blackberry fruit accented by a tinge of oriental spice and the finish is long and lingering –Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tache.
This is a La Tache that evokes memories of the young 1990 La Tache. Both are truly great wines. The 1990 still has a long life ahead and I think this 2009 will follow in its foot steps. The wine has a deep haunting perfume of dark fruits and oriental spice with just a whiff of smokiness. It is full of intense, mouth coating fruit that is complimented by a lovely hint of oriental spice. With great structure and depth the finish of this wine goes on and on – Extraordinary Plus. 4-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée Conti.
Like the La Tache this Romanee Conti to me is a reminder of the young 1990. It may very well evolve into a perfect wine as the combination of flavor, structure, depth, and texture is wrapped together in a seamless package that is really awesome. The color is dark and there is a stunning perfume of exotic fruit with floral oriental spice nuances. The wine is very elegant with layers of complex exotic tinged fruits accented by oriental spice nuances and a faint floral undertone. The balance and length of this wine is simply amazing. Words hardly do it justice – Extraordinary Plus. 4-n-half-yellow-stars

White Wine

Last year after tasting the 2008 Domaine Romanée Conti Montrachet I was awe struck. Here is my note:

2008 Domaine Romanée Conti Montrachet. Wow! What can be said about the great 2008 DRC Montrachet? It is, without question, one of the greatest young Montrachets I have ever tasted. Since the first vintage in 1965, there have been many, many great DRC Montrachets, but this, for me, ranks with the very best vintages such as 1968, 1970, 1971, 1978, 1985, and 1990. I have tasted all of these very early and over the years since. They are all memorable, but each vintage is a bit different. And each wine has its greatness expressed in a slightly different way. The remarkable thing about this 2008 is that the opulence is backed with great acidity and focus. It is an ultimate expression of Yin and Yang. There is a great honeyed, tropical fruit, spice, citrus, and mineral tinged perfume. The wine is very pure, lush, and rounded with honeyed, tropical fruit nuances. Then comes the citrus kick on the finish that balances the richness. Very long on the palate, this is simply stunning and should, in time, represent perfection – Extraordinary Plus. 4-n-half-yellow-stars

2009 Domaine Romanée Conti Montrachet.
The 2008 is a tough act to follow. The 2009 is all together different. It has a light yellow gold color and a great perfume of citrus and hazelnut with a faint spice tinge. The wine is rich and opulent with intense floral, citrus tinged fruit accented by a honeyed nuance and a kiss of spice. Long on the palate, this Montrachet is extraordinary in its own right and joins the nearly 40 year line up of great DRC Montrachets – Extraordinary. 4-yellow-stars

VOUGEOT

clos vougeot sign

Domaine Hudelot-Noellat

Burgundy 2007 HUDELOT NOELLAT SIGN

Some 50 years ago Alain Hudelot began acquiring vineyards including part of his father’s holdings in Clos Vougeot. In 1963 he married the grand daughter of Charles Noellat and, after much legal maneuvering, the domaine was expanded. Alain’s grandson, Charles Van Canneyt, returned to take over the domaine in 2008 assisted by Vincent Mugnier who has been there since 2005. This domaine has holdings in some of the best vineyards and recent vintages have been consistently at a high level.

2010 Barrel

Production here is 2010 was down about 20% from 2009. Charles calls 2010 the year of the terroir and 2009 the year of the vintage. That is, in 2009 the warm weather conditions allowed virtually all areas to show more of the influence of the weather. Whereas, in the cool vintage of 2010, the particular characteristics of the individual areas and vineyards were more expressive. Charles prefers his 2010s for their purity of fruit and expression of terroir. For me, I was impressed with the 2009s here last year and I am impressed with the 2010s this year. Viva la difference! Both vintages are very successful at this domaine.

Charles-Von-Canneyt-at-Hudelot-Noellet

Charles Van Canneyt

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Bourgogne.
This is a lovely Bourgogne that should represent excellent value. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume showing hints of strawberries with a floral nuance. The wine is supple and fruity with nice flavors and a crisp finish – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny.
This is a very nice village wine with a deep color and a nice perfume. It is supple and rounded with lots of fruit and a very nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanée.
This wine has a deep color and a very nice perfume. It has lovely berry fruit and it is supple and rounded with good depth and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Vougeot Les Petits Vougeots 1er Cru.
The vines here are 25 years old. This is a really nice wine from a rather obscure vineyard. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume. The fruit is very pure and the wine is supple and flavorful with a vibrant crispness on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Murgers 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a nice berry perfume and very nice fruit with structure and backbone. Rather restrained just now it should soften and round out with a bit more time – Very Good Plus Potential.1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru.
This is a really lovely wine. It has a deep color and a very nice berry perfume. Rounded and supple there is lots of very pure floral tinged fruit and the wine is balanced and flavorful with a very nice finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Vosne Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru.
This is a wine of elegance and finesse. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume with very pure fruit showing a floral nuance. Rounded supple and flavorful the wine has depth and a very nice crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Clos Vougeot.
This is a charming Clos Vougeot with a deep color and a gorgeous perfume of floral tinged berry fruit. The wine has very pure lush fruit with a faint underlying floral note. It is refined and elegant with lovely balance and lots of flavor. Underneath there is a nice crispness which gives the wine a vibrant quality and the finish is long and crisp – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts 1er Cru.
This is a really nice wine. It has a deep color and a lovely berry perfume with a faint floral tinge. There is lots of fruit and the wine is flavorful with vibrancy and depth – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Romanée-Saint-Vivant.
With a deep color this wine has a gorgeous berry perfume with just a tinge of spice. It is rich and rounded with lots of fruit and a faint floral undertone. The wine is very pure and balanced with elegance and flavor – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg.
This wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume of berry fruit with floral spice tinges. It is brimming with very pure fruit and is rounded and supple with great flavors showing a touch of spice and a faint underlying floral nuance. This is a wine with elegance and depth that is beautifully balanced – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

COTE DE BEAUNE


Beaune_Hospices

Hospices de Beaune

PULIGNY MONTRACHET

puligny montrachet

Domaine Leflaive

domaine leflaive 1

The Leflaive family has been in Burgundy for more than 400 years. The expansion of the domaine began in 1905 when Joseph Leflaive inherited five acres of vines. Phylloxera and odium diseases plagued Burgundy in the late 19th century and many owners sold their land. This provided an opportunity for Joseph and by 1926 he had increased the domaine to 50 acres. In 1953, Vincent and his brother, Jo, took over the domaine after their father’s death. Vincent was instrumental in advancing the quality of the wines and expanding the domaine. In 1991, he acquired a very small parcel of Montrachet (0.2 acres). Vincent passed away on the eve of the 1993 harvest. Subsequently, Vincent’s daughter, Ann-Claude, assumed control. In 1990 she began biodynamic principles in the vineyards and by 1997 the entire domaine was converted. She is passionate in the pursuit of quality and has reinforced the reputation of Domaine Leflaive as the greatest white wine estate in Burgundy.

Ann Claude Leflaive

Ann Claude Leflaive

I have tasted at this domaine since the early 1980s and have experienced many memorable wines. The 2009s here last year were very impressive. And, there is no question that there will be some excellent wines here in 2010. At the time of our visit this year the wines were in tanks being prepared for bottling. Unfortunately, the timing of our visit was such that many of the wines had just had sulphur added. Therefore, we did not taste all the wines and some of the wines tasted were not at their best as a result of the sulphur. (My notes below do not include these wines.)

This year we met again with Antoine Lepetit who is a member of the team involved in the day to day management of the Domaine. He was very excited about the 2010s here, although very apologetic about the showing of some of the wines on this occasion. He said the yields were down a bit in the Grand Crus as compared with the 2009s. The acidities in 2010 were between 07 and 08 with 07 less ripe than 2010.

We also chatted about the Premox problem because on this trip we had an 08 Pucelles and an 02 Batard that were very advanced. The 2008 is particulary disturbing, although several people told us that there may have been recent problems with the storage of some wines that was causing the problem. And we know that there was a late release of the 1996 Batard (identified by a crescent vintage label) a number of years ago that were in decline. But, other bottles of the same wine that we have cellared since the original release are fantastic. So maybe the 02 Batard also suffered from poor storage? However, at the end of the tasting we were served an 00 Pucelles and it was also on the way down. It does seem like these problems are most likely storage rather than Premox, but at this point we just don’t know.

Below are my notes on some of the 2010s tasted from barrel and a 2000 tasted from bottle:

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet.
Domaine consistently makes a really fine Bourgogne and Puligny Montrachet village. The Bourgogne had not been blended at the time of our tasting, but this Puligny Montrachet is lovely. It has a light yellow color and a lovely floral tinged perfume with a touch of citrus. There is very nice fruit and the wine is flavorful with a nice underlying crispness – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Leflaive Les Folatieres 1er Cru.
This is a really distinctive wine. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely perfume with floral citrus nuances and a hint of minerality. It has very nice flora tinged fruit and lots of flavor and is crisp and racy. There is impressive length on the finish and this should be a wine that will repay many years of bottle age and evolve beautifully – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with gorgeous fruit, structure and balance. It has a light yellow color and a gorgeous floral citrus tinged perfume with a faint mineral nuance. On the palate there is the same expression and the wine is harmonious with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er Cru.
This wine consistently shows and elegance and roundness that is very appealing. This 2010 has those same qualities but with a bright underlying crispness. It is light yellow in color with a lovely perfume that shows floral and citrus nuances with a hint of peach and tropical fruit with a faint mineral undertone. The flavors have depth and richness with lovely floral tinged fruit accented by citrus and an intriguing tropical note and the finish is long and crisp – Outstanding Plus Potential . 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet.
This is one of my favorite wines year in and year out. I love it for the richness that is offset by vibrant acidity. This year the wine has it in spades! It is light yellow in color with a deep floral perfume with citrus and mineral nuances. The wine has lots of citrus tinged fruit with a faint exotic floral undertone. It has a bright crispness underneath and a long crisp finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet.
This is a really gorgeous wine with great balance. It is light yellow in color and has a stunning floral perfume with hints of citrus and a faint honeyed nuance. The wine has elegance and finesse with lots of depth. The fruit is concentrated and very pure with floral nuances and hints of citrus and honey and is accented by crisp acidity and a long crisp finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2000 Bottle

2000 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er Cru.
After our tasting of the 2010s at the domaine, this bottle was opened. We had been talking about the Premox problem and suddenly the problem was in our glass. The wine was very advanced and a bit flat with pronounced caramel flavors. Not yet at the end of the line, but not far from it. But again we don’t know what caused the problem here – storage or Premox?

NEGOCIANT/PRODUCERS

Bouchard Pere & Fils

Bouchard

The history of this negociant dates back to 1731. In 1995 Champagne Joseph Henriot acquired the property consisting of an extensive inventory of some 1,000,000 bottled wines including 2000 bottles of pre phylloxera wine, the largest vineyard holdings in the Cote d’ Or, the buildings and winery, and the name and brands. This looks to have been one of the greatest acquisitions in the long history of Burgundy.

Since Joseph Henriot acquired the property there have been major investments made in the property and vineyards with the focus exclusively on the wines of Burgundy. These include a new winery facility in 2005 and significant increases in vineyard holdings. The major vineyard acquisitions were Domaine Ropiteau Domaine, a major Meursault estate, in 1996 and William Fevre ,one of the most important domaines in Chablis, in 1998. Today Bouchard continues to be the largest land owner in the Cote d’Or with 325 acres of vineyards, including 30 acres of Grand Cru and 185 acres of Premier Cru.

Philippe Prost, who has been with Bouchard since 1978 and is currently in charge of winemaking and production, says one of the most important things that Joseph Henriot brought to Bouchard was a willingness to do what ever it takes to make the best wines.

Bouchard historically has had three types of bottlings, each with different labels and capsules: 1) Negociant – primarily buying grapes rather than juice or completed wines; 2) Exclusive – where they do not own the land, but handle the wine including bottling and marketing; 3) Domaine bottled from their own vineyards. The majority of their production is Domaine bottlings, but negociant bottlings can go up to nearly 50% of the total.

The wines here can be excellent and, in recent years, have been very consistent (with the exception of some white wine vintages in the period from the late 90s to the early years of 2000 where quite a number of white wines have been plagued by premature oxidation or Premox). However, Philippe told us this year that since 2005 they believe that problem is behind them. They have made many changes. Prior to 2005 they used 1200 new barrels per year. They have been reducing the amount of new oak and in 2010 used only 750 new barrels. Also the amount of time that the wines are aged in wood has been reduced significantly. And, after experimenting with Diam corks for 8 years, in 2010 they will use all Diam corks. Diam corks are made by grinding up natural corks and stripping all the aromas out of the cork. Then the ground up cork is molded back together with polyurethane. This neutralizes the flavor of the cork and the binding material is designed to breathe slightly like a natural cork. Reportedly, all Champagne corks use this technology. If that is the case, then I can attest to the fact that, after opening thousands of bottles of Champagne, I have very rarely ever had a corked bottle and never one with Premox! Also, Bouchard has changed the shape of the bottle to insure a tighter seal. They feel that all these things and a few others are the solution to the problem. So I know Burgundy lovers every where will rejoice if the dreaded Premox is a thing of the past!

Speaking of 2010, Philippe said that the crop for red wines was down about 15% from the levels seen in 2009. He likes the wines very much for their purity, ripe fruit, soft tannins, and good acidity. I would agree and would also go on to say that here 2010 may even be at a slightly higher level than 2009. Time will tell.

2010 Barrel

bouchard vineyard

Vigne De L’Enfant Jesus

Domaine

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Lavieres 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely berry perfume and nice flavors. It is crisp with good backbone and quite firm – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Clos De La Mousse 1er Cru.
This wine has a deep color and a nice berry tinged perfume with good fruit and a frim backbone – Very Good Potential. 1-barrel

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Teurons 1er Cru.
This wine has nice fruit and is firmly structured. It has a deep color and a nice berry perfume and is flavorful and crisp – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves De L’Enfant Jesus 1er Cru.
This wine consists of fruit from 5 different parcels that are vinified separately and then blended. It is capable of aging for a very long time. I can recall a 1959 that I had a number of years ago that was lovely. But, in the Bouchard cellars they have the 1865 vintage of this wine which they say is still very much alive and delicious!
This 2010 is unlikely to live as long as the 1865, but it is a lovely wine that will repay aging for a decade or more. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral berry tinged perfume with lots of fruit and flavor. The wine has depth and richness and a firm underlying structure – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot 1er Cru.
This 2010 Philippe compares to the 2005. It is always one of my favorite wines here and this is again really lovely. The wine has a deep color and a lovely perfume of floral tinged cherry fruit. On the palate there is lots of very pure fruit and the wine has depth and flavor with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Clos des Chenes 1er Cru.
This is a gorgeous wine. It has a dark color and a deep perfume of berry fruit with a floral nuance. It has lots of very pure fruit and is flavorful and balanced with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Pommard Rugiens 1er Cru.
This wine was made with 100% whole berry fermentation and it is stunning. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of exotic fruits. It has lots of very pure blackberry fruit with a faint exotic nuance and lots of concentration and depth. The wine is quite lush and balanced by a nice underlying crispness – Outstanding Plus Potential.2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton.
This Corton is really lovely with great elegance and style. It has a deep color and a nice perfume with lots of berry fruit. The wine has richness and depth with lots of finesse and very pure fruit – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Cailles 1er Cru.
Dark in color this wine has a deep perfume and lots of rich very pure fruit showing a faint exotic tinge. Well crafted and balanced with a nice underlying crispness this is lovely – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Clos Vougeot.
This Clos Vougeot has a deep color and a lovely floral berry perfume. It is elegant with very pure fruit showing a faint floral nuance and has lovely balance with a very nice finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

Negociant

2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambolle Musigny Les Noirots 1er Cru.
This vineyard is under long term contact to Bouchard where they do the farming, vinification, and bottling.The production in 2010 was 250 cases.
This wine is really lovely. It has a dark color and a deep floral berry perfume. There is lots of fruit on the palate and the wine is very well structured with lots of flavor and a nice crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots 1er Cru. This is a lovely wine. It has a dark color and deep perfume of cherry fruit with a floral tinge. It has lots of fruit and is well crafted with a nice underlying structure and a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin-Clos-De-Beze.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with a faint floral nuance and a tinge of spice. It has lots of rich pure fruit that is concentrated and balanced with a nice underlying crispness. The wine has lots of flavor and finesse and a lovely finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

White Wines

Philippe says the white wines here in 2010 have almost the same acidity levels as 2004 but with more fruit.I like this style very much. The wines have very pure fruit and brisk acidity and freshness. Hopefully, as I reported earlier, Philippe is right and the dreaded premature oxidation is a thing of the past. If so, the best of these wines should be magical in 10-20 years. The Montrachet, in particular, is one of the best Montrachets I have ever tasted from barrel.

2010 Barrel

Bouchard Montrachet

Domaine

2010 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Montmains 1er Cru.
This is a lovely Chablis. It has a light yellow color and an intriguing perfume that is flinty with citrus and pineapple nuances. The wine has lovely crisp citrus tinged fruit with an nice underlying minerality and a faint hint of pineapple and a crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru.
Light yellow in color this wine has a lovely perfume that is faintly floral with citrus and mineral nuances. It is crisp and zesty with citrus and mineral nuances and a crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cotes de Bouguerots Grand Cru.
This is a very crisp Chablis with a light yellow color and a nice perfume with hints of melon and citrus with a faint mineral tinge. It is finesseful with nice floral citrus tinged flavors and an underlying core of minerality followed by a crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru.
Light yellow in color this Chablis has a subtle perfume with faint hints of citrus and apricot and a tinge of minerality. It has nice citrus tinged fruit with mineral nuance and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru.
This is a lovely Chablis with a nice subtle melon like fruit with tinges of citrus and mineral. It is rounded and flavorful yet with and underlying crispness and a long crisp citrus tinged finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Les Clous 1er Cru.
This is a lovely Meursault with a very nice tropical perfume tinged with citrus. It is balanced with gorgeous tropical tinged fruit accented by citrus and a touch of minerality. There is a nice complexity to this wine that is enhanced by the crispness – Outstanding Potential.2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Clos Saint-Landry 1er Cru.
This wine was tasted from the bottle. It is light yellow in color with a nice floral citrus tinged perfume. It has lovely fruit and is rounded with a nice crisp finish – Highly Recommended. 2-yellow-stars

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Genevieres 1er Cru.
This is a lovely elegant Meursault. It is light yellow in color and has a nice floral citrus tinged perfume. It has really nice flavors with floral citrus nuances accented by a faint minerality and is balanced with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Perrieres 1er Cru.
This is a tightly wound Meursault that has a lot of depth and purity but in a restrained style that will take time to blossom. It is light yellow in color with a perfume that shows minerality and citrus with an underlying floral tinge. There is fruit and depth with an abundance of citrus and mineral accents. The finish is long and crisp – Outstanding Plus Potential.2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet.
Bouchard owns about one-third of the great Grand Cru. The first parcel was purchased in 1838. With a light yellow color this wine has a deep complex perfume with hints of peach and citrus and a faint honeyed nuance with a touch of minerality. It has lovely fruit and is elegant and finesseful yet with depth and flavor and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte.
This wine is made from vines in Chevalier-Montrachet that are an exact extension of Montrachet and was, at one time, classified as Montrachet. It bears the name of the small house (La Cabotte in French) that sits in the vineyard. This is a really stunning wine. It has a light yellow color and a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of citrus, peach and hazelnuts. The wine is rich yet very harmoniouswith peach and citrus fruit intertwined with a floral honeyed nuance and touch of minerality. It has great balance and flavor with a long lingering finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet.
This is a phenomenal Montrachet and one of the best I have ever tasted from barrel. Light yellow in color the wine has a stunning perfume showing a honeyed quality, peach and citrus fruit, and a faint floral nuance. The flavors are complex with lots of fruit and a honeyed quality accented by a citrus tinge and a faint mineral nuance. The wine is lush with great intensity yet has a great underlying acidity and a very long lingering finish. This is a great expression of Yin and Yang and utterly compelling – Exceptional Plus Potential. 3n-half-barrels


Joseph Drouhin

Admin Image

Joseph Drouhin Headquarters – Drouhin Family 3rd and 4th Generation

Joseph Drouhin founded his wine business in Beaune in 1880 at the age of 22. His son, Maurice, succeeded him and began to purchase vineyards and land in such appellations as Clos de Mouches and Clos Vougeot. Robert Drouhin succeeded Maurice in 1957 and acquired many more vineyards. Robert was one of the first people in Burgundy to do away with chemicals and pesticides and build an enology laboratory. Today Philippe, Veronique, Laurent, and Frederick represent the fourth generation of the Drouhin family.

The wines here are about evenly divided between negociant (purchased grapes and/or wine) and domaine (wines made from vineyards owned by Drouhin). This house is one of the best in Burgundy. The white wines show great finesse and style and the red wines are very pure and balanced. Both the red and white wines are very consistent vintage to vintage and are very age worthy except for some recent White Burgundy vintages that have been plagued by pre mature oxidation or Premox. (More on this subject under the white wines section below.) At the end of our tasting this year we were served an older red wine blind. This was impossible to guess. My note appears below and is evidence of the age worthiness and quality of the Joseph Drouhin wines.

1989 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle Musigny Les Baudes 1er Cru.
This vineyard is situated just below Bonnes Mares. This wine has a lovely amber tinged color with an amber edge. The perfume is complex and very appealing with foresty, exotic nuances. On the palate the wine is lush, rounded and silky with complex flavors showing a foresty quality with faint tinges of spice and smokiness. This is a wonderful old Burgundy that is a pleasure to drink – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

And, in recent years, I have drunk numerous bottles of 1977 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche that were sensational. Also, I have had many bottles of the 1982 Joseph Drouhin Musigny that were simply fabulous. And these two wines are from the “lesser” years. In short, the Joseph Drouhin name is a sign of quality.

Joseph Drouhin 77M&82M

A Great Dynamic M&M Duo

2010 Barrel

The crop here in 2010 was down about 20% from 2009. The wines are very successful with lovely pure fruit and vibrancy and finesse. The comparison with 2009 is different fruit, but there is no question that some very great wines were made here in both vintages.

drouhin clos-des-mouches-2-103

Clos des Mouches

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely floral perfume with hints of cherry. It has lovely fruit and is crisp with with a faint mineral tinge and a nice finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Savigny-les-Beaune Clos des Godeaux.
This is a lovely wine. It has a very nice color and a lovely berry perfume with a floral undertone and a kiss of spice. It has very nice fruit and is supple yet with backbone and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential.1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge 1er Cru.
This is a delicious wine. With a deep color it has a lovely berry perfume with a touch of spice and a faintly smoky, peppery undertone. The wine has lots of very pure fruit with a faint spiciness and is balanced with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Greves 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with a very faint underlying smokiness. It has lots of spice tinged berry fruit and has good backbone and a crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Nuits-St.-Georges Les Proces 1er Cru.
This wine has a deep color and a lovely berry perfume. The fruit is very pure and flavorful with a nice underlying crispness. A bit restrained just now this wine should blossom with time – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru.
There were 250 cases of this wine with the grapes coming from 4 different vineyards. It is a gorgeous wine with a deep color and a lovely floral perfume. The wine has very pure supple fruit that is flavorful and accented by a nice crispness. In a word, it is delicious – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin.
This is another village wine made from grapes harvested from three different vineyards. It too is a really impressive wine. With a deep color the wine has a gorgeous berry perfume with floral spice nuances. It has intense fruit with lovely flavor and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin.
Dark in color this wine has a stunning floral perfume with hints of cherries and berries. It is loaded with black cherry fruit and is impressively rich and supple with great structure. There is an underlying floral nuance that also follows through on the long crisp finish. The purity of fruit here is very impressive – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Grands Echezeaux.
This wine is made from vines that are 45 years old. It is consistently a great wine here and this is a prime example. The color is dark and there is a deep berry perfume with a tinge of spice and a faint exotic nuance. The wine has lots of supple fruit with an underlying crispness and there are layers of flavor. Impressively rich yet with great balance this is a wine with the promise of great elegance – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Musigny.
Wow! This is a great wine. It has a dark color and a deep floral perfume with a myriad of fruits including berries, cherries, and pomegranate. Likewise on the palate there is intense, complex, pure fruit and a balanced crispness. The wine is lush with layers of flavor yet with definition and great elegance. The finish goes on and on. Word hardly do it justice – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

White Wines

As I previously mentioned, the wines here are very age worthy, both reds and whites. But since the late 90s and into the 2000s this domaine has also suffered from the dreaded premature oxidation or Premox. They have made numerous changes that they now believe will correct the problem. Most recently, they have instituted a way to clean the corks to remove any foreign elements. They have also increased the width of the corks at the bottom and made the necks of the bottles straighter to assure a better seal. Again, hopefully this will render Premox a thing of the past.

The 2010s here have vibrant acidity and gorgeous fruit. They are wines that should enjoy a long life ahead.

Drouhin montrachet-marquis-de-laguiche-121

2010 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Véran Blanc.
This wine was bottled when tasted. It is a delicious wine and should be a great value. It is light yellow in color and has a gorgeous floral tinged perfume with hint of citrus and a faint honeyed nuance. The wine has great flavors with hints of citrus and coconut and it is balanced and flavorful with a lovely crisp finish – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2010 Joseph Drouhin Rully Blanc.
With a light yellow color this wine has a lovely floral perfume accented by a hint of pineapple. It has very attractive fruit with citrus and pineapple nuances and is rounded with nice crisp finish. This is another very attractive wine that should also represent great value – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Réserve de Vaudon.
This Chablis has a pale yellow color and a nice mineral tinged citrus perfume. It has great finesse with citrus tinged flavors accented by an underlying minerality which follows through on the crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Sécher 1er Cru.
This is a very attractive Chablis that has character and style. It is pale yellow in color and has a lovely flinty perfume that is accented with citrus. It has a nice flintiness on the palate with tinges of citrus and pineapple and a nice crisp finish. This is a Chablis that to me is very well defined and reminiscent of Chablis from the past – Outstanding Potential.2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru.
It is interesting to contrast this richer rounder style of Chablis that is found in this Les Clos with the crisp mineral driven style of the Sécher. They could hardly be more different, but to me both have great appeal for very different reasons even though both are Chablis. This Les Clos has a light yellow color and gorgeous perfume of citrus and pineapple. It has lots of gorgeous pure fruit with an underlying hint of citrus and minerality. There is a very well defined richness and the wine finishs with a nice crispness – Outstanding Plus Potential.2n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Meursault.
This is a lovely Meursault. It has a light yellow color and a nice floral perfumewith ahint of citrus. The wine is finesseful with nice flavors hinting of citrus with a faint floral undertone and the finish has a nice crispness – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Meursault Perriéres.
With a light yellow color this wine has a gorgeous perfume with subtle floral notes and a hint of peach and citrus. It has great fruit and intensity with hints of citrus and peach and is impressively flavorful with an underlying crispness. This is wine that is very well defined and structured for aging – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatiéres 1er Cru.
This is a wine with impressive structure and balance. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely floral perfume with a faint hint of peach and spice. Rounded with lots of fruit the wine has depth and a very nice underlying crispness – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche 1er Cru.
This wine was tasted from bottle. It has a light yellow color and a floral perfume with hints of citrus and peach. It is elegant and rounded with a nice underlying crispiness. The wine is balanced and shows r great early appeal – Highly Recommended Plus. 2-n-half-yellow-stars

2010 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 1er Cru.
This is a very elegant beautifully crafted wine. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely fruity spice tinged perfume with a faint floral nuance. It has lovely fruit that is subtle but complex with faint hints of peach and citrus. Rounded and elegant the wine has finesse and is flavorful with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Corton Charlemagne.
Light yellow in color this wine has a lovely floral perfume with a faint underlying minerality and a tinge of citrus. It is rounded and lush yet with crispness and definition. There is a lot of fruit and flavor that is accented by a nice minerality and the finish is long and crisp – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche.
This is a stunning wine. It is light yellow in color with a lovely honeyed perfume with underlying floral, citrus and mineral nuances. The wine has intensity and is lush and rounded with great depth of flavor. The flavors are faintly honeyed with a floral citrus tinge and the finish is very long with a balanced crispness – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

Pierre Yves Colin-Morey

Pierre Yves Colin-Morey

Pierre Yves is the eldest son of Marc Colin. He was the winemaker at his father’s domaine from 2001 to 2005 and set up a negociant business with his wife Caroline Morey in 2001. In 2006 he left his father’s domaine and now concentrates on white wines both as a negociant and grower. The domaine has some 10 acres of vineyard located in St. Aubin and Chassagne Montrachet. Pierre Yves does not differentiate between wines made from purchased grapes or barrels and estate grown grapes. All the wines are treated the same.

In a very short time, he has established a reputation for making some of the best white wines in Burgundy. His wines are very pure and have great elegance and breed. His Saint Aubins are real values. Saint Aubin is situated in the hills just above Chassagne and Pierre Yves crafts wines from here that are the equal of many Chassagne Montrachet Premier Crus. His domaine Chassagnes are also consistently at a very high level. And his Grand Cru negociant wines are magnificent.
In terms of recent White Burgundy vintages, Pierre Yves believes the 09 white wines are like 85 or 89. The vintage was quite ripe, but the wines have very good underlying structure and Pierre Yves says it is rare to have this balance. He likes the 2010s even more. They are not over ripe and are very pure with good acidity. The acidities in 2010 are close to 2008, but with more elegance. The acidities in 2004 and 2007 are higher with less ripe fruit. His favorite recent white Burgundy vintages are 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

My taste corresponds with Pierre Yves. I like very much the 2004s and 2007s for their vibrant acidities. The 2008s may be even better for the ripeness and purity with good acidities just a bit lower than the 2004s and 2007s. And, at this early stage, I also agree that the 2010s seem very close to the 2008s which means that they will be great.

White Wine

Domaine

2010 Bottle

2010 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Saint Aubin En Remilly 1er Cru.
Light yellow in color this is a very elegant wine. It has a lovely floral perfume with a touch of citrus. It is finesseful and rounded with lovely fruit and gorgeous balance. Very pure with great clarity the finish is long and crisp – Outstanding . 3-yellow-stars

2010 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Saint Aubin La Chateniere 1er Cru.
Light yellow in color this wine has a lovely perfume with floral citrus tinged nuances. It has beautiful pure fruit that is expressed in a style that is racy and crisp. The minerality is underneath with a faint hint of citrus and peach on the finish – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

2010 Barrel

2010 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne Montrachet Les Ancegnieres.
This is a lovely wine with light yellow color and a gorgeous floral tinged perfume with hints of peach and citrus. It has lots of very pure fruit and is beautifully balanced with flavors that combine hints of citrus and peach with a bright crispness – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne Montrachet Les Chenevottes 1er Cru.
This is a wine of great elegance. It has a light yellow color and a nice subtle perfume with faint floral citrus nuances. It has lovely very pure floral tinged fruit that is accented by a fresh citrus accent that is vibrant and crisp – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Domaine Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru.
This is a terrific wine. It is light yellow in color with a gorgeous perfume showing a floral nuance with citrus and mineral undertones. It has lots of very pure fruit and is elegant with depth and lovely flavors that hint of citrus and peach with a floral nuance. The wine is balanced and has a lot of charm with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

Negociant

2010 Barrel

2010 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er Cru.
There are 75 cases of this wine. It is made from vines that are 85 years old in the Premier Cru vineyard of Les Folatieres which is situated at the same elevation as Les Caillerets, Chevalier Montrachet and Montrachet. With a light yellow color the wine has a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of citrus and peach. It has impressive concentration with very pure fruit and great structure. There is depth and richness and the wine is beautifully balanced with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Meursault Genevrieres 1er Cru.
This is a delicious Meursault. It is light yellow in color with a very floral perfume with a tinge of citrus. It is elegant with lots of very pure fruit and has great balance with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Meursault Perrieres 1er Cru.
With a light yellow color this wine has stunningly complex perfume showing floral citrus, melon, and peach nuances with a faint mineral tinge. It has lots of very pure floral tinged fruit with mineral and citrus undertones and has depth and structure with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Batard Montrachet.
Wow. This is a wine of stunning depth and balance. It is light yellow in color and has a gorgeous complex perfume with floral peach nuances and a faint underlying honeyed quality with a tinge of citrus. The wine has very pure fruit and has very harmonious flavors of peach and citrus with faint honeyed citrus undertones. The finish has impressive length with a nice crispness – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet.
Yet another Wow! This is a fabulous wine. It has a light yellow color and a deep perfume of citrus with floral mineral undertones and a hint of honey. The wine has lots of finesse and great elegance yet with depth and lots of flavor. The fruit is very pure and complex with floral citrus and faintly honeyed nuances and the finish has great length with a nice crispness – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

NOTE: Because many of the wines had not finished their fermentations at the time of our visit we did not taste many of 2010s. There was no Montrachet in 2010. The wines not tasted include the following (as well as a few others):

Chassagne Montrachet Vide Bourse 1er Cru
Puligny Montrachet Les Champs Gains 1er Cru
Meursault Charmes
Meursault Narvaux
Corton Charlemagne
Bienvenues Batard Montrachet

Based on the great quality of the wines we did taste I would expect these wines to be up to that standard as well. These are wines to buy across the entire range.

Remoissenet Pere et Fils

remoissenet

This firm was founded in 1877 and was headed by Roland Remoissenet for some 30 years. In 2005 he retired and sold the firm to New York financiers, Edward and Howard Milstein with minority interests held by Maison Louis Jadot and Toronto based Halpern Enterprises. Included in the sale was a very large inventory of reportedly over a million bottles. Bernard Repolt, most recently President of Louis Jadot, is now the director.

Under the new regime things are on the upswing. Wines are made from some 50 differnet appellations with the proportion approximately ½ red and ½ white. The white wines are consistently very fine and the red wines are steadily improving and were gorgeous in 2009 and again in 2010. In now looks as if this house has pretty much hit full stride. The wines are gorgeous across the entire line and are wines to buy. And, even more so as I suspect many of them will represent really good value.

Bernard Repolt

Bernard Repolt

2010 Barrel

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Beaune Greves 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with a floral nuance. It has lots of fruit with a faint floral spice tinge and is well balanced and flavorful with a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Beaune Marconnets 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with elegance and finesse. It has a deep color and a floral berry perfume with gorgeous very pure fruit that is harmonious and flavorful. Rounded and supple it has a nice underlying crispness and a very nice crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Nuits Saint Georges.
With a deep color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with a faint floral tinge. It has very nice fruit that is pure with nice underlying crispness – Very Good Potential 1-barrel

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Vosne-Romanee.
This wine is made from grapes coming from two different vineyards. The production in 2010 was 175 cases. It is really gorgeous and should represent very good value. The wine has deep color and a gorgeous perfume with floral berry nuances. It is elegant and blanced with lots of supple fruit accented by a faint floral undertone. There is a nice crispness and a long crisp finish. This is one to buy – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Nuits Saint George Les Busselots 1er Cru.
With a deep color this wine has a very nice perfume showing plum and berry fruit. It has nice flavors again with plum and berry fruit and has a good backbone with a crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Nuits Saint George Les Damodes 1er Cru.
The production of this wine in 2010 was 100 cases. It has a deep color and a lovely floral berry perfume. The wine has lots of fruit and is very flavorful and well structured with very nice balance – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin.
With a deep color this wine has a very nice berry perfume with a tinge of spice. It is flavorful with lovely spice tinged fruit and has very good balance and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Volnay Robardelles 1er Cru.
This is a vineyard that I have rarely encountered, but this 2010 is terrific as was the 2009. The production in 2010 was 75 cases. This is another wine that should represent good value. It has a deep color and a complex perfume showing plum and berry fruit with exotic floral nuances. The wine is elegant and supple with gorgeous exotic tinged fruit and has anice underlying crispness with a long crisp finish. This is a wine that is sure to stump everyone in a blind tasting. And besides being an outstanding wine that is a good reason to own it – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Poissenots 1er Cru.
There are only 25 cases of this wine in 2010. But, if you can find it, it is gorgeous and should represent very good value. The wine has a deep color and a lovely perfume showing berry and plum fruit. It has lots of very pure berry fruit flavors accented by a faint floral nuance and is rounded with a nice underlying crispness on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru.
This is a vineyard that is capable of producing really fine wines. This is one. The production in 2010 was 75 cases and, again this is a wine to buy. It has a deep color and gorgeous berry perfume with a faint floral nuance. With lots of very pure fruit the wine is lush and supple with a bright crispness. It has depth and balance and a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Corton Renardes.
There were 100 cases of this wine produced in 2010. It has a deep color and a lovely berry perfume and is elegant with very nice fruit and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Clos Vougeot.
This vintage produced 50 cases of this wine. It is a really lovely Clos Vougeot. The color is dark and there is a deep blackberry perfume accented by a faint floral nuance. The wine has gorgeous supple very pure fruit with a floral undertone and has depth and balance with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Charmes Chambertin.
With a dark color this wine has a deep perfume of floral tinged cherry fruit. It is lush, rounded and supple with very pure fruit andnice underlying crispness. Balanced and very harmonious this is a delicious wine with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chapelle Chambertin.
There are only about 35 cases of this wine in 2010. That is a shame because the wine is stunning. It has a dark color and a deep perfume of blackberry and cassis. It is a rich concentrated wine with very pure blackberry fruit and is balanced with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chambertin Clos de Beze.
Again there were only some 35 case of this wine produced in 2010. It has a dark color and a deep perfume of cheery fruit with a faint tinge of spice. Very flavorful and well constructed there is lots of pure fruit accented by a faint spiciness and the finish is very long and crisp – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

White Wines

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Santenay Beaurepaire 1er Cru.
This is a wine that I rarely see. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely perfume with a faint tropical nuance. The wine has lots of fruit with an exotic floral tinge and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chablis Fourchaume 1er Cru.
This wine has a light yellow color and a nice citrus tinged perfume. It is zesty and crisp with citrus flavors accented by a floral nuance and a hint of minerality – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Meursault Charmes 1er Cru.
This is a gorgeous wine. It has a light yellow color and a lovely perfume showing hints of citrus and pineapple. It is balanced and elegant with a nice crispness and gorgeous floral tinged fruit with tinges of citrus and pineapple – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Meursault Blagny 1er Cru.
This is a gorgeous wine with elegance and complexity. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely floral citrus tinged perfume with a faint exotic nuance. The wine has lots fruit that is lush and flavorful with a nice underlying crispness that follows through on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chassagne Montrachet Macherelles 1er Cru.
This is an elegant wine with a nice crispness. It has a light yellow color and a lovely floral perfume with just a touch of spice. It is finesseful with lovely fruit and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine that will have great early appeal. It is light yellow in color and has a lovely floral perfume with a faintly candied nuance. It is rounded and supple with very pure floral tinged fruit and is beautifully balanced with a crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru.
Light yellow in color this wine has a lovely floral perfume with a faintly spice tinged tropical nuance. It is flavorful and rounded with pure supple fruit accented by faint hint of tropical fruit and an underlying crispness that follow through on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chevalier Montrachet.
With a light yellow color this wine has a lovely citrus tinged exotic floral perfume. It has gorgeous fruit with a very faintly honeyed quality and is elegant and flavorful with a long crisp finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Montrachet.
This is a gorgeous Montrachet with great structure and depth. It has a light yellow color and a deep perfume that is faintly honeyed and tinged with tropical fruit. It is elegant and very harmonious with lots of very pure complex fruit showing a faint floral honeyed quality. The wine has a great underlying citrus tinge and a very long finish – Exceptional Potential.3-barrels

NEGOCIANTS

Camille Giroud

Camille Giroud sign

This company was founded in 1865 by Camille Giroud’s father in law. They selected wines based on the potential for long aging and were bottled and kept in their cellars for a long time until they felt they were ready to be released. Lucien succeeded Camille and looked for tannic wines to age. After his death, the two Giroud brothers became the managers and decided to construct a winery and vinify wines for the first time as well as continuing to buy finished wines. The 1990s were the discovery years and by the early 2000s they were out of capital. In 2002 and American group headed by Joe Wender and Ann Colgin purchased Camille Giroud and hired David Croix as wine maker. At that time the company had very few contracts with growers. In the last several years those have increased steadily. David is now in charge of production and is a believer in clarity and non invasive wine making. New oak is only around 15% for most wines with about 40-50% for the Chambertin. There is no fining or filtering.

Today Camille Giroud owns a total of about 1½ acres of 2 Premier Cru vineyards in Beaune both of which have old vines. Most wines are made using purchased grapes and a smaller amount is from purchased wine. Some 30 different wines are produced each year consisting of approximately 80% red and 20% white. The annual production averages around 5000 cases. There is also a large inventory of old wines which are sold periodically.

This was my first visit to taste at Camille Giroud. The dedication here is obvious and David Croix has done a really good job of getting this house back in the game. The 2010s here are lovely. This is a house to watch.

Burgundy 2011 093

Contributing Editors John Brincko and Geoffrey Troy Checking Out The Old Bottles

2010 Barrel

2010 Camille Giroud Beaune Les Cras 1er Cru.
This wine is made from grapes grown on vines that are over 90 years old. It has a deep color and a lovely spice tinged perfume. It is rounded and supple with very nice berry fruit and a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Pommard Clos Verger 1er Cru.
This is a very nice wine with a deep color and a lovely perfume with a floral spice nuance. It has supple fruit and is balanced with a nice crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Vosne Romanee.
With a dark color this wine has a lovely berry perfume with floral spice tinges. It has very nice fruit with tinges of spice and nice balance with a good backbone and crisp finish – Very Good Plus Potential. 1n-half-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Corton Rognets.
This is a lovely wine with a dark color and a deep perfume showing plum and cherry fruit with a very faint floral spice tinge. There is lots of supple pure fruit and the wine is well balanced with depth and richness and a long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Charmes Chambertin.
This wine is made from 50 year old vines from the upper part of the vineyard. The production in 2010 was 100 cases. With a deep color the wine has a lovely berry perfume with a floral tinge and is rounded and balanced with lots of very pure spice tinged berry fruit. There is a nice underlying crispness that follows through on the long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Latricieres Chambertin.
The production of this wine was only 25 cases in 2010. It has a deep color and a lovely spice tinged perfume. The fruit is very pure and the wine is well structured and balanced with depth and richness – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Chambertin.
The grapes for this wine come from 2 different growers. One has 50 year old vines, the other 40 year old vines. Production in 2010 was just under 90 cases. The wine has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume showing floral tinged berry fruit with a kiss of spice. It has layers of very pure fruit and is well structured with a crisp underlying acidity and a very long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

Bottle

Both of these wines are very impressive. Although we tasted only one wine, this would seem to represent a very good level of quality through each of the last 3 vintages.

2009 Camille Giroud Charmes Chambertin.
This is a gorgeous wine. It has a deep color and a complex perfume with floral berry fruit showing a faint exotic nuance. Flavorful with layers of spice tinged fruit the wine is well structured and balanced with a long lingering finish – Outstanding Plus. 3-n-half-yellow-stars

2008 Camille Giroud Charmes Chambertin.
This is a lovely 2008 with balance and depth. It has a deep color and a gorgeous ripe berry perfume with a tinge of spice. The wine has lots of fruit showing just a hint of spice and it is round and supple yet with a good backbone. Harmonious and well defined the follow through on the finish is also quite impressive – Outstanding. 3-yellow-stars

White

2010 Barrel

2010 Camille Giroud Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with early appeal. It is light yellow gold in color with a deep exotic tinged perfume. It is rich, round and supple with hints of citrus and a faint exotic tinge. There is a nice underlying crispness which gives the wine balance and this follows through on the finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Camille Giroud Corton Charlemagne.
Here we tasted a part of the final blend which was not done at the time of our tasting. It was a lovely wine with great purity and lots of pineapple tinged fruit.

Olivier Bernstein

Olivier Bernstein

Olivier Bernstein started his negociant business with the 2007 vintage. His contracts call for payment to the growers for maximum yield. He then farms the vineyards to control the yields and vinifies and bottles the wines. Olivier has purchased grapes from the same growers each year with a few leaving and a few others added to reach the current production. He emphasizes old vines and the wines reviewed here came from vines that range in age from 28 to 80 years old. All the wines are now aged in 60% new oak barrels and 40% one year old barrels. The total production has gradually been increased to a maximum of 100 barrels where it stay to maintain the quality level. Each wine in a quantity that generally is in a range of 100-200 cases Last year was the first time that we tasted here. We were impressed with the 2009s and their richness, also noting the distinct spiciness. This year the 2010s have more purity and are very successful across the entire line. There is very little of the spiciness that characterized the 2009s. Obviously this has something to do with the difference in the vintages, but I also think the trend to less wood is a good thing. For me, the 2010s here are even more impressive than the 2009s. Currently, the facilities are in Gevrey, but by next year Olivier tells us he expects to have an office and cellars in Beaune. This is a name to watch.

2010 Barrel

2010 Oliver Bernstein Gevrey Chambertin La Lavotte 1er Cru.
This is a lovely wine with a dark color and a gorgeous berry perfume. It is balanced and very flavorful with depth and very pure supple fruit. The wine has a nice underlying acidity and the length on the palate is impressive – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Gevrey Chambertin Chapeaux 1er Cru.
Dark in color this wine has deep perfume that hints of pomegranate with a faint floral nuance. The fruit is very pure and the wine is lush with bright acidity underneath and a long crisp finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru.
Dark in color this with has a deep berry perfume and is rich and flavorful with lovely balance. The fruit is very pure and supple with a nice crispness this follows through on the long finish – Outstanding Potential. 2-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Charmes-Chambertin.
This is a gorgeous wine with impeccable balance. It is dark in color and has a deep cherry perfume with an underlying floral note. There is lots of very pure cherry fruit and the wine is structured with a bright acidity wrapped underneath the fruit – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Clos Vougeot.
Dark in color this wine has a subtle perfume of berry fruit. The fruit really shines on the palate with purity and concentration. The wine is rich and beautifully balanced with a long lingering finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Clos de la Roche.
This wine is dark in color and has a lovely cherry perfume with a faint exotic nuance. It has lots of very pure fruit and had depth and richness with balanced acidity and a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Bonnes-Mares.
This is a really stunning wine. It is dark in color and has a deep floral berry perfume and lots of rich very pure fruit with just a tinge of spice. There is great intensity and a seamless integration of the fruit and underlying acidity and the finish goes on and on – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Mazis-Chambertin.
This is a rich wine with dark color and a deep perfume. It has lots of flavor, very pure fruit, and lovely balance with a long finish – Outstanding Plus Potential. 2n-half-barrels

2010 Oliver Bernstein Chambertin Clos de Beze.
Dark in color this wine has a really intense floral perfume with exotic nuances and a faint hint of spice. The wine is impressively rich and concentrated and the fruit is very pure with just a faint hint of spice. Beautifully balanced this is a fabulous wine with a long lingering finish – Exceptional Potential. 3-barrels


RECENT BURGUNDY VINTAGES

The last few vintages of Burgundy really tell a story. For, in Burgundy, it is almost never the case that any two vintages are the same. This is due to the fickle nature of the weather. Sun, rain, frost, freezes, hail, and wind can all have a positive or negative effect on the harvest depending on when they occur. And many times the crop is impacted negatively or positively by changes in the weather in the last few days or weeks before harvest. This accounts for the variability of Burgundy versus wines from warmer New World areas where the weather is almost always warm with little variability around the time of harvest. In Burgundy, there have been several recent “miracle” vintages which were saved by a late warm spell.

Below is a brief commentary on recent Burgundy vintages:

2011

Next year I will have a report on the 2011 vintage. For me, it is way too early to make any sort of accurate determination about the wines at this very early stage. However, we do know the weather conditions were good, but far from perfect (after all it is Burgundy!). The winter brought very cold weather with a warming trend in February and March. The summer arrived in April leading to the belief that the harvest would be early. Then the summer was punctuated with cooling trends and some days of late rains. This led to some rot. The harvest started in late August/early September in warm dry weather. Several growers have compared the harvest to 2007. And some have also said that it should not have as many problems as that vintage with a higher overall quality for the reds. In short, it is expected to be a successful vintage. In that case, it is likely that the vintage will not be at the level of either 2009 or 2010 (although more to the style of the 2010) And, there is likely to be more variability in quality than in 2009 or 2010. Vamos a Ver!

2010

An early freeze affected many vines in parts of Burgundy and some vines were lost. Spring came late, but warm weather followed until June when the weather cooled. July warmed up again, but August was variable with many cool days and some rain. By September the weather warmed up again and the harvest began. (To read the DRC 2010 Harvest Report click here) Very simply, the 2010 vintage is another great vintage for the best producers. Yet, compared with the 2009s, the wines are completely different. In fact, I cannot recall two such vintages back to back at such a high level, yet so different, in my 30 or so years of tasting Burgundies from barrel. And, I would also add that I don’t know of any vintage quite like the 2010. For the red wines, some have said that perhaps it is a combination of 2000 and 2001. Others have said that it is somewhat like 2001 or 2008. And still others have said maybe like 2006 or a combination of 2008 and 2005.

These 2010 comparisons may very well prove to be somewhat valid. But, for me, the 2010s, at this stage in their evolution, defy comparison. What I can say is, at the best producers, the wines have a purity and freshness in the fruit that is truly remarkable. The wines are bright and vibrant and brimming with fruit that has a zesty crispness. They have great charm and flavor with silky tannins. It can also be said that the 2010 vintage includes the combination of a warm vintage with ripe grapes and a cool vintage with freshness. It is this combination, along with low yields, which produced wines of remarkable purity, freshness, balance, flavor and vibrant acidity. It is for that reason that I call the 2010 vintage THE VINTAGE OF YIN AND YANG. And, always for me, it is this combination that gives me great pleasure.

 

2009

This is the real story of recent years for Red Burgundy. Here it looks to be a great vintage. The 2009 vintage is by far the best since 2005 and one of the three best vintages, the others being 1990 and 2005, that I have ever tasted from barrel. Some have also compared in to 1999. Going further back, perhaps 2009 is like 1959, although I certainly did not taste the 1959s from barrel! Whether it turns out to be as good as 2005, 1990, or 1959 remains to be seen. But, it is a vintage that has tremendous fruit and depth. The 2009 whites are also attractive. But, for me, maybe not up to the 2007, 2008 and 2010 vintages which are my favorite recent White Burgundy vintages. But time will tell. Interestingly, it is just the opposite for Red Burgundy. The weather conditions at harvest were ideal. Warm sunny days began in August and continued well into the fall. But, it was not always easy even in 2009 as April, May, June, and July were subject to rains which necessitated protecting the vines from mildew. However, with the warm weather beginning in August the vines produced a crop of excellent fruit which some growers compare to the best they have ever seen. However, for some who picked late there may be some over ripeness. However, the general consensus for recent vintage comparisons seems to be 1999 and 2005 for both for quality and quantity. This is very high praise indeed. And, I think Aubert de Villaine said it best when he summed up 2009 by saying “We would like to make wines like 2009 every year. But, if we did, we would not be in Burgundy!”

2008

This year was characterized by difficult weather conditions throughout the year. June, July, and August had frequent rains. In September the rains let up, but came back the second week of September. Botrytis set in very quickly and had the rain continued, the harvest would have been a disaster. But there was a “Burgundian miracle” as the rain stopped, a north wind set in to dry the grapes, and the weather warmed to promote ripening and intensify sugar and acidity. In that regard, the vintage can be compared to 1996. It is a successful year for 2008 reds, but most will require patience. For me, the whites are better. They are wines that can be compared to a blend of 2006 (rich and rounded) and 2007 (racy and mineral driven with breed and backbone to give them a long life).

2007

The year 2007 was not unlike 2008 in that it was saved by a late warming trend in the latter part of August and September. In the spring, it looked like it would be a warm summer and an early harvest. Some were thinking of 2003. But the rains came in May and continued until the end of August. The harvest produced Pinot Noir grapes that were fully ripe, but also some bunches with unripe grapes and botrytis. Many top growers were able to deal with these problems in the vineyard and others resorted to sorting after the harvest. So, while it was possible to produce lovely balanced red wines with great early appeal that are somewhat like the 2000s, it was also possible to produce wines that are rather thin and uninteresting. Selection here is the key. The opposite is true for the whites. The white wines are more consistent and are racy, mineral driven, and very pure. The year 2007 is one of my favorites of recent White Burgundy vintages just behind 2008 and 2010.


HOW BURGUNDY IS TASTED AND EVALUATED FROM BARREL

I find it interesting that wines now are most often sold with numbers, but no description of the wine. To me, an accurate (i.e devoid of hype) description is what I am looking for. Numbers are just one person’s opinion which do not correspond to everyone’s taste. And, the numbers do not say when or how the wine was tasted – before or after bottling, with hundreds of other wines, or alone. Most people who use numbers now use a range of numbers for wines tasted from barrel, but once again there is no indication of when the wine was tasted. Tasting wine from barrel is very different than tasting wine after bottling. And the earlier it is tasted the more difficult it is to evaluate the wine. Tasting after the wine has been in barrel for a year or so is easier than tasting it earlier. Generally the easiest time to taste is in the barrel or in the holding tanks just before bottling. Here you can get the best idea of what the bottled wine is likely to become.

When tasting wine from the barrel, there is the matter of barrel variation and not tasting the final blend. Hence, I find very precise notes on wines tasted at this stage of evolution to be at best an educated guess and at worst not accurate.

So we try not to make excuses for wines that are in a stage where they do not show their real potential. For instance, we do not taste wine very early. Usually it is a year of so after the vintage before we taste individual wines. The harvest information can give you a good idea of the ripeness and the health of the grapes at harvest and hence can be useful to determine the potential for a particular vintage. But it cannot tell you about individual wines. The wine produced by a small group of very consistent producers may be predictable but a lot of other wines are not until they are ready for bottling.

Also, when tasting from barrel in Burgundy, you go from location to location. In Burgundy, to the best of my knowledge, there are no drive by sip and spit tastings whereby a few hundred wines are sent to an off site location for a big numbers guy to come in and appoint his chosen wines (see my Underground Wine Line article on this in the archives). The tastings on site follow a particular order – the village wines first, then the Premier Crus and finally the Grand Crus. Moreover, the latter wines are usually presented in the order preferred by the producer with what are thought to be the best wines presented last. Most people doing the tastings produce notes that follow this sequence. To taste the wines blind (that is not knowing what they are) would likely produce very different results. But to taste and rate village wines and Premier Crus with lower scores and Grand Crus with higher scores is easy. However, to be fair, it is mostly true that all things being equal, most producers’ Grand Crus will be better in a given year than Premier Crus and Premier Crus better than village wines. But, however the results are tallied, it is extremely important to know that notes of wines before bottling are often made based on guesstimates as to how the wine will evolve and are subject to a wide divergence.

We have always used a relatively narrow range for scoring barrel samples. All are based on potential. They are one barrel very good potential, two barrels outstanding potential, three barrels extraordinary potential. When we feel a wine may be slightly better than its category we use half barrels. The reason so many tasting notes on Burgundies are from barrel is based on a number of factors. First, quantities are sometimes as few as one barrel or 25 cases up to 10-20 barrels or several hundred cases. Compared with Bordeaux where quantities are usually in the thousands to tens of thousands of cases, the quantity is very small. The scarcity and cost of individual bottles makes it difficult for the producers to do a lot of tasting of the wines after bottling. Besides, the wines are usually sold quite quickly. So in order to be able to taste and evaluate the wines, it is necessary to taste from barrel. But one must always keep in mind the limitations of doing so and recognize that wines evaluated in this way are not finished wines.


A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF BURGUNDY

Over all of these years, the question I am most often asked is “Why is Burgundy so complicated?” The answer is, in fact, a bit complicated in the details. But, for the big picture it is really quite simple. Let me explain. Burgundy is an area in France. It is divided into two parts. The northern part, called Cote de Nuits, produces red wine with only a tiny amount of white wine produced. The southern part, called Cote de Beaune, produces both red and white wine, but is mostly known for its white wines. To be called Burgundy all red wine must be made from Pinot Noir and all white wine must be made from Chardonnay.

Within Burgundy, the greatest vineyard within each town gives its name to the town. For instance, in the Cotes de Nuits, the wine from the town of Gevrey is called Gevrey-Chambertin — Gevrey for the town and Chambertin for its greatest vineyard. Likewise in Chambolle, the area is Chambolle-Musigny – Chambolle for the town and Musigny for its greatest vineyard. And, so it goes for Morey-St-Denis, Vosne-Romanee, etc. The history of Burgundy goes back to Roman times and the establishment of the greatest vineyard sites are centuries old. The greatest vineyards Chambertin, Musigny, Romanee-Conti, etc., are designated Grand Crus and only the Grand Cru name is on the label. The next highest rated vineyards are Premier Crus and the name appears on the label with the name of the area and the notation Premier Cru. Examples being Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses Premier Cru, Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots Premier Cru, etc. Occasionally, other non-rated vineyard names will appear on the label with the area name but they will not be noted as Premier Crus. These are quite rare since most of the wines from non-rated vineyards are blended into a wine of the designated area — Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle- Musigny, etc. These are called village wines. Lastly, wine from anywhere in the greater Burgundy region is called Bourgogne.

The same is true in the Cote de Beaune. Here the name of the greatest vineyard, Montrachet, was affixed to two villages as Montrachet lies on the border with a part in each village. So here we have the villages of Puligny and Chassagne, both using Montrachet to designate the area – Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. And the same rules apply here for Grand Cru vineyards, aside from Montrachet, all the other Grand Crus have Montrachet attached to their names -Chevalier-Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, Criots-Batard-Montrachet, etc., and only bear the name of the vineyard, while Premier Crus have the name of the area and the vineyard name with the designation Premier Cru. Examples would be Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Premier Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanee Premier Cru, etc. And, again sometimes wine is made from non-rated vineyards so it would appear the name of the vineyard without the designation Premier Cru. Everything else appears as village wine and appears as Chassagne-Montrachet or Puligny-Montrachet. Interestingly, many years ago most of the area of Chassagne and Puligny was planted to Pinot Noir. Today most of that has been replaced or grafted to Chardonnay and only a small amount of red wine is now produced.

In the Cote de Beaune there are many different areas — Meursault, Volnay and Pommard have no Grand Crus. Hence, every thing here is either Premier Cru – Meursault Les Perrieres Premier Cru, Volnay Les Caillerets Premier Cru, Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru, etc. Occasionally there are wines bottled for vineyards not rated Premier Cru and they are bottled with the vineyard name, but without Premier Cru designation. These are quite rare. Everything else for the areas appears as Pommard, Meursault, Volnay, etc. The wine from Meursault is mostly white. The wine from Volnay and Pommard is mostly red.

Another area in the Cote de Beaune, however is a bit more complicated. It’s Corton, the largest Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, where red and white wines are made. Corton-Charlemagne is the vineyard that makes only white wine. Corton is mostly red wine with a very small amount of white. The wines are Corton, Corton Bressandes, Corton Clos du Roi, etc.

Other areas of the Cote de Beaune include Beaune (with a large number of Premier Cru vineyards), Santenay, Saint Aubin, Ladoix-Serrigny, Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Chorey-Les-Beaune, Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses and Saint-Romain. In these areas there are some Premier Cru vineyards, but most of the production is village wine. The wines tend to be elegant and finesseful and many of the best values in Burgundy are found here.

OK, that is a simple explanation on the areas of Burgundy. Next comes the matter of ownership and producers of Burgundy. Historically, vineyard areas sold all or a large portion of their grapes and/or wine to negociants who handle winemaking (in the case of purchased grapes), and elevation (take care of the wine in barrels before bottling), bottling and marketing. Some of the most well-known negociants include Bouchard Pere & Fils, Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin, but there are also dozens of other, such as Remoissenet Pere & Fils, Louis Latour, etc.

Most of these negociants also own vineyards and make and bottle these wines as domaine bottlings versus the wine made from purchased grapes or wine which is negociant bottled. Vineyard owners also make wine and the percentage of domaine bottled wine has been increasing since the 1920s and 1930s when a handful of producers began to bottle their own wine. Some tend their own vineyards, some contract the work out, but the main point is ownership of the vineyard. These owners usually make, bottle and market the wine. Most vineyards in Burgundy have more than one owner. Hence there can be many producers of wine for the same vineyard in any given year. Clos Vougeot, for example, has more than 80 owners producing many different bottlings from different producers as well as wine and grapes sold to negociants which have their own bottlings. It is very important to know the producers as all producers are not created equal. There are differences including age of the vines, vine types, vineyard practices, situation within the vineyard, winemaking, etc. Over the years we have learned the wines we like the best and also the producers whom we feel produce the most consistently high quality wine despite the vintage. Those we have been visiting for nearly 30 years. Occasionally a new one appears. One of the most recent being Pierre Yves Colin-Morey in Chassagne. And occasionally an old one disappears. An example is Henri Jayer, whose wines we discovered in the 1978 vintage. His last vintage was 2001 and he passed away in 2006. His vineyards are now tended by his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, who makes wine under his label.

So there it is in a nutshell. And, yes there are a few more small details and a few more minor exceptions. But this explains very simply the wines of Burgundy. In our tasting notes we will include the negociants and producers that we believe make the best and most consistent wines. Then it is up to you to try some and decide for yourself which you like the best. But in buying and drinking Burgundies, I never buy just the vintage. The highly touted vintages tend to be ones with ripe to very ripe grapes and more extraction, but the other vintages also can make wonderful, and many times as good or better wines in the hands of the right producers. So, I buy wines from the producers I like every year and in some other years, try wines from different producers. For me, the producer often wins over the vintage.


2010 DRC HARVEST REPORT

To view the 2010 DRC HARVEST REPORT click here

Post a Comment

9 comments for “ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2010”

  1. Great article John

    Posted by John morrill | December 27, 2011, 9:25 am
  2. Thanks John. Please send it to your pals. Anything new from the NW?
    I am tentatively planning a trip that way this year. Any interest?
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | January 3, 2012, 4:45 pm
  3. Many thanks John – Your love of Burgundy shows, and supports my learning.
    May your tasting be filled with more delight than disappointment (may the blessings of Burgundy outweigh the heartbreaks 🙂

    Posted by John McReynolds | March 5, 2012, 8:13 pm
  4. Thanks John.
    The quest is never ending. Through learning your chances improve rather dramatically. Please pass along the Underground!
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | March 6, 2012, 4:45 pm
  5. I have a bottle of Clos de Vougeot from 1911. It was originally in the J. Pierpont Morgan library/museum in New York City, and was given to my uncle in 1960 when they discontinued their collection of wines. I have had it since then and have kept it properly. The cork is intact and uncompromised.
    I would like to know the value of this wine and if there is a current market.

    Thank you.

    Posted by Arlene Augustine | August 12, 2012, 2:33 pm
  6. Hi Arlene,
    There is no way to tell about the value of this wine from your description. I would need to know the name of the producer or bottler. Also, I would need to see a photo of the bottle. And, last and most important, how has the bottle been stored? When did it go to the museum and where was the bottle before it went to the museum? What were the storage conditions from the time it was bottled until 1960? And, how have you stored it since 1960?
    Storage and condition are all that matter relative to the bottle having any value. Sorry, but this is the best I can do with the information provided. If you have answers to the above questions and can email me a photo of the bottle I can give you a better answer.
    Thanks.
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | August 13, 2012, 1:47 pm
  7. Weeks ago, my chef friend told me his favorite red Burgundy was a Clos Vougeot from Rene Engel. I told him I could provide a perfectly stored 1988 of that if he could provide some duck. Finally, last night, he did.

    Canard Trois Fois. Anyway, that’s what he called it. Magret de canard came charred on the outside and pink on the inside, floating in cherry jus studded with botrytised looking cherries (X’s-1). This was surrounded by some luscious Hudson Valley foie gras (X’s-2), and then encircled by paper thin slices of potato galette roasted in duck fat (X’s-3). Magnificent.

    But I was worried about the 28 year old Engel Clos Vougeot – could it match, even enhance, the Canard, or would it be gone by now? Top of the cork was moldy, raising my pulse, but the bottom looked good, so we poured. Maybe a half inch of brick red along the rim didn’t help, but the shimmering, translucent maroon of the rest did. The nose confused me more, with no fruit at all, but some warm, damp, earthy terroir smell that might hold promise — or might not. Might as well try it.

    The wine was sensational! Full up front with subtle flavors of berries and toast, followed mid-palate with light acid and soft tannin, ending with a lingering smoky finish. Canard Trois Fois became Canard Six Fois.

    Cheers,
    Bill

    Posted by Bill Tisch | May 1, 2016, 12:54 pm
  8. Thanks Bill.
    This is a story oft repeated with old Burgundies. They have a way of coming back after an initial less than inspiring impression. Rene Engel’s wines have tremendous staying power and are classic Burgundies. The Clos Vougeot holding is near the top of the slope. Alas, Philippe (the son) passed away far too soon and the estate is no more having been purchased by Francois Pinault (Château Latour). It is now known as Domaine Eugénie.
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | May 13, 2016, 3:02 pm
  9. Hi again Bill,
    I should say that duck and Burgundy is one of my very favorite wine and food pairings. And the cherry sauce is classic. These are the kinds of dinners that never grow old!
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | May 13, 2016, 3:05 pm

Post a Comment